WH&E M1 1 : 1 PHC Chiswick M3

The men’s 1s found their form with great pressing, discipline and teamwork from the start, taking the game to 2nd placed Chiswick and really surprising the visitors. And it wasn’t long before the pressure told – a penalty corner slipped left, flicked towards goal and then deftly deflected up and over the keeper by Adam Machray to make it 1-nil to Winchmore.

We continued to press and create chances, but sadly couldn’t convert. Chiswick then started to gain a foothold after the break, and despite losing a player to a 10-minute yellow for a sliding tackle, the visitors piled on the pressure in the last few minutes, forcing a penalty corner in the dying seconds after substituting their GK. And sure enough, Chiswick equalised with the last touch of the game ☹

Big thanks to Lisa for umpiring her first M1s game, and doing it very well too!

WH&E L1 2 : 2 East London L5

‘Twas the game of stick tackles. Only tackle from below says the umpire. With the Deane team out, we only had ourselves and our 2 practice balls to rely on!

It was an early, frosty and angry morning for Karen when the last game before Christmas turned into quite a laughing matter. Karen began the game angrier than ever due to parking issues, but Sarah tripping her up definitely did add to her fury. We were less pumped up with music and our preparation was slightly lacking due to our 2 balls, no subs and Mia and Karen getting lost en route to the pitch.

The first half brought us explaining the rules of hockey to the umpires, Sarah taking a few boob balls for the team, Shell slipping and bleeding as per usual, their offensive penalty corners having as many chances as they like, some beautiful eavesdropping and saves from Nic, and Mia stepping into left back like she never left. There were chances at both nets, and also nowhere near the net when Karen G smashed one 5 m off the end line.

Nonetheless Evie and Karen Goode were playing beautifully down the left and right but unfortunately as only stick tackles were being called, KGs usual play off their feet wasn’t working. We had a few penalty corner chances with Gem stepping up and striking a few beautiful shots in target. One of these chances went to Bethany who ran it out right to Karen, into Gem and then onto Shell’s stick and in the back of the net, 1-0.

They enjoyed raising the ball into our bodies and pushing us over when we were on the ground with Mia even saying, “this is more aggressive than my new sport of boxing.” It was fun and we were loving every minute of it, even with half of us having the lurgy (but testing negative!)

After half-time, their army of 29 players and annoying penalty corner music came out strong and smashed one past Nic for 1-1. Bethany was playing brilliantly for Sam in centre mid and passing / dribbling up to give Abbi, Vicks and Kazza some chances up front. One of these chances was smooth as it came from the halfway line to Karen, on to Bethany and then slid past for Abbi to put it home, 2-1.

Nic was playing solid in net and amidst eavesdropping and silently questioning the umpires every move, she made some legendary saves, including a 1 on 1 where Nic scared her off. Then from a penalty corner when they took 3 strikes, Shell stumbling and apologising and not even getting one strike, they slotted their second home, 2-2. We had a few more chances from Karen, Abbs and Vicks up their end and we had a few more calls of stick tackles that were anything but.

We played a strong team game and should be proud of our draw, although would have loved an Xmas W. Happy Holidays and L1s are hoping for some 2022 Ws for Christmas

WH&E L2 1 : 4 Eastcote L4

After two weeks without a match we were looking forward to a run around, particularly at the start of the week having 14 players, luxury! However, by Saturday morning due to COVID we were down to 10, definitely going to be a run around!

We counted them out, they only had 10 too! That didn’t last though and by pushback they were plus 1 sub.

We didn’t care – we were oozing compliments and positivity, and we started strong as a team with good passing, communication and running just enough to last but allowing the ball to do the work. It was not noticeable that we were fighting top of the table with a player short.

We were composed on the ball, made some lovely strong passes to great runs and although we put in some great crosses we couldn’t convert. Solid defending in the first half as we absorbed the early pressure. Going forward there were some lovely interchanges and communication was good. Sadly, ending the first half 1 down.

Mid way through the second half we got a short corner, Charlotte’s strike from the top was saved but Kate was there to slot it in the bottom corner. Kylie did some great runs up and down the wing and managed to hit herself in the face with the ball…multi-talented, and displaying some awesome skill!!

As the game progressed those extra two players made it tough work, with fitness playing a part, Eastcote popped in a few more goals making the final score 4-1.  Everyone played incredible, dug deep and at least we managed to christen our new kit 😝 roll on 2022!

Finally, a big thank you to Dom and Jason for umpiring and for so many people turning up on the side-line to support.

No game for the M2s this week…and now time for a long Christmas break!

Next league matches: 22nd January.

