WH&E L1 0 : 0 Old Merchant Taylors W1

I can’t really remember the game very well….

  1. Shell tried really hard to let them score – she gave up on 16s and made Sam take one in the end.
  2. If Bethany shouts for the ball and is in the perfect position, she won’t stop it.
  3. If Bethany has the ball in the middle of the pitch, she will run round in circles with it and beat like half their team before she can find anyone and win a short corner.
  4. Beth has begun her campaign to return to defence by not scoring – even when she and Sam #deaneteam run up the pitch
  5. Both teams decided that the pitch stopped at each 25. No one really wanted to score…

DOTD – Bethany for getting lost in the middle of the pitch and not being able to stop any pass.

MOTM – Gemma solid defending and excellent pushing forward all game.

WH&E M1 2 : 5 West Hampstead M5

The M1s stepped out onto a floodlit pitch on Saturday, grey clouds ominous overhead. The game began at a vicious pace with both teams showing that they were very much up for the game and wanting to assert dominance early.

West Hampstead scored first, a scrappy finish after several fantastic saves from Josh and Calum with some heroic off the line saves. Alas it was not enough and so 0-1 to West Hampstead. Winchmore settled, moved the ball around, well, all except captain Ollie who threw a monster “unnecess-aerial” over the fence and firmly into the bushes. However, we struggled to gain traction.

A lifted “dangerball” pass into our circle was deftly deflected goalward by West Hampstead leaving them 2 goals up!

Right enough was enough, Winchmore pushed into another gear, a commanding display of composure ensued! Very much not the Winchmore way, but we will definitely take it. Strong forward pressing led to our first short corner!

Finally, some redemption for Ollie as he stepped up and slotted a drag flick, low to the keepers left.

Half time

Shortly after the whistle our continued efforts led to another short corner, this time Colin to hit from a slipped short injection from Asher, denied by the post! But, we know how tenacious Colin can be, this was going to be a goal if he had anything to do with it, 1,2,3 a 4th save into the air from the West Hampstead keeper and Colin had his chance, an over the head scooping stick guided the ball home to make it 2-2. Game on.

Now, after such a display could Winchmore continue to play this outstanding hockey and push on to victory…well the scoreline answers that. A very much typical Winchmore mad 5 minutes left us 5-2 down. A mountain we just couldn’t possibly summit with the available time.

Thank you though to all who turned up and gave me 110%, the men’s section is really showing promise and I as captain am really enjoying playing with you all! Man of the match goes to Theo Chapman, who came up from the 2s and showed real grit and composure. He’s still not convinced, but he’s one of the most natural RB’s I have seen so I look forward to seeing him continue to develop and give those seniors in that role a run for their money in the future!

Rest up now gents over the Christmas period, by all means please assume the compulsory gluttony of Christmas indulgence, but be ready for fitness the moment we are back in the new year!!

Signing off as DOTD: Ollie Taplin M1s captain

WH&E L2 1 : 8 Hampstead & Westminster W6

After last week’s win we were fired up, ready for a tough battle against one of the tops of the league.

We started strong, brilliant 1-2s and plays up the pitch, a great exhibition of what we’ve been working on for the past few weeks.

This culminated with the first goal of the game 15 minutes in, some great teamwork from Gem and Kareen, finishing with Charlotte sinking it to the back of the goal.

No one needs to know about the rest.


No game for the M2s this week…

WH&E L2 3 : 0 Old Merchant Taylors W2

Braving the bitter cold the L2s made the trek to OMTs, determined to finally get a scoreline that reflected our play. A mad scramble for players having got us up to 12 and we felt coolly confident.

And we were right to feel that way.

Our focus for the game being on 1-2s, we stayed calm, passed around, and maintained possession. At the 5 minute mark Kareen got our first goal!

We let them have the odd break (it’s good to keep Freya on her toes) but nothing could get past us. Lorna should look into taking up baseball, batting the ball away from soaring into the goal after a short corner.

The heavens aligned to grant us our second goal. A strong hit from Gem into the D found Bridget’s perfectly positioned stick, the ball flew into the air and dropped neatly into the goal. To quote OMTs, “the best goal we’ve ever seen”.

