Match reports: Girls' Hockey against Strathallan
It is always nice to have a Saturday match and today we welcomed Strathallan to a remarkably balmy Hallhill for our second match of the week.
What can I say about the first half? Well, not much that’s polite. It was the worst display of hockey I have seen from the girls and there were moments when I questioned my career choice. There was absolutely no structure, absolutely no thought, awareness or intent with girls clumping together like midges around a sweating stag and if the ball came near them, they thrashed wildly at it. Awful.
For the first time this season, I had some stern words with the girls at half time, pointing out some uncomfortable truths and making it very clear what I expected demanded of them in the second half.
To give them credit, they responded well to what I’d said and right from the hit-off, we looked like a different team with outside players holding their width which allowed the central players to pass the ball into the wide channels where we made some good yards before trying to get it back into the middle areas where space had begun to open up.
We had a number of opportunities to score in the second half but couldn’t quite manage to get one over the line (well, at least not over the line and between the posts!). We also held them to just two goals in the half.
So, thank you girls for reviving my spirits in the second half and proving that I haven’t been wasting my time over the past seven weeks or so and proving that you can play some attractive hockey – next game, please can we start the first half well? Please?
Final Score: Belhaven Hill 0 - 6 Strathallan
Player of the Match: Lottie – worked hard, tackled effectively and held position well in second half.
A glorious afternoon for hockey today down at Hallhill. Standing in to take the team today it was so nice to see how much they have progressed since last year. Strathallan were short of some players so Iris and Daisy very kindly stood in to play on their team, half a match each, allowing them more game time today.
Belhaven started strongly with the ball and it took a few minutes for the team to settle into the rhythm of the game. Great square passes between Wendy and Maggie up in attack worked well whilst Emily and Ottilie linked up beautifully in the attacking circle. Strathallan were without a goalie and the girls tried to take advantage of this when aiming for goal. Some great phases of play between our attack soon allowed Ottilie to take a shot on goal. Strathallan were quick to come back and with Iris’ skill helping the opposition she too went for a shot on goal! Unfortunately for them, Willow was on great form today in goal and cleared the ball high and wide.
Strathallan tried a couple more shots that went wide and then a good hit from Bella, clearing the circle found Maggie on the wing and onto Ottilie in the circle, to score a second goal before half time.
A quick chat and a slice of orange and the girls took to the pitch again. This time Daisy stepped in to play for Strathallan. Having just played for the Belhaven team in the first half she was warmed up and ready to go – even if it was against her own team! India made some super clearances in defence, passing the ball wide to our players. There was some great shielding of the ball from Wendy as she moved up the pitch and some great square passes to her wing players, Maggie and Emily.
All three attackers were keen to try and score and a flurry of goals in the second half from Maggie, Emily and Ottilie (3) gave the girls great determination to go on.
Strathallan fought back hard but India and Bella made good stops in the circle to reduce shots on goal. The ball continued to be played from end to end, both teams with equal possession. Having Willow in goal making some cracking saves today, with Iris back on the Belhaven team, denied Strathallan a goal.
Well played girls, you all worked incredibly hard on the pitch today and fought well to keep possession of the ball. Super teamwork!