WH&E M1 4 : 2 Richmond Griffins

The men’s 1s took the trip to Chiswick for their match against Richmond Griffins on a scorching hot afternoon. Well aware of the heat and with only one sub, Winchmore let the ball do the work, passing and moving the ball well around the field and taking control of the game. Another hattrick for Colin Foad, including an absolute worldie into the top left corner, plus a first goal of the season for Harry Stone secured the points with a 4-2 win after a slight wobble in the second half.

A superb 1st team debut for Tom Pearson, stepping up from the men’s 2s, earning him joint man of the match with hattrick hero Foad. With one game of the season left to play, the M1s will be pushing to finish with a hattrick of wins too.

WH&E M2 1 : 11 West Hampstead M8

A tough game for the men’s 2s, playing with 11 outfield players and no goalkeeper. Nevertheless, a stirring first half performance saw them concede only 2 goals, before the floodgates opened in the second half. Theo Chapman with a consolation goal for Winchmore.

WH&E L1 v Teddington L4

A walkover for our ladies 1s with Teddington unable to field a team to travel to Enfield.

WH&E L2 v Hampstead & Westminster L7

…and another walkover for our ladies 2s as Ham & West forfeited their game too – all the more surprising as they were the home team.

WH&E L1 0 : 6 Barnes L3

This week the 1s went on holiday to Barnes.

Our holiday started off well.

The sun was shining and #TeamBus1 discovered they had a magical boot that looked tiny but actually holds three full-sized hockey bags! The accidental convoy of cars managed to find the hidden pitch at the end of a very long and winding road…

The majority of the 1s were pleased the cold changing room had a heater whilst we waited for our leaders to arrive, as there were metaphorical and physical bridges to be crossed

Our mantra for the match was live laugh love lose x

At teas the oppo checked in with us “‘Excuse me- how many did we smash you by?!” -in a nice way, they were very friendly victors!

Then Sarah, as if she’s their coach, asks “Wtf happened against East London???”*

Sarah needed answers!**

*Barnes #topoftheleague averaging 10 goals/game vs bottom of the league and they only won 3-1

**after mild shock at the question and look of concern(!) they remembered… they were missing half their team, and the players that could make it all turned up sporadically, and “not on form”- except the one that scored of course

WH&E M1 4 : 1 Indian Gymkhana M3

Purple protagonists perform

As warm solar rays graced the day, the Purple pugilists assembled to contend the occasion. But fourteen courageous participants on the roster fell to 13 as injury afflicted Dominic Smith stood down from the Purple Platoon.

A rousing prevailing of the game opportunity ahead from Captain Carrick enthused. A chance to inflict a defeat on potential league champions Indian Gymkhana. A chance to avenge a deficit from months past. A chance to proffer a performance that has been threatening to emerge in recent weeks. Those clarion trumpet calls combined to set the state of play as the Purple shirts assembled opposite the yellow-shirted contestants.

Whistles blow. Sticks on the move. Several attacks. Jack Wilson in a cosmos of space near the ‘D’ – a place he repeatedly secured. A quick firing comet from Oliver Taplin to Jake Sumner to Jack Wilson. A blistering attack flashes across the D. A near identical move. Jake Tasker fires equivalently from rear lines. And another attack. No quarter given by the Purple protagonists. Intensity high. Pressure strong. Domination paramount. Quick passing – a corner of the short variety ensures. Colin Foad shoots and backboard sings.

But, 13 became 12. A clash. A cut. A rushing of blood. Jake Tasker downed with a cut above the eye. Time stopped. Bandages flow and Jake Tasker’s head mummified as the able warrior is helped to the sideline. Only ten-minutes gone. Can the Purplists respond? They can.

Asher Cohen takes the left back mantle but hankers for his midfield anchor too. In the coming minutes Asher from the back, takes a tackle, a stride, another, a jink and jostle, and D-wards step provides a pass and goal – left back assister no less. Dan Mather the joyous beneficiary.