Sam made her presence felt by sinking our third goal just before half time, a feat that helped her receive ‘opposition player of the match’ from OMTs and a nice hand cream.

Feeling very happy with ourselves, the second half got underway. An even battle, we decided that Freya hadn’t had enough of a workout but fortunately for us it wasn’t to be for OMT. The ball kept hitting the post, Freya’s keeping was unpenetrated, and a second goal-line save from Lorna helped get our first clean sheet of the season.

The end was in sight, but the dramatics weren’t to finish any time soon. With 10 minutes to go, our very own Harriet received her first ever green card for not staying 5 during free hits. Given her smile on her face as she came off the pitch, you’d have thought she’d scored.

A final whistle blew and so ended our first proper win of the season. The first of many to come, I’m sure.

WH&E L1 3 : 1 Southgate W4

The L1s took the short trip to Southgate for the local derby, coming away with a fine 3-1 victory ensuring that North London is purple! 💜 So much excitement that no one remembered to write the match report…

WH&E M1 0 : 6 Indian Gymkhana M3

Hi, Matt here again.

This week’s theme: holes.

Yes: because of the gaping hole in the middle of the pitch that Indian Gym dominated.

Yes: a reference to zero, the number of goals we scored, as well as our points tally from the past four games.

And yes: the proverbial hole that should have swallowed up all of us at the final whistle.

But also yes: the wholesome post-match donation of a jug of beer from Callum, who had a lucky raffle ticket back at ‘the 19th hole’.

Next week we’ll need a wholehearted effort against West Hampstead to climb out of the hole we’ve dug ourselves. A little more Winchmore Hill, a little less Winchmore Hole-In-Defence, am I right, lol?

WH&E M2 0 : 5 Old Merchant Taylors Demons

A disappointing result for the M2s against a well organised OMT Demons team that blended youth and experience to very good effect. An even battle in the middle of the park, but OMT far better in the final quarter of the pitch.

WH&E L1 1 : 1 London Royals W1

The weather seems to be a running theme in these match reports….this week it was unseasonably warm #climatechange.

Coming off the back of our 11-0 victory last week, the L1s arrived later than normal at Southbury (Sam didn’t get the memo and had to be told after running round the house like a nutter getting ready at 8.30)

Our word of the day was capitalise….but we forgot quite early on. An early short corner saved off the line by a Royals defender denied us the lead. A quick break from the Royals and some messy defending gave them the lead. A very back and forth game ensued as we fought for an equaliser. Not even the incredible #rugbyhuns short corner routine was working but never fear after passing the ball so kindly to the opposition again adding to her DOTD nominations Sam was able to get a clean strike from the top on a short corner pulling us level and making captain Shell very relieved. Some more breaks from the Royals left us very very nervous but MOTM Nic kept her cool and denied the oppo beautifully.

A much more normal result for us. A cheeky win would have been nice but a fair result of a draw.

Next week the only north London Derby that matters…

WH&E M1 1 : 2 Southgate M5

Hi, Matt here. Just wanted to pause near the season midpoint and praise my colleagues for their efforts so far.

Josh has returned in goal this season with real pep. And it only took a one-match ban to bring out his best.

Jake is my player of the season so far. The team agrees, having rewarded him with at least two Richard of the Day awards (so far).

When Asher has the ball, time slows down. At least for him. The opposition are usually operating at normal speed.

Dom is a treasure. And he was absolutely plundered by Southgate for one of their goals.

Dan’s PE teacher energy is inspiring. I’m just thankful he doesn’t make me do push ups for each time the ball hits my foot.

Ollie? New chap? I don’t recall such a weak-whiskered guy in the team. Unrelated: donate to WH&EHC this Movember: https://uk.movember.com/team/2436447

Harry often seems to be playing another sport. Sometimes he smashes the ball into the goal, like in tennis. Sometimes he tries keep our score down, like in golf.

Jack and me have experienced the mean streets of Ponders End (#EN34EVA), for which we share an eternal bond that transcends the sport of hockey.

Colin travels 4,000 km a season from Berkshire to play with us actual sheer berks in Enfield. Does this also make him a berk? Multiple player of the season awards would disagree with me.

