Belhaven Hill School

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

Match Reports for 9th March Fixtures

Match Reports for 9th March Fixtures

1st Hockey: Strathallan 7s Prep School Hockey Tournament

Today the 1sts headed north to the annual Strathallan 7s Prep School Hockey Tournament. This is always a fun event with lots of matches and a good experience for all. This year was its 41st year.

First up was Fettes, a team we’ve met a few times already this season and not yet got the better of. Today was no different. Thus far we have seldom started matches well and here again, Fettes got an early goal which immediately put us on the back foot. Never-the-less, they boys woke up and for a while it was well balanced, we even got a goal back. Unfortunately there were also sizeable chunks of the 15 minutes when we lost focus and failed to fall back in defence, move effectively or make sensible decisions and were punished for it. Final result 1 – 4. I had a fairly sharp chat to the boys afterwards as I felt they’d let themselves down and hadn’t worked hard enough. I asked them each to take responsibility.

St. Leonard’s were next up – it’s nice to play a school which we last played about 15 years ago. I was pleased to see the boys take on board my comments and apply themselves a bit more. We played some decent hockey, moved the ball a bit better and worked harder in defence. Left mid, Beetle, a striker wannabe, hung high up the pitch and found himself in a good position a couple of times, slotting the ball into the back on the net on both occasions for an impressive double. Final score: 2 – 0.

Strathallan are another team we have played a couple of times and we knew where their strength lay – it promised to be a good match, and it was. We ended up losing it by two goals but, for large parts, we played well, with everyone doing what they needed to do. There were a few lapses of concentration and, unfortunately, Strath capitalised on those but we had a fair number of chances to score but could not complete any of them.

Our fourth game of the day was against a solid Cargi B team. As we were out of medal contention, I decided to experiment a bit so we changed our structure, pushing George into midfield in the hope that his work-rate, acceleration and engine would give us an edge while moving James into central defence where he could stabilize and distribute. We also moved to three at the back, giving Hugo & Cambell licence to drive up the wings. I was delighted that the boys bought into the idea and all worked hard to make it work. And it did! This was our best game of the day with the boys passing the ball around the back, trying to move it up the wings and then passing it around the back again if stopped. Proper hockey. If the Strath coach, with more than 150 caps for South Africa and who has a gold medal as assistant coach for the Dutch women’s team from both the Hockey World Cup and Olympics, comments that, “Your boys are playing some really good hockey here.” (and he did) then the boys can know that they are doing something right!

Our final match of the day was a cross-over to play a team from the other pool – George Watson’s. We stuck with the same structure and again played some lovely hockey, moving the ball well. Watson’s were tenacious and disrupted effectively. At times we lacked a little composure; especially towards the end of the game. As it was, it ended in a goal-less draw. 0 – 0

So, lots of hockey played, lots of lessons learned, lots of improvement and lots of singing on the bus home.

1st Netball Ardvreck Netball Tournament

Belhaven 3 – Fettes 6
Belhaven 3 – Strathallan 3
Belhaven 8 – Kilgraston 6
Belhaven 6 – St Mary’s 2
Third in pool by goal difference

This is always such a fun afternoon of netball, and it is great to see how much the girls progress in their matches.  On paper we knew we had a tough pool with the first match of the round robin the toughest.  Fettes were quick off the mark with the first whistle and very quickly into their circle.  Belhaven had to work hard to keep up at first and made some basic errors which made us lose possession at key points.  Despite some good defending Fettes took the lead.  The girls soon relaxed into the game and with some secure passes from Hester to Poppy from our centre pass, the ball was safely with Eliza and through the net.  As the game went on, Mary made some great interceptions and found her distance on court and it was Davina who managed to hold some great spaces in the circle to shoot. 

Our next match was against Strathallan and the girls went into this match with confidence.  Play was even throughout and the girls executed some good passes on court.  An early lead in the game from Eliza was soon equalised by Strathallan.  And so it continued for the entire game.  Belhaven were one goal ahead but in the final few seconds of the game, Strathallan managed the important equaliser which resulted in a draw for us.

With a breather before the next match, we watched how the opposition played, as well as making sure we had time to chat with friends from Fettes and St Mary’s.  We haven’t played Kilgraston as a fixture this term but their performance in previous matches this afternoon had been of a high standard.  Play was even to start with, each team scoring from their centre passes and so the girls knew they needed to control the games with shorter passes.  Alice and Grace played brilliantly in defence, intercepting shots on goal and passing the ball out.  Flora was a great link between them and Hester, nippy on court creating space.  Eliza and Davina were on a roll with their shooting and the team managed to get ahead and take the lead. 

