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.
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.
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.
On 15 November, the girls’ U16 hockey side travelled to Southampton to take part in the U16 Hampshire Trophy Tournament. The girls got off to a slow start, losing their first game to the eventual finalists, which instantly put them on the back foot in terms of progressing to the next stage.
However, they rallied well, drawing with a strong Farnborough Hill side and beating the Churcher’s and Kings’ B teams 1-0 and 2-0 respectively. The semi-final tie was a well-matched affair against Embley Park. At the final whistle, the scores were level and the game went to penalty strokes.
On 8 November, the girls’ U14 hockey side took part in the Hampshire Trophy Tournament. A bumper crop of schools entering this year meant that the level of competition had increased and the Bedales girls responded well, winning five games and drawing two, only conceding four goals. Unfortunately, this performance wasn’t quite enough to progress to the semi-finals, missing out by a goal difference of two.
The Bedales side performed exceptionally well across the afternoon. It was so pleasing to see the side perform using equal pitch time and steeping up to the challenge of playing in different positions. It would be unfair to highlight any ‘players of the tournament’, as every single player contributed and was incredibly valuable. However, it is worth mentioning Phoebe Kane-Moss, who has only been playing hockey since joining Bedales in September, and has now experienced her first county tournament and coped with it admirably.
Having won the U18 Hampshire Trophy Tournament a couple of weeks ago, the girls’ first XI travelled to Woking Hockey Club on Wednesday to play in the regional rounds.
Bedales were placed in a group with Stowe, Alleyns and Reading Blue Coat. All games were incredibly tight, with three 1-0 scorelines. Two results went against Bedales and they had one win, which included a well-worked short corner routine, finished off calmly by Amber Pearson. This result ensured that Bedales squeezed into the play-off rounds, but a combination of three very tough games and the cold weather proved too much for Bedales, as they lost 4-0 to St Mary’s, Ascot.
The team are the first to represent Bedales at this regional level, so they should be incredibly proud of their achievement, and the manner in which they represented Bedales Hockey was exemplary.
On Thursday the U14 girls’ hockey team made the long trip to Burgess Hill to participate in the UKSA 7-A-Side Hockey Tournament.
Looking at our opposing teams, we knew it would be a tough day, and our first game saw us facing Benenden School. Bedales dominated the game from the outset and an early goal from Ottilie Douglas gave us the lead we needed. A brief lapse in concentration gave Benenden all the opportunity they needed to sneak a quick goal, which saw the scores tied. Our second goal came from an excellent short corner strike from Sage Bidwell, which she hammered into the bottom left corner, giving us our first win of the day.
After a brief rest, we then faced Caterham, who were also strong. An extremely even end-to-end game was played with both teams trying – but failing – to convert numerous goal scoring opportunities. In the final minutes of the game, Izzy Land gave us our winning goal, with a textbook strike from the right post.
Bedales got off to a strong start, dominating possession and transitioning well from defence to midfield. There were numerous passages of six or seven plus pass combinations, with the Bedales players receiving with confidence and passing with high ball pace and early release.
Despite a domination in possession, Bedales offered limited attacking threat and were restricted to an outstanding individual break from the halfway line from Mabel Watson. Later in the half, Mabel was unlucky with an early shot from the top of the circle, which struck the post. St John’s, on the other hand, were more physical and direct, putting the Bedales defence under pressure. However, Block 3 defenders, Issy Robinson and Greta Stillwell were more than up to the task, not only intercepting and tackling well but combining this with good distribution.
This week the first XI travelled to Southampton to participate in the Hampshire Trophy Tournament, a competition which brings together a number of Hampshire schools to compete and win their place at the regional event.
Our first game was against King Edward’s School Witley, and after a slow start, the team warmed up and Marthila Douglas secured us our first goal. Not long after that, Nell Freeborough gave us our second and third goals, and our final goal came again from Mathilda.
A quick drink break and then we were back on against Ryde. Eliza Goodfellow was extremely threatening on the right, continuously driving the ball up the pitch with pace and providing us with countless attacking opportunities. Despite dominating most of the possession, we just couldn’t quite get the goal. However, the team managed to hold Ryde to a 0-0 draw until the final nail biting seconds, when Ryde was awarded a short corner. An unbelievable reverse stick lifted ball save from Shanklin Mackillop-Hall cleared the ball from the circle and let us walk away with the draw.