Belhaven Hill School

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

Girls' Hockey: 2nd v Loretto

Girls' Hockey: 2nd v Loretto

Belhaven's 2nd Girls' hockey team finish on a high

As the calendar flipped over to the final month of the year, dorms were festooned with decorations, daft jumpers started making an appearance and the mighty Belhaven 2nds took to the field for their final inter-school match of the year. Loretto were the victims opponents today, a day that I will remember for three reasons.

After a fairly brief ‘warm-up’ (it was such in name only as with every passing moment, the girls just got colder and colder), we launched straight into the game with Loretto taking the centre hit. They started strongly, with their central player immediately demonstrating that she meant business with a surging, powerful drive towards our circle. Some good fortune and tenacious tackling by the A team (Alma & Alice) in defence headed off that attack. For the next wee while, the pass went from end to end and the match was well balanced. As time went on, however, the Belhaven girls began to settle into the rhythm of it, and with a not inconsiderable wind in our favour, we slowly began to gain the ascendency though we just couldn’t quite get it across the goal line!

A quick rearrangement of personnel saw our star goal-scorer from last match, Olivia, shift from mid into forward and this soon led to a goal as she slotted one past their ‘keeper at a PC to give us the lead. Olivia’s success seemed to spur the girls on and just a minute later, Izzie D., who’d been pressing hard throughout, got her reward as she scored a good goal. And that was how the half ended.

Half time score: Belhaven Hill 2 - 0 Loretto

At the break, I congratulated the girls on their structure as we’d been getting the ball wide on a fairly regular basis. Louisa, ex-goalie of no small skill, has taken to being an outfield player like a duck to water, and held her position excellently, frequently finding lots of space in which to play and linking up well with the forwards. Alma, rock solid at the back, well supported by Alice and then Ishbel, was outstanding in her distribution of the ball in open play and from free hits.

The second half got off to a disastrous start as Loretto scored in the first minute – a very well-taken goal. In a way I was pleased as it forced the girls to sit up and take notice. And they really did respond well.

Bee, with an excellent work-rate was shifted back into central midfield, fetching, harrying, carrying and distributing very well indeed while Alice moved up into right mid and made numerous surging runs up the wing before linking brilliantly with the forward players. Izzie’s desire and urgency were impressive and she never let the opposition defence settle while Lilly adapted well to spells as both striker and defender!

Belhaven scored two further goals, one to Izzy and then another to Olivia who’s now scored four goals in two matches. Loretto did test us a few more times but each time they got through our defence, Ottie was there, shivering but determined, to parry every shot – she’s been a great find as ‘keeper, with some promise for next year.

So, a good win to end the season.

And what, you may ask, were the three things I mentioned at the start?

  • How cold it was!
  • Our structure. Absolutely thrilled as a coach to see how, after banging on about it for so long, the girls got the ball wide again and again, indeed, there were a good few occasions when we shifted the ball, in three passes, from our circle to theirs – brilliant.
  • How, despite the cold, despite previous set-backs, this bunch of girls have worked hard, enjoyed themselves, played in the right spirit, supported each other and developed so much, finishing the season on a real high note. Well done indeed, girls. Stars, all of you.

Final Score:  Belhaven Hill  4 - 1  Loretto

Player of the Match: A tough one today as it could have gone to a number of the girls… in the end, I think it has to be shared by Louisa & Alma.