WH&E M2 7 : 1 Harrow M2

The match started well, with a goal scored in the early moments of the game – from the first short corner – by Dan. With the confidence of being one nil up, we continued pressing and another goal was inevitable, and Theo got his first of the game (with a little help from the opposition keeper who nudged it in past the line by accident).

Midway into the first half and a 2-0 lead was very promising for the final score. The attack on the Harrow goal was relentless, with everyone participating and playing superbly. Jonny, Tom, Guy and Calum in midfield kept the ball pushing forward to the strikers, with the defenders only being used to pass back and around the opposition – who didn’t have a look in towards our goal. And quickly after the 2nd goal Theo converted another after being gifted the ball right in front of the goal by a scuffed Harrow clearance to make it 3-0.

Towards the end of the first half, Dan scored another great goal (his second of the game) to increase our lead to 4-0. The Harrow defenders were constantly working and another slip up at the very end of the first half meant a short given as the final play. The initial shot was saved, but it fell to Theo at the edge of the D, who caught it nicely and drilled it bottom corner, for his hat-trick!

We switched things up slightly for the second half, but things continued to go our way, and after a few dubious efforts from Luke (who at one point missed the goal by about 15 metres!), he scored his first of the season to make the lead even bigger, at 6 goals to nil. Eventually, and practically the only time in the whole game, Harrow managed to get by our defence and John lost his clean sheet when Harrow hit one in the bottom corner.

But we still had fight left in us, and James dribbled past their defence, to score the last of the game. When the final whistle blew, another last second short corner was awarded, but this time less successful with no goal being scored. The game ended with a resounding 7-1 victory.

WH&E M1 0 : 3 West Hampstead M4

A new season, a new coach, a new league in a new area, so for the opening fixture the M1s played West Hampstead, our new friends from the summer league.

With a last minute change of plan following a no show from Stan, there was a system failure, and I’m not referring to the GMS!

West Hampstead put the pressure on from the first whistle, making it difficult for WHE players to have any time on the ball. The opening goal was scored when a defender stepped in front and intercepted a pass to forward Harry Stone, who was on the halfway line, and they worked the ball into the D, before flicking in off the inside of the post to make it 0-1. A second was added before half-time after the ball struck Dominic Smith on the foot and looped up over the defence, dropping to a forward who diverted it with his reverse stick past the onrushing keeper James Gatting.

0-2 at the break, a couple of changes and WHE made an encouraging start to the second half, however a well drilled opposition had control of the match, and scored a third in the last few minutes with a close range deflection. Final score a 0-3 defeat.

With the M2s winning their opening game 7-1, some players might already be knocking on the 1st team door, meaning there is new healthy competition for selection at the club. In a few weeks we could be seeing a new look 1st team, and I’m not just referring to the kit.

Thank you to umpires Samantha Lucy and Beth Deane.

* this report was held up due to many hours of editing and censorship (by the author!).

WH&E L1 2 : 3 Old Merchant Taylors’  L1

The Ladies 1s were unlucky to lose out to OMT 1s with the visitors converting a penalty corner with the last play of the game. No match report, but a nice team photo!

WH&E L2 0 : 3 Old Merchant Taylors’  L2

No match report, yet…

*NEWSFLASH* We finally won something!

Following the split of the summer league and some heavy losses to a very familiar foe (they wear red), the ladies’ teams have been playing the teams in black. In the two games against West Hampstead we saw a high scoring 5-3 win coming back from 3-0 down and a close 1-1 draw. These were followed by two games against Potters bar and some more wins! Yes that means 4 games in a row undefeated!

Goals have come from all over the place, and the teams have been playing better and better, with some fantastic passages of play and several new players gaining match experience during the summer league. We will, however, concede that Jason may have a point and we might want to start doing a bit more of a warm up before some of the games!

The summer league finished with our As v Bs game, but with one big difference…the men played too! The match was turned into all all-club mixed match, which resulted in a great game between two evenly matched sides with a final score of 4-3 and smiles all round at the end.

Now on to the new season, with new leagues, new opposition and fingers crossed no games cancelled for covid?!

The Southgate Summer League reached its conclusion for the men last week, with a fine 6-0 win over Southgate Adelaide.

After the normal season was inevitably curtailed due to covid, the re-established men’s summer league was a very welcome chance for us to get back on the pitch enjoying some competitive hockey once again, and more than 30 different men’s players took up the chance to play.

Fielding two mixed ability teams, the younger and less experienced players had the chance to gain match practice playing alongside established first team players and it was great to see the progress they made over the course of the summer league – Theo, Tom, John and Zak are all names to watch out for next season!

And with the men’s summer league running in parallel with the ladies, it also provided the chance for new umpires to gain experience as we reciprocated umpiring duties with the ladies matches – Jason and Stan stepping up and doing well having taken umpiring courses last season.

Huge thanks go to Liz Moss at Southgate Hockey Centre for organising the summer league, and to the other teams from Southgate, West Hampstead and Southgate Adelaide without whom it wouldn’t have happened!

The full summer league results can be found here: https://www.southgatehockeycentre.co.uk/summer-leagues/.

Our men’s and ladies’ teams were back in action over the weekend with friendlies against some familiar faces from Hertford.

First up were our ladies who after a slow start got into their rhythm and played some really nice hockey. Passing in neat triangles to get out of trouble, and using both wings to good effect, they came back from a goal down with a well-executed short corner put away clinically by Lucy Cohen into the bottom left corner. In a tight final 10 minutes both sides had chances to seal the game but both keepers were on top form making some fine saves. However, it was Hertford who finally stole the winning goal with a deflected shot wrong-footing Nicole in the Winchmore goal.

Nevertheless, an entertaining game and good match practice for the upcoming Southgate Summer League.

#WinchmoreWatching

The men’s game followed straight after with both sides looking forward to a competitive game, and a special spectator keeping a close eye on proceedings from the side line! In a tight first half Winchmore took the lead with a good finish from Tim Legierse on the left after good work down the right by Tom Pearson and Harry Stone, but this was soon cancelled out by the visitors who forced a goal from close range at the near post. 1-1 at half-time and it was Hertford who started stronger in the second half, with the familiar face of Nick Umney finishing neatly on reverse stick to beat the Winchmore keeper from close range.

However, Winchmore were not done yet, and came back strongly in the last 20 minutes with two goals from Adam Machray and one from Dom Smith following up after a partially blocked penalty corner in the closing minutes. 4-2 the final score, but it was just great being back out on the pitch together.

The Southgate Summer League starts this week. Check out full details on Fixtures Live:

Despite a 9am start on a Sunday morning, 30 juniors managed to drag their parents out so they could take part in our end of season tournament last weekend! With the second half of the season disrupted by COVID lockdown restrictions, it was great to see so many keen to play and show off their skills on the slightly bumpy “MUGA” pitch at the club. Many also having grown about 6 inches since we last saw them!

After a nice warm up and a bit of stick and ball time to get them ready to play, the juniors were put into 5 teams – Red, Green, Orange, Yellow and Purple (of course!) – with each team playing each other once in a round robin format of 10 minute matches. Considering many of them had not picked up a stick for 4 months, there was some great play all round with 26 goals scored and some hard fought matches. And it all came down to the last game, Red versus Orange, to decide the winners. A win for Orange would see them champions, but a draw or loss would mean Green would take the crown. Red battled hard, but Orange just managed to sneak home with the winning goal coming two minutes from time.

The final standings

A great morning of hockey and a nice way to wrap up the winter season. Watch this space for news of more junior events during the summer.