Belhaven Hill School

Co-ed Boarding & Day School for ages 5-13

Boys' Hockey Match Reports v Loretto

Boys' Hockey Match Reports: Wednesday, 27th January

There is a lot going on and so to create some space in the Latest News feed we have decided to put all the Boys' Hockey match reports together for this week. Just choose the one you want to read ...

1st Team v Loretto

Today the 1sts hosted Loretto at a blustery Hallhill (the coldest spot in East Lothian).

I was pleased with last week’s performance against Strath. and to a large extent, just asked the boys for more of the same but encouraged them to have the confidence to run into space with the ball.

We started with the ball and within seconds, after moving the ball to Johnny on the right and then back in, we were in their circle having a shot at goal – certainly a good start. Though we dominated the first few minutes, Loretto always produce good 1st teams and today was no exception. They soon got possession themselves and, when they did, broke forward with numbers. Fortunately we were up to the challenge and George, Charlie and Jamie at the back held their shape well. Harry in goal, was also brilliant – his decision-making was excellent and he cleared the ball confidently and effectively.

It was twelve minutes into the match when some good passing saw the ball in James’s possession at the top of the circle and he took the chance to fire one home and give us a lead. James dominated the midfield throughout and his work rate and distribution was impressive.

George, as centre back, set the tone and structure for our defenders and it was brilliant to see him having the confidence to drive forward when the opportunity arose. On one such occasion, he surged forward all the way into the circle and narrowly missed with a fine shot at goal. He could do that because the other two boys at the back, Charlie and Jamie adapted well and covered for him.

We didn’t have it all our own way as Loretto launched numerous attacks down the right hand side. It was a good learning experience for our boys as they were forced to mark tightly and work together to neutralise Loretto’s star player.

Nineteen minutes into the half, James made another run through the middle and fired an absolute screamer of a shot into the top right netting of the goal – I don’t think the ‘keeper even saw it.

Half Time: Belhaven Hill  2  -  0  Loretto

Not much apart from praise was needed at half time but I did remind the team of how they squandered a lead last week. They were determined not to do so again.

Having done a very good job of getting into some good areas in attack, I pulled Louis off and gave Beetle a chance to play up front. Hugo had a solid half at left mid and was instrumental in a fantastic goal: a turnover in midfield saw the ball distributed wide to Hugo who had got into some space, unseen by the Loretto defence, Johnny, at right mid, set off at a sprint. Hugo looked up and fired the ball into the circle just as Johnny, at full pace, appeared and deflected the ball past the ‘keeper and into the net. Brilliant and well appreciated by the admiring supporters.

Loretto certainly had a good number of opportunities but through determination, discipline and some good fortune, we managed to keep them out.

Of course there are areas on which to work but, there really was very little to fault in this performance by the boys. Every one of them did what I had asked, every one of them did the best that they could and, most importantly for me, every one of them was trying to learn on the job, react and communicate with each other. Very, very well done, boys.

Final Score:   Belhaven Hill  3  -  0  Loretto

Player of the Match: James. Controlled the middle, scored two outstanding goals and worked hard throughout.

U11A Team v Loretto

Loretto Nippers 4 - 1 Belhaven

After last week’s comfortable beating of Strath we went into this game buoyed but conscious that things would not be as easy this time around.  Indeed we were one behind after ten seconds and two behind after five minutes and things were not looking good as we were clinging on to the game by our fingertips. 

Thankfully we got to the end of the first third at the same score and I spoke to the boys about getting flat sticks down to tackle, taking our shots when we had the chance and trying to make the ball-carrier move to our, not his, strong side.  This worked well and though we lost the second third 2-1, we actually had much the better of the play.  Wilf got a glorious long-range strike and Hector had a couple of clear-cut openings.

The third third was a 0-0 draw and probably about fair on the balance of play although Archie was forced into a simply outstanding stick save to touch a shot around the post.  Wilf had grown into his central midfield position much more (an enforced change as we lost a player the night before the game) and we were working much more linked-up on the right-hand side.