The Gymnasts perplexed. Out run. Out tackled. Out passed. ‘Great game intensity’ proclaimed Oliver Taplin, channeling his historic namesake, urging on the New Purple Army. Captain Carrick par excellence too shadowing Gymkana’s playmaker and demonic dribbler with every twist and turn – an individual feud bestriding the hour and sitting betwixt the wider conflagration.

Aidan Mullins, a helmeted behemoth and stout guard, thwarts occasional incisions. Michael Dutnall blocks and impedes Gymkana incursions. Jake Sumner adopts an inner Jake Tasker with tackle and hurling of the ball from left base line to forward position. Dan Mather harries, Harry Stone harries and Adam Machray harries. Indeed, every Purple-shirted titan adopts the harry mantle.

Alas, not every yellow surge is blunted. Gymkana’s managed to move their abacus one notch.

But the Purple players renew their response. More D-wards efforts. Ball stopped by boot, decried by Gymkhana suggesting direction was not goalward bound. The umpire’s gavel dismisses the claim as arm raised aloft and whistle shrills.

However, the resultant contest between Colin Foad and Gymkhana keeper does not dent the Purple tally.

First skirmish period elapsed.

A more balanced affair in territorial acquisition as the second period unfurls. But Captain Carrick again resumes the battle, deftly blocking Gymkhana progress. John Lappin holds the right-hand side admirably. As time ticks, Gymkhana appears to occupy ever smaller pockets.

Sweeping Purple moves grace back to front, side to side and wing to wing and with many D-wards forays too. Step forward Colin Foad to procure a third for the Purple column.

A fourth is not far behind. A Purple streak. A victory validated.

As the remaining seconds ebb the Purple performance of the season cements itself. Proud Purple hearts. No hazy performance here. A clarity of precession play. A cheer. It had been accomplished.

WH&E L2 0 : 1 Southgate L5

10 players but we don’t think Southgate realised it. Lorna with a torn tendon after spending the previous day in urgent care and Charlotte’s ankle failing halfway through.

So many Southgate short corners and not a single goal.

So many moans about the state of our pitch. Funny, because when we were on their lovely water pitch we beat them 6-0!

Lorna taking the ball as the player lifted her stick to take a strike.

C’s 3D skills – picked the ball from the air and then reverse volleyed the ball away.

Bridget, Sula and Kareen absolutely everywhere.

Pippa’s goal line save. Classic.

Chris covering our arse. A lot.

WH&E M2 1 : 2 Old Merchant Taylors Demons

Everyone played a good game, and performances are definitely improving:

Starting from the back…

John made some strong saves, including a great save repositioning after a cross – it’s almost as if he’d been practising that on Wednesday!

Joe was his imperious self in defence, and some great distribution from the back. And his tackling must be improving, as his green card was only for swearing (in front of youngsters).

Huw kept stepping forward to intercept passes, and generate great counters. He’s annoyed at one of the goals, but I can safely say I wouldn’t have dealt with stopping their skilful youngster half as well.

Tom bossed the midfield, and put in great passes. Fantastic game. Unfortunately he must have picked up some bad words from Joe, as he too saw a green card for swearing.

Guy was distributing well, and had one mazy run forward when his head went down and he couldn’t see any passing options.

Theo dropped to right half, and was a great outlet finding space in attack. With a more natural right winger ahead, he’ll create a lot of opportunities.

Siva started to bring his Wednesday form to the game, looking more comfortable in possession and adapting more to playing on a full size pitch. He can only improve as his confidence grows here.

Piriyan used his speed up front to good effect, and was linking up well interchanging passes with his brother.

Luke drifted into space well up front, receiving the ball high to help build attacks.

Pete made his cameo appearance, and was always foraging on the post, including one fantastic attempt to divert a (wide) near post shot which looped agonisingly past the far side of the goal.

And despite starting from the back, I’ll finish with Wayne, who used his pace to great effect as left back to dispel various attacks – but then also drifted forward to score our goal.

What other positives?

