Wednesday, 15th January 2020
U9 Hockey Matches V Ardingly
Won 3, Drew 1, Lost 1
Wednesday, 20th November 2019
1st VII v Brighton College Lower School
What a terrific way to end a super season. Though this wasn't our finest performance, especially in the 2nd half, we created a number of opportunities and at times plated some beautiful passing hockey. Brighton were a worthy opponent and we couldn't afford to switch off. When we did lose concentration, we were fortunate that Zadie was in phenomenal form in goal. At full time, I linked having Zadie in goal to having a life jacket on an airplane; you hope to never need to use it, but you're jolly glad to have it there when you do need it! She has been fantastic all season but this was her finest day. We created many chances in the first half but failed to convert until Daisy scored a quick double just before the break. We never really clicked in the second half but Daisy managed to score her third against the run of play to put the game to bed. These girls have worked so hard this season and have deserved their success. It's been a great pleasure to coach them and I hope they all go on to play this sport for many years to come. GdeM
2nd VII v Brighton College Lower School
What a way to end the season! My talented girls were superb today. They have all become accomplished hockey players and they proved this again today. Elsa saved every goal that it was possible to save. Bea and Sadie were amazing in defence. Nothing was allowed to pass them and they both distributed the ball brilliantly. Sadie also came up in the second half to take our short corners which was very effective although she did not manage to slot the ball away.
Dada defended with purpose and also distributed well. Mary stayed up front out on the wing ensuring us width. Michelle and Ariel worked the ball beautifully in attack. Our two goals came from Ariel after two super runs of play.
What an end to a great season.
Most Valuable Player: Sadie and Ariel PMc
Saturday, 16th November 2019
1st VII v Brambletye
On a seriously cold afternoon, the 1st VII played a frenetic game against a feisty Brambletye side. The game was a neutral's paradise, end to end from the first whistle. We created some good chances but found their keeper in stubborn form. After opening the scoring, we switched off and gave the advantage straight back. Despite having the better of both possession and territory, we fell behind minutes into the second half. However, we rallied and equalised moments later. Both sides had chances to claim the spoils but in the end a draw was probably the right result. A cracking afternoon's prep school sport. GdeM
2nd VII v Brambletye
The match of the season so far by this talented group of girls! They have learned so much this season. Defensively Elsa was fantastic. She made some lovely saves combined with great clearances. Bea and Sadie were incredible in defence, they refused to allow any girl to pass them! Dada worked hard linking our defence and attack.
Yet again Michelle’s work rate was second to none defending and attacking as if her life depended upon it. Ariel proved again that her stick work is superb managing to get round several defenders each time. Mary kept to her channel and this opened up the game for our attackers allowing us to get the ball out wide. Michelle, Ariel and Mary have begun to ring the ball when defending free hits and therefore they closed down any chance of the ball being effectively sent out by Brambletye defence.
Our goal came in the second half. A super pass by Michelle out wide to Ariel deep in our attack, a classy cross by Ariel to Mary on the far goal post which she slotted into the goal with an effective slap.
Most Valuable Player: The entire Ashdown 2nd Team!! PMc
U11/10/9 v Brambletye
We headed to Brambletye ready for what has to be the biggest of the rivals, just down the road - surely we can't help but feel a bit of rivalry. As we drove down the drive the girls chatter in the back was of excitement and anticipation.
We set up for the match and it was off. Yet again we scored a goal within a few minutes - I think the opposition we have played often underestimate us and we seem to sneak them through at the very early stages of the match. Credit for this one went to Stephanie D - she seemed very keen to prove her point after not being able to play the last match due to having no mouthguard. She definitely made the point even more within a few minutes scoring another goal! Indya was on cracking form as ever (she was voted Girl of the Game at the end!)
We rotated players on and off on a rolling basis so that everyone had some of the game and often in different positions. A rather forlorn Stephanie M started the game in defence for example. Mimosa was notable in the runs she made up the pitch, and I have to say Katherine B in one of her first few matches, made the most incredible stop and clearance. I think the distance the ball went surprised even her!
Daisy kept on trying to score but just couldn't quite get it through - I think all the spectators noticed and approved of her determination.
Brambletye put forward a very credible side and just before half time they managed to score a goal against us. I think Stephanie J was surprised by the ball having played a large amount of recent matches untroubled with our attack dominating. She was definitely not going to let that happen again!