Joe is the more handsome and talented of the Turmaine brothers and he definitely didn’t threaten me to type this.

Luke scored with one of his signature ‘Luke-ins’ from a static position and the excitement ignited his pugilistic rage (watch out Josh).

Jim (welcome back) looks great in purple and doesn’t look at all like an aubergine. Unlike some of the other Full Kit Williams in the team (you know who you are).

Literally nothing bad to say about Tom. Keep it up, pal.

Anyway, we lost 2-1 or something to Southgate M5s, idk. Something, something, we don’t let this slip, we go again.

WH&E L2 0 : 6 West Hampstead W4

The L2s turned up to a nice, surprisingly warm, sunny day. A rag tag bunch going up against the undefeated top of the league. Were we going to do it? A successful David against their Goliath? (Spoiler alert: no.)

We fought hard, with great pressure and passing moments – including going round the back to our surprise! Lisa helped (?) with the David and Goliath metaphor by hitting the ball into her own head.

With the word of the day being ‘honesty’, the opposition walked away with 6 goals to our feeble none.

David just had an off day. He’ll definitely beat Goliath next week.

WH&E M2 2 : 6 Indian Gymkhana M5

An away trip to Indian Gym, not the result we wanted, or the lack of match report either! Hopefully better on both fronts next week…🤞

WH&E L1 11 : 0 PHC Chiswick W3

Now we know our pushback was 4pm but this report starts much earlier. An early morning discovery that the venue we thought we were going to didn’t have a hockey pitch….so the morning was spent trying to find out where we were going.

Once we worked it out we waited for the match… all day….except for Bethany who went to bottomless brunch (she insists she thought she was just going for breakfast).

Word of the day LOCATION

We arrived and it was getting dark, a team talk emphasised our desire to enjoy ourselves and have some fun after a couple of tough games.

Then the game started, and unlike last week we realised we could actually play hockey. A lot of incredible teamwork, some amazing passing and a press that would make the hockey gods weep… can’t remember the order of them but here’s a rundown of the goals scored:

  1. Shell on a rugby huns short corner sweeping it in from the injector
    2. Shell on a rugby huns short corner sweeping it in from the injector
    3. Shell greedily as captain decided she was taking the penalty flick because “she wanted to score a hattrick”
    4. Shell on a rugby huns short corner sweeping it in from the injector – didn’t have to deny Sam the flick did you Shell?
    5. Beth – a “phantom goal” except both teams went to check to see the ball was in the net to confirm – no confusion there (take note boys)
    6. Beth – a great run, impossible angle and boom passed the keeper
    7. Abbi – a nonchalant tap in from some 1-2ing between Karen and Sam
    8. Abbi – so so casually passed a player then did the same to the oncoming keeper
    9. Abbi – intercepted the ball to take on the keeper again, casual as you like put it past like it was nothing.
    10. Abbi – remembered the need for location – calling at Sam and the perfect moment for a cross, keeper diving outstretched but a lovely lift put it in.
    11. Sam – straight shot from the top of the D on a short.

Some more match highlights

  1. Sam took over the falling over – multiple times
    2. Shell took out their keeper then tried to argue its allowed
    3. Nic didn’t have to touch the ball all game
    4. Shell gave the team talk from the toilet
    5. T left the team talk to get a coffee even though she looked like she’d had 10
    6. Shell walked into glass, no-one was there so she told everyone
    7. T couldn’t quite work out how to get out of Amber’s way.

So to end it all it was dark when we started, even darker when we finished. It rained but we won 11-0 so we were finally allowed the victory haribo Sarah has been saving for God knows how long.

MOTM – everyone because we were amazing
DOTD – Sam and Shell – all was not well in paradise 😂

WH&E M2 3 : 1 West Hampstead M8

A first home game for the Men’s 2s due to teams dropping out of the league and what a game it was! Winchmore having a strong line up with the returning Joe Small and Adam Machray. Lots of good passing and early pressure leading to Tom Pearson’s great flick through the keeper’s legs to make it 1-0. West Hampstead managed to sneak one back on the brink of the half time whistle for the boys to go into the half at 1-1.

