Wednesday afternoon saw the rematch of the Block 3 v Block 4 Hockey match. With both teams making improvements as the season has progressed, it was incredibly pleasing to see them transfer these in to a match scenario.
The game started at a great pace and huge credit to both teams who managed to maintain this pace for the duration of the match, highlighting not only their fitness levels but increasing technical ability. There was very little to choose between the two sides and it was deep in to the second half before the deadlock was eventually broken as Ottilie Douglas managed to sneak a goal past the incredibly impressive debutante goalkeeper, Mila Lloyd-Stevens, to put the Block 4 team 1-0 up.
The Block 3 side were always a threat going forward with the skilful Clara Stannah consistently linking with the impressive forward running trio of Evie Donovan, Rosy Riley and Lucy Standish. However, the Block 4 side remained defensively strong, much of this owed to the work of Greta Stillwell, who made an impressive dash from an appointment to make the game in time and Rebekah Leach, who alongside her excellent work rate, stood out for her composure on her ball.
There was one final piece of goalmouth action as the Block 4 side converted a final minute penalty corner to win the game 2-0.
On Wednesday, the Mem Pitch played host to the inaugural 6.1 v Block 5 girls’ football match. Despite some tough playing conditions, both teams approached the game with tremendous enthusiasm and spirits certainly weren’t dampened by the weather!
The Block 5 team got off to a flying start, finding themselves 4-0 up inside 12 minutes. The fourth goal was particularly special, with a superb cross in from the right from Mary Whiteley that was met with an even better header from captain Romilly White, sending the ball into the top corner. The Block 5 side were a constant threat, with Kamaya Nelson-Clayton and Ava Sender Logan regularly making bursts forward, and Skylar Cazac a potent threat up-front.
Half-time was productive for the 6.1 side who regrouped and the second half saw the emergence of the influential Lila Levingston and more space opened down the right channel for the excellent Dora Wooldridge and Martha Clough. It was clear the relatively inexperienced 6.1 side were improving and starting to get used to playing as a team and creating more chances for the ever threatening Phoebe Esdaile.
However, as the final whistle blew, the Block 5 team had comfortably and deservedly picked up the victory. A really enjoyable game with both teams eager to get back out on the pitch.
Wednesday saw another round of internal hockey fixtures and the first game of the season ‘under the lights’. Both the Block 5 and 6.1 teams had been particularly impressive in training over the last week or so, but it was the 6.1 team who burst out of the blocks with centre forward Mathilda Douglas looking particularly threatening, putting her team 2-0 up within the opening 10 minutes. A high press from the 6.1s ensured constant attacking pressure and a cool finish from Fleur Donovan, followed by a completion of a first half hat trick from Mathilda, led the 6.1s into the break 4-0 to the good.
The game was in danger of running away from the Block 5s, but a re-group at half time saw a much improved performance and it was the Block 5s who opened the scoring, through the ever dangerous Kamaya Nelson-Clayton. Despite constant attacking pressure from the 6.1s the Block 5 side stood firm with some excellent tackling from Ava Sender Logan and always posing a threat on the counter attack from Zoe Lobbenberg and Kamaya. As the game developed we saw more and more of the increasingly impressive Lally Arengo-Jones and captain, Leela Walton.
Despite the improved performance from the Block 5s the 6.1 team deservedly scored again, once again a fantastically calm finish from Fleur.
The Block 5s are in action again next week versus the Block 4s. The 6.1s will have to wait a couple of weeks before they take on the ‘all-star’ team.
Wednesday was the first competitive hockey fixture of the season with the Block 3 side (pictured above) taking on Block 4. Both sides had started to show some good improvement during their training sessions, so this game arrived at a perfect time and the girls did not disappoint.
A competitive game in the best sense of the word saw both teams play with attacking intent and impressive levels of intensity, but ultimately it was the Block 4s’ ability to retain more possession and a better understanding of their team structure that saw them home as deserved winners. However, a re-match is in the pipeline, and with more exposure to the 11-a-side version of the game, it is likely that the Block 3s will pose an increasing level of challenge.
Wednesday saw the inaugural Block 5 vs. 6.2 football match take place, with two contrasting match preparation techniques clearly in evidence. The Block 5s arrived early in a ‘fresh out of the packet’ kit and warmed up well as a team. The 6.2s took a different approach, choosing to conserve energy pre-game before being shepherded into position by player-manager Sam Wheeler.
This approach from the 6.2s paid dividends in the early part of the game as Guido Sforni slammed the ball home from a goal mouth melee. The game ebbed and flowed from this point but an over-enthusiastic challenge in the box from 6.2 Charlie Abbott left little choice for League 1 referee Greg Read to point to the spot. Jac Wheeler duly stepped up and calmly slotted the ball home.