During half time the team were just full of smiles and happiness that the match was going well and this, their last match of the season, was proving to be so positive.
After half time Stephanie D slotted another one through to score a hat trick and to make us fairly confident of a win. Lydia carried out some good defensive play, ably backed up by India who was on great attacking form - stopping Brambletye charges a number of times, Lydia then batting it away from our D.
Stephanie M soon scored another goal - she really is an excellent forward - she just has such a strong hit and is mostly on target.
The defence then got a bit of action with the ball coming back to them. India and Scarlett really did put up a valiant fight and I think in a slightly do or die attempt Brambletye seemed to have about 10 players (hmm not sure I counted right but it felt like it!) in the D. Against such overwhelming odds we succumbed and the ball went screaming past Stephanie J. By this time the score was 2-4. I think we thought it was probably likely to end at this point. Katia on the other hand had other ideas, having had quite a quiet match it just suddenly all came together for her and the goalie made a sort of half save and Katia took full advantage of it to find the back of the goal. As we all turned around and smiled the full time whistle was blown and the final score was a win to us 2-5.
I say it often as I truly believe it, sport at prep schools is not really about the winning, its not about the game so much as team spirit, learning to put your trust in others, being magnanimous in victory, being polite in defeat and just having fun outside. Winning is a bonus, but it has to be realised that the lessons the children have learnt through the games are going to stay with them for life, how to back down when you disagree with a call and how to never give up even when all seems lost. So at this our last hockey match of the season I put it to you that maybe, just maybe the real winner isn't as I always claim "the sport". I think the real winners were the girls.
Massive thanks to all the parents, family and friends that came to watch the girls and were so vocal from the sidelines cheering us on through thick and thin, memorable victories and some fairly crushing defeats. As the netball season comes upon us, lets see if we can show the opposition schools what hockey has taught us - hopefully - how to win! CD
Wednesday, 13th November 2019
1st VII EGHA Hockey Tournament at Hurstpierpoint
U11A v The Mead
A rather dreary grey day saw us heading off to the Mead to play in U11 A and B teams. I was delighted to have been given the As and we set off to the far pitch. My heart went out to Stephanie D who had left her mouthguard at home and so we just couldn't risk letting her play - what a hard lesson to learn.
The scene was set and the players were primed and ready. Stephanie M has come on so much this season and she was almost unstoppable at the front. She scored 2 before we had really had a chance to settle into the game - with the passes from Katia and Elizabeth instrumental in the score.
Indya then joined the scoring and scored a cracking goal sneaking it past the goalie with real skill.
Then (what versitility the team show!) Elizabeth managed to score one too - we were on such a roll and the match was clearly going our way
Just before half time Stephanie M scored a third to complete the hat trick! It was a skillful display and she clearly is really hitting form.
At half time we agreed that we should move the team around to give them a chance to play in different positions - given we had the lead we felt safe to do so.
There was much skillful play in the second half with the girls out of their comfort zones and this lead to a lack of goals for a bit before (from a defensive position - you cant keep a good forward back!) Stephanie M scored again and this made it our newly phrased a "crown trick" for her. 4 goals - what else can one call it?
Indya was seriously instrumental in most of the goals - such a strong player - rarely scoring, but always where she was needed to be.
We musnt take away from Mimosa who scored our last goal with some really lovely dodging and pushing it past the goalie with ease.
I have to say I was proud to be associated with the team - their attitude both on and off the pitch was exceptional. They completely understood the way the game was going and accepted being moved and asked to sit out at times. I think yet again - the real winner was the sport. CD
U11B v The Mead
This afternoon's match was a very exciting one with lots of progress made. The team were strongest with Daisy, Clara and Scarlet in attack and Stephanie.J, India and Katherine in defence. We played the game in ten minute quarters to give the girls time to pause and think about the game. The Mead made a really strong start and scored within a few minutes of the first whistle. This was followed by another goal later in the first quarter. These two goals made the Ashdown defence realise they needed to up their game. From then on, every time the ball came towards our defenders, Stephanie.J would run forward and tackle, backed up by Katherine and India. The girls worked tirelessly as a team and really got into their role on the pitch. All three of them hit the ball with great strength and successfully cleared the ball of the defending end. Katherine even saved a goal by deflecting the ball off the pitch right at the last moment. A great last minute bit of action and one that took her by surprise! By Half-time we were still 2-0 down and Ashdown were only getting stronger. We had a talk about using the wings and making sure someone was ahead in the shooting semi-circle ready to tap in any balls that were passed in. This worked beautifully and in the third quarter Daisy scored a hat trick! She was hugely supported by Scarlet and Clara for all of the goals and they were a great reflection of the teamwork that had happened. On two occasions Clara tackled The Mead and passed the ball clear to Scarlet who took it forwards into the shooting semi-circle. Daisy was then there to tap the goals in making sure they were going in the right direction. Daisy also scored a fantastic goal when she took the ball all the way from our defending end, sailed past The Mead players and tapped it in. Going into the final quarter, the score was three all. The Mead stepped up and came back to score one more. The two teams were very well matched and it was a great fixture with a huge amount of competition. Well done to the Ashdown team for a great game, showing off so many improving skills. LP
Saturday, 9th November 2019
1st VII v Cumnor House
It was a delight to umpire and coach the 1st V11 today.
