WH&E M1 2 : 3 PHC Chiswick M3

The men’s 1s wrapped up their season with a trip to Chiswick against a team still seeking promotion. 1 nil up early on from a well taken penalty corner by Colin Foad, then 2-1 down, before Foad scored again to setup a tight finish. However, it was Chiswick who scored the winner in a very close and enjoyable game.

WH&E L1 2:1 East London L4

The Ladies 1s finished with a fine 2-1 victory over East London. Goals from Abbi and Sam enough to take the points in the final league game of the season. 3 wins and a draw in the last 5 games securing their place in the league for next season – well done ladies!

WH&E L2 0:1 Eastcote L4

A tight game with the ladies 2 slipping to a single goal defeat in their final game of the season.

No match this week for the M2s who completed their league season last week.

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 ☹

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 L1 1 : 1 Eastcote L2

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Ladies 1s were playing a strong Eastcote side at home Saturday but were determined to be the STRONGER side.

The first 30 seconds of the match, WHE forgot how to hockey but then quickly remembered and it turned into an evenly matched affair (sorry Karen). We played strong defensively, made some great triangles in the midfield and up front we pressed better then we have before. About 20 minutes in, we had a long corner that after a beautiful set of play, ended up on Vicki Lim-Bettes reverse side and in the back to the net. And with that, we were 1-0 up! We had some balls, sticks, and players flailing but all ended up in one piece with a lead at half time.

The second half had moments of brilliance where our triangles were working, switches were on and Chris was standing on her head to save balls that she didn’t even need to! It also had 20 minutes of us giving away about 10 PCs and struggling to get the ball out of our D safely! We held strong but eventually gave up a goal from a penalty corner that ended up in the stick of a red player who buried it. There were 6 minutes remaining now and we were determined to not lose. A few chances at our end were terrifying but we also had three penalty corners down their end that were executed well, but their keeper made some beautiful saves to hold the draw.

The game was evenly matched, aggy at times, but a well-deserved point for the ladies 1s! Player of the match to Chris Putt for outstanding saves and being a wall in the net.

WH&E M2 3 : 1 Eastcote Eagles

The men’s 2s travelled to Eastcote for a late game at 4:30 – better late than never! With former Winchmore player Leo turning out for Eastcote it was always going to be a tricky game, but Winchmore went into the break 1-0 up after a goal from Dom Smith. However, Eastcote clearly had the more inspiring half-time team talk and came out firing on all cylinders, soon restoring parity by following up a penalty corner to find the Winchmore net.

Nevertheless, we kept our composure to score twice more – both goals coming from the right side with first-time shots from Dom and then Jake Sumner, helping Winchmore to a comfortable 3-1 victory.

WH&E L2 2 : 3 Harrow L3

The miserable rainy day turned into a sunny day along with the 2s hope of a win. We began strongly with a goal from Abbi keeping our structure and using the whole width of the pitch. We kept the pressure on, had some fantastic 1-2 touches and played some ‘proper’ hockey. They drew level with a well-executed goal, but our heads still remained high.

Half time arrived and there was a stirring team talk. We continued to pressure the D and it resulted in a second goal. A superb pass from Bridget through to Abbi to tap it in. Gem made a guest appearance back from uni and gets herself a talking to from the umpire she claims she did nothing wrong. Freya made some fantastic saves unfortunately they pulled a goal back.

We continued to pressure and had numerous chances on goal. On one of their few breaks DoD Nellie managed to kick the ball into our own goal giving them the lead. The pressure was now on to try and equalise with 10 minutes to go. Wave upon wave of Winchmore attack was stopped by Harrow including a last-minute shot on goal by captain Pippa which missed by millimetres.

We should be very proud of the way we played, and the lessons learnt will be taken to the next match including Pippa forgetting to tell the home team about teas. Bring on next Saturday when we play Hendon & Mill Hill.

Match report dictated by Lorna and Kareen written by Gem with the occasional contributions from Abbi whilst on the north circular!!

WH&E M1 2 : 4 Southgate Flagons

Surprisingly nice weather by game time and a debut for Oliver so the signs were all good including the first 15 minutes of the game. Winchmore handled possession with confidence and scored through Tim. 1-0 and looking good if we could hold on until half time.

Unfortunately, this was not to be as a break away resulted in a short corner. The experienced and well drilled opposition put it away and their short corner routines were to prove our main downfall. Southgate scored another short and grew in confidence while we seemed to go the other way.

Despite this the threat aside from short corners was not great. The time there was, Matt disguised himself as a red voice to fess up to crossing with a back stick and having a Southgate field goal chopped off. Alas the short corners reigned on our goal and despite some excellent saves we also conceded, reaching 4-1 down.

There was a second for Tim who was on song despite carrying an injury. A neat finish at the post from a short corner for us. Despite our 2 goals we didn’t recapture our form as the opposition continued to dominate the middle. A real bright point was Oliver’s solid and impressive display at centre back.

Big thanks to Sam and Beth for umpiring along with support from Lisa.

We know we can compete for patches but that means we need to work on our game management and consistency over the whole game. Better things to come next week.

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.