WH&E M1 6 : 2 East London M4

A beautiful winter’s day which made Southbury look even more enticing than usual. This was the setting for the M1s to show some attacking intent that has been lacking a bit this season, in part due to inconsistency in availability and playing some very strong opposition.

The first ten minutes showed promise but attacks were breaking down at the final pass. Then something seemed to click and we opened the scoring with a fast slick move that was arguably our best goal of the season so far. Having switched the ball across the back Eray played an excellent hard direct ball up to Colin in the channel. One neat touch to eliminate his marker, some quadragenerian acceleration towards the 25, and then a further hard and accurate strike to Tim running in from the opposite flank. Looking composed, and if anything better-looking than usual, he quickly smashed it past the keeper for 1-0.

Further good interplay led to a short corner which Colin smashed into the far corner at the perfect height – 2-0. East London did have some counter attacks throughout the first half and we left Josh exposed more often than we should have. From one of these counter attacks, they managed to get back to 2-1 for half-time.

Half-time discussions mainly revolved around doing the good things more and the bad things less. This worked well. Soon after the restart another short was won, and some on-the-spot training for Dan paid off beautifully as he ended up in the perfect position to neatly deflect Colin’s pass outside the far post past the keeper for 3-1.

Pressure continued to build on East London as they desperately sought to get back into the game, but unlike the first half they were also now struggling to make any serious inroads on the counter attack. Stu and Matt were tidying up beautifully any time they got close. Adam and Dom kept the ball pace up in the middle of the park, Jason and Sam offered great outlets in the wide positions, and Harry bravely headed the ball away when required.

The pressure told. A ball from midfield into Colin at the top of the D, he slowly tiptoed his way around a couple of players to the baseline and played the ball across the goal for Dan to knock in from close range and grab his second of the game – 4-1. It was soon 5-1. East London kept their discipline well but another Winch’ attack led to a defender blocking the ball on the line from young Tim. Colin made sure the flick counted.

A late consolation for East London from a short corner with a neat reverse stick finish made it 5-2. But just to make sure we celebrated the win with the final word, Colin placed another short corner inside the opposite post to complete his hattrick and make it 6-2.

In truth it could have been even more convincing and there is still plenty of room for more composed phases of possession. But the weather was great, the umpires were super, and we had at least two fewer people in hospital than last week. Here’s to more of the same for the rest of a promising 2022.

WH&E L1 3 : 2 Richmond L3

The ladies 1s played at home on a sunny afternoon against Richmond and were determined for a Win! We were missing a few key players today but sending Vicks and Beth all our love at their homes isolating. Still love but a little less to Karen Goode who didn’t manage to convince her mum to come play for us, thus choosing her mum over us!!

It was a squishy start for Evie who let Maple roam free and then got punished for it, although the day looked less rocky from then on. T finally made it to a game with an exciting announcement, she could see! She made use of it being strong at left D.

We called Abbi and Kate up and they both played absolutely brilliantly, with Kate shutting them down and moving it up the right and Abbi making strong runs into space to make opportunities happen for us up front, huge thanks to both for their strong game play.

The first half we played well as a team, communicating lots and our press was shutting their 16s down. Unfortunately on one lucky break, the opponent’s superstar smashed it into the back of the net for 1-0. We were determined to get one back and Bethany decided to take it into her own hands and dribble through 5 of them to put it past their keeper. Then we got another on a lovely cross in from Gem, Karen Gray smashed it into the back of the net, 2-1. Sarah, T and Gem were holding strong at the back and Sam, Kate and Evie were shutting everything down in the midfield.

The second half we kept up the teamwork and on another ridiculous effort from Bethany, Kate smashed it into the back of the net for 3-1. Karen Gray had a beautiful chance for another one on a great cross on from Sam, but somehow the keeper got there. They had a few chances down our end but Nic kept the positivity and communication and made some stellar saves to keep it out. Then the usual, with 10 minutes left we gave them a few penalty corners, just to keep things spicy. On one of those chances, a shot was hit straight through to the backboard, 3-2. From then on though we managed to keep it down their end and we had momentum and press to hold that score and get the Win!

WH&E L2 0 : 2 Imperial Medics L1

Following last week’s win, we came to the game feeling confident despite our previous loss to Imperial; we had a full team, including subs, and the weather was on our side.

We started strong with superior skills and teamwork however we soon lost our form, matching Imperial’s lack of structure and forgetting the strong passing play we’ve been demonstrating the past few games. Imperial were getting opportunities, but we kept strong in the defence with some lovely clearances, including a beautiful dive from Chris, saving the ball from getting into that bottom left corner with the stick. But despite our hard work, Medics managed to end the first half 1-0 up.

The second half started and we came back with a vengeance, keeping our cool and doing beautiful passes across and up the pitch, getting around their defence and creating chances. After one such opportunity a Medics’ player’s clearance lifted the ball past Pippa’s face, giving her a chance at demonstrating her ball-dodging skills a la The Matrix. Despite this, Medics’ speed kept them at an advantage. During a battle for the ball, Pippa fell in the centre of the pitch accompanied by a very hearty laugh from Lisa, but Freya wasn’t to be deterred by her fallen comrade, battling to maintain possession of the ball.

However, despite our much more controlled and clean play, which led to an extended battle on the opposition’s goal line, Medics maintained a clean sheet as well as gained another goal, the whistle blowing with a finals core of 2-0 to them. But we’re not to be deterred, and will come back fighting next week!

WH&E M2 0 : 5 Indian Gymkhana M5

The trip to Indian Gymkhana was undertaken with some trepidation – a bad tempered 7-2 thrashing earlier in the season perhaps contributing to a lack of players this time round. We eventually reached 11 by denying the 1s some subs (and by the results, it didn’t look like they needed them!) and by pulling in the captain’s 76-year old dad – resulting in 3 generations on the pitch.

The fears were only half-justified: it was a very enjoyable and friendly game, and Gymkhana very welcoming (and providing an excellent curry afterwards). They were, however, very skilful: Guy had their centre-forward well marked in the third minute, but still got beaten all ends up as a reverse-stick shot from top-D hit the bottom corner. Hmmn.

So, ending up as a 5-0 loss, but one with plenty of good hockey from both sides, and lots of good passing and attacking intent from us. It would have been nice to have converted one of our many short corners, but we put on a good show, and were beaten by a very experienced team.

WH&E L1 1 : 1 Richmond L3

The 2nd match of the season for the Ladies 1s was away on a gloomy Saturday afternoon against Richmond.

Thanks to Lucy Mackay we were able to bring a full team of 11 but had no subs so we knew we were going into a tough one.

We played very strong consistently throughout and focused on setting our press to keep the opposition at bay.

Evie’s league debut was a great one as she battled hard in mid to intercept balls and drive forward to create chances.

A slight lapse in marking led to Richmond getting a goal in the latter part of the 1st half, whilst we had some chances that we were unable to convert.

We continued to fight and play as a unit to create more opportunities. With some questionable passes from Shell, we endured moments of pressure but did a great job of regaining composure and staying in our shape as a team. The second half saw us with an abundance of chances and finally we were able to convert as Sam dribbled into the D, passed across the P spot and Bethany converted it into a goal!

The game ended with us taking Dom’s advice and whacking it into their 25 so Sam could f around for 2 minutes in their corner. Poor Vicki unfortunately received a deflection to the lip on the last hit of the game. Luckily though mummy hasn’t lost any teeth.

Altogether, it was some very solid team effort ending in a 1-1 draw. Bethany was player of the match with her strong runs down the wing, driving into the D, goal, and her breathlessness at half time!

WH&E L2 2 : 5 Imperial Medics

The game was a match of two halves with two different winners! Medics came out with 11 on pitch and we were 1 player down with 9 on pitch, until Jodie joined us part way in. The young, fit and skilful medics popped a few goals in the first half, we were 4-0 down but we regrouped and came back with a vengeance!

After a bit of reorganisation and composure we played better as a team linking passes down the pitch. Abbi opened her account after some quick passing down the left and a dink out to her. Bridget was there on the back post to make sure but wasn’t needed this time!

We had gathered some momentum and Charlotte fought her way through the Red Sea of medics, crossing it in to Abbi finishing the second half 2-1.

An overall 5-2 loss but some positives to take forward to the next match.

WH&E M1 0 : 1 East London M4

A really great opportunity to play at a top venue in Lee Valley Hockey & Tennis Centre.

It was a shame we didn’t play on the stadium pitch. Indeed we did panic where our crowds of fans would now stand. I guess they watched the indoor tennis when the weather turned.

A slightly different look to the team with M1 debuts for Dan Mather and Jake Tasker. Slotting into a new team is not always easy but the guys made an amazing contribution.

Against another new and unknown opposition we did well to maintain possession. We were less under the cosh with more numbers in the midfield (good advice from our keeper extraordinaire and vice captain). We also played it round the back well. Stretching the opposition who to be fair worked hard to keep their shape and press well.

It was fairly even and we had some D penetrations and shots from Harry Stone.

It could have gone either way and unfortunately East London scored from some good individual play.

This made the job harder as possession alone was no longer enough. We made a go of it and had a shirt corner. Up front we looked more threatening with the combination of Harry’s jinking and Dan’s runs.

We don’t celebrate losses but definitely better this week, anyone could have a mention for their efforts, game played in a good spirit and discipline/respect towards the umpire. It is clear we can compete in this new league. So onwards and upwards next week at home and a more typical start time.  10:00am start was another new experience today.

WH&E M2 2 : 7 Indian Gymkhana M5

It was a miserable rainy day as the M2’s faced an Indian Gymkhana 5’s side at home. Paul was making his debut for the team, but had to wait as he was starting as a sub.

The game started and it was fairly even for some time, going back and forth with the play. The Gymkhana’s were well drilled and whilst not better physically than the 2’s, they had better stick skills. It wasn’t long until they started to outplay us and we found ourselves 1-0 down, soon followed by 2-0 down.

Following the end of the first half, we found ourselves 3-0 down. Despite their superior stick skills, they couldn’t configure how to take a short corner which was fortunate for us.

In the second half, it was much the same. Gymkhana’s stick skills seemed to overpower our own play, to be soon found out as they went 4-0 up. We were not disheartened by this and soon found ourselves breaking through on the left, with James Orr who dribbled past two players, smacked it in the box to Luke, who dragged the ball to the left, chipping the keeper, 4-1.

We did start coming back into the game as we seemed to have more regular attacks as the pitch got stretched, however it was one of their breaks which made it 5-1. We managed to get a second however after some glorious team play down the right involving half the team ended up with Luke slotting the ball through the keeper’s legs – the commentary doesn’t do it justice, but special shout out to Paul who was integral in this move.

Gymkhana ended up getting two more goals to finish 7-2, but between this is where more action happened. We had a free hit at the 23, when one of our players tried to ‘hurry up’ the opposition and moved them away from the ball, which resulted in the players squaring up and some unnecessary handbags.

A challenging loss for Winchmore, an intense game – and a big thank you to Dom & Jason who took time out of their day to umpire a circus of a game.

WH&E L2 4 : 1 Imperial Medics L1

WK20L2The ladies 2’s set off early to Harlington. We were all very put off by the rain but luckily it blew over before pushback. Gem Luckman quickly put us ahead with a lovely short comer that takes her tally to 6. This was followed by some beautiful play and passing but we have to mention Gemma D’s amazing defensive run to keep the ball on just to pass it across our goal!! Half time 1-0.

Just after halftime, Sonya scored a great goal that the ‘keeper got a glove to but couldn’t keep out. She did cause a moment of confusion by not celebrating. 2-0 So far so good HOWEVER… almost immediately they scored a very “unfortunate” goal – some of us thought she was outside the D; some of us thought it was going wide; but we all watched it slowly curve inside the post. (Their celebrations implied they saw something different) Gem L had a tantrum and decided to throw her stick.

We refocused and looked for a reply. Ellie scored a lovely goal leaving Abbi very sad at being the only forward who had not scored (yet). But don’t worry Abbi fans – all that was about to change; after a strong fight we won the ball, Kate Smith had a lovely run up the side line, passed the ball to Sonya who unfortunately missed but Abbi was there to back her up and pop in her 22nd of the season.

Thanks to Caroline Briers for stepping down to hold our backline solid as well as bringing her magic score predictor, Jack who called it as 4-1 before we even stepped on pitch!

MOTM: Sonya for confidence and composure in front of goal


WH&E M1 2 : 6 Hertford M2

After the half-term break (for some), the men’s 1s returned to a more normal line-up for the away trip to Hertford. A tight first half brought two goals – the first for Hertford from open play, which was then cancelled out by a well worked penalty corner that was cleverly disguised to make it look like it had gone wrong (?), only for Colin Foad to calmly find the bottom corner.

However, ten minutes of madness after half-time saw Hertford rattle off 4 quick goals with a high press paying dividends. Nevertheless, Winchmore gained their composure and before long started to create more chances of their own – Colin Foad then sliding in at the back post to finish off a cross from the right side, and then Josh Lewis taking advantage of more Winchmore pressure to bring the deficit back to two. Despite more pressure and chances, we ran out of time to recover the deficit. A good performance apart from the ten minutes of madness.

MOTM: Leading goalscorer Colin Foad with two more goals.


Other Results:

WH&E L1 1 : 2 PHC Chiswick L2
WH&E M2 1 : 9 Harpenden M3

WH&E M2 1 : 1 Berkhamsted M4

WK9M2Pre-match was all smiles and breezy, until we learned that our (arguably) strongest team of the season had two unfortunate late dropouts in Joe and Nick. Despite this, we still had the confidence coming into the game to be able to take something from the game.

Once the game was underway, both teams were evenly matched, with Berkhamsted having a bit more of the possession, but Winchmore having the better earlier opportunities. Both Ellis and Stuart were able to keep the opposition wing play at bay with great stops and tackles, whilst down the other end, Jamie was able to constantly battle down our left wing to advance the ball multiple times.

Some beautiful linked play between midfield and attack gave Winchmore their first golden opportunity where Leo found himself in the D with the ball – unfortunately the keeper saved brilliantly. It wasn’t long before Peter found himself entering the D from the right-hand side, but with two closing defenders could only put it behind Luke for a missed opportunity.

Come the end of the first half, our chances were drying up and Berkhamsted hit us on the break to score. Tiarnan, who had made some outstanding saves to this point, was a bit unfortunate to concede. So we entered half-time at 1-0 down.

Winchmore came out storming in the second half, as we saw inspiration from our first-half performance – with our opportunities we believed we could score a few. It wasn’t too long before Luke had the ball on the left side of the D, sweeping the ball to Leo who tried to outplay the keeper and lift it over the diving goalkeeper – only he didn’t dive and the ball hit him in the chest. As time went on, Berkhamsted got more and more into the game, but someone was looking down on Winchmore as Huw became the Virgil Van Dijk of hockey who decided that he couldn’t be bothered with Berkhamsted’s attacks anymore and broke up literally everything that came beyond the 25-yard line.

Mid-way through the half, inspired by Van Dijk’s footballing heroics before his switch to hockey, both teams (allegedly, I’m not sure?) started to play football within Berkhamsted’s D before the ball found its way into their net for 1-1! Scored by Pete Morton, who is now the top goal scorer!

They were clearly not happy with this and after the goal was given, it turned on their nasty streak, as one of their players decided to embed their shoulder into Luke’s body ? – They really switched on though and Winchmore had to dig their heels deep to put in a strong defensive performance for the final 10 minute. Huw Van Dijk led this defensive effort as we had multiple balls shot into the D, only to be cleared out. In the final minutes, they had a short corner, which was shot well but Luke just managed to deflect it away from goal. Finally, the game finished 1-1 which was a relief.

Special thanks to the ladies and men that came down to watch us too! Was great to be able to celebrate with everyone there!

MOTM – Huw Van Dijk. What a defensive performance from the captain! Couldn’t have asked for more.

DOTD – Luke’s hamstring. ?

tl;dr: They scored, Huw Thomas built a wall, we scored. Draw.


WH&E M1 6 : 1 Bedford M4

It finally clicked. We stuck to our process and a 6-1 win came for M1 versus Bedford M4. I’m sure any moment now Harry Stone is going to embellish this post with all the detail. Goals for Colin (2), Asher (2), Harry and Stan. MOTM Asher.


WH&E L1 1 : 2 Hampstead & Westminster L4

Last Saturday the Ladies 1s played top of the league Hampstead and Westminster 4s at home.

We were all channelling our energy from the doughnut game (if you know, you know) and hoping we could push ourselves as we love a challenge.

The first half proved pretty tough as we failed to wake up in time and let Hampstead & Westminster slip 2 goals in. We fought back against them and got a couple of shots on target but were unable to convert.

We came back harder and more relentlessly in the 2nd half though and pushed forwards with lots of drive. This eventually worked out well for us when Bethany played a ball into the D from the right and Vicki was able to get on the end of it after another touch from Beth, in order to get a goal! The last 10 minutes of the match we pulled on all our remaining energy to keep them out of our net and try our best to get another goal.

We couldn’t make it happen in the end, but we played a great 2nd half against top of the league and should be really proud of it!!!

MOTM to Gemma Gatting for her strength and resilience at the back, as well as a great stint in RM!

DOTD to Bethany for getting into a really great position, making herself free, calling for the ball, receiving a great pass and then falling flat on her face…..


WH&E L2 4 : 2 Imperial Medics L1

The L2s were back in action on Sunday, and were straight back to winning ways with another convincing win, this time over Imperial Medics. The L2s are flying high in second place in the league!