They played as a cohesive unit working for the good of the team. It was a tough match against a powerful team. We eventually went down 1-4, but without our skill and determination the result could have been a greater loss. Zadie was magnificent in goal and Daisy scored our goal after a beautiful run of play that included the entire team.
Most Valuable Player: Zadie PMc
2nd VII v Cumnor House
It was the first time I have umpired for the 2nd team and I was really impressed by their determination. They faced a very good Cumnor 2nd team who made the match challenging but they didn't give up.
Sadie and Beatrice played in defence. They were a great team and held strong whenever the ball came their way. During the first ten minutes, the ball passed them a few times but Elsa made some fantastic saves. The majority of the play happened in our defending end but on many occasions our attacking team, Michelle, Ariel, Mary and Dada, managed to break the ball through into our attacking end. It was here that work needed to be done to be able to score goals. If the girls took the ball towards our goal, they would often pass without looking so possession went back to Cumnor. The first half settled at 2-0 to Cumnor. After a team talk at half time the girls ran back onto the pitch but the final half was tiring as there was a lot of defending to be done. Unfortunately Cumnor came back stronger and continued to raise the score. At 6-0 down, Ashdown did begin to step up and scored two goals. The girls became a little frustrated as two more goals slipped by for Cumnor but they held their heads high and represented the school very well. They learnt a lot from the game and will work on these things going forward. It was a tough match but they should be proud of their efforts.
3rd VII v Cumnor House
The 3rds team consists of a new partnership of children working together, they have had minimal training as a team, so it is impressive to see them starting to read each other and gel as a team. I have been delighted to have been given them as my team for the past couple of matches. The first match was a learning curve which - as I checked with the girls - the most important feature of which was - we enjoyed it!
With a team made up including a couple of girls who have no real hockey experience, it was really heartening to see them get stuck in!
I have to keep having team talks and tell our girls not to be so polite on the pitch! They have a tendency to run down a ball and then not tackle, I am encouraging them that maybe on the pitch they are allowed to be a little more aggressive! That said, Clara who is new to hockey is really starting to show some promise - tackling and diving in with real vigour! Nao is really impressive in defence - seeming to be everywhere on the pitch when we need her. I must have a shout out to Eva who is a stalwart goalie and as our team is finding its feet and the defence are given more work than the attack, Eva is having a number of goals fired at her. She boots them away with calm efficiency, her great friend Tracy backing Nao and Isabella and getting them out of our D.
Our attack are solid; while we get used to playing as team and sort out positions, the attack struggle to string together a clean break. Lucy seems keen to score and with Mimosa, Leah and Clara supporting her I am hopeful that Wednesday will our chance.
I believe we have one more match left this season - I have no doubt that with the spirit, determination and energy the girls have - win or lose, it will be an awesome match! CD
U11/10/9 VII v Cumnor House
Today the Ashdown under 11 team played a Cumnor team who they were so well matched with, that the score could have gone either way. During the first half, our attacking team worked well together and kept pushing forward which resulted in a goal. There were multiple attempts at scoring from both teams but two very impressive goal keepers, including Stephanie.J for Ashdown, fought off anything that came their way. The girls began to tire towards the end and Cumnor came very close to scoring but last minute moves and tackles from Lydia helped to push the ball away. Each player on the Ashdown team has found the position they are strongest in and they are going from strength to strength each week. I look forward to the remaining matches of the season. LP
Wednesday, 6th November 2019
1st VII v St Andrew's
2nd VII v St Andrew's
The 2nd team were superb today despite the loss. Michelle was electric, she worked tirelessly playing well out wide in attack and defending brilliantly. I could not have asked her to work any harder. When she took a huge hit on her hand she refused to be subbed, continuing to play as if she was not injured. Ariel was also on great form. She was unlucky not to score on two occasions. Mary had the game of her life. She kept well in her channel and made some lovely moves both off and on the ball. Lucy was a little tentative in defence but attacked with purpose and made some lovely crosses to Ariel in the circle.
