WH&E L1 2 : 2 Wapping L4

The drama of today’s ladies 1’s game matched the setting. Down at Lee Valley Hockey Centre (think Olympics) we began what ended up being a pure rollercoaster of an hour and a half. The first half we dominated most of possession with Evie and Karen holding strong in the midfield and stretching our play out wide. Defensively Sarah had a few brilliant interceptions and Gemma and Beth were strong out wide stepping in front to intercept and making beautiful runs down the left and right sides. We had quite a few chances in their D but were unable to hit the back of the net, as they only entered our D maybe twice, giving Charlotte not a whole lot to do. Karen and Vicki were relentless in their tracking of players and being options in front of their players.

The second half brought all the drama. We started strong and after a beautiful run down the left wing from Beth, the ball came strong into Evie, who deflected it onto Bethany’s right side. B finished it off beautifully and that was 1-0. We stepped it up for a total of 30 seconds and then had a defensive short corner that scrambled and ended in the back of our net. Charlotte may have kept us in it with one of the best saves we may have seen as a deflection was heading top corner but thankfully Charlotte had the height to knock it down.

Wapping then somehow got another short corner and another scramble led to them scoring again, now up 2-1. The umpire says 4 minutes remain and we are all on edge after playing such a strong match as a team we really didn’t want to have a L to show for it. After some strong play defensively to get the ball up into their D, Bethany put a ball onto their foot and the pressure was on. Shell certainly didn’t want to mess up the pull out, but it was clean and a beautiful stop from B and Sam smashed it bottom left corner! The whistle blew shortly after ending the rollercoaster game at 2-2.

Player of the match: Beth for strong defensive play and beautiful runs down the left wing getting the ball into their D.
Dick of the day: Whoever forgot the balls!

WH&E M1 2 : 2 Wapping M7

The men’s 1s made the trip to another new venue this week – John Orwell Sports Centre in Wapping, for what looked set to be a session of crown green hockey!

Injuries and illness forced a few last minute changes, with Luke Trevill kindly stepping up from the 2s at the last minute to ensure a squad of 12.

In a fairly even first half it seemed that Winchmore had the better of the chances, only to find ourselves somehow 2-0 down after a penalty corner on the halftime whistle.

But, a confident team talk from stand in skipper Jim Gatting gave everyone the belief they needed to come out fighting in the second half. And within 2 minutes we won a penalty corner which was duly dispatched by Colin Foad (although perhaps not our slickest routine!) to make it 2-1, before Colin slotted his second to make it 2-2 which is how it finished.

A well-deserved point and a really resilient team performance, where everyone dug deep for each other. Congratulations to Aidan on a quality 1st XI debut, plus other notable performances from Jake T at centre back, Asher for controlling the midfield in a very mature way, and Stan for a super effort on the right side of midfield making quality runs and some excellent crosses.

WH&E M2 0 : 1 West Hampstead M7

Non-ideal preparation for the game saw our team-sheet of 14 reduced to 11 at push back (and 12 shortly after), with Luke being press-ganged for the 1s at late notice, and 1 no-show. We had the better of the first half, with Adam bossing midfield, and we forced a handful of short corners, sadly all saved by the keeper.

The second half saw us tire as they used their substitutes well, and we lost shape a bit shuffling positions around to cope. Things were still even, and anybody’s game, with both defences looking solid, especially Eray at the back for us, and it remained well umpired even as both teams got nervous, and more vocal(!) as the minutes wore on.

However, a short corner in the last couple of minutes for West Hampstead saw a flick towards the post, and a runner connecting at chest height to knock into the goal. A draw would have been a fairer result, but perhaps an indication that our attacking short corner routine needs a bit more work/creativity…

WH&E L2 2 : 4 West Herts L4

At last, the ladies 2’s had a home game and enjoyed a bit of a lay in on a Saturday! Although nobody was expecting such a wet and soggy match!

The game started slowly with some of our players getting used to playing in slightly different positions. We were definitely on the back foot as the opposition played well as a team making accurate passes and getting into good positions off the ball. They were 2-0 up but just before half time Kylie made a fantastic run down the line taking on and passing several players before passing it into the D to Abbi. 2-1 half time.

The second half we played some better one, two balls to one another and managed to get a couple of short corners (excellent, as part of our warm up was running a few!). Kareen injected the ball with speed to Jodie who made a powerful strike, which was deflected in by Kareen over the goal keepers head, what a goal!

Still awaiting a win but with a week off and some more training under our belts, there is still hope!!!

WH&E M2 7 : 1 Harrow M2

The match started well, with a goal scored in the early moments of the game – from the first short corner – by Dan. With the confidence of being one nil up, we continued pressing and another goal was inevitable, and Theo got his first of the game (with a little help from the opposition keeper who nudged it in past the line by accident).

Midway into the first half and a 2-0 lead was very promising for the final score. The attack on the Harrow goal was relentless, with everyone participating and playing superbly. Jonny, Tom, Guy and Calum in midfield kept the ball pushing forward to the strikers, with the defenders only being used to pass back and around the opposition – who didn’t have a look in towards our goal. And quickly after the 2nd goal Theo converted another after being gifted the ball right in front of the goal by a scuffed Harrow clearance to make it 3-0.

Towards the end of the first half, Dan scored another great goal (his second of the game) to increase our lead to 4-0. The Harrow defenders were constantly working and another slip up at the very end of the first half meant a short given as the final play. The initial shot was saved, but it fell to Theo at the edge of the D, who caught it nicely and drilled it bottom corner, for his hat-trick!

We switched things up slightly for the second half, but things continued to go our way, and after a few dubious efforts from Luke (who at one point missed the goal by about 15 metres!), he scored his first of the season to make the lead even bigger, at 6 goals to nil. Eventually, and practically the only time in the whole game, Harrow managed to get by our defence and John lost his clean sheet when Harrow hit one in the bottom corner.

But we still had fight left in us, and James dribbled past their defence, to score the last of the game. When the final whistle blew, another last second short corner was awarded, but this time less successful with no goal being scored. The game ended with a resounding 7-1 victory.

WH&E M1 0 : 3 West Hampstead M4

A new season, a new coach, a new league in a new area, so for the opening fixture the M1s played West Hampstead, our new friends from the summer league.

With a last minute change of plan following a no show from Stan, there was a system failure, and I’m not referring to the GMS!

West Hampstead put the pressure on from the first whistle, making it difficult for WHE players to have any time on the ball. The opening goal was scored when a defender stepped in front and intercepted a pass to forward Harry Stone, who was on the halfway line, and they worked the ball into the D, before flicking in off the inside of the post to make it 0-1. A second was added before half-time after the ball struck Dominic Smith on the foot and looped up over the defence, dropping to a forward who diverted it with his reverse stick past the onrushing keeper James Gatting.

0-2 at the break, a couple of changes and WHE made an encouraging start to the second half, however a well drilled opposition had control of the match, and scored a third in the last few minutes with a close range deflection. Final score a 0-3 defeat.

With the M2s winning their opening game 7-1, some players might already be knocking on the 1st team door, meaning there is new healthy competition for selection at the club. In a few weeks we could be seeing a new look 1st team, and I’m not just referring to the kit.

Thank you to umpires Samantha Lucy and Beth Deane.

* this report was held up due to many hours of editing and censorship (by the author!).

WH&E L1 2 : 3 Old Merchant Taylors’  L1

The Ladies 1s were unlucky to lose out to OMT 1s with the visitors converting a penalty corner with the last play of the game. No match report, but a nice team photo!

WH&E L2 0 : 3 Old Merchant Taylors’  L2

No match report, yet…

*NEWSFLASH* We finally won something!

Following the split of the summer league and some heavy losses to a very familiar foe (they wear red), the ladies’ teams have been playing the teams in black. In the two games against West Hampstead we saw a high scoring 5-3 win coming back from 3-0 down and a close 1-1 draw. These were followed by two games against Potters bar and some more wins! Yes that means 4 games in a row undefeated!

Goals have come from all over the place, and the teams have been playing better and better, with some fantastic passages of play and several new players gaining match experience during the summer league. We will, however, concede that Jason may have a point and we might want to start doing a bit more of a warm up before some of the games!

The summer league finished with our As v Bs game, but with one big difference…the men played too! The match was turned into all all-club mixed match, which resulted in a great game between two evenly matched sides with a final score of 4-3 and smiles all round at the end.

Now on to the new season, with new leagues, new opposition and fingers crossed no games cancelled for covid?!

The Southgate Summer League reached its conclusion for the men last week, with a fine 6-0 win over Southgate Adelaide.

After the normal season was inevitably curtailed due to covid, the re-established men’s summer league was a very welcome chance for us to get back on the pitch enjoying some competitive hockey once again, and more than 30 different men’s players took up the chance to play.

Fielding two mixed ability teams, the younger and less experienced players had the chance to gain match practice playing alongside established first team players and it was great to see the progress they made over the course of the summer league – Theo, Tom, John and Zak are all names to watch out for next season!

And with the men’s summer league running in parallel with the ladies, it also provided the chance for new umpires to gain experience as we reciprocated umpiring duties with the ladies matches – Jason and Stan stepping up and doing well having taken umpiring courses last season.

Huge thanks go to Liz Moss at Southgate Hockey Centre for organising the summer league, and to the other teams from Southgate, West Hampstead and Southgate Adelaide without whom it wouldn’t have happened!

The full summer league results can be found here: https://www.southgatehockeycentre.co.uk/summer-leagues/.

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.