Block 5 started to gain increasing control of the game and Jac Wheeler weaved out an opportunity to create a 1 vs. 1 against the keeper before coolly sliding a pass to Huw Wheeler to take the easy finish.
With the score 2-1 to the Block 5 team with 20 minutes left and with the threat of Ivan Ogilvie-Grant and Ed Marshall Smith up front, the 6.2s were never out of the game, but a sustained period of attack from the Block 5 team eventually created a rebound opportunity which fell to Josh Baty who drilled the ball home to leave the result in little doubt. Some fine keeping from 6.2 goalkeeper Theo Paul ensured the game stayed at 3-1.
Overall a competitive and enjoyable game. There are already calls for a re-match from the 6.2s so watch this space!
With the necessary precautions in place, the first tentative steps were taken to get some competitive sport up and running this week, starting with a hugely enjoyable Block 5 v Block 4 football match. Cheered on by a small number of good humoured spectators, the more direct style of play of Block 4 looked like it might create an early breakthrough, but they were denied by some fine goalkeeping and dogged defending. As the match progressed, the more posession based style of Block 5 became more dominant, and with some fine team play and a few longer range efforts, they gained a deserved lead. The best moments of the matches both involved Danilo supplying two pinpoint crosses to Connor to finish confidently from close range. Huge credit to Block 4 for their determination throughout the match.
The Block 4 v Block 3 football match also proved to be quite a showstopper. A large crowd including cheerleaders were witness to a number of high quality goals and some very slick and accurate passing, particularly from the Block 3s. The older students ultimately ran out comfortable winners but I think they would be the first to agree that Block 3 have some exciting talent and the potential to be a very potent force.
Block 5 v Sixth Form basketball was up next. The key question was how big a factor was the small bench of the Sixth Form was going to affect their ability to compete through all four quarters against the considerable depth of talent available to Block 5. The answer was pretty well, but Block 5 proved to be a defensively more organised unit and far more able to execute an effective fast break. The Sixth Form countered this by dominating the boards and winning the ‘inside game’. Ultimately, the Block 5 style and larger bench was victorious but the Sixth Form will feel confident in the rematch when they are bolstered by the return of some key absentees.
A well contested game of netball, playing against a strong Portsmouth Grammar School (PGS) team. With Maddie Jeffreys out due to Rock Show rehearsals, we recruited Alyssa Leach from Block 5 to set up as Goal Attack for the senior side. This meant the team had to adapt quickly to a new member of the team, which did see a few teething problems in the first half.
The score was tied in the first quarter, but as Bedales settled they were able to pull away with a two goal lead by half time. This Bedales side definitely has strength and numbers in defence, enabling the defensive end to be rotated regularly, bringing fresh legs and fresh energy to each quarter.
On Tuesday, the U15A team kicked off the netball season with a home match against St John’s College, Southsea. We started off with six players, but managed to hold the first few minutes to an even game; with the arrival of our seventh player, we took a comfortable lead, finishing the first quarter 11-5. In the second quarter, some excellent circle defending from Lula Goldring meant St John’s only got two goals, whilst we sailed ahead, thanks to the expert shooting and movement from Lally Arengo-Jones and Ellen Wilson. We finished the game with a 23-9 win and Millie Harris was awarded player of the match. A great game to start the season with, well done to all.
This week, the girls’ first XI travelled to Christ’s Hospital for the final game of the season. Arriving with only ten players, we knew we were already on the back foot. After a quick warm-up, the game got underway. It was clear from the outset that Christ’s Hospital were a strong side, and their attack down the right was extremely threatening.
Despite some excellent defending from Hannah Mazas and Bella Doyle, Christ’s Hospital managed to get the first goal, with an outstanding shot from the top of the D. Bedales worked exceptionally hard for the first half; Alisia Leach was excellent, and she controlled the play in the centre of the pitch, and her relentless defence distributed the ball brilliantly. However, time was against us, and we finished the first half 1-0 down.
On 20 November, the girls’ U16 hockey team travelled away to play Christ’s Hospital. The first half was a very one-sided affair, with Christ’s Hospital dominating the attacking possession and only the occasional individual run from Nell Freeborough providing any respite for the Bedales defence.
However, at half time, Bedales were very much still in the game, finding themselves only 1-0 down thanks to some fantastic saves from goalkeeper Tilda Gellatly and some last ditch tackles and interceptions from Emma Nelson and Shanklin Mackillop-Hall.