Witham Hall Undefeated at Oakham Hockey Tournament

15 Oct 2014

Witham competed in both the U13 and U12 Hockey tournaments hosted by Oakham School. The U12 team was comprised primarily of the U11A team, which has had a successful season so far. The ranks were bolstered though with the inclusion of Ella Turner and Anya Batty from year 7.

WITHAM U11A/12: WINNERS!

Due to a late drop out from the tournament, the U11A/12 team needed to play four fixtures in a round robin competition with 3 points awarded for a win and 1 for a draw. Whichever team gained the most points at the end was to be crowned the winner.

First up for the U12s were St Hugh’s. The game was very much dominated by Witham with chances a plenty; however it took a little while before the team managed to convert them. Finally, it was Harriet Anthony who broke the deadlock and this was soon followed by a second Witham goal to seal the match. Up next were Kimbolton, who narrowly lost out to Oakham A in their first match. Again, Witham dominated much of the play, though Kimbolton looked very dangerous on the attack themselves. The Kimbolton keeper was in superb form and made save after stunning save throughout. The pressure eventually took its toll and Sophie Hamilton’s direct running and excellent cross was deflected into the Kimbolton goal by an unfortunate defensive error. A second goal from Witham was again enough to seal victory, with Taggie Paganuzzi in goal having to make a few outstanding saves of her own.

The third match was against Oakham B and the Witham legs were starting to look a little weary. Well, all except maybe Ella Turner and Anya Batty who dominated this match – Anya scoring a hat-trick to give Witham a comfortable victory. The final game was against Oakham A with the winner of this match assured the trophy. It was a tense affair with some fantastic attacking flair shown on both teams. Witham continued to play a very attacking brand of hockey and made a breakthrough late in the first half with Alice Farmer converting a superb sweep shot after a terrific cross from the right wing. More chances came and went in the second half, though Oakham came back strongly too and Witham were indebted to Georgia Blackman for two outstanding pieces of defending that blocked almost certain goals. The final score of 1-0 to Witham reflected a tough game, but a deserved victory.

In the end, Witham won all four matches, scoring quite freely without conceding at all – a superb achievement given the quality of the opposition. Well done to the whole squad who all played their part in the triumph.

A special well done to Anya who was one of three players of the tournament (the other two being the superb Kimbolton goalkeeper and ex-Witham pupil Olivia Gregory)

1ST VII: SECOND PLACE BUT UNDEFEATED!

WHS 3 Kimbolton 1 (Hattie Grace x 1, Lottie Bingham x 1 & Sophia Ktori x1)
WHS 2 Oakham 0 (Sophia Ktori x 1, Felicity Bridges Webb x 1)
WHS 0 Bilton Grange 0

WHS 5 St Hugh’s 0 (Hattie Grace x 1, Philippa Hix x 1, Isabella Manara x 1, Felicity Bridges Webb x 1 & Sophia Ktori x 1 )
WHS 0 South Lee 0

The girls started in great fashion against a strong Kimbolton side with two quick early goals and they cemented the win with some strong defence from Poppy Chatterton and effective counter attacks from Sophia Ktori. The quick attacks benefited Witham with Hattie Grace and Lottie Bingham hitting the backboard with smooth finishes. Against Oakham, Witham worked hard to break down a stubborn defence and finally made the pressure tell with two fine finishes from Felicity Bridges Webb and Sophia Ktori. The next match was to be a tougher one against Bilton Grange and with a packed ‘D’, the girls struggled to find a clinical finish. The defence battled hard with Catherine Swanston leading the way and the match finished in a stalemate. Topping the group, Witham went onto play South Lee and St Hugh’s playing some fine hockey in the process. Unfortunately due to the process of carrying points through from the previous group stages, South Lee finished winners as they had won every game in the group stages with Witham’s draw costing them. I couldn’t have asked for much more from the girls; conceding one goal and remaining undefeated all day was a great achievement. Well done girls!