U16 England Hockey Comp Match Reports
EH National Championships Girls U16 Tier 1 – Sunday 4 February 2018.
The Ravenscroft Girls U16 squad travelled to Guildford Hockey Club on a very chilly Sunday morning to play the second triangular series in their Tier 1 National Championship campaign. They faced two very strong opposition in Epsom Hockey Club and hosts Guildford both of which are well established Surrey clubs.
The first match was against the Epsom girls. Guernsey took a while to settle and get used to playing on a water based astroturf pitch which allowed Epsom to open the scoring. The Guernsey girls rallied and produced some flowing attacking play into the Epsom D, challenging the very versatile Epsom GK. The girls won a couple of short corners which they were unable to convert but kept pressing the Epsom defence.
A great lay off found Maeve Tully who evaded the Epsom defence in the D and with great composure drew the Epsom GK into diving full length. Having avoided colliding with both the keeper and the goal post she managed to cross the ball to Lauren Ewins who slotted the ball into the back of the net. Epsom replied with a second goal just before the half time whistle. The Guernsey defence were put under pressure in the second half and despite some good clearances Epsom scored another three goals in the second half winning 5-1 at full time.
After a short break the Guernsey girls were called into action against hosts Guildford who had emerged 2-0 victors in their earlier match against Epsom. Guildford applied pressure from the start and the Guernsey defence and midfield worked really hard to foil the attack and get possession. Despite this Guernsey found themselves 2-0 down at half time. In the second half the Guernsey girls showed some real grit and determination and had several chances in the Guildford D which sadly they did not manage to convert. The hosts scored a further two goals to win 4-0 at full time.
Coach David Bromley said ‘Overall we were pleased with the squad’s performance against these two strong teams. They are playing in a high standard league on a weekly basis. We are really grateful to Ravenscroft for their financial assistance, which enables us to enter this competition as this gives the Guernsey girls the opportunity to discover and learn how to improve their game and compete against these teams.’
U16 Boys End Season Positively
The Ravenscroft Guernsey U16 boys had a positive end to their National Championship efforts away at Sevenoaks and against Canterbury. Facing strong opposition with 1st teams playing in the top division of the England Hockey Men’s Hockey League, the Guernsey boys fought hard and played with great spirit. Despite losing both games, there were lots of positives to take away from playing against high calibre opposition.
Playing on a new, unfamiliar and bouncy surface all of the boys had to work hard to make sure that they could master their first touch in the first game of the day. This was a tough match, with Canterbury coming out of the blocks extremely quickly and putting lots of pressure on the defence. Despite some excellent work from the defensive players, including emergency centre back Max Sharpe, and some brilliant saves from an imposing Morgan Clayton, Guernsey were soon 3 down. At one point in the second half Sharpe found himself on the line to goal and took a vicious strike to the hip. Not flinching he continued to pay, embodying the spirit with which the boys played both the games.
Next followed some passages of good play and Guernsey started to come back, but not before conceding more goals. Towards the end of the second half influential midfielder Jay Piset found some space and worked a good passing move to forward Nick Hodgson, who was unlucky not to score from an off-balance back-handed effort. Guernsey continued to produce moments of good play and when they worked the ball with simple passes from strong body positions showed that they could compete at the level required. Despite this it remained goalless for Guernsey, with Canterbury running out 7-0 winners.
After a good break and some reflection time Guernsey came out for the second game against the host club ready to show that they could play as well as the best. Sevenoaks came out quickly and again the Guernsey boys were under lots of pressure. They continued to show that they were up for the game and despite going down early they fought hard to get a goal back before half time. Piset’s corner strike beating a helpless goalkeeper. In the second half the Guernsey play improved greatly ending in Max Lord’s cross deflecting up off a defender’s stick and into the top corner.
A few minutes later, some excellent Guernsey play lead to another penalty corner. Piset again stepped up and deceived the goalkeeper, putting it low and slow past his right foot. 4-3, with plenty to play for. Next followed a frantic final 10 minutes, with Sevenoaks reverting to 11 outfielders and subbing the goalkeeper. This lead to immense pressure. At times all of the players were in the Guernsey half. Unfortunately, Guernsey were unable to find an opportunity to break and Sevenoaks continued to batter the circle and scored 2 quick goals, in search of a superior goal difference.
The final whistle eventually blew during a penalty corner, which lead to 2 more after some great defending and goalkeeping. On the third and final corner, virtually every player ended up in the circle, leading to a goal-line scramble which was poked over. Final score, 7-3, although it could have been closer had it not been for the late pressure.
All of the Guernsey players were in high spirits after the game and headed home happy with their performance on what was a difficult and tiring, but highly enjoyable, day of hockey.