Belhaven Hill School

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

Girls' Hockey: 2nd v Fettes

Girls' Hockey: 2nd v Fettes

After our match last week was cancelled, it was good to get back to Wednesday match day; today against Fettes, at Hallhill.

Fettes had the hit-off, were soon on the attack and it was apparent that they had some strong players amongst them. We survived a few close shaves and even countered a few times. Willow was as hard-working as always up front, joined today by Carmen who was having her first experience of being a striker.

We’ve been working hard in training on using the wider spaces but the game tended to trudge through the middle areas of the pitch, for the most part. Eventually, ten minutes in, Fettes slotted one home and they deserved it as they’d definitely had the better of it.

To be honest, I was a tad disappointed, at this point, with the girls as they seemed a little tentative and disengaged – perhaps it was the cold? I really don’t mind (honestly, I almost mean it) losing to a better team but I do mind when my players don’t show any grit or enthusiasm for what they are doing or don’t try to put in place what we have worked on in training. Sport is many things: fun, challenging, team building, friendship making, skill building and so on but, to my mind, it’s arguably at its best as a test of character. In saying that, there were some moments of very encouraging play when the girls strung a series of passes together, made some super tackles or worked well together. Unfortunately, in the 17th minute and then 18th minute Fettes scored again to go into half-time with a 0 – 3 goal lead.

Half time score: Belhaven  0  -  3  Fettes

At the break, I exhorted the girls to work harder, to fight for the ball and to show that they wanted to do their best, to show what they have learned, to use the wide spaces, to react quickly to the whistle and to win the match.

A minute into the second half, I knew we’d be okay. The whistle went for a 16 yard hit-out and instead of standing around, the team sprang into action with Alma picking up the ball and running with it to where the hit was, while Alice, Louisa and Willow all spread out, trying to get into space. The pass found Louisa wide right who passed it on to Willow up the line and from there it was moved back infield to Alice: within three passes we were in the Fettes circle. The girls had switched on!

I moved Carmen back into midfield where she was much more comfortable, slotted Olivia into the striker position and rolled the subs on and off. Ishbel, after being a bit careless in the first half, was brilliant in the second, moving well in defence and when she rotated with Lottie, Lottie worked hard too, making some telling tackles and trying to distribute the ball out wide. Louisa was far more dynamic, moving up and down on the right and Alice held her position in the midfield better, thus providing the link between the back and the forwards.

Twelve minutes in, after numerous forays into the Fettes circle, Olivia scored her first goal for Belhaven Hill – bueno! Three minutes later she did it again and, suddenly, we were within striking distance of the opposition.

The final five minutes of the match saw Belhaven camped in the Fettes half by-and-large, with numerous shots at goal but, alas! none of them went in.

So, in the end we lost the match by one goal but (believe it, or not) I really didn’t mind as their character had been tested but the spirit, determination and enthusiasm shown in the second half showed what these girls are made of and showed what they can do.

Final Score: Belhaven Hill  2  -  3  Fettes

Player of the Match: Olivia. Not just for the goals but for always believing.