By Kevin Boniface, Head of Hockey
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.
By Kevin Boniface, Head of Hockey
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.
By Mariela Walton, Teacher of Girls’ PE & Games
This week the U16s ventured down the road to play Churcher’s. The game got off to a strong start and Bedales dominated the play, with Churcher’s getting very little possession in their own half. Sasha Arney took on a new challenge in the role of right half and was excellent, proving that her speed and stick skills are great all over the pitch. It wasn’t long before Mathilda Douglas took a sideline pass which she lifted into the D and was expertly deflected by Nell Freeborough to give Bedales their first goal. Not long after, Mathilda gave Bedales the second goal which sent us into half-time with a 2-0 lead.
Churcher’s came alive in the second half and after only a few minutes had secured themselves a goal. Mabel Watson looked dangerous in the role of right wing, consistently driving the ball down the pitch and across the baseline, and it was this persistence that eventually gave Bedales their third goal from a power shot at the top of the D. Churcher’s retaliated with a second goal of their own, which prompted Bedales to launch an even stronger counter attack.
Esther Stewart was outstanding in the role of full back, driving the ball out of the circle and out, letting to Emily Smith who then confidently and expertly carried the ball down pitch. A shot in the circle from Sammy Smith gave Bedales their fourth and final goal leading to a full time score of 4-2 to Bedales. Shanklin Mackillop Hall was voted player of the match, however all of the team played exceptionally well and it was certainly their best game to date.
By Chloe Nicklin, Head of Netball
For a team that had never played together before, I have never seen such a beautifully played game of hockey! All the coaching advice Kevin Boniface and Mariela Walton gave at training were actually put into action, making it look like this team had been playing together for years.
Two players from the U15 team, Lally Arengo-Jones and Anna, stepped up and fitted in with the team well, providing many opportunities for a goal as well as Anna scoring a terrific goal in the second half. Sage Bidwell and Rebekah Leach stepped up from the U14 team and played magnificently.
Rebekah kept calm and opened up the game from the back of the pitch and Sage was a noticeable force in attack scoring the first and last goal of the game. The regulars in the U16s played like professionals, with Esther Stewart as acting captain rallying the troops from the defence. Sasha Arney, Mabel Watson, Gala Pearson, Etty Bratley, Sammy Smith and Nell Freeborough added to the score scoring a goal each (Nell with 2).
A brilliant afternoon out with committed and talented players. Final score 9-0 with Sasha selected as Most Valuable Player.