Having won bronze medals at the 2017 Surrey Cup, the London Wayfarers Girls U10 were looking forward to the Southern Counties Hockey Club Championships to test themselves against some of the best teams in the region and indeed country.
The Girls U10 did brilliantly and played outstanding hockey. A dominant display in the group stages was capped with a nail biting finish in the quarter finals. Many congratulations to the girls and of course a huge thank you to our coaches and volunteers – Neil, Fenella, Barbara, Andrew, Noelia and team coach Bilal. Our thanks also to the parents for your support. It’s a great achievement for these girls to be recognised as one of the top 8 Girls U10 teams in the south of England!
The Group games
Group Match 1 : London Wayfarers vs Eastbourne 3-0
A strong start from Eastbourne showed they were a talented, well organised side. London Wayfarers absorbed the first few minutes of pressure but soon took control of the game. Quick thinking from Olivia in defence and a perfectly weighted pass, released Leela to race down the wing and score an excellent counter attacking goal. From that point on, the match was mostly played in the Eastbourne half largely due to Rosie’s relentless marking and tackling in midfield. London Wayfarers doubled their lead from a short corner with a particularly strong injection from Annabelle, expertly diverted into the corner of goal by Ruby. London Wayfarers’ 3rd goal came from another counter attack with Ruby threading the ball through to Poppy, to score a stunning poacher’s goal. A great goal to seal a great first win.
Group Match 2 : London Wayfarers vs Wallingford 2-0
The game started with London Wayfarers looking to breach a very solid Wallingford midfield and defence. Wallingford also made forays into our half but were kept at bay by Hazel’s interceptions and reading of the game and goalkeeper Dulcie’s excellent decision making – an impassable last line of defence. With the teams evenly matched and cancelling each other out, Evie and Ameena took the game by the scruff of the neck in midfield. Evie slalomed down the left wing eliminating several Wallingford players before passing to Poppy, who rounded the keeper to score a great goal. At the restart, pressure from Ameena saw her win the ball then play an inch-perfect pass away from Wallingford’s defence to Annabelle who, using the momentum of the ball, scored a sublime reverse hit goal through the keeper’s legs. The match ended 2-0 to London Wayfarers with another contender for goal of the tournament.
Group Match 3 : London Wayfarers vs Surbiton 0-0
Stakes were high as the winner of this match would win the group. Surbiton were the favourites as they had the home advantage and had also won this year’s Surrey Cup in March. Nonetheless, London Wayfarers were playing to win. The match was played at a fast pace and despite Surbiton’s excellent possession game, they were matched by an organised, battling display from London Wayfarers. Dulcie was commanding in goal, determined to keep three clean sheets in a row. Hazel was both cerebral and tough tackling with nothing getting past her or the quick thinking Olivia who was again flawless in defence. Together they gave the opposition no time on the ball whatsoever. Our midfield press was great to watch. Ameena was combative in the centre, her ball-winning combined with clever, probing passing. Evie was virtually unplayable on the left with the ball seemingly glued to her stick. Ruby dominated the right flank, shutting down Surbiton attacks and cleverly stretching the game using the full width of the pitch. Leela’s all-action forward play and counterattacks almost won the game but it wasn’t to be and the contest ended 0-0. A good result for the girls given the quality of the opposition.
Knock out stages
With two wins and a hard fought draw, our group stage results matched Surbiton’s but they had scored one more goal than us, therefore topping the group on goal difference. London Wayfarers, a close 2nd were also through to the knockout stages…
Quarter Final : London Wayfarers vs Reading 0-1
We were up against a very strong Reading team who had won their group at a canter. It turned out to be an even, end-to-end match. Dulcie was again impressive in goal and her reading of angled shots would have made Pythagoras proud! Hazel and Olivia neutralised Reading’s attacks with well-timed tackles and interceptions, calmly switching play from one side of the pitch to the other. Rosie excelled again patrolling the midfield and then in defence, always in the right place at the right time to snuff out danger. Top scorer Poppy was an absolute menace on the left, both in attack and defence. Our centre forward Annabelle ran non-stop, defending from the front and creating several scoring chances. It was clear this match could go either way as both teams began to tire, particularly our girls after their heroics in the group stage. Reading’s moment came in the eighth minute with an excellent goal that broke the deadlock. London Wayfarers refused to give up and laid siege to the Reading goal. Despite battling to the very last second, the full time whistle brought our Girls U10’s journey in the Regionals to an end.
What an incredible journey it’s been for the players and for parents and coaches too! The girls trained hard, listened to their coaches and gave it their all. They played some of the best teams in England and only conceded one goal the entire tournament. It shows how good they are and their amazing potential. It’s going to be exciting to see these players and the whole Girls U10 section at London Wayfarers Hockey Club go from strength to strength next season.
Very well done to all the girls – Dulcie (GK), Rosie, Hazel, Olivia, Evie, Ameena (C), Ruby, Poppy, Leela, Annabelle and also to Fleur who played in the Surrey Cup, en route to the Regionals.
Find out how our Girls U12s performed at their Southern Counties Clubs Championships.