An early Sunday morning trip to a sunny Broxbourne for the U12s. The clocks had gone forward an hour, but didn’t dent the players’ enthusiasm.

Thanks to coaches for organising and supporting the team, and to parents for coming along. We got off a flying start with a 2-0 win over Blueharts C and two goals for Arran. One goal following a great assist from Orla and a second where Arran refused to give up and got it past the keeper. A strong defensive performance with some crucial tackles from Dawud helped secure victory.

A trickier second game against Letchworth Bs followed. We went 1-0 down, Arran pulled a goal back, but we lost 3-1.

The final game against Broxbourne B was where the team showed true grit. We went 1-0 but battled on to secure a 1-1 draw with a great goal and finish from Sam after some brilliant work by Oscar who always lively up front. Aled was the linchpin in defence directing the team, with Grace getting into some great positions to create chances and winning tackles.

Well done Dawud, Orla, Grace, Aled, Oscar, Sam, Arran – a great end to the season, a real team effort and you should all be very proud!

A Sunday morning trip up the A1 to Blueharts for the U12s. We arrived in a wet and windy Hitchin, but the players were full of enthusiasm and ready to go.

We got off a good start with a 0-0 draw in our first game against Blueharts D. A trickier second game against Harpenden C sadly saw us go down 3-0. The third game against Blueharts C was a tight 1-0 defeat. We rounded off the tournament with a 9-a-side game against Letchworth C losing 1-0 after a strong performance.

It was a great experience for the players taking part in their first tournament, alongside some of our more experienced players. Hard work across the team, great spirit, strong tackles and creating good chances. Lots of positives to build on for the next tournament.

Well done Dawud, Emilia, Edward, Orla, Adam, Zoe, Hannah, Mia, Sam, Arran, James. And thanks to the parents for braving the weather.

The Under 12s headed up the A1 on Sunday to Blueharts Hockey Club in Hitchin for their first tournament in a long time. Some nerves, an air of the unknown, but lots of excitement.

We got off to a flying start with a 1-0 win over Broxbourne B. We played some lovely hockey. It was an all round great team effort with a superb finish from Oscar. What a start to the tournament!

We again dominated possession in the next game against Harpenden C with some excellent work from Sam in midfield. The game ended in a slightly frustrating 0-0 draw, but U12s went into the next game more determined than ever to get a win.

Despite facing a strong Letchworth B side, some great pressure from James S, Aled, and Grace, and important tackles from James T and Edward, meant we went 1-0 up after a brilliant finish from Oscar. Another win!

Slightly taken aback by the presence of a goalkeeper in our penultimate game, U12s worked hard and forced the keeper to make lots of saves. We felt unlucky to come away with a 0-0 draw against Blueharts C.

Hearts sank when a goalkeeper again appeared for the final game against Blueharts B. But not to be deterred, the U12s put in a strong performance. Orla got in to some good positions, and Teddy followed up on the rebound with a brilliant goal lifting it past the keeper. Adam smashed the ball past the keeper with a great first touch for our second. We held on to win 2-1.

The team played so well – working together as a team, using the width of the pitch, and brimming with confidence. Well done Edward, Orla, Adam, Grace, Aled, Oscar, Teddy, James S, Sam, James T. The next tournament can’t come soon enough.

Thanks to Jason and to parents for their support on the day.

Results:

WHE 1 – 0 Broxbourne B
WHE 0 – 0 Harpenden C
WHE 1 – 0 Letchworth B
WHE 0 – 0 Blueharts C
WHE 2 – 1 Blueharts B

WH&E L1 2 : 1 Eastcote L2

Winners!The day started quite badly…

  • The leisure centre didn’t remember there was a match ?
  • One of our umpires got the pushback time wrong ?‍♀️
  • Eastcote scored in the 1st minute of the game ?

Luckily, things were only on the up from there…

The majority of the first half (apart from the first minute) was really strong for us. We were communicating effectively, passing accurately and making lots of strong 1-2s up the width of the pitch around their players to create many chances.

The first 2 of those chances were balls going just wide of the goal, so we needed to get our players ready on the posts!

We started the 2nd half still 1-0 down but so pumped from how well we were playing that we were determined to make this week our first win.

We continued to make chances as we had great runs from our defensive line into the opposition’s half to really put the pressure on. Our first goal eventually came when Bethany made a run up the right and crossed it into the D for Beth to get a touch on it, only to hit the post (followed by an exasperated shriek!) but then Beth managed to get the rebound under control and into the back of the net!!! 1-1!!!

We continued to put the pressure on as our new diamond formation helped us to distribute the ball better and cover more ground in the midfield. After a great run from Mia up the left, the ball was passed to Bethany who managed to hit towards the P spot before falling over (?). Helen then took control to pop it into the back of the net and make it 2-1!!!!!!

We were winning but we wanted to make it harder for ourselves, so we decided to have 5 short corners against us as instead of playing it cool for the last 10 minutes. It was nerve-wracking to watch from the halfway line as we waited to see our defence step up, but the result was amazing. We had Nic in goal performing great controlled saves, Gemma clear a ball off the line, and Sam making some smashing runs to prevent Eastcote taking advantage.

THEN THE WHISTLE FINALLY GOES AND WE HAVE WON A MATCH!!!! Our reaction seems over the top as we jump up and down and shout with joy…but when you realise we haven’t won a match all (calendar) year it will make sense why we’re so ecstatic.

We worked really hard and it paid off.

No specific player of the match this week as every individual played so so well and really stepped up.


WH&E M1 0 : 1 Shefford and Sandy M2

1:15 at Southbury road saw the restart of hockey for WH&E men’s 1st team against Shefford & Sandy 2’s. Hill started the first half strongly pushing hard from the back passing the ball round well and making the young opposition chase the game.