  • We successfully restructured to remove a defender and add another forward which created the extra pressure leading to the goal. (Well done the defence there for initiating that)
  • We had our first away spectator of the season – who was rewarded by her dad scoring his first goal of the season!
  • We passed the ball much better, both building attacks gradually and having some quick counters.
  • We had a short corner. (I think the count was 2-1 in our favour this time, as opposed to 0-20 last match).

What else do we need?

  • More killer instinct in front of goal. Goals have been hard to come by in the second half of the season
  • More fitness – definitely – and maybe more subs.

WH&E L1 3 : 2 Hampstead & Westminster L5

Goals from Beth, Abbi and Bethany helped the ladies 1s to a fine victory over Ham & West 5s. The celebrations clearly so good that no-one remembered to write a match report! 😂

WH&E M1 2 : 6 West Hampstead M3

The Men’s 1s made what is becoming a regular trip to the delightful surroundings of Brent Cross to play 2nd placed West Hampstead 3s.

This season in London has certainly been a challenging one. On this occasion, the 1s set out to challenge a few assumptions and influence the outcome of the league with two West Hampstead teams currently vying for first place.

Winchmore competed strongly for the first half of the first half, maintaining a disciplined and coherent press, allowing the opposition a lot of possession around their own 25-yard line, but without significant penetration, before conceding to a quick break at the mid-point in the half.

From this point, the opposition did maintain a regular tally of goals, although they were often frustrated by some excellent saves by Aidan Mullins who had donned the goalkeeper’s pads for the occasion and delivered a man-of-the-match performance to boot. Hidden talents, indeed!

Despite the final score – a somewhat West Hampstead-flattering 6-2, it was clear that Winchmore also carried a threat. Excellent interplay between midfield and attack down the left saw a penalty flick conceded and neatly put away by Colin Foad. A threaded through ball in the second half from Asher Cohen set up Luke Trevill who tussled with the goalie and scored from a tight angle with a slotted shot.

(John Lappin gets credit for a Salt’N’Pepa-style verbal assist by shouting “push it”, at this point, which clearly made a huge contribution to the ball going in the net.)

So, what to make of the performance? It was a testing day, but the team showed a lot of defensive spirit, organisation and some attacking vim. A very strong opposition might have had something to worry about if we could have got one more goal at 4-2. We continue to ascend the steep learning curve this league presents.

With a very fair wind blowing in off the North Circular, you never know what might have happened. Not this time though.

MOTM: Aidan Mullins on his GK debut for the club – an outstanding performance

DOTD: John Lappin, for only realising his shorts were on backwards at the last minute and having to make an emergency switch during our team talk! 😂

WH&E L2 1 : 6 West Hampstead L5

The sun was out as the motley crew turned up. Two juniors on their second game with us, our captain out due to covid, Lorna ill, and Gemma making her post-baby debut (sadly no baby there as support).

The game started.

A great ball from Gemma to Kylie, after a great run the ball then went on Charlotte who masterfully passed it on to Jodie. Approaching a one-on-one with the keeper, Jodie was unfortunately taken out by a defender falling over herself.

We were awarded a short corner. Using our ‘new plan’, the ball went straight from Kareen as injector to Charlotte at the top of the D, who passed it straight back to Kareen. A beautiful deflection sent the ball arching over the keeper straight into the goal.

Half time.

Some more play happened.

Lorna fancied playing a bit of football, stopping the ball on the line and giving a flick away. Fortunately Chris was there to save the day, and the ball.

The game concluded.

WH&E M2 2 : 3 Old Merchant Taylors M3

A tight game, with two fine goals from Jonny Molloy, but top of the table OMT 3 came from behind to snatch the points and maintain their 100% record.

WH&E M1 1 : 5 Osterley M1

The M1s had their first game in a month and were raring to go at Southbury.

We started the first half on the front foot and worked the ball well up both wings, with both Tim Legierse and Jake Tasker being great outlets. The half continued to be end to end, with some great 1v1 battles developing across the pitch. 20 mins in Osterley broke well and found the back of the net and were up 0-1. The M1s responded very well – maintained the high press and won the ball in dangerous areas of the pitch. Asher was first to a loose ball and had a great effort from a tight angle saved by the Osterley keeper. Colin was first to react to the loose ball, and brought the game level. A tense end to the first half resulted with Osterley winning a short, and converting with a strike from the top of the D to provide them with the advantage at HT.

