Bedales Boys’ First XI Hockey v Embley Park

By Kevin Boniface, Head of Hockey

On Wednesday the boys’ first XI hockey travelled to play Embley Park. The game got off to an absolute flyer with Bedales going 1-0 up with a fast counter-attacking move, replicating their work in training on Monday, finished off neatly by Felix Bicknell. However, almost within seconds Embley had equalised and the score was 1-1 within three minutes. Pleasingly, this set the tone for the remainder of the game, with both sides creating a number of chances. The Embley side contained a number of talented, representative players but this was well matched by the harder-working and slightly more structured Bedales team. The first half saw another three goals, all of a very high calibre; a drag-flick short corner and rasping finish from a tight angle for Embley, alongside a very well worked team goal for Bedales that was finished off by Nate Shuster after excellent work in the middle of the pitch from Jac Wheeler, Zach Stewart and the incredibly productive and fleet-footed Sam Gibbon.
 
As we moved in to the second half, it was hard to call which way the game would go. Zach maintained his influence in the middle of the pitch and Bedales were productive down the right channel with Elio Mazas and Sam Gibbon. But Embley remained a constant threat going forward and used the aerial ball to maintain territory. However, it is credit to goalkeeper Josh Baty and the defensive unit of Sol Arbib and Bruno Heggie that clear attacking threats were limited to three short corners. At the other end, Bedales created a number of good open play chances but failed to convert and ultimately paid the price when pressing for the equaliser were left exposed at the back and Embley neatly converted to win 4-2. Fantastic game. Credit to both sides for playing their part in a very competitive game.

Girls’ U16 Hockey at the Hampshire Trophy Tournament

By Kevin Boniface, Head of Hockey

On Thursday, the U16 girls’ hockey side travelled to Southampton Sports Centre to take part in the Hampshire Trophy Tournament. The format was a mini league with games 15 minutes one way. Things got off to a good start for Bedales, beating Ballard 4-0 with goals from Lola Mackay (who scored two), Rosy Riley and Sienna Marcos Bancroft Cooke. The second game was played out in similar fashion, with Bedales pressing high and posing a constant attacking threat. The strings in the middle of the pitch were pulled by the incredibly impressive Rebekah Leach and Bedales finished 3-0 to St John’s, with Lola Mackay on the score sheet again, alongside Ottilie Douglas and Sage Bidwell/Rebekah Leach.
 
Ditcham Park were up next and despite a positive start from Bedales, the Ditcham side forced their way back in to the game with a clinical finish on the counter. However, Ottilie was on hand again to put in two goals, even more impressive considering she was now battling through an injury from the previous game. Rosy Riley finished off the game with a superb strike in to the top corner – 4-1. Island Free School were the fourth game on the schedule and a much tighter game ensued, the deadlock being deservedly broken by Rebekah.
 
The results from all the other games meant that Bedales final game, and third on the bounce would be against Embley Park, the winners of which would progress through to the regional rounds. The game was played at a good speed with both teams looking to attack at every opportunity. It was Embley who took the lead and despite some late high pressing, attacking short corners and chances in the circle, Bedales couldn’t convert and finished runners up in the tournament.
 
A fantastic day out and the team were an absolute credit to the school, both on and off the pitch. The effort and commitment shown was exemplary. For various reasons the side could only field 11 players and this 11 fought through tiredness, injury and some illness to finish runners up – really impressive. A special mention must also go to Block 4 students Rosy Riley, Siena Marcos Bancroft Cooke and Esmae Gordon who all played up a year and more than held their own.