Witham Hall Hockey Update
20 Feb 2018
1st XI Hockey
Witham Hall 1
Keen to get back on the pitch after a weekend off, the 1st XI travelled to Oundle in the knowledge it would always be a tough afternoon of hockey. The first half was a scrappy affair with neither team finding any rhythm in their build up play. In matches like this, you have to rely on set plays to make the difference. In the 18th minute and with their first short corner, the boys executed just this with a sublime routine involving Joe and Oli setting up George to smash the ball into the bottom corner. In this case, practice did indeed make perfect. As the game progressed, the match opened up and the defence did extremely well in the second half to keep Oundle at bay. Both sides had chances to score but the match remained 1-0 and another impressive win for the boys. Lots to work on in a short space of time ready for the extremely tough fixture of Stamford on Wednesday, which I know the boys will relish. A switch to the seven a-side format will certainly test the team in different areas.
Witham Hall 2
I could not be prouder of the boys in their first 7 a-side fixture against a side who have already played many more. It was always going to be tough against such a skilful side, picking from almost double the amount of boys, but the Witham players worked tirelessly to put them under pressure. In the first half, Witham soon went a goal down but within moments, George smashed home a reply to even it up. Before long, Witham took the lead with a stunning strike from Oli on the reverse and into the top corner. Just before half time, Stamford evened it up after some loose defending setting up a tense second half. With both teams tiring, the counter attacks proved prevalent and with only a few minutes to play, Stamford sealed the win with a reverse strike of their own into the bottom corner. A tough pill to swallow for the team, but after a performance of that quality, they have so much to be proud of. We still have so much to work on so early in the season, but the grit, determination and intelligent hockey shown stands them in great stead for their next game on Wednesday.
2nd XI Hockey
Witham Hall 2
An enthralling end to end game of hockey took place on Wednesday at Oundle School. A slow start saw the 2nd’s concede two early goals through a lack of concentration and composure on the ball. What was most frustrating for the boys, was the amount of possession that they had in their opponents half, all that was lacking was a little bit of clinical finishing. At half time and 2-0 down, a stern talking two was needed and the boys knew that if they carried on in the same vein, the goals would come. Early on in the second half, Alex scored an excellent goal in the bottom left hand corner. Wave after wave of Witham attacks followed and a really superb team goal, finished again by Alex saw the 2nd’s draw level at 2-2. With time running out, numerous saves were made at both ends but neither team could find a winner. It must be noted that Jack, Hamish, Guy and Eddie all had very strong games. This match showed what tremendous character the 2nd’s have – well done.
Witham Hall 2
The 2nd VII hockey team put in a truly memorable performance against Stamford School on Wednesday. An excellent start saw the boys hold their own against a skilful Stamford side. Wave after wave of attack was thwarted as the 2nd’s looked to play breakaway hockey. This worked perfectly and gave Alex. S many opportunities in front of goal. Some brilliant saves by the Stamford goalie stopped Witham taking a lead. Just before half time, the 2nd’s managed to take a 1-0 lead but unfortunately this was to be short lived, as Stamford responded with a well-executed short corner. At half time, it was very much a case of continuing in the same vein and encouraging Stamford to push higher and higher up the pitch. Within minutes of the second half starting, Stamford had scored, getting in behind the 2nd teams defence. Pleasingly, the boys persevered, held their shape and kept their composure. The moment of the game arrived with three minutes left on the clock. Ludo. L had broken free and with options both sides of him, chose to go it alone, drive into the ‘D’ and smash the ball into the top right hand corner. At 2-2, some frantic clearing enabled the 2nd team to get a stunning draw. This was a great advert for putting in 100% and getting rewarded for it. Well done to all the boys, you really did do yourselves proud!
U11 Hockey IAPS
Witham Hall 0-2 Ratcliffe College Prep
Witham Hall 1-3 Bilton Grange
Witham Hall 7-0 The Ryleys
Witham Hall 1-0 Magdalen College Junior
Witham Hall 0-1 Winchester House
Witham Hall beat Solihull Junior on penalty shuffles
The Colts A hockey team did themselves proud on Friday at the U11 Boys’ Hockey IAPS Qualifiers. In a tough group, the boys played Ratcliffe College Prep first and lost 2-0. This was not a bad result against a very skilful and organised side. Our second game saw us play Bilton Grange, who again proved to be very tough to break down. However, the Colts managed to take a 1-0 lead early on and defended brilliantly against wave after wave of Bilton attacks. Bilton eventually managed to break through on goal a few times and with calm finishing, took the game 3-1. In our final group game, we played The Ryley’s. Our best performance of the day saw seven goals scored. Some wonderful fast flowing hockey entertained all the parents who had come to watch. With one win from three matches, we found ourselves going into the plate competition quarter-finals. Drawn against Magdalen College Junior, the Colts A’s managed to edge out a 1-0 victory. What was great to see, was the way in which the boys were holding their shape and starting to believe in one another. In the semi-final, we were drawn against Winchester House, who proved far too strong, a 1-0 loss wasn’t something to be disappointed about. The Colts final game of the day saw us play Solihull Junior. The game went to penalty shuffles. With all the parents hiding away behind the astro lights, Jack.B managed to pull off three consecutive saves and with Oscar scoring, we had come 3rd in the plate. A tremendous achievement and a wonderful day had by all.