With lots of positives to take from the first half we felt there was definitely points on the table. Continuing to employ the high press from the first half, we started strongly and won a couple of short corners; one went just wide, and the other cleared to the halfway line. The latter of the two found Jake Tasker just inside the Osterley half, who found Jack Wilson unmarked in the Osterley D. With 30 mins of shooting practice prior to the game, he lined up the shot just inside the D… but alas, he missed the ball completely 😂 as well as a great opportunity to draw the game level. As we continued to push for a second goal we were punished with 2 more penalty goals against us, plus a lucky deflection which looped up over our keeper’s shoulder. A 5-1 defeat, but a scoreline that didn’t reflect our performance.

Big thanks to Beth & Pippa for umpiring, and Nick & Lisa for supporting during a gruesome afternoon at Southbury!

MOTM: Stuart Carrick – great 1v1 battle with the Osterley centre-forward

WH&E L2 1 : 2 Hendon & Mill Hill L2

On the back of last week’s win, the intrepid Ladies 2s team braved the cold wind and traffic jams to turn up to the game.

The first half of the match, we were trying to get our rhythm against a solid Hendon ladies side who were strong in the middle and on the attack. By the end of the first half Hendon had scored.

The second half was eventful and saw us come back with confidence, ready to take-on Hendon. We were challenging and tackling for the ball, and there was some good passing around the back.

During the second half, one of the umpires was injured which resulted in one of the Hendon ladies team umpiring the remainder of the match.

Our fantastic goal came from a great pass from Kate to Michelle who then slammed the ball into the goal and the goalkeeper couldn’t stop it.

Final score 2 – 1 to Hendon & Mill Hill.


No matches again this week for either the L1s or M2s ☹

WH&E M2 6 : 1 Eastcote Eagles

The M2s had a successful Saturday with a 6-1 victory against Eastcote Eagles. The first half saw us pose a constant threat, with strong pressing, and building from the back with good spreading of the ball to the wings. Paul opened the scoring (his first for the club) following a rebound off a short corner, and Theo and Jonny pounced on loose balls in the box for three more, while Calum claimed one from a short corner – he struck it, it went in the corner, and I was facing the wrong way to see any deflections!

“More of the same in the second half” we said, but it didn’t work that way. Eastcote left more players up-field, posing more threat on the break, but somehow the fewer defenders made a better stab of keeping us out. Our defence stood firm, apart from one unfortunate intercepted clearance. As a result, Joe came up to claim a late short, and power home our sixth. A rest week up next, followed by the table-topping Merchant Taylors. Let’s take this form into the game against them…

WH&E L2 2 : 0 Harrow L2

It was always going to be a good day once the Ladies 2s realised that while England were at Twickenham, we were not!

We started well, as usual there was some lovely play round the back, and we kept the ball overwhelmingly up their end. Our first goal started from the back, with great passing all up the pitch finishing with Kylie slipping in between the goalkeeper’s legs.

1-0 at half time. We had a cushion but knew we needed more before we could relax. (Such a top quality game that at half time both captains had to be taught the basics for sideline balls to pass on to the rest of the team!)

Harrow’s tactics of leaving their attack sitting high put some strain on us with two defenders having to stay back, but in marking one we managed to get Lorna over the halfway line for a change. Not long in to the second half Kate slotted it through to Kareen who did a lovely turn and popped it in. 2-0. We defended three short corners in second half, one from a clearance by Nellie into Abbie’s foot. All three brilliantly defended, and a clean sheet maintained.

Another game won in a surprisingly long line of wins, leaving us second in the league (although how long that is maintained remains to be seen).

WH&E L1 1 : 2 Eastcote L2

Concise report from the Ladies 1s:

We went to Eastcote
It was really sunny
Abbi scored
Then we lost
…And then we all ate teas and Evie discovered our #hockeyfamily tree!


No match again this week for the M1s, after the scheduled opposition pulled out of the league ☹