The Under 12 Girls had another brilliant day despite the very dull weather. Five teams playing both 7 and 11 a side formats meant another super Sunday of nearly 50 girls playing in competitive games. Huge thanks to all who make the training and matches happen - really impressive and keep up the great work!
Flames v Woking
Another weekend and another game against a decent Woking side. With a slightly different team the girls were keen to put on a good team performance in some fairly damp and miserable weather but with a decent crowd of supporting parents.
1st quarter started slowly and we had plenty of chances but we couldn’t quite score. After dominating possession, we conceded a fairly soft goal but the girls kept working hard. We knew that chances would continue to come if we played at a high tempo and moved the ball wide.
We came out in the 2nd quarter keen to focus on 3 things in attack: fast and accurate passing, keep our width and get shots in the D as soon as we enter the D. Quite quickly we had a few chances and Martha Robo shot low and left into the corner to deny the Woking keeper and bring us level (1-1)
We stepped up the pace and had a lot of success attacking down the wide channels with Isla and Freya down the left and Marth Re and Martha Robo down the right. At the back we were fairly solid with Holly, Emily solid in the middle and Martha C and Katie marking well at right and left back and scrambling to cover for each other. Grace was solid in goal and made a couple of good saves.
Rosie was a great pivot at sweeper or centre half, Eliza worked well at centre half or left link, Phoebe battled away and up-front Liza, Ella both tried to link and era shots off towards the goal.
After numerous attacks Martha Re made it 2-1 and we could have had more but some great saves by the Woking keeper.
Isla in the second half of the game marauded forward and managed to score her first goal shooting backhand and low into the goal to make it 3-1. We then got hit on by a true break to make it 3-2 going into the final quarter. Isla scored again but was disallowed after a long conversation between umpires. The umpires ruled that the Guildford girls weren’t 5 yards back before the free hit was taken. No goal.
The final quarter saw Guildford’s fitness and extra subs pay dividends and we kept making inroads down each wing. Isla scored again and could got her hattrick by scoring the final goal making it 5-2 at the end. All in all we improved throughout the game and managed to pass the ball well in the 2nd half of the game
Thanks to Katie and Wilco for their help on the day and the girls for all working hard and supporting each other.
Coaches – James Relph
Squad – Grace J (GK), Holly B, Emily W, Katie A, Martha C, Eliza L, Rosie L, Freya W, Martha R, Martha R, Liza S, Phoebe W, Isla J, Ella S.
Storm v Epsom
6-0 – scorers Caitlyn D (3), Annabelle B (2), Gemma M (1)
What lovely weather we had for our match today in Epsom! A great effort by all the girls and a win of 6-0. Our backs were strong with their defence and cleared the ball well, Epsom just couldn’t stop Jemima’s hits! Martha and Olivia worked well together using each other to get the ball up to our mids and wings. Gemma’s ball skills were fantastic and won her the ball in most situations, she scored a cracker of a goal. Amelie was tenacious and kept the pressure up, with some brilliant tackles and passes to the forwards. Evie S, ran till she dropped with some excellent and accurate passes assisting goals. Caitlyn ran hard and strong using her space well and kept scoring goals! Evie A, used her speed very well to drive the ball up the wings and keep the pressure on their defence. Anna B used the wing well, with great team work with her mids, and scored 2 lovely goals! Finally, Anouk saved at least 4 hard shots at goal and didn’t cave under pressure!
A great day if hockey all round!!
Coaches: Jon Dye and Sophie Sherman
Squad: Caitlyn D, Evie S, Annabelle B, Gemma M, Evie A, Martha F, Jemima F, Olivia C, Amelie D, Anouk M (GK)
Hurricanes v Epsom
The team lost 3:1 to a good Epsom side that gave the girls very little time on the ball to get their heads up to make penetrating passes. Epsom also countered well with good support and Emma was called upon on several occasions to quickly close down their free player and block the shot. However, the girls never tired and put in some great last-ditch tackles. The team didn’t settle well due to the subs (I need to plan these better) but Caitlyn settled well on the right with some good curving runs, Susannah was really motivated to score when playing upfront and was quick to pick up loose balls from mid-field, Charlotte put in some brave tackles in our ‘D’, including almost stopping a lifted (but dipping) hit at a short corner. Zanna, Immy, Tallulah and Alexandra worked hard in every position they were asked to play and Beth, who was playing for us for the first time, had a great game capped by a wonderful, late solo run that cut through the middle of the opposition and was finished off with a well-deserved goal.
An area to look at on Fridays is beating the press at our 16’s, which repeatedly put us under pressure. We needed to drag defenders away to create space to run onto a pass and turn the opposition, but the coordination needed for that was difficult to get right on the day.