WH&E M2 0 : 3 PHC Chiswick M6

The men’s 2s started brightly with nice passing in triangles and threatening the visitors early on. But they couldn’t make the breakthrough, and shortly after Colin limped off injured it was Chiswick who took the lead with a very well drilled (in every sense of the word) penalty corner. Another well taken goal made it 2-0 to Chiswick, who were showing remarkably good form for a team without a win thus far.

Half time team talks done, and a cagey second half saw the visitors score a third, and then Winchmore start to lose patience with each other. The visitors running out comfortable winners 3-0.

WH&E L1 2 : 3 West Hampstead L3

One nil down, somewhat against the run of play, Winchmore battled back with an equaliser converted at the far post by Lucy Cohen after a good cross from Gemma Gatting on the right.

After the break it was the visitors who scored first again, but then the best move of the match saw fine teamwork from Winchmore down the right side, another cross into the D and a beautiful first-time finish by Vicki Lim-Bettes to bring the scores level again.

But it was West Hampstead who piled the pressure on in the last 5 minutes, eventually converting a penalty corner to steal all 3 points.

No matches this week for M1s or L2s

(…though not quite in the way we had hoped…)

WH&E L1 2 : 2 Teddington L4

It was a chilly (sorry, freezing) afternoon down in Teddington where the ladies in new purple kit were taking on the ladies in pink. The first half saw us playing some strong passes, using our triangles, huge saves from Nic and a few opportunities for us up front. We had 2 attacking penalty corners that almost hit the back of the net but narrowly slid wide.

About halfway through the half, we scored a beautiful goal through teamwork – it started with Gem and Shell at the back, worked through Karen in the midfield, up to Lucy and Bethany and then into the middle where Sam smashed it home. Other than that, Evie and Shell almost took each other out again, Pipps did great moving it up the left with Evie, whilst Karen was always moving and looking for long balls (except when Sam told her off for running too early.)

The second half was a WHE classic. We unfortunately had frozen over during half time and started a bit slow, letting them score one to tie it up. We had our moments of brilliance, with Abbi getting the longest ball ever but we all watched until Nic yelled at us to, ‘GO HELP!’ We held them well and scored another one of our own when Lucy decided to take Bethany’s advice and put two hands on the stick. The first shot was on the keeper’s pads, but she slotted the rebound home beautifully. We then fell into our usual pattern of giving away 29 (exaggerated) penalty corners. On one of these, we cleared but they came back and smashed it reverse stick into the back of the net.

The game was put on pause for an injured calf at one point but other than that it was only moments of -3 winds that froze us. The last 2 minutes were touch and go but we managed to hold on for the draw. Disappointed to not win but a draw in the freezing cold was a decent result.

WH&E M2 0 : 0 West Hampstead M8

A game of two strong defences, that thankfully came to end after 70 minutes! It could probably have continued goalless for some time longer…

WH&E M1 v Richmond Griffins

Walkover to our M1s, after Richmond conceded the game on Friday night.

WH&E L2 v Hampstead and Westminster L7

Another walkover, after Ham & West conceded on Saturday morning.

WH&E L2 6 : 0 Southgate L5

Arguably the most important match of the season was upon us, away against local derby rivals and 2nd in the league Southgate. Mixed feelings were among our team, some hopeful with two wins under our belts, others doubtful as a win against Southgate is pretty much unheard of.

The first half begun with a solid performance, strong defence and Freya making remarkable tackles and saves to keep Southgate at bay, as well as the midfield running their socks off to support the forwards with excellent passing play and strikes on goal. The first goal came from our current top goal scorer Kareen with a reliable hit on goal – reward for being in the right place at the right time. 1-0 at half time.

We were prepared for Southgate to come out hard and fast for the second half showing their stamina, but we came out even stronger. Another goal from Kareen, rebounding in off the post, a first goal for Pippa from a beautiful short corner hit at the top of the D, a poke in by Kylie with a bit of an unfortunate poke from the goalie too, and another one for Abbi to add to her rolling total.

To top off an incredible match, Kylie dribbled the ball down to the baseline and struck it towards the goal at a virtually impossible angle, flying past Southgate’s defence and goalie making the final score an unbelievable 6-0!! (Definitely in the running for goal of the season) A victory to go down in the history books!

The last three wins meant that we had leapfrogged from bottom of the league to 5th in the table! North London was definitely painted purple tonight. Roll on next weekend!!!

Special mention to MOM Pippa for strong passing round the back, reliable strength in her tackles and of course her first goal of the season!!

WH&E L1 1 : 8 Barnes L3

Our goal was to have fun and we certainly did. We took on top of the table Barnes and we knew it was going to be a tough one – they have been smashing every team in our league and seem to be a cut above the rest, so our job was to hold and use our chances when we had them.

