Hockey sticks at the ready for the first matches of the year!

19 Sep 2017

1st VII v Stamford U13A

Witham Hall – 7
Stamford – 1

The girls showed progress since their pre-season Tour at the weekend, looking strong and resolute in their first inter-school fixture of the season against Stamford. Straight out of the blocks the girls pressed hard and put the opposition under constant pressure to score early to relax their mentality. By half time the girls had scored 4 goals, with impressive finishes from Bonnie, Ella and Katie respectively. After half time, the team started to tire and so did their shape, letting Stamford back into the match and they soon scrambled a goal after sloppy defending. Tillie kept the amount of goals conceded to just one through some brilliant reflex saves before the Witham girls pressed and forced another couple of goals towards the end, however despite signs of a better structure, there is still plenty more work to do.

1st VII to Foremarke Hall Tournament

The Witham girls once again showed their progress over the course of the afternoon. In a tough group, Witham won 4, drew 1 and lost 1 to just miss out on progressing through to the knock out rounds. After losing to a very strong Foremarke side the team reacted well with dominant wins over Moreton and Spratton before fighting hard to keep out Beeston Hall in an entertaining stalemate. With Beeston needing to score 6 to progress ahead of Witham, they ramped up the pressure, flooded forward and unfortunately for the girls, scored 7 in ten minutes to bump Witham off second! This however should certainly not detract from what was another super effort by the girls and improvements are evident in every outing. A massive thank you must go to Foremarke Hall for their tremendous hospitality.

2nd VII v Stamford HS U12A

Witham Hall – 0
Stamford – 1

The 2nd VII Hockey team were very excited to play their first match of the season against Stamford High School U12As. The game was incredibly exciting to umpire and watch as both teams were keen to make a super start to their season of Hockey. The ball moved from one end of the pitch to the other, with all players working hard to either maintain possession or defend when required. Both GKs, when called upon, produced some great saves and kept a cool level head when faced with penalty corners. All players showed good stick work, trying hard to put into practice the techniques learnt in lessons. Both teams had their chances to score but it was Stamford who managed a goal with just a few minutes left of the match. The girls should be incredibly proud of their performance today as they worked with great enthusiasm and determination, what more could a coach ask for? A truly positive start; keep up the hard work on Saturday girls!

2nd VII v Kimbolton 2nd VII

Witham Hall – 2
Kimbolton – 2

The 2nd VII Hockey team were keen to start their second match of the season against Kimbolton School. Having narrowly lost earlier in the week the girls started with great determination maintaining much of the possession of the ball. The midfield players moved the ball accurately up to the attacking players and when tested, our defenders kept the ball safely away from goal. Witham took advantage of an error by Kimbolton and Gigi crossed the ball into the circle where Rose was able to score. With confidence gaining momentum we were quick to score another goal from Matilda crossing to Ffion. Kimbolton soon responded and found a way through our defence and scored. At half time the score was 2 – 1 to Witham. The second half of the game was very evenly played between both teams. Good stick work and team work won both teams a number of short corners but it was Kimbolton who were able to score bringing the final score to 2 -2. A great second match for the 2nd VII against a bigger school - well done girls!

3rd VII v Stamford HS U13B

Witham Hall – 1
Stamford  – 7

The 3rd team had a very tough game to start their season off, playing an extremely strong U13B side. Stamford were dominant from the start and within 8 minutes had scored their first two goals.  Witham battled and defended as hard as they could, but with strong striking of the ball, Stamford certainly had the Witham girls on the back foot. The score was 2-0 after ten minutes, when Holly stole the ball in their twenty five and made a run for the goal. She had good support around her, with a few passes to the centre midfield and a return ball.  Holly received the ball back in the ‘D’ and struck the ball hard into the far corner.  Witham had scored which certainly lifted the girls. The half time score was Witham 1, Stamford 2.

The second half was tough, with Stamford really starting to move the ball around with confidence and belief. Again, Witham fought hard to make life difficult for Stamford, but it was just too much.  Stamford scored another two goals in the first five minutes of the second half. Isabella drew back into defence and was a super star, but Stamford still found the gaps. It was a very tough game to start the term but the team showed good strength of character and determination. Congratulations must go to Isabella, who was voted ‘Player of the match’.  I am very proud of how the team pulled together and worked from start to finish. 

3rd VII v Kimbolton 4th VII

Witham Hall – 6
Kimbolton – 0

U11A v Bedford U11A

Witham Hall – 7
Bedford – 0

The U11A team met Bedford for the second time last week, after facing them in the Laxton tournament. With a large home crowd watching, the pressure was on to provide the slick and confident performance seen on Wednesday once again. The girls tried really hard to maintain their structure and meet the ball, both things we will be continuing to work on in training. Witham were 4-0 up at half time and looking strong when in possession of the ball. After a good half time team talk and reinforcing what we have been working on, the U11As went back out into the torrential rain with renewed purpose and played some really smart hockey! We finished the game 7-0 but this score does not reflect the quality of Bedford’s attacking play. Well done on another clean sheet girls!

U11B v Stamford U12B

Witham Hall – 1
Stamford – 0

The first game of the season for the Under 11B team was against an Under 12B team. The Stamford girls were much bigger physically than the Witham girls but our young side battled tirelessly all game. Possession was fairly even throughout the match and Tilly in goal made some vital saves to keep Stamford at bay. Isabelle was solid in defence anticipating and tackling confidently. Rachel was very consistent in mid field tackling well and distributing the ball effectively to the forwards. Rosie worked hard to get back and make defensive tackles as well as supporting the forwards. Lydia and Millie held their positions extremely well and attacked forcefully resulting in a goal for Millie! Alexandra ran tirelessly throughout the game making strong tackles and carried the ball efficiently. This was an excellent result and everyone played an important role in the victory.

U11B v Bedford U10A

Witham – 0
Bedford – 2

This was not such a convincing performance as the first game of the season. The conditions were cold and wet and a large crowd of supporters may have unnerved the girls. The possession was fairly even but Bedford managed to convert their chances. The defence worked hard and cleared the ball competently. Witham had a number of opportunities, especially at short corners, but were unable to capitalise on them. Bedford were unable to score in the second half as the Witham team played much better both defensively and in attack. This was a good effort by the whole team and a performance that we can build on.

U11C v Bedford U11B

Witham – 0
Bedford – 5

On a very autumnal Saturday afternoon Witham entertained teams from Bedford. The game started fairly evenly with both goalies having to make saves early on. The Witham defence kept Bedford at bay with some strong tackles but eventually on the counter attack Bedford scored. This set the tone for the rest of the match with Witham having a few chances that they were unable to take, whereas Bedford put away their attempts despite some excellent goal keeping. Never the less this was a fair match for the first game of the season.

U9A v Bedford U10B

Witham Hall – 3
Bedford – 0

The U9A team had their first match of the year against Bedford’s U10Bs. They played with fantastic enthusiasm and some impressive skills for such a young team. The team scored 3 well worked goals as a result of great team work and real persistence in the D. Our defence was also strong with some good tackling and distribution of the ball. There is still plenty to work on in training, but we held a good basic structure and managed to keep in positions relatively well. A great start to the hockey term – well done!