U11 Boys' Hockey v Ardvreck
Result: 10 - 1
Man of the match: Joe
So for the final game of the season we headed on a long journey to Glenalmond to play Ardvreck. We had the luxury of playing on their water based pitch. Once the novelty of spraying water had worn off we got down to business and the boys had to quickly adapt to the bounce of the surface.
Ardvreck were playing in a pack and were very quick to surround the ball. A tactic which seemed to be working and we couldn’t get into a comfortable rhythm and they were keeping play constrained to the centre of the pitch. The boys were finding the pitch difficult to play on and weren’t able to move the ball around as freely as they would have liked. With Rob making some good runs out wide we eventually began to get the ball into promising attacking positions. Wilfred was playing well, out on the left wing, and connecting with Joe and Thomas in the centre. Freddie was being guarded tightly by their defenders and was missing out on receiving the ball hiding behind them. Eventually the boys started to score some goals and two were quickly scored by Freddie with some nifty stick skills in the ‘D’. Oliver and Max were playing well in defence but at times they were getting too close together and not able to get the ball away cleanly. A goal from Ardvreck came from a scramble in defence and the boys were getting frustrated as they were constantly being sucked into play in the centre of the pitch. William made a couple more saves and one other attempt slipped past his right foot to go wide; a lucky escape. Archie and José were working hard in the midfield and they were beginning to get themselves going. Another goal came from Freddie before the break giving them a 3-1 lead at half-time.
The boys needed to refocus at half-time and think about how they were going to start distributing the ball around the pitch and attack the tiny ‘D’ without overcrowding it; Ardvreck were ‘parking the bus’ in the ‘D’ not leaving much space for individual skills, so team work was going to be really important. Hugo listened well to William in defence and as we gathered momentum in the second half the goals started to flood in. Archie scored, followed by a lovely tap in by Wilfred from a good piece of open play. Good play from Joe in midfield linking really nicely with his wing men, José and Jonty. José was unlucky with a couple of very near misses; the ball not wanting to find the goal for him. By now the ball was moving much more freely around the pitch and the less experienced players for the day; Wilfred and Jose were getting stuck into the action. Freddie struck again, followed by two well-worked goals from Joe. Ardvreck were tiring and inevitably their heads were dropping and we were not being challenged as frequently in defence. The boys had not finished yet and with Jonty back on the wing he struck twice with two smashing shots buried in the bottom left hand corner of the goal.
It could have been more but I think 10 is a pretty fine way to end the season. Great work boys – particularly in the second half!