Herts Junior League: March

After the February round of fixtures was cancelled due to snow, normal service was resumed for March with the Girls U12s heading to St Albans and the Boys U12s at Potters Bar, whilst at Southbury Leisure Centre we hosted the Boys U14 tournament. Check out our tournament reports below.

Girls Under 12s @ St Albans

U12GMarOur girls under 12’s team travelled to St Albans this morning for the latest Junior Herts league tournament. We had no subs and the rain was pouring down but it did not dampen our spirits.

The first match was against Harpenden. We mostly kept our shape and attacked with gusto and were unlucky to concede a goal. Second game was against a strong Royston B team, we defended multiple short corners and conceded 2 well taken goals.

Our heads did not drop and after a change in formation we took on Broxbourne and produced a goal! A stong run from winger Harriet passed to Kirsty who fed Isabel for the shot. Broxbourne equalised and the match ended in a draw.

Our final game was against Blueharts. Buoyed by our last match we started with passion. The well drilled Blueharts team were strong in attack and we were strong on defence. We held them to a 0 – 0 draw.

This team are continuing to grow in confidence and skill. Harriet, covering the entire pitch with endless energy; Molly, so solid at the back; Elize, always running into space; Kirsty controlling the midfield; Emily, super fast on the wing; Mary, tenacious in defence and Isabel, with her great ball distribution. Lots to build on for the future.

Boys U12s @ Potters Bar

The boys U12 team headed out to Potters Bar today for the latest round of the Herts junior League. A cold, wet and windy morning did not seem to bother the kids (unlike the adult spectators!!) as they took on the usual suspects from Royston, Blueharts (x2 teams) and Hertford.

The boys battled hard in all the matches, and performed particularly well in games 2 and 3 against Blueharts Pumas and Hertford, taking the game to the opposition and creating several good scoring chances in each game. However, the luck was not with us today, with shots being deflected wide or being saved by a sprawling keeper, and our boys were robbed of a deserved point after a last minute breakaway goal from the Pumas.

Lots of great performances throughout the team – Joseph with some great goal line clearances, William solid tackling and hits up field, Thomas winning the ball back in defence and midfield, Harry bringing the ball out from the back to support the midfield, Ben using his skills and speed on the right wing, Sam working hard on the left of midfield, Zafar’s skilful dribbling through the middle and Siva a live wire in midfield and attack, always wanting the ball.

The boys have made some good progress this season, but so have the opposition teams, so we need to keep working hard on our teamwork and I’m sure the results will come.

Posted in 2018-19, Juniors Tagged with:

Week 22: Teamwork makes the M2 dreamwork…

WH&E M2 4 : 0 St Albans M8

The acronym TEAM stands for Together Everyone Achieves More & indeed a worthy 4-0 win stood this afternoon for the M2s @ home.

Good supportive interplay was the order of the day as the M2s pressed & probed & frustrated the visitors psychologically & physically.

The hard work in the 1st half brought rich dividends in the 2nd half:

A penalty flick was awarded to Dominic; Stan found the backboard & Leo added 2 more to the total clinching the much-needed goal difference.

Well done everybody, and many thanks to our umpires Chris Moran and Graham Sparrey who stepped in at short notice.

WH&E L2 2 : 3 BA Hayes L2

This week brought not only slightly more sensible hockey weather but also Abbi back from injury, Mia back from the Italian Alps, Captain Pip with a raging hangover and Lisa back into defence (bye bye #journeytocentremid).

We began the game strongly, with our midfielders using their pace against an older and slightly more stationary BA Hayes.

Charlotte intercepted a Hayes 16 and with a ball into the D for Abbi to collect and calmly slot between the keeper’s legs to cement our upper hand. As only family can, she made sure Charlotte knew her goal count, whispering 12 as she jogged back to our half. Beth Deane – C’s coming for your assists trophy.

We continued with lots of fab movement of the ball kept the pressure on. Unfortunately, against the run of play, Hayes were awarded a short corner which led to a disappointing goal that somehow slow-mo’d over line.

