Matthew Burns

PRE-SEASON HOCKEY MATCH REPORTS

MATCH REPORT 1ST XI PRE-SEASON HOCKEY FESTIVAL AT RUGBY SCHOOL

Wednesday morning saw a young first team squad arrive for two days of pre-season training before departing to Rugby for their pre-season tournament.  After an excellent season last year the girls were full of optimism and determination. The main focal point of our training sessions included structural work and combination play through different units.

Thursday afternoon the 1st XI squad travel down to Rugby, the squad included debutants from 4th form, 5th form and L6th. The following morning the team was raring to go as we departed for the tournament, our group had seen us drawn against Churchers College and hockey powerhouse Dean Close.

A slightly slow start paired with girls familiarising themselves with new players saw us go 1-0 down in the early stages of the game, despite good pressure and equally good chances we were unable to convert  and ended up losing our first game 1-0 to Churchers.  

Dean Close followed next and we were soon on the score sheet with captain Emilia Tyser converting a tough chance at the back post, unfortunately after a succession of good saves from Laura Batty in goal, Dean Close got the equaliser and winner within quick succession of each other and ended up winning 2-1, in hindsight a great result against a team who will be hoping for another national title at that age group this coming year.

Next up was Hereford CS where we arguably played our best hockey of the day winning 2-1 with goals from Emilia Tyser and Hannah Page, the team played with purpose and desire, creating plenty of chances. The impressive back line of vice-captain Eliza Hodgson and debutants Sally Bennett and Katherine Fleck proved to be a solid foundation on which to build our attacks on.

Princethorpe College were next and with legs tiring the team managed a 1-0 win with another debutant Cheza Millar grabbing the goal early on.

Our last game saw us play St Peters York who we will have fixtures against this season, this was a great chance to put down an early marker. It was clear to see that the long day of hockey had got to both teams with an exciting first ten minutes the best part of the game, the goalies from both teams were forced into making good saves, but no one was able to find the back of the net, the game petered out and it was a 0-0 draw.

This young team showed great character and a desire to learn which will only grow as the season progresses. Stand out performances must go to 4th formers Sally Bennett and Josie Coulthard.
 

MATCH REPORT U15 XI PRE-SEASON HOCKEY FESTIVAL AT DENSTONE

For the first time during pre-season the U15 XI were invited to attended Denstone’s hockey tournament, where teams included Bromsgrove, Repton and Lichfield among others.
 
After a mixed season last year the team did not quite fulfil their potential winning only 10 and losing 9 matches. This said the team has now been aided by an influx of new players both into both junior age groups.
 
Having never played with each other this team started with strong 3-0 victory vs Denstone B, however more was expected and more was to come, victory followed vs Colstons which left us battling out for top spot in our section against Repton.

Having never played Repton at any level the team were well aware of the strength of the school having won 5 of the 8 National Finals last year. An early surge of pressure bombarded the Repton goalie into making a succession of great saves to keep her side in with a shout.

Half time came and went with the score 0-0, Repton’s pressure began to grow and finally they had something to show for it with a well finished shot past goalie Maria Page. Sedbergh pushed hard for an equaliser but unfortunately were unable to come up with one, the score finished 1-0. A slightly downhearted team came off the pitch having finished runner up in their group and playing Lichfield Hockey Club for a chance to finish 3rd overall.
 
The girls were keen to put the last game behind them and played some brilliant hockey at times scoring 4 with no reply, goals came from Grace Sykes, Emily Stuart and two for Izzy Chamberlain.
 
A fantastic day of hockey had seen this very new side finish 3rd in the competition, but more importantly, they really competed with the best in the country at that age group. Their desire to achieve the very best they can will go a long way in their Sedbergh careers, and I’m sure as a year group they will go onto greater things.
 
Mark Shopland

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