Week 21: Men’s 2nd team v Welwyn Garden City

We travelled to Hatfield lacking our usual dominance (captain Dom Smith missing for first time this season!)
Our somewhat changed team played a crucial top of the table clash and things started terribly. We not only had to push back missing 2 players (lost in the 1 way system?) we then had Jo Small yellow carded for the games first tackle?

The 2 home umpires also awarded a dubious short corner. Crash in went the shot and we were immediately 1-0 down. The missing players arrived but before we could settle in to the game our oppo scored 2 more.
3-0 down after 15 mins we could have crumbled but this squad is made of sterner stuff. Battling away we gained a foothold in the game and were rewarded with a close range goal by Leo right on half time.

A change to only 2 at the back for the second half with Grant going up front with Colin led to us dominating the first 15 mins of the half but sadly we failed to find the crucial second goal. When it’s not your day luck goes against you and today was that day. Welwyn were awarded another dubious short and after a prolonged scramble in the D they managed to force the ball over our line. This deflated us and with their 3 subs coming on the fresh legs made a huge difference.

Despite some fine saves from Nick Smith and several fantastic last ditch tackles Welwyn scored 2 more. Final result 1-6?

We go again next week and 2 more wins could still potentially secure a promotion spot.
Lesson learned: Only 2 defeats so far this season and both have come when we started the match without 11 on the pitch!!! PLEASE ARRIVE IN TIME TO WARM UP AND BE READY FOR THE START.

The ladies 2s had a rescheduled match against Old Merchant Taylor’s.

We started well with Charlotte scoring in the first half and Kelly doubling the lead before half time. They got one back in the second half and we had some very close chances.

Special Mentions
•Sam for falling over but managing to sweep to Rachelle anyway
•Kelly for not throwing up 
•the team for some lovely Spencer-Hockey

A great 2-1 win!

Ladies 2s

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Week 20: The men’s 1st team had an almost completely different line up against Royston from their first game of the season heavy defeat.  So a late Saturday afternoon start at home was some means of payback.

Men's 1sAfter the previous drubbing it was decided to beef up the midfield leaving only two upfront. The tactic worked particularly well with Craig Jackson man marking their midfield stalwart out of the game. A strong defensive performance by the team frustrated the opposition and our finishing was superb. A top short corner finish from James Gatting and first of many Joe Turmaine flashes of Genius in the D found us a strong 2-0 half time score.

The half time call was for more of the same and be aware of the likely Royston onslaught. While Royston grabbed some possession they didn’t threaten much. Cheered on by the ladies, Winchmore Hill built on the first half to right the wrongs of the last game and equalise the goal difference.

Both forwards Joe T and Harry Stone seems to thrive on the crowd pirouetting to their satisfaction with Joe going on to a magnificent hatrick.

Great performances throughout, a second for Jimbo from another short along with a superb return for James Flemo Fleming made for one of the best games of the season. Even club captain Dominic Smith got in on the act with a classy lifted hit in off the post.

One slip saw a consolation for Royston but a 6-1 win was more than well deserved. Special mention to defence if Joshua James Rider, Harry Franks, James Gatting and Matt Dray for keeping solid throughout.

John Adam Elliott Lappin had another left midfield impact building from last week with important interceptions. The biggest mistake from Royston was not picking up Sam Turmaine in his free roaming role which he exploited perfectly to control the pace of the game.

Despite complaints in previous weeks that it was far too cold to play hockey, the glorious sunshine did not invigorate the Ladies 2s today (indeed, there were even some complaints that hockey is a winter sport and that it was far too hot to run around!) A great effort from all left us at an almost 1-0 defeat. I’ve decided to ignore the short that Harrow slotted past the keeper with the last touch of the game.

The young-uns are coming along awesomely; Erin in beautiful positions on the right, Abbi running up and down the sideline, tracking back like an absolute queen and Ellie doing the boring, thankless but necessary job of marking Harrow’s right forward out of the game. Us Oldies didn’t do too badly either. A lot of composure under pressure (mostly, right Pippa? ) and communication meant some sexy hockey all round.

Thanks to Chris for doubling up for us and Beth and Bethany for umpiring.

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Week 19: Men’s 1st team had their local derby in a short trip to Southgate Adelaide.

A wet day saw us start with 10 (we knew Jake could not make the start) which went OK as Adam Machray and Sam Turmaine controlled the centre of the park. Adelaide did figure out how to make the extra man count and began to threaten. Fortunately they were not in finishing mood and were kept at bay by our defence with a strong performance from Harry Franks, Matt Dray and Joshua James Rider. Going forward WHE had a strong lineup and were always a threat with Tim Mall, Joe Turmaine and Harry Stones giving the Adelaide defence a tough time. The better late than never arrival of Martin Dwamena made the difference adding a solid performance to the midfield to make us the controlling team. The deadlock remained and needed something extra. It came in the form of a John John Adam Elliott Lappinperformance of the season highlight of which was a beautiful trap and slide rule pass through to Tim Mall. Tim still had plenty to do but showed his class to provide a fine finish. Half time 1-0 and in control.

Second half saw Adelaide come out hard leading to a few nervy short corner situations for us but bringing out the best of Josh with a superb diving pass.

