Boys' hockey: 1st v CraigclowanOpponents: Craigclowan
Date: Wednesday, 15th January
With gale force winds and feeble, single figure temperatures, today was far from a wonderful day to get the 2020 1st Hockey season underway. Nevertheless, get underway it did as we welcomed Craigclowan to Hallhill for a game of 7 a side hockey*.
The game got off to a near perfect start as we turned over possession from their hit-off and scored within the first two minutes. With the wind at our backs we dominated much of the first half and strung together some pleasing moments of play with boys moving well and making some use of the space. We could have had more but a number of chances went a-begging (not enough time spent on shooting yet).
It wasn’t until the 13th minute that our second was scored, by Tommy, at a PC.
Up to this point, I thought Harry had communicated well and held his position while Tommy did a fine job as left back, covering when needed but pushing up when he could. Wilfred was busy in the middle. Hayden made a good save right at the end of the half to keep a clean sheet and I thought Alexander D played the ball into some good areas.
I warned the boys that the 2nd half would be tougher into the wind and that I wouldn’t be surprised if Craigclowan scored at least one goal – unfortunately I was proved right in the first minute! A disappointing lapse in concentration, especially as we started with the ball but didn’t do what we’d practised from the hit-off, thus turning over possession!
The rest of the second half was a close affair with both teams having a number of chances (Craigclowan probably more). Fortunately, Theo slotted one for us before Craigclowan scored from a PC (NEVER stand back and watch the opposition take a shot – push forward and put them under pressure) in the 15th minute.
That left a nervous five minutes and with their dander up, Craigclowan threw everything into the attack. Fortunately we were able to withstand it. Just.
So, a scrappy game but not too surprising considering the conditions and it being the first match of the season. We lost our structure a bit and boys forgot what their roles were, to a certain extent but it is early days yet and we’ll work on these elements as well as our passing – which was dire at times.
In the second half, I was pleased with Thomas’s improved movement up front, Rory’s awareness of space and Theo’s tenacity.
Lots of work to do, boys before we meet Riley House (Strathallan), away next Wednesday.
Belhaven Hill 3 - 2 Craigclowan
*’Why 7 a side?’ I hear you ask. Well, good question. Craigclowan requested 7s on this occasion but, I’m sorry to say that the tide has eventually turned against Mr Townshend (& Mr Peek before him) and 11 a side hockey with all the other schools determined to follow the Scottish Hockey continuum and play 8 a side, much to the boys’ disgust. It’s been a worthy fight (in my opinion) but even Canute had to concede in the end…