Coach: Robert Manning
Squad: Emma M (GK), Alexandra K, Caitlyn D, Charlotte J, Immy M, Susannah L, Tallulah T, Zanna C, Beth W
Thunder v Wimbledon & Staines
Despite the weather report the rain stayed away and with a slightly depleted team we began our quest for victory against a strong Wimbledon side. They were very quick to attack and without a goalie caught us off guard scoring their first goal within minutes. The second goal followed pretty quickly which seems to create some determination amongst the ranks as the girls rallied to ensure that possession started to come in our direction. Lara has some great runs down the wing and Isobel put in some impressive tackles.
All too quickly we were up against Guildford Lightening with little time to talk about tack ticks and positioning. With a few changes of positions, the girls started to realise that if they used the width of the pitch they would have far more success at getting the ball down towards the D. Maddie worked hard as CM changing the direction of the ball and helping to drive the ball forward. Kitty had some great shots at goal but it was not to be, we drew 0-0
With Isobel now in defence, Jemima on the wing and Millie up front the girls started to work as a team. Both Lara and Jemima performed some great runs down the wing, struggling at times to get the ball into the D but when they did Millie was waiting to have a strike at goal. Charlotte and Kitty battled hard when Staines attacked and Isobel produced some great clearances down the wing to Jemima. Unfortunately, after a great attack by ourselves Staines intercepted the ball and after a good drive towards our goal and a battle with our defence managed to score a goal. We had plenty of shots at goal but the Staines GK did her job and kept the score line at 1-0 to Staines.
In the final game against another strong Wimbledon side everything came together and the girls showed how they could really play. Isobel continually managed to ensure that her 16 yards and clearances from goal reached Jemima, Jemima charged up the wing destroying everything in her way. Millie remained high in anticipation of receiving the ball that would enable her to get the desired goal. Lara and Maddie’s determination and accurate tackling never faltered, Kitty and Charlotte stood firm and let nothing past them and cleared wide. Our golden moment came in about the 8th minute when yet another battle commenced in the Wimbledon D and down to the determination of Jemima, Maddie and Millie a goal was scored !
Very proud of the way the girls listened, adapted their play and ended the tournament playing good hockey.
Coach: Katie Stewart
Squad: Jemima F, Isobel W, Kitty C, Charlotte H, Maddie W, Millie M, Lara D.
Lightning v Wimbledon & Staines
Rain was lashing down on the drive to Wimbledon for a 9.30 start on a Sunday morning and although I was confident the girls wouldn’t mind too much, I was sympathetic for the emotions of the potentially soggy hockey parents. I shouldn’t have worried though because the rain stopped and stayed away exactly long enough to give us a rain free tournament against Wimbledon and Staines and I developed a late term pregnancy appearance as I stuffed various hats, coats and jumpers up my raincoat as the girls threw off layers.
We played four matches and disappointingly lost four with both Wimbledon and Staines fielding teams primarily made up of year 7 girls or maybe year 6 who had grown up on a daily diet of several Weetabix.
We were not scheduled to play the first round so I had not talked about tactics or positions. Accordingly, when we were asked to play because Staines were late the girls went on unprepared and rather disorganised, which was my fault. However, that did give us the opportunity to really see what we needed to do to improve. The girls themselves identified the need to keep a better shape and use more width and I asked to the defence to push higher when the play moved upfield. We needed to play better as a team.
That started to happen, and the girls recognised that, despite losing, the team had improved in the way they played hockey and we started to create chances by ensuring we kept a player high to target on a break. Livi grew into the CF role and looked to pick up the clearance ball or move higher if we attacked and she pressed the oppositions defence at their 16’s. Elise, Emily and Lucy worked so hard across the midfield, harassing the opposition and trying to feed the ball to Livi. Without any subs they were all red faced by the end of the tournament.
Louisa has a good defence minded approach and together with Alexandra and Flora were very brave in tackling and improved over the day in closing down players before they reached our ‘D’. I was very pleased to hear Alexandra urging the defence to push up to close the gap between the play and our back line. Flora did a wonderful job of clearing balls wide, away from the charging opposition, for Lucy to pick up on the wide channel.
It’s always more fun to win a few so I really hope the girls still enjoyed themselves. They certainly remained cheerful, positive and continued to work really hard across the four games and it was really pleasing to see them work better as a team as the morning progressed. They were a pleasure to coach.
Coach: Robert Manning
Squad: Alexandra J, Elise W, Emily B, Flora S, Livi V, Louisa C, Lucy C