The first 5 minutes we thought to ourselves, we can win! We played some smooth passes and had a bit of pressure. But then they decided to show up and let us know why their average result was 10-0. They were able to move as a team (thanks Dom), smash it into the D for deflections and look for any short corners with their well drilled set plays.

Nic played brilliantly in net for us and was dipping, ducking, diving, and literally standing on her head to keep their goal count down. She even had her ear out and let us know by eavesdropping what short corner play they were going to execute!! l Even with all of that, they were still able to smash 5 home in the first half. Although, we had a few breaks and from our own penalty corner Sam took a straight shot from the top of the D that she cleverly deflected off their stick up and over the keeper and into the net – only the second goal Barnes have conceded in 7 matches!

The second half was again a defensive class, but we marked well, tracked our players and Nic again stood on her head to keep them down to 3 goals. We had our breaks, Sam almost put her second in but it was just a tad too far ahead of her to slot it home. Altogether we played a solid team game, and we were pleased that we scored one and definitely frustrated their attackers with tackles, interceptions and tight marking. Player of the match to Nic for outstanding keeping and being and little eavesdropper. Thanks Pipps and Lisa for umpiring and hugs to Beth who had a nasty head on head collision with another player. ❣️

WH&E M1 2 : 8 Indian Gymkhana M3

No match report…

WH&E M2 1 : 0 Old Merchant Taylors Demons

No match report…

WH&E L1 2 : 1 Hampstead & Westminster L5

It was the day of the burnt pavlova.

The first 10 minutes we dominated with sexy and ambitious passing, touches and driving into the opposition D. This resulted in a rugby hun conversion of exceptional standard by Sam, Bethany and Shell. Shortly following we had some great work in the midfield by Kazza and Evie that got a few shots off but their keeper was strong and kept it 1-0. The remainder of the first half was evenly played with Nic making some beautiful diving saves, Sarah becoming a wall with her flat stick tackles and Vicks, B, Abbie and Karen up front making some lovely runs into their D. Other than a mad tackle by Shell on Evie (!!), we played a first half full of great teamwork. Gemma found herself in the D and almost made it 2-0 with a strong strike that was denied by their keeper.

The second half we came out determined for a W. We were unable to execute the goal of multiple switches around the back as they were pressing very high but Beth, Evie, Gem and Karen worked beautifully up the sides to move the ball out of our end. We defended a few penalty corners successfully and then the worst happened… a rogue (non- player with not a proper shirt?) dropped out of nowhere and was able to receive the ball at the top of the D and they slotted it in, 1-1. We were fuming. Sam especially decided she didn’t like that score so decided to do something about it. 2 minutes later she received a pass top of the D and smashed it bottom right corner for 2-1. The relief and excitement was palpable.

About 15 minutes left and we managed to keep the W with some strong defending, great work up through the midfield, Gem keeping her cool and moving it up the right and some great runs up front to keep it down their end. The final whistle blew and we had our sexy W, but most importantly the burnt pavlova. Sam for player of the match for brilliant work in the middle, exceptional defending and deciding to smash our win home.

WH&E L2 3 : 2 West Hampstead L5

The win came early with a quick trip along the North circular across to Brent Cross with players arriving pitch side early! Now having given the 1’s Abbi that left us with 11 players only but that did not deter us, we were determined to use insider intel to our full advantage and smash the West Hampstead ladies with glee. So it was with pleasure we scored early and kept the lead for most of the game. Terrific 1-2’s, some switching round the back, amazing runs down the middle and wonderful smashes to the top corner – we were amazing as a team! 1 nil at half time and a positive but stern half time chat set us on good path for 2nd half.

After the break saw a bit more to-ing and fro-ing but with amazing trust and on pitch communication we were able to hold pressure on the attacks from the opposition.

Freya’s wonderful top D kick straight back to the opposition was overlooked due to her amazing boot to Charlotte in the mid 25. Which then with solid passing, a few balls on feet from Lisa, and a few breakaways from Kate and Sula we managed to get back on top again. Pippa’a seamless passing back, even when no one was there, kept us all awake (including when Lorna was made to run) thankfully as then they tried to claim a self-kicked goal. But thankfully the ‘umpires’ were actually correct on that call.

Overall a full time score of 3-2 to us had us singing all the way to teas where we were treated to double carbs and mini magnums. A great match had by all, a wonderful team effort and 2 back to back wins behind us ready for next week against Southgate!

WH&E M1 2 : 5 West Hampstead M3

Despite Winchmore going into an early 2-goal lead, West Hampstead came back strongly to overturn the deficit and then some, running out comfortable winners 5-2.

WH&E M2 1 : 7 Old Merchant Taylors M3

The M2s battled hard, but a young and well drilled OMT side were just too strong, leaving our team wondering why OMT 3s had been swapped out of the division above?