By Kevin Boniface, Head of Hockey
On Wednesday the first XI travelled to their traditional season opener against Kings’ School, Winchester. Typically, the opposition were well organised and capable on the ball. It was perhaps not surprising then that Kings made the majority of the early attacking play and, despite some impressive defending from Sol Arbib and Joe Cullen, found themselves 2-0 up inside 15 minutes. However, the new look Bedales side began to settle into a rhythm and became more precise moving forward, driven by the influential Zach Stewart and Sam Gibbon.
Bedales created a number of decent chances but unfortunately failed to convert. However, on the stroke of half-time, a moment of individual brilliance and a clinical finish from Jac Wheeler, deservedly pulled Bedales back in to the game.
Despite a well presented half-time talk from captain Josh Baty, the Bedales side weren’t able to match the same intensity levels as the first half and began to lose shape, producing a number of turnovers which were clinically finished by Kings, who came away deserved winners. Plenty of promise from the Bedales side and a clear target of maintaining intensity and structural discipline levels.
By Mariela Walton, Teacher of Girls’ PE & Games
The girls’ first XI hockey season kicked off yesterday with a trip to King Edward’s School (KES) Witley.
The game got off to a strong start, with Alisia Leach scoring her first goal for the first team, pinging it in from the top of the D, straight over the keeper. This early lead gave the girls the confidence they needed to attack the goal, and it wasn’t long before last season’s top goal scorer, Mathilda Douglas, also got her name on the score sheet.
The first half finished with a third goal, scored by Amber Pearson, which gave the girls a strong lead as they entered the second half. In the latter half of the game, the girls remained strong and managed to contain almost the entire game to their own attacking half.
The quality of play in the second half was excellent, with the girls sending the ball flying around the pitch and leading KES on a chase. Bedales continued to have numerous shots on goal, with a number of them missing narrowly; as we progress through the season it will be exciting to see more of these chances converted to goals.
The game finished with a nail biting short corner from Bedales which despite out best efforts was cleared away by the KES Whitley defence. An excellent game to start the season with and some great individual and team performances. Most Valuable Player was awarded to Mathilda Douglas.