It was an evenly matched first half with both sides having their fair share of attempts at goal, with the odd Winchmore cross going un-challenged across the opposition goal, only the final touch was missing for the home side. Dominic Smith had the pick of the chances unleashing a fierce shot which narrowly missed high.

S&S had their own chances, counter attacking well but were denied by some sharp keeping but unfortunately the away side found the net with a well worked short corner, passing the ball sharply in the D. In past seasons this might have dropped the heads of the home team, however the fight continued with a couple of short corners before half time, but sadly the final spark of brilliance to breach the goal line is all that eluded the home team.

The second half saw S&S step up the pace but a strong defensive line, backed up by the midfield tracking back, frustrated the away team. The Winchmore midfield of Stuart Carrick, Adam Machray, Smith & Tim Legierse, backed up by Michael Dutnall, continuously troubled the opposition, giving Colin and the forwards the supply they needed – amassing 7 short corners but denied by a well organised S&S defence and goal keeper.

The last 10 minutes saw a barrage from the oppo, but the Winchmore defence held strong. Lopez saving a hard shot from a short corner & Jim continuing to deny the opposition forwards with sharp footwork and quick hands.

One final charge from the hill who won a couple of short corners in a row towards the end of the second half. That narrow 1 goal lead eating away at the Shefford and Sandy players, the opposition keeper denied all attempts and the final whistle went. A relieved opposition would be a fair assessment, and the only thing missing from the home side was that final touch across the line. A draw would have been a much fairer result but, all in all a performance worthy of note from the home side against players who are generally considered more able than the S&S 2nd team when the opportunity is presented.

An admirable performance in any case!


WH&E M2 0 : 7 Blueharts Colts

A battling performance in the first half had the men’s 2s only 1-0 down on their return to action up at Hitchin. However, the better organisation and team play of the young Blueharts side saw them run away with it in the second half with six more goals.


WH&E L2 0 : 2 West Hampstead L5

The ladies 2s suffered a narrow defeat in a tight game with West Hampstead. Some encouraging play, but Winchmore were unable to find a goal to put the opposition under pressure. A rusty start to the return of hockey, and no further games now till after Christmas for the ladies 2s.

WH&E M1 1 : 0 Blueharts M4

The Men’s 1s travelled to Hitchin looking for their third win on the bounce. It was a blustery, rainy afternoon but recent victories meant confidence was high and the team were looking forward to zipping the ball about on the fast surface at Blueharts.

The first ten minutes started promisingly. Patient build-up and speedy switching of play around the back led to Winchmore dominating possession. A strong high press was forcing the opposition into turning over possession in their half and pressure was mounting.

Unfortunately, our structure started to wobble a bit and Blueharts began to gain some territory. However, the strong and organised defence of Jim, Lopez, Michael and Matt made sure they were unable to create any clear chances.

We then reasserted our dominance, and on a day where goalmouth action was in short supply, we created what turned out to be the match-winning opportunity from the main moment of quality in the match. From our 16, good movement in midfield from Stuart and Dominic opened up a channel through the middle. One pacy pass from the back, a deflection from midfield and Jason picked up the ball and ran at their defence. A neat inside slip to Colin and he moved into the D, winning a short-corner as their tracking runner hacked at his stick.

From the short, a fast injection from Tim opened up the opportunity for a straight strike, which the keeper managed to get half a foot on, but this left the rebound opportunity for Stan, which he despatched into the bottom corner. 1-0 Winchmore.

The second half needs little said about it. We created a couple more half-chances but couldn’t build on our lead. Both sides were impatient with the ball and this led to some frantic but unproductive hockey being played. Fortunately, Jim continued to show his good form in goal, cleanly taking the ball off their striker’s stick when they made a rare foray into our D.

At one point in the second half the umpire said this game would be on last on Match of the Day. He had a point. However, Winchmore showed plenty of fighting spirit to keep a clean sheet and there was no lack of effort in making sure we got those three points. So, whilst there is much to work on for the next game, if winning when not playing brilliantly is a good sign, then things look promising for the rest of the season.


WH&E M2 2 : 4 Hertford M5

Another close match for the Men’s 2s, but another unfortunate reverse against Hertford 5. Both sides had a strong spine of experience down the middle, and youthful legs on the wings, and Winchmore took the lead halfway through the first half from a short corner.

Although we were creating chances, we couldn’t extend the lead, and then were hit by a couple of sucker punches with a couple of Hertford goals from about 1 yard out giving first-half stand-in keeper Stuart no chance. Another goal from Hertford, drilled in from a short corner, left us 3-1 down at half-time, and worse was to come with an immediate fourth in the second half as an unfortunate deflection on a cross left the ball to be drilled bottom corner from the middle of the D.

Heads were momentarily down, but only momentarily. We kept on challenging, we kept on passing, and as the game opened up we had far more of the chances. We’ve got a number of skilful dribblers, but are currently lacking a natural goal-scorer. Older heads could have done better from top D, younger heads could have gambled more with their runs, and we may have snatched this one.

As it was, we only managed to get one back – a lovely drift across to the far post by Theo to get on the end of a cross, and despite Theo’s effort being saved Jonathan was there to score the goal.  Overall, another enjoyable game, but another opportunity missed. Let’s start turning these good performances into good results!


WH&E L1 1 : 5 Staines L1

The ladies 1s slipped to another defeat in a game of contrasting halves. The first half was a tight affair, with the visitors grabbing the lead before Winchmore levelled with a well-executed penalty corner drilled in by Sam Deane. In the second half, Staines took control of the midfield and ran out comfortable winners with 4 well taken goals after the break.


WH&E L2 0 : 3 Old Merchant Taylors L2

An improved performance from the ladies 2s, but still not quite grinding out the results yet. Onwards and upwards. ?