4 - 1 to Loretto it ended; deserving winners and we will have to be mentally sharp next week if we are to trouble the teams at the I.A.P.S. who might all be of similar quality.  We need to make sure we do not knock the ball sideways across our own goal, that we offer options from set-pieces and that we try to keep the opposition on their weak side.  Good effort, everyone.

Man of the Match: Archie for three fantastic saves.


2nd Team v Loretto

Goal scorers: Cosmo x 1 
MVP: Tom W 
The boys' tails were up after an easy game last week, but Loretto was a tough opposition and pushed the boys harder. They were able to move the ball around us easily as we squeezed our players together and didn’t utilise the space as much as last week. Not long after a quick turn over, Loretto got in the D and scored a goal. Their quicker reactions to the whistle and ability to take quick balls from 16 yard meant they got up the pitch quickly without much resistance. When we were able to move the ball up the right-hand side, we created more opportunities and put pressure on in the D. This resulted in a goal. Unfortunately, not long after, they were able to get one back because of another quick turnover. 
Second half was better with the boys trying to take the ball quickly and move up the pitch. We kept trying to move the ball up the middle instead of moving the ball wide, however, which prevented us from getting into the D. Defensively, we won more 50:50 balls by stepping to meeting the ball making it more difficult for the opposition. The second half ended goalless.   
Result: 1 - 2, Belhaven loss. 

U11B Team v Loretto

Belhaven 1 – 0 Loretto

With 8 players changed in the team of 9 since last week’s victory to Strathallan, it was the first chance for many to show their hockey skills in a competitive fixture.

James led the way showing his committment to Belhaven. He fought for every ball and his determination was clear to see even when losing his footing. We were fortunate to have Harry C on loan from the As. His control on the ball in the centre of the pitch ensured that we were often in command. In defence were Charlie, Blake and Harry F all of whom provided a solid back line, which Loretto found impossible to break down. Monty, Jack, François and Noah were given free rein to run into space and attack.

The teams were incredible evenly matched and it looked as though it would probably end in a draw, until with a minute to spare the opportunistic Noah smashed a ball in from just inside the box to send the boys in blue into a frenzy of excitement.

The drama was not over however, and it required two incredible saves from our ‘goalie without pads’, Charlie, to ensure the victory was secured.

Goals : Noah

Man of the Match : Charlie

U9 Team v Loretto

A blustery Wednesday afternoon arrives for our first hockey fixture of the year. It was going to be a tough challenge, as the majority of the Belhaven team hadn’t played a hockey match in their lives. We were away to Loretto and, after a 40 minute drive, we arrived. We did a quick warm up and got straight into things.

Loretto made a quick start and were on the offence regularly. Tristan and Bertie both made some strong tackles early on to avoid going behind. Loretto kept pressing though and about 5 minutes into the game they went 1-0 up with a good goal. Belhaven made a couple of good attacks in the first half but couldn’t find the break we needed. Unfortunately Loretto made another quick break and scored again. Belhaven kept battling to the end with some good running yards from Fergus, Xander and Tommy. The whistle was blown for half time.

We had a quick half time team talk mainly about getting into more space and getting the ball forward more as a team. We got straight back into things with a Belhaven restart.

We started the half looking much more solid as the boys were beginning to get into more space and mark the opposition players much better. We soon found our attacks becoming much more dangerous with Wilbur at the heart of a few of them; he finally got the opportunity to get into the Loretto D and he slotted home the first goal from a tight angle. The boys were really getting into their groove now. Within a minute of the goal Belhaven were through again, a fabulous tackle from Innes sent through Tristan who put the ball in the goal with a solid hit. It was then end to end from there on. Loretto still attacked well but our defence stayed solid. Wilbur was having a brilliant game and was really driving the Belhaven team forward. Xander picked up the ball in the middle of the pitch and passed to Wilbur he went passed one defender and took a shot, it was blocked, he had another go. This time no defender got in the way. It was in; the Belhaven boys were ecstatic. The winning goal. Soon after that full time was blown.

All the boys played brilliantly, everyone played a part in the win. The most rewarding thing about it was the difference in the two halves. The speed with which the boys improved was remarkable. Also, something we have been working on is the manner in which you should win a game of sport. Their sportsmanship at the end of the game was second to none.

Well done boys a brilliant effort, many thanks from Mr Brown!