Dada moved through the centre from defence to attack and distributed the ball well. Sadie was also electric, her sideline passes were phenomenal- if only there had been a wing with fire in their feet to chase them down the score would have been different. She also defended with real tenacity. Bea was very solid in defence, if a little too far back, she stopped many balls reaching Elsa and cleared them efficiently. Elsa made many superb saves, she has really begun to understand her role.
A very positive match from all concerned.
Most Valuable Players: Michelle and Sadie PMc
3rd VII v St Andrew's
Lost 0-8 (CD)
U11/10/9 v St Andrew's
Today our mixed under 11/10/9/8 team played in a superb match. St Andrew’s very kindly provided an umpire for the match so it was a great opportunity for me to watch the girls during ‘match play’. St Andrew’s started with the ball and held possession to score a very quick goal within the first few minutes. This really made an impact on the focus of our Ashdown team as they started to pull together and encourage each other. For the rest of the first half Stephanie.M, Stephanie.D, Katia, Indya, Scarlet and Kathrine saw all of the action in our attacking half. Even with some lovely passes and many opportunities from long and short corners they just couldn’t manage to get the ball past the strong St Andrew’s defence. At half time we had a very quick team talk about how the girls in attack could do that little more to just get the ball through to the goal. The beginning of the first half saw St Andrew’s push hard against Daisy, Lydia, India and Stephanie.J in defence, but the girls held their positions really well and pushed the ball back into our attacking half. The Ashdown attacking side knew this was their opportunity to really push forwards. Scarlet and Indya continued to pass the ball between them, always pushing further forwards to send the ball into Katia, Stephanie.M and Stephanie.D who all scored a goal in the second half. Although most of the play was in our attacking half, huge credit must go to the St Andrew’s team who just fought until the end. A huge well done to the Ashdown under 11 team, it was very exciting to watch. I think all of the girls played the best I have seen them play today but the shinning star for me was Scarlet. She was just unstoppable when pushing forwards and made the most of every tackle. She is rapidly working her way towards the most improved player this season. LP
Wednesday, 16th October 2019
1st v Lancing Prep
2nd v Lancing Prep
This was the game when the girls really turned a corner with their understanding of the game and their newly honed skills were used to their full.
We defended as a unit and managed to close down all but two of the oppositions attacking moves. We also attacked together and it was Ariel who slotted away the first of our goals. It was a delight to see Michelle rewarded for her amazing effort with the two middle goals and the icing on the cake, another beautifully executed goal to seal the deal from Ariel.
A truly great performance by all concerned.
Most Valuable Players: Michelle and Ariel PMc
U11 v Lancing Prep
As we headed to Lancing bolstered by Miss Pugh’s singing at the traffic lights, our target came into sight. I have to admit to being pretty impressed by the incredible gothic building that met us. Unyielding and intricate it was an impressive sight. We parked up and headed down to the astro keen to start the match after such a long journey.
We padded India up for goal and started Stephanie J and Lydia in defence, with Indya midfield and Katia, Stephanie M and Stephanie D in forward positions. The stage was set.
As the whistle blew the game appeared anyone’s and it was a great relief when Stephanie D snuck a goal past them. They replied fairly quickly coming up the wing and giving India little warning before firing it past her for a goal. We were drawing. It seemed to be the kickstart our girls needed and some neat passes from Indya and Stephanie M saw the ball head up to Stephanie D who then finished off for goal number 2. When the whistle blew for the end of the first half we were leading 2-1.
The Lancing team seemed to lose their resolve a bit in the second half and our defence were rarely troubled. The subs of Katherine and Scarlet swapping in and out with Stephanie J and Lydia. Very little play happened our defence end and so they saw little of the action. Stephanie D carried on to score a further 2 before the whistle with some skilful gap finding and some excellent passing. The times we got the ball up the pