Another great weekend for the girls playing in matches.

TEAM OF THE DAY: GU11/12 11 aside squad who beat local rivals Spencer 3-1 in a breath taking end to end game.

The 11 a side squad played its first game of the season and the Surrey fixture list threw up a derby with our closest neighbour Spencer. We are in the top league for the first time and in the opposition, playing members of the 7 a side team that reached the final of South East England regional tournament when playing as GU10s, 2 years ago.

However, for most players on both sides, this would be their first taste of 11-a-side, played on a big pitch at Battersea Park. For the first third this showed with the girls struggling with the strength and accuracy of the passes required. The girls were developing their sweep hits, but too many were directed down the centre of the pitch and a well drilled Spencer team were waiting in numbers to intercept, this pinned the London Wayfarers girls back in their own half for much of the period and we were indebted to some strong saves in goal from Lily O’Grady and a calm head when clearing the D from Hazel Merry.

Second period showed immediate improvement in awareness of space and in particular breadth of passing, but also in midfield
battles. Georgie Jarvis-Soby, Ameena Hilton-Leigh and Saskia Wilkinson were able to take much more control and London Wayfarers
deservedly took the lead, Lucy-Rose found Evie in space on the left who then quickly switched playback to the right to Saskia
who broke through the defence and crossed the ball to Georgie who swept the ball home. Our best sequence of passing so satisfying that it ended in a goal.

Spencer were undaunted, and put pressure on us to quickly equalise as the action flew from end to end, in true Derby style.
By the third period Wayfarers started to dominate, passing was more poised, we started to use the width of the pitch and
distribute the ball much more effectively. The defence had also grown in confidence and dealt with any sense of danger quickly
and decisively clearing ball to the side and Spencer didn’t look like threatening our goal as a result. Strong chances were created by Issy Burghes and Saskia receiving strong wide passes from Immie Stoole and driving to the buy line to drive in crosses from the right wing and Lucy- Rose and Olivia Mann matched thaton the left. That pressure to clear resulted in 3 short corners
in succession, and Wayfarers ruthlessly executed them with well executed sweep hits at first strike from Saskia Wilkinson and
Yasmin Hannah to run out 3-1 winners.

Roger was delighted with everyone’s passion and commitment today, they had listened and used the sweep hit regularly during the game today, the fact we had passed more than the opposition, showed in the last third as we had exhausted them and this allowed us to dominate. Areas of improvement are still accuracy of pass (look before pass and pass laterally more) but this notably got better the longer the game went on.

Players of the match today went to the two new U11 defenders Hazel and Olivia who considering this was their first time on a full size pitch and playing opposition a year above them impressed with their clinical effectiveness at stopping attacks and level-headed clearing of the ball to safety.

We also hosted 2 teams from Teddington and provided 3 teams from LWHC for a very enjoyable afternoon at Dulwich Sports Club. Match reports from each Team Manager. The girls played really well, and worked hard for 4 matches each, in what was turned out to be a gloriously warm Sunday.

LWHC Team 1:
Started with Libby Patrick at CB, Rosie Pickering RB and Eva Kellaway LB; Issy Creasey CM and Anya Cosway RM with Frankie
Martin and Lucy Carr upfront in the forwards.

We won 2 matches and drew the other 2 and finished as the team with the most points for the day, without conceding a goal.
Credit to Ben Pawson who dived to save 2 definite goals when we played London Wayfarers 3 (purple), that was what helped us win that match 1-0. Ben’s saves were out of this world, and the girls were very grateful.

The games were not massively different in terms of style of play or intensity, the key for our team was that we kept our positions and held our shape. The back 3 worked very well and one passage of play we managed to pass the ball backwards and across the D through our back 3 from left to right to then allow Anya to send a magnificent pass down the line to Frankie. The midfield and centre pairing of Issy and Lucy meant the pressure at times from us was relentless. Then with consistent ball winning and back tackling and excellent passing the right hand side through Anya and Rosie got some amazing balls to Lucy and Frankie who found a lot of space at regular intervals.

Best forward play from Lucy Carr. In game we won 2-0, Lucy scored both goals and in our 1-0 victory she passed across the goal mouth for Frankie Martin to put the ball in the back of the goal.
The player of the day was Anya Cosway.

LWHC Team 2:
Cecily Anson, Betsy Brown, Lara Gibbs, Beatrice Gore, Alexandra (aka Sasha) Gray, Madeleine O’Brien, Xanthe Picchioni & Manon Rossi.
Played 4, won 3 lost 1. Goals for 4, goals against 2.

In our first game we narrowly lost 0-1 to Teddington where they only had 1 shot on goal all match. Sasha and Xanthe were full of energy but we couldn’t get the ball to Cecily our striker. Madi & Bea defended well but Teddington scored a lucky goal to win the game.

In the 2nd game vs LWHC Team 3 we started to play the ball round a bit more and Cecily scored 2 tremendous games with some good
passing with Betsy and Lara feeding the goal hungry striker. Madi was a rock in defence and Dulcie in the goal also made some good saves.

In the 3rd game we came up against LWHC Team 1 and they scored a goal but their keeper Ben (the only boy as stand in GK), made
some amazing diving saves keeping out some fine shots from Cecily and Betsy. Sasha was working hard in midfield and Manon provided some good stick work on the right hand side with several surging runs up the wing.

In the last game vs Teddington 2 we played our best hockey of the afternoon with Madi bringing the ball out of defence, passing to Betsy who fed the goal machine Cecily who ended up with 2 more goals. On more than one occasion we passed the ball back to go round the opposition and stretch them wide giving Cecily and Lara more room in the D.
Player of the afternoon was Madi O’Brien for resolute defending and astute passing closely followed by Cecily with 4 well taken goals.

LWHC Team 3:
Charlotte Davies, Lara Epton, Jemima Firmstone, Silvia Gelosi,Tara Heming, Theodora Kerry, Lila Morse, Ines Picchioni. The girls were particularly impressive given it was the first time that they’ve played together. What was lovely is that they did some rolling subs really well (which is not easy, and takes some maturity), and also were very happy to try some different positions, and asked lots of great questions – eager to improve.

Players of the Match were Charlotte Davies and Lara Epton, for their 100% sheer determination, and continuous engagement with the game. The girls lost both games against our teams, 2-0 to LWHC 1s and 1-0 to the LWHC 2s but picked up to draw both matches 0-0 against Teddington. Tight games all round.

Special mentions goes to Annabelle Clunie and Jemima Child who played in a visiting Teddington team to supplement their ranks. They added quality and ‘bite’ to the Teddington midfield and attack, making the matches much more even and quite frankly,tougher for our girls. Thank you and well done.

Hats off also to our keepers on the day: May Sanders-Garcia, Dulcie Mason, Sasha Hancock who had an excellent debut in goal and Ben Pawson, who joined us after having already trained with the BU12.

Finally, our thanks to the team managers, first aiders, GK coaches, umpires, match coordinators and others volunteers who helped host what was an enjoyable tournament. We saw some excellent play today but we know we still have lots to work on… but we have a whole season ahead of us. The players learn so much from competitive hockey and these fixtures are only possible with your help.


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