Shorts apart Adelaide were not a huge threat in front of goal. The tireless running of Adam Machray and Martin Dwarmea kept the opposition wary as did Sam’s passes through to the forwards. The short corners came for us through some tricky stick work from Harry in the D. Finally the lead was extended to 2 with a thunderous hit from a short by Joe nutmegging the keeper. We should have gone on to finish it off with a few more but that would have been boring. Adelaide always seem to snatch one and they did with a blatant back stick. In the end it didn’t matter as we stayed strong to the end. The umpire apologised if they had missed the back stick and even thanked us for making it an easy game to umpire. Well done all 3 points to celebrate.

Wait for it…

WE WON!!!!

The Ladies 1s beat Eastcote 3s 5-1! Yes that does say 5!!!

We started a little slow but eventually woke up. We opened the scoring with a great short corner strike by Caroline and well kept in by Lucy for me to tap it in. Second goal was another great strike from briers. Finally actually using gav’s deflection training from a few weeks ago Samantha beat the keeper. Final goal in the first half made it a #deaneteamdreamteam with Bethburying the ball right in at the post in another short corner. Second half didn’t quite start the way we wanted it conceding a very soft short corner which they converted, but never fear! Bethany brought it to 4-1 with a physics defying goal, putting the ball in from the baseline whilst throwing herself across the floor. Some more pressure gave lucy the opening to finalise the score at 5-1 with only a couple minutes to go!

Man of the Match was Bethany for her goal. She also managed Dick of the Day by being late and not knowing when the game was!

The men’s 2s kept up their push for promotion with a fine 4-1 win over local rivals Southgate Adelaide 2. It was Adelaide who took the lead early on with a well worked goal swept past Nick Smith in the Winchmore goal from close range. However, we fought back bravely and after going close from a penalty corner that hit the post, it was a training ground move that brought us back on level terms as Simon Gatland, returning from 3 months out with a back injury, swept the ball into the D where Christopher James deflected the ball high into the net giving the young Adelaide keeper no chance. This was followed soon after with a straight strike from Dominic at a penalty corner, and Winchmore were in the lead.

However, the pivotal moment of the game came at the end of the first half when an Adelaide shot hit Balazs ‘s foot on the goal line – penalty stroke. But the flick hit the post and the momentum swung back to Winchmore once more.

After the break, Winchmore played with great focus and determination and there was only ever going to be one winner. A switched penalty corner was saved by the Adelaide keeper, but Leo pounced on the rebound to volley home from close range to make it 3-1. And this was followed up with another great run from Burdy who was picked out with a diagonal ball behind the defence, where he controlled the ball and neatly slotted home on reverse stick to make it 4-1.

Special mention today to Hitesh, who despite being injured still came and played for some of the game, despite clearly being in pain. And thanks as ever to Chris Moran and Lisa Jobson for umpiring on another miserable afternoon. But another great win for the 2s, and with 3 games to go, promotion is still in our own hands!

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Week 18: So first it was raining again. Ladies 1s started well against #topoftheleaguein the 2nd minute. 1st minute we were caught out by a very quick attack and conceded. Whoops!!!

Ladies 1sTwo more slipped past but we didn’t let it get to us and came back to a beautiful well executed and planned short corner… first goal for captain Samantha of the season. A second well executed short corner by Karen Goode and Gemma put the score at 4-2 (they scored at some point). We scored a third goal by an excellent #deaneteam link up to put the ball from a long corner into Caroline who took an amazing touch to beat the keeper.

Final score was 7-3.

It was the most goals Harrow have conceded in a game all season and the most we’ve scored in a while.

Man of the match goes to #teamdefence both Sam and gemma for being generally awesome. 
Another record was broken today too, Rachelle didn’t get dick of the day!!! Instead that goes to Sam for trying to kill Gemma with her face mask when throwing it off the pitch after a short  sorry about that gem!

Bring on Eastcote 3s next week!!

Men’s 1st team had a hard fought battle against Hertford. A goal from James Gatting gave a slender and precarious 1-0 lead at half time. Giving Hertford too much time on the ball and a few missed tackles saw the scores levelled 1-1. Luckily WHE returned to some form, piling on the pressure with attacks and short corners. Eventually Hertford resistance was broken with a short corner follow up to seal a 2-1 win. A great result but room for improvement against local rivals Southgate Adelaide next.

Man of the match performance by Nick Smith in goal.

Many thanks to Dominic Smith and Chris Moran for umpiring.

Men's 2s, League 9SWThe men’s 2s continued their winning ways on Saturday with a solid 2-0 win against a spirited Shefford & Sandy side. On a grim afternoon, it was always going to be a war of attrition, and neither side created many chances in a tight first half. However a tactical change at half-time by captain Joe Small, saw Eray and Grant pushed forward in an effort to capitalise on possession and this proved to be the turning point in the game. With more attacking threat, Winchmore put the visitors under increasing pressure and this paid dividends when Dominic picked up the ball on the right side of the D, before shooting high into the top left corner to put the home side 1 up. The second goal followed 10 mins later, when a well worked short corner was switched back to Grant who swept it past the keeper from close range, but injuring himself in the process! The visitors fought hard to the finish, coming close to scoring from their only penalty corner of the game with 2 mins to go. But there was only ever going to be one winner, and Winchmore keep up the pressure on the league leaders with only 4 matches to go!

Many thanks as ever to Chris Moran and Dipak for umpiring, when I’m sure watching the rugby in the warmth would have been preferable!


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