Belhaven Hill School

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

Match Reports: Games against Loretto & Merchiston

Match Reports: Games against Loretto & Merchiston

Girls' Hockey against Loretto

U9 Team

Belhaven 4 – Loretto 2

The sun shone for the second match of term and this week we hosted Loretto.  Isabella captained the team today with Sylvia supporting as vice-captain.  Both were keen for the team to do well once again.   We won the toss and chose to start with the ball, and shoot at the end Isabella wanted to – a great start before we had even got going!

Very quickly into the game, the girls showed they were determined on the ball and passed it quickly into our attacking circle.  Some good movement between Holly and Anastasia saw the ball push forwards for Sophia to have a shot on goal.  Smiles all round as the ball went in and we went back to face the ball from Loretto.  They soon fought back and with lots of movement from them in our defensive circle, Isobel and Chloe were kept busy, clearing the ball wide each time.  A strong pass from Isabella down to Alice who was waiting patiently in attack, saw another tap of the ball and it rolled into goal.    Once again, Loretto were keen for the ball and were not going to give up the fight.  A good pass through our players to their waiting attackers, saw the ball roll over the goal line again, but this time for Loretto. 

After some well-deserved orange slices, the girls took back to the pitch with a few small words of wisdom – look for passes and use the width of the pitch.   Sylvia fought hard for the ball in attack and great teamwork from Holly and Anastasia once again, allowed the ball back in our attacking circle quite quickly, ready for some shots on goal.  A few wide shots were quickly returned and intercepted, to allow Anastasia a fantastic shot on goal.  Meme swapped in to give Chloe a break and along with Isobel fought hard in defence to keep the ball away.  Unfortunately, Loretto were ready for another goal and this time despite some good tackling, it managed to get under our hockey sticks and into their goal.  Not giving up, Belhaven fought hard again. Still one goal ahead and not long left, the girls tried hard to keep possession of the ball and to drive it towards their goal.  A fantastic pass from Sophia up the pitch allowed Sylvia to dribble with the ball and have a final shot on goal, scoring the fourth goal of the match.


Another exciting game of hockey girls, you are making so much progress and using the skills we have been learning.

Three stars and a wish for the next match: 

  Great support and encouragement from everyone 

  Beginning to use the width of the pitch 

  Great to see your sticks down for defending passes

  We need to work on ensuring we don’t tackle each other!

  Girl of the matchAnastasia for non-stop determination 


1st Team

After a tough match last week, we were looking forward to today’s home match with Loretto as we knew that it was one where we could get a favourable result if we played well.

I set the girls three targets for this match: wide channels, determination and hockey brains.

Loretto started with the ball and immediately threw themselves into attack. This seemed to startle our girls a bit and for the first few minutes, we were scrambling around frantically. Unfortunately, just two minutes in, after a melee in the circle with sticks flying everywhere but no calm heads in sight, Loretto nudged the ball past Ottie to score the first goal of the match.

Though we then got the hit-off, Loretto continued to press hard and we continued to panic slightly for the next few minutes, allowing them to get a couple more shots off. It was all a bit disappointing...

But then, marbles were regathered, breaths were taken, sense and training started to kick in and we found our form. And for the next 35 minutes or so, we had the best of it. Certainly, Loretto did get more attacking opportunities but we had more possession, more territory and more shots at goal.

Lilly and Alice combined well down the left flank often linking up with Willow who made some good leads and who pressed into the circle time and again. Izzy was strong in CD and mostly connected well with her midfield players from free hits also making some good runs. Sophie worked hard and made some super diagonal runs feeding the ball through to Bea who is growing in confidence and ability by the minute. As the game progressed, Louisa also seemed to grow in confidence and began spreading the ball wide more often and tackled and cleared well whenever Loretto broke and counter attacked.

So, despite all the stats (bar one) in our favour, we just couldn’t get the ball into the back of their net. Shot after shot was stopped, deflected or went wide and foray after foray into their circle was repulsed. And so to the final few seconds when a final foray led to a penalty corner as the final play.

Our PCs had been consistently good and threatening with Willow belting the ball at the keeper at good pace – could this be the perfect finale? Alas, no. It was stopped on the line and time was spent (as were the girls) with that single, early goal being all that separated the two teams.

It was a cracking game of hockey and though I am disappointed that the girls didn’t get the goal they so richly deserved, I am well pleased with how they played. There was certainly no shortage of determination; we used the wide channels well in the top half of the pitch (work to do at the back) and while the hockey brains can still be developed (react faster after the whistle, move quickly, take quick hits), the girls certainly improved over the course of the game. Well done, girls.

Final Score: Belhaven Hill  0 -  1  Loretto

Player of the Match: Bea – for someone so inexperienced in this game, she has made tremendous progress and was a real threat up front today.

Mr. Townshend


Boys' Rugby against Merchiston

1st Team

In a much-improved performance, Belhaven gave a great account of themselves against a strong Merchiston team. On a surprisingly nice day (despite the forecast) a good game of rugby took place. From the start, Belhaven went toe-to-toe with Merchiston attacking well and creating a strong defensive line. After five minutes Merchiston made a fast break down the left side going in under the posts. After ten minutes Merchiston again attacked well down the edges and got a second score. After a strong display Merchiston went in just before the break to extend their lead at half time to 12-0.

In the second half, Belhaven continued to work and defend effectively. Breaks started to be made by both sides and after Belhaven went really close in the left corner, a break by Merchsiton saw them go in in under the posts at the other end. Merchiston again went in after a few minutes with some great individual running. Belhaven were still in the match though and after a great break by Harry, some good attacking saw Fin go in the left corner. Belhaven were not content to settle with this and the match continued to be closely fought. There were however no more scores.

Final Score: Merchiston 20 – 4 Belhaven

Player of the match: Harry

Coach’s thoughts: This performance represents a big improvement from last week. This loss feels more like a win given the standard of the opposition. Belhaven defended well as a team throughout, communicating effectively, and working hard off the line. This year, Belhaven need to construct tries rather than relying on individuals to score and this is a great learning opportunity. The wins will come when the team performs like this.  

U11A Team

Belhaven Hill 14 - 10 Merchiston

As the score line suggests, it was an entertaining end to end game.

The pitch at Merchiston, within the walled garden is a significantly smaller pitch than the Belhaven boys are used to playing on, which goes some way to explaining the number of tries scored. Rather than line breaks leading to tries, the boys found that consistent attacks edged both teams closer to the line. Indeed, many of the tries scored by Merchiston were simply the result of tackle after tackle, with 2 or 3 meters gained each time, ultimately leading to tries. The only way to combat this was with a high pressing defence, which they used to more effect in the second half.

Six Belhaven boys getting on the score sheet shows that it was a real team performance and those not on the score sheet played significant parts. A special mention must go to Hamish, who, whilst pipped for the man of the match this time around, led by example with many strong carries and tackles leading to turn overs.

A good victory will give the boys confidence ahead of the Loretto Sevens tournament on Sunday.


TriesOllie, Noah, Harry (2), Hector (2), Charlie (3), Rollo (5)

Man of the MatchRollo