The last match was against St Mary’s and the team were looking for a win, having lost to them in the school fixture.  The girls went into this match with great confidence.  From the first whistle, they took control of the court and dominated the game.  Great positioning, shorter passes and communication from everyone saw the team display some great netball.  Ahead for the whole match, the girls had their second win of the day.

It was then a nail biting few minutes whilst we waited on the results table.  We had finished joint second with Kilgraston, but the rules stated that goal difference would be used and Kilgraston had a greater goal difference to us.  This was a shame for the team as they had played their hearts out against them in the match and beaten them.  They can take from this that the only match they lost of the day was to the eventual winners of the tournament.

Well done all of you today girls – tournaments are hard work and your play improved with every match.

U11 Netball Ardvreck Netball Tournament

Today the U11s took the long journey to Ardvreck for an afternoon of matches in the Ardvreck U11s Netball Tournament. The girls were eager to put into practice the set plays that we had been practising in training and were in positive spirits.

Our first match was against Ardvreck and it was great to see a much closer match against such a strong team that we had struggled against only a month before. Play was very closely matched with Belhaven’s defence very strong. Unfortunately, Ardvreck managed to score a couple of extra goals to take the lead.

Belhaven then took on Gordonstoun. Again, this was a very close match, it was actually a draw until the final minute when Gordonstoun scored a goal leading them to victory. The girls played brilliantly and really started using the space on the court which made the play smooth and fast.

Our final match was against Fettes (an incredibly tall opposition!!) Fettes were a very talented team and unfortunately, despite Belhaven’s best efforts, they ran away with the game. We were also treated to one last friendly match against Craigclowan, a team that we don’t usually get to play. This was a great way to end the day.  Although we weren’t technically keeping score, it was a definite victory by Belhaven with some fantastic goals scored by our attacking duo.

A huge well done to all of the girls involved and thanks to Lily who came along to support when she was unable to play.    


3rd Hockey v St. Mary's

Belhaven 4 – 6 St. Mary’s

A fresh, but otherwise glorious day at Hallhill allowed for some fast-flowing, entertaining hockey. Whilst the Belhaven boys ultimately found themselves on the wrong end of the score sheet, the performance was very pleasing indeed.

Within the early stages of the game, it was clear that it was going to be a tight contest with play going from end to end. Both teams were playing without a goal keeper, meaning that defence was paramount. Alex and Tom both had fantastic games at the back, clearing the ball with confidence to those outside: Alexander, Gauthier and Dexter. As the game progressed, we began to use the width of the pitch and some good link up play between Laurie, Harry and Josh, led to Josh scoring two good goals. However, St. Mary’s were with us toe to toe ensuring that we were never able to extend our lead.

Harry’s confident dribbling in the second half saw him score a brace - following in Josh’s footsteps. However, with St Mary’s taking their chances in the box and combining that with some outstanding goal line clearances, they soon took the game out of Belhaven’s control.

The match was incredibly tight throughout. The major difference between the two sides being that St. Mary’s played knowing they had no keeper – they must have made 5 or 6 goal line clearances - whereas we played forgetting that we didn’t have one. It’s always disappointing to lose a game, but the performance was very encouraging and the boys should be proud of their efforts.

GoalsJosh (2), Harry (2)
Man of the MatchJosh

U10 Boys' Hockey

St. Mary’s 1 - 5 Belhaven

Belhaven posted a comfortable but slightly frustrating against St. Mary’s to-day.  In the first half it was clear we were much the better team but had only the one goal to show for our efforts.  Chance after chance to Ollie came and was missed and as can happen, St. Mary’s equalised with their only chance in the whole match.  It came from a pass across our own D, a move we had specifically worked on avoiding making in practices.  It would be no understatement to say we should be six or seven goals to the good so a frank half-time team-talk was given.

For the first ten minutes of the second half much the same ensued, although we played a much higher line and pressed the ball and the St. Mary’s defence much more.  This worked in our favour as eventually, with just a quarter of the match remaining, we got the breakthrough second goal.  And when that came, a third, fourth and fifth finally followed.  Two from Ollie, two from Hector and one from Wilbur giving the game some measure of respectability as we really should have won the game by up to ten goals more.

So, to work on?  Shooting practice!


Man of the Match: Rollo.