After Daddy Deane half-time talk, much appreciated, we maintained the pressure with several free hits inside their D, culminating in a pass to Charlotte who shot the ball between the keepers legs which Abbi stole/secured depending on which one you talk to.

A little ill-discipline in the defence, mainly me forgetting I was back in defence (hello again #journeytocentremid) and christening my brand new astros with a ball to both feet and my hand (all at once) led to 2 goals for Hayes.

A frustrating end to a good game with lots of positives: Romy following in Captain Pip’s footsteps by freight-training out to clear the ball away from our 23, Abbi and Ellie working well together up the left-hand side, Kate and Mia tirelessly covering miles and hassling the opposition into making mistakes, and Charlotte (the assist Queen) selflessly sending balls into the D.

WH&E L1 0 : 4 Teddington L3

With no subs and playing against second in the league, we knew today was going to be a tough one. After a long drive to Teddington we faced our first battle of the day, finding a parking space. Those unlucky few found themselves starting their warm up early with a long walk from their cars! Once kitted in their ‘changing facilities’ we then faced the choice of a warm up on a muddy field or on the side of the pitch, the latter seeming the best option. A delayed game before ours then meant we had a brief but fast paced hockey warm up. None of this phased us, not even their 5 subs and a coach on the side line!

We took the game to them and started strong with some great attacks. We worked well as a unit across the entire pitch with the midfield being the strong glue between the defence and forward. In the beautiful and unexpected sunshine the defence relentlessly battled to keep the constantly changing Teddington forward line from finding the back board. Not long before half time and following from our attacking short corner, Teddington made a fast-paced break and opened the scoring. Shortly after, they gained their own short corner and quickly converted it to 2-0 at half time.

The second half started very much as the first half finished, with Teddington piling on the pressure. With support from the entire team, we continued the battle in defence but we’re unfortunate to concede another 2 goals. Not once did our heads drop and even though our pace slowed, we never gave up. Although the final score was a 4-0 loss, this by far does not reflect the commitment and drive that the team had today.

Special mention to Karen Smith Gray for completing a 5-hour round trip so she was childless today to then go on to receive 2 separate head injuries (unfortunately receiving DOD for one of them) and was a close second for POM.

Player of the Match was Rachelle Alexandra for being on the floor for the right reasons and making amazing tackles.

I was very proud to stand in as captain today and lead the ladies who showed so much positivity and drive. The score line does not by any means reflect our game and we were unfortunate to not score any goals of our own.

WH&E M2 1 : 2 Berkhamsted M2

No match report, yet…

Posted in 2018-19, Ladies, Mens Tagged with: ,

Week 21: L2s battle hard for a point; M2s go down fighting

WH&E L2 0 : 0 Imperial Medics L1

WK21L2Players taken, players injured, players moved so far up the pitch that altitude sickness was a real concern! Pushing hard and playing a full court press saw Pippa Deane up in centre mid and Ellie leading the charge at top diamond.

Medics caught off their guard with our pace and space meant that we controlled the mid with Kate Smith and Hish keeping the balls moving out wide and forward.

Solid defence ensured that all moves were covered and turned to our advantage. Although you know things aren’t going right when the umpire starts laughing at your bottom diamond for receiving a perfect pass to top D unmarked with both your feet Lisa Jobson… Definitely DOD worthy, and if that wasn’t the tantrum that followed was!

After a full game of battles, mostly in their half, the game finished nil-nil. Medics goalie covered her goal and kept us out. Close calls with good strikes coming from all members of the team (Ellie, Kate, Pippa, Gem, Hish)

WH&E M2 3 : 4 Potters Bar M4

After heroically coming back from a 5-1 deficit for a 5-5 draw last time out, the Men’s 2s travelled to Potters Bar with a simple mission plan: “let’s just win”.

The M2s started strong, gaining short corners by pressing and with positive up front play but fell one nil behind on the break. They pulled one back and had some good individual play through the centre of midfield, but the team couldn’t quite knit it together and fell behind again to goals on the break.

The second half brought improvements, and the M2s traded goals with Potters Bar to bring it back to 4-3 but couldn’t level the scores. With both teams going for a crucial goal, passions ran high and the game ended with the M2s two players down and resolving to do better next week.

WH&E L1 1 : 3 Eastcote L2

No match report…yet

No match for the M1s, who return to action this week.

Posted in 2018-19, Ladies, Mens Tagged with: ,

Week 20: M1s hang on for win; M2s fight back in 10 goal thriller!

WH&E M1 4 : 3 Blueharts M4

Complete dominance wins through…just

Voters sometimes use their ballot frivolously and thus face unintended consequences. While this could be a comment on current events, we are in fact talking here of the DOTD nominations. This recipient awarded DOTD again (and it must be said without due reason) now has to describe the match events. So this report, reflecting the consequences of said voting, will be less Pulitzer and more perfunctory. Choose differently next time folks….

Across the season for the WH&E 1s 12 games out of 17 have been seen five goals or more scored in the game (by WH&E and opposition) and for week 18 it was lucky 13. The 15 strong squad, which encompassed a few players missing from past weeks, began one of the most dominant periods of play this season, although at the final reckoning, the score ended much closer than the initial dominance. Scoring was as follows:

Goal 1: Colin Foad (shot)
Goal 2: Opposition

Second half

Goal 3: James Gatting (short corner shot into corner)
Goal 4: Colin Foad (tap in after Stuart Carrick’s pass to Jake Sumner’s shot came off the keeper)
Goal 5: Jim Gatting (short corner flick into the top corner)
Goal 6: Opposition
Goal 7: Opposition

Full time 4:3

Thanks to Dominic Smith and Chris Moran for umpiring. Colin Foad wins man of the match and WH&E begins a three game winning streak…maybe (see the last match report).

WH&E M2 5 : 5 Cheshunt M3

The men’s 2s headed to Cheshunt this week for the late game, buoyed by recent good form, but missing key players Joe Small, Rob Dowling and Hitesh Mody who all had better things to be doing during half-term!

Against a typically physical Cheshunt side, it was the home team who dominated the opening period and quickly took the lead through a well worked penalty corner. 1-0 down and Winchmore needed to up our game.

Cheshunt doubled their lead soon after with another well taken goal, before Winchmore got a foothold in the game with a goal from the rapidly improving Peter Morton making it 2-1. But then Cheshunt got another before half time leaving Winchmore with a mountain to climb in the second half.

After a passionate half time speech from Grant Wisson, we came out with a new focus looking to take the initiative in a game we knew was still there for the taking. However, Cheshunt quickly bundled in another goal making it 4-1 and the game was all but out of sight.

But Winchmore are made of sterner stuff, and following good work down the left a ball into the D from Asher broke to Dominic Smith whose first time shot deflected past the keeper off a defender to make it 4-2. Game on.

However, what momentum had been created was quickly subdued as Cheshunt scored a fifth to apparently kill the game once again.

Finally, Winchmore woke up to the seriousness of the situation, and a hard earned penalty corner was duly converted with a neat flick into the left corner from Dom making it 5-3. Ten minutes to go and all to play for.

Then a diagonal ball into the D was picked up by Leo whose reverse stick shot left the keeper wrong footed to make it 5-4.

Shortly after, another penalty corner was converted by Dom to make it 5-all and in a frantic last 5 mins it looked like Winchmore could snatch an unlikely win, only to be denied by some fine be saves from the Cheshunt keeper.

A great comeback for a 5-5 draw. If only we played the first 55 minutes like we played the last 15 the result may have been very different.

MOTM apparently to Dom, for his second half hattrick.

DOTD to Thomas Mabey, who having pointed out how easy it is to get to Cheshunt by train, ended up being late and missing the start of the game!

WH&E L1 0 : 2 Southgate L3

Wh&E Ladies 1s were up against local rivals Southgate 3s on Saturday which turned into a bit of a family day, with 6 kids, 2 dads, 2 husbands and 1 boyfriend turning up to watch.

In the first half, we put on a good show for our spectators with a couple of chances for both teams and it we made it very tight. DotD was decided in the first half when LB Rachelle Alexandra received the ball in our D during what was about to be a great switch round the back, and hit it into her own foot to give a short corner to the opposition. Luckily Chris Putt, who made a great return after months off for illness had us covered.

We ended up not scoring in the first half, but unfortunately dropping our heads a bit in the 2nd half to lose 2-0.

MotM goes to Sarah E-Q for some great defending during the whole match, without which we may have been a few more goals down. Shout out to Abbie who we found at Southgate and convinced to play for us last minute!

This week we’re playing at home at Aylward at 12pm. Any and all support is more than welcome!

Posted in 2018-19, Ladies, Mens Tagged with: ,

Week 19: M2s riding high, but M1s and L2s slip to defeat

WH&E M2 5 : 1 Harpenden M4

The Men’s 2s faced Harpenden 4s with both teams aiming for promotion to Division 7SW.

Winchmore were caught short within the first 5 minutes with Harpenden winning a penalty corner which they duly converted. This first goal spurred Winchmore into action, Rob, Dom and Rafi dominated the centre of the pitch creating many chances.

Within minutes the ball was delivered to Rob Dowling who calmly swept the ball into the opposition goal to equalise. Shortly after, a quick move down the right led to Rafi flicking the ball past the diving keeper making the score 2-1. Winchmore had all the momentum and with Harpenden looking shell shocked Rafi then made it 3 with a clever deflection from Dom’s drive into the circle. Within a matter of minutes, the home side had turned things around and now found themselves 3-1 up. The final goal of the half was a fantastic individual goal from Dom, having taken the ball past one player the Harpenden defence continually backed off and allowed a clear run at goal, unsurprisingly allowing Dom to rifle the ball past the keeper. The half time whistle went with Winchmore having a commanding 4-1 lead.

Harpenden restructured for the 2nd half and did well to keep Winchmore out despite wave after wave of attack. However, eventually the defence was breached once more, and Rob Ulph calmly put the ball in at the far post. The home side could have made it 6-1 in the dying seconds after Rob Dowling threaded the eye of the needle playing the ball across goal past the keeper to the far post however the ball went spinning off Leo’s stick and agonizingly wide of the post from just a yard out in a chance which was undoubtedly easier to score than miss!

An excellent all-round performance sees the M2s move to 4th place but importantly just 2% off 2nd place which would see them secure back to back promotions.

MOTM: Haydn – An incredibly mature performance, creating some fantastic chances and consistently being an integral part of Winchmore’s attack.

DOTD: Leo for the miss of the season.

Big thanks to Lisa Jobson for umpiring rather than playing for the Ladies 2s!

WH&E L2 1 : 5 Ealing L2

After a successful 2-0 victory last week against Teddington (oops no match report-one of the only games to be played due to snow/ice!) the Ladies 2s had a tough match ahead against top of the league Ealing!

Arriving with plenty of time to spare we used it wisely: wishing Pippa a Happy Birthday, catching up, using the smelly port-a-loos and well, a bit of a warm up.

The game got off to a great start with lovely play down the sides and brilliant “selfish” runs from Mia putting training into practice. We held them off for a while but conceded 2 goals in the first half although we were proud with our play.

The second half was tough. Two injured players – Anju Jacob ankle and Sahara’s knee meant everyone who was on, was staying on! But before the injury Sahara did a cracking run and a lovely sweep towards the goal (just outside the D) luckily it skimmed Charlotte’s stick, forcing the umpire to award it!

The final score was a respectful 5-1 (better than our 6-0 loss last meet) but DOTD has to go to Pippa Deane for scoring a goal preventing Freya from saving it! (in our minds a more truthful 4-1 result!)

Thanks to Sam Deane for her support and more importantly her yummy Harry Potter birthday cake for Pippa!

Well done ladies, vital match next week against close in the league Staines let’s bring it! (Also, we missed you Lisa Jobson!)

WH&E M1 2 : 3 Harpenden M2

WH&E 1s strung by Harps tune

Two games ago, WH&E lost Stuart Carrick for most of the second half through an injury inflicted by the opposition (as well as John Lappin who helped Stuart to the hospital). The 1s lost a tight game to the tune of 4-2.

One game ago, WH&E lost Eray Osman through the whole second half through an injury inflicted by the opposition. The 1s lost a tight game, with just 10 men against a St Albans’ squad of 15, to the tune of 3-2.

For this game, could the 1s play a different melody? What strings would itinerant Harpenden pluck (itinerant as they lose their regular ground for the second half of the season and play oddly far away in Potters Bar). It was this location that contributed to the late arrival of Jake Sumner (having decided to drive and realising that his finely tuned grey machine took a lot longer than doing so 15 years ago) and who ended up (rightly) receiving the DOTD. He is therefore your troubadour for this report.

Fortunately, the game hadn’t commenced and so with the late arrival made a full complement and we began with full voice, joined by two new members of the band, Stan Knight and Huw Thomas in the outfield and Tiarnan Perth in goal who had the opportunity to share how they could orchestrate the play. It was initially a perfect pitch and WH&E were on song.

Within the first minute WH&E nearly scored, a deft ball to Tim Mall, his dribble into the ‘D’ surrounded by a coterie of Harpenden defenders and if a slight flick leftwards had taken place it would have been a certain goal, mirroring the offering three weeks ago. It wasn’t to be.

WH&E offered a chorus of pressure, through Stuart Carrick resuming a commanding position in midfield and Mike Dutnall resuming a commanding position at the back, supported with aplomb by Matt Dray and Harry Franks. More attacks followed from the left and right, with the right developing much promise.

However, against the run of play, the opposition created a harmony of passing and scored. In response, WH&E 1s trumpeted their intention with more attacks, with John Lappin, Huw Thomas and Stan Knight bringing some guile to the proceedings. Harry Franks had perhaps the best chance with the keeper to beat alongside, Tim being given the ball through Jake’s legs to be on the keeper. Both chances fell flat.

Hard on our debut keeper Tiaman Perth, who served well in goal, Harpenden hit back again. 2-0.

Enter Stan Knight, who had already showed flourishes again produced some excellent work down the right found his way to the D and unleashed a shot and goal. It was perhaps this debut goal that contributed to his winning man of the match.

The symphony reached a crescendo and with some excellent 1-2s and space creation by the team, Colin Foad slotted one through, much to the keeper’s surprise.

Game on. Harpenden were subdued – but half-time brought the curtain down on proceedings.

The resumption of the second half however saw Harpenden score early, through a series of passes.

WH&E were now chasing again. Or rather were being chased down. On too many occasions Tim or Colin had the ball and were heading goalward but were swarmed by two or three players with clattering not tackling the order of the day – the crash of sticks presenting an ugly din. But, no whistle to signal a short corner was forthcoming on this day, indeed a bizarre ‘advantage’ for WH&E was given in one case, which resulted in an opposition free hit. There was also a period where it wasn’t clear how many players were on the pitch or what was quite happened such was the issuing of green cards to both sides.

We should not moan against the umpires however – they enable us to play and do for the love of the game. A little more love for playing from Harpenden wouldn’t have gone a miss though as we didn’t get a full game so much time wasting was going on by the end, it resembled the Vauxhall game a fortnight ago. But, you can perhaps see why they did it – WH&E were raising their voices and pressing to the end but had to face the music of lament. A 3-2 loss.

So, three close games resulting in three loses. They say things come in threes. So, time for a new tune – the march of three victories…

No game for the Ladies 1s this week.

Posted in 2018-19, Ladies, Mens Tagged with: ,

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