A strong second half performance from the 2s with one less substitute. Lots of chances in the D just not managing to win anything or beat the keeper. Tom Pearson, Guy and Theo bossing the midfield worked a lovely dribbling move into the D for Theo to get Winchmore their second!

The final 10 minutes had it all, with a green card and plenty of shots for Winchmore from Tom Pajak, Wayne and Siva, before Tom Pearson and Calum worked a nice ball into the D with Calum’s half volley rattling the inside of the post and going wide.

A short is awarded and the full time whistle goes, so an opportunity for Winchmore to get a 3rd. Joe saw a beauty of a shot blocked from the top of the D, which fell to Guy who rifled one at the keeper only for Calum to get onto the rebound and flick it over the keeper to end the match 3-1!

A well deserved first win from the first home game of the season for the M2s!

WH&E M1 1 : 3 Hampstead & Westminster Thirsts

After last week’s loss, Saturday’s game against Hampstead & Westminster Thirsts (self-proclaimed pub lovers) presented an opportunity for vindication. Not to be I’m afraid.

With captain fantastic away with his Mum in Milan-darling, deputy Dan delivered the dynamic pre-match team talk, whipping the squad into shape.

Listening in, it’s blatantly obvious he’s a PE teacher. Man, what a privilege for all those boys and girls he teaches each week – imagine having Dan-the-Man inspiring you at such a young and formative age! #jealous.

Alas. Despite his perfectly pitched pre-match proclamations he couldn’t break his captaincy duck and orchestrate a win. His 0% win rate as captain continues.

We asked him about it after the game and Dan compared himself to Ollie, “we have very different captaining styles. He wins, I lose.” Awkward. One teammate was even heard to say after the game “I can’t wait to have Ollie back.” Fair. His cross-field squaerials were missed.

If there were video highlights of the game it would be a short watch. Clips of Jake’s stupid green card, Asher’s piddly aerial, two Ham & West goals, and a well-worked-top-of-the-D-screamer from Joe would make up the first half showing. Ask Joe how he felt about his goal…. “I like whacking it off my back foot, they don’t expect it.” He’s an experienced bloke our Joe. Knows a thing or two about whacking balls.

2-1 at the break seemed fair, gave us a solid foundation to work from, and the game was there for the taking. We just needed to grab it by the scruff of the neck! Perhaps the half-time oranges would help? Perhaps another rousing speech from Dan would make the difference? Negative. Not to be.

The second half started with some decent shape and possession and there were points where we looked the better team. Ham & West’s only real chances were gifts from our sloppiness rather than because of their skill. They did sneak another goal, and might have made it 4-1 had a top of the D reverse strike not been saved by one of their own strikers – who wore it on the chest like some sort of madman. No surprise he went down embarrassed, winded, and in some serious pain. He certainly spared Josh any added blushes too.

Dan liked the post-match teas… ”I do quite enjoy the breaded mushrooms. Very crispy. With a nice strong mushroom after- taste.” Good to know. Thanks Captain.

Man of the Match was hard to choose. Joe nabbed it for his goal.

DOTD, a few more contenders. Dan drove into a bollard on arrival…Ollie was off galivanting in Milan, Jack had to borrow shoes, but clearly not enough people were willing to overlook the early green card so Jake was lumped with it again. #whatever.

Next week, Southgate come for a visit to Southbury. Colin will be looking to get back on the scoresheet, Josh will be keen to stay in the umpires’ good books, and Jake will be trying to avoid a hat-trick of DOTDs and match reports. Let’s go the lads.

WH&E L2 0 : 4 Old Uxonians W1

Umpire said it shouldn’t have been 4-0.

Nellie blamed the team.

Umpire blamed Pippa. (She maintains her innocence).

(Nellie volunteered for goalie duty and dived for it. They still scored but a good effort!)

The end.

WH&E M1 1 : 3 PHC Chiswick M3

There was a sense of deja vu as the L1s finished their game and the M1s rocked up to take on PHC Chiswick 3’s.

