U12 Boys @ Welwyn Garden City (de Havilland uni)

The boys U12s headed to a windswept de Havilland campus in Hatfield for the final round of Herts Junior League matches today, where they faced the usual suspects from Royston, Blueharts and Letchworth.

The opening game against Royston was a very tight affair, with neither side able to dominate and break free from the battle in midfield to create any substantial chances. The final score of 0-0 was a fair result in an uneventful game.

Straight on again for the next game against Blueharts and our boys started to find more space going forward, but also leaving more spaces for Blueharts to exploit against us. And it was Blueharts who took the lead through a stroke of good fortune when a shot that was going wide deflected off a Winchmore stick to find the back of our goal. One nil down, but our boys bounced back with good attacking play up the right from Siva and Arran resulting in a free hit and a ball into the D which Albert calmly converted 30 seconds before full time. A hard-earned draw, and the boys showed great resilience to come back after the early setback.

After a one game break, we were back on for the final game against Letchworth, but this turned out to be one game too far for our boys who were overrun by a good Letchworth team. A 4-0 defeat, but the boys kept their heads up and still threatened a goal at the other end with one effort just sliding by the far post.

Played 3, drawn 2, lost 1. A pretty good day at the end of a good season for our U12s, where the team has really grown and developed over the past 5 months. Well done all and many thanks to all the parents have come down and supported on some fairly bleak days of winter!

WH&E M1 5 : 2 Vauxhall M1

For the first time this season we travelled with the bare 11 including a handicapped Adam who providing a body upfront.

Some good play and transferring meant we were always in control, but Vauxhall did have danger men and chances. After an early goal from a Winchmore penalty corner, Vauxhall came back with 2 quick goals to take the lead. However, confident calm remained in our team. We were determined to turn our dominant possession into goals and points, and parity was restored just before half time.

The pivotal moment in the match came within 20 seconds of the restart, as Colin Foad intercepted a loose pass from the Vauxhall midfield, raced up field and with a great 1-2 with Harry Stone, calmly slotted the ball past the keeper. This was duly followed up with another two goals and what turned out to be an easy 5-2 win, despite Asher missing an absolute sitter of the season to secure DOTD!

A particularly good performance from MOTM Rafi. Goals from Colin (3), Dom and Harry.

Tougher games to follow but confidence should remain high.

WH&E M2 3 : 5 Royston M3

Positives and negatives this week. We started strong in the first half, with some very nice play down both wings which led to some great passes into the D where we could have taken the lead. Both Rob Ulph on the left flank and Joseph and Thomas Chernaik on the right drove forward with strength. Rob Dowling, Luke Trevill and Tom Pearson, playing well in the middle.

As the half went on, we channelled play more into the middle of the pitch. Bad call – we went nowhere except into a wall of Royston bodies.

Royston played in parts pretty niftily, exchanging short triangle passes around the top of their half, but only because we let them. Towards the end of the first half we were standing off far too much and eventually they used the space we’d given them to take the lead.

In the second half we came out strong and fought for every ball, pressing them hard. This paid off with a couple of moves where Winchmore came close. Unfortunately, that pressure left us over-extended and Royston took a couple on the bounce.

But as the second half went on our pressure began to pay off and we began winning short corners. From one of these, injected by Joseph, Rob Dowling got the ball and struck hard and sweet into the Royston net to bring it back to 2-1. Royston replied and we found ourselves chasing 3-1. Another short corner strike from Rob D made it 2 for us. But then Royston brought on fresh legs and grabbed a couple more to make it 5-2.

Winchmore didn’t give up, showing a lot more good play in the second half and carving out lots of chances from midfield. One of these led to our final goal. After fighting for a loose ball with the Royston defence and shooting twice at close range, Pete managed at the third try to tuck the ball just inside the left goalpost to make a third for Winchmore.

In the end it ran out 5-3 to Royston, but as Huw said after the game there was a lot to be proud of and for big chunks of the match we were the better team. Roll-on the rematch in the spring!

MOTM: Rob Dowling

WH&E L1 1 : 0 West Hampstead L2

Another win and another clean sheet for the Ladies 1s! As for the match report, for that we will have to wait…

WH&E L2 v Teddington L7 (match conceded)

Another week and another 3 points for the L2s. But sadly, another match conceded by the opposition on Friday night. Either our ladies are a force to be reckoned with, or the rugby world cup final was too much of a draw for the opposition. More than likely a bit of both.