Last time out at the sun-bathed Southbury pitch there were some frayed tempers and toys thrown from prams. No need for the deja vu concerns though. In fact, the villain of the piece turned things on their head and won a well-deserved man of the match this time out! With some top saves, and a command of his D, Josh got 8 MOTM votes – a landslide! Maybe the presence of not one but two Dom’s helped Josh keep a level head? Either way – we were glad to have some new blood and delighted to have our revered Club Chair back.

Ollie (aka Captain Bambi) slid around the pitch and looked like he’d been practising hurling with some questionable ‘aerials’. He only avoided DOTD because Jake destroyed the first aid kit with a panicked under-pressure clearance.

All that aside, the game was hard fought. WH&E nabbed a good goal midway through the first half. A well delivered short corner, with a fiery strike from Joe was turned in with an impressive, delicate, carefully executed edge from Dan. In his words ‘it was a screamer from 2 yards out’. How did he feel about his goal, ‘I’m just so glad to be involved, and I’m enthused and excited to get my first goal of the season’.

Once we’d established the early lead the pressure increased from Chiswick. Their relentless high-press meant two WH&E teammates said afterwards ‘at one point I was counting how many players they had on the pitch’.

Their pressure told, and a sloppy defensive lapse gifted the opposition an equaliser before half time.

Then, a moment to regroup. Much needed.

Half time oranges, an ideal antidote for Asher’s poorly tummy. His words: ‘I thought I was going to throw up – I thought my match was done…’ – ten minutes on the bench and he was back. Good lad.

But alas, our energy lapsed, disorganisation and panic set in and we opened up. That allowed Chiswick to score their second, a well struck shot into the far corner of the net – Jake might’ve deflected it wide, Josh might’ve got a right hand to it, but the pace was too much. 2-1.

15 minutes to go. We turned a corner. Looked like we could grab a goal with some pressure. But it wasn’t to be. Ollie’s rugby tackle on his own teammate, some average defending and it was quickly 3-1. And the end came soon after. We asked Ollie how he felt after the game, ‘a bit gutted, I even self-voted DOTD’.

So, a sad end to a decent run. But a fun game played in good spirits, with two umpires who whistled well. Next week, as Captain Bambi galavants to Milan, hopefully goal-getter-Vice-Captain-Dan will lead us to victory at Hampstead and Westminster. Here’s hoping!

Written by Jake Tasker this week’s DOTD.

WH&E L1 1 : 8 Hampstead & Westminster W5

The ladies turned up to Southbury to play Hampstead and Westminster. It was ridiculously hot #globalwarmingisreal.

There was a minor issue…. we all turned up to play hockey but forgot to actually play. One moment of brilliance a lovely link up between Abbi and Vicki in front of goal reduced our deficit to 2-1…. then we decided that was enough, completely forgot how to play hockey and especially forgot which team we’re supposed to pass to.

Final score was a lot more than 2-1. Nic lay on the floor after one of them and after the oppo checked she was OK – she said “I’m just sad”….

We’ve moved on already. Next week a 4pm push back somewhere far away…

MOTM – Karen and Vicki, they seemed to remember to play more than the rest of us
DOTD – everyone else

WH&E M2 0 : 3 Osterley M2

A trip round the M25 for the M2s for a lunchtime pushback against an experienced Osterley. Calum stepping in for a debut at Centre Back, with a returning Piriyan and Ellis to the starting line-up.

A rough start with two quick Osterley goals from a quick free hit and a subsequent short corner, which was almost blocked off the line by Calum but for an unfortunate bounce deflected it over his stick, followed by a quick counter attack with some clever Osterley play to lead 3-0. Jonny pulled one back after a well worked passing move to go into half time at 3-1.

A solid half-time team talk led to a more invigorated Winchmore, with lots of silky passing from Tom and Theo, creating lots of opportunities and winning numerous short corners. This led to Winchmore getting their second from a crafty short corner routine between John Lappin and our scorer of the second, Jonny with four minutes to go.

Winchmore pushed hard for an equaliser with some commanding performances in defence and midfield, but a last-minute free hit slipped through a stick to an Osterley player 1v1 for a finish of 4-2. A well fought second half which deserved a draw against a technical Osterley side.

WH&E L2 2 : 6 West Herts W3

A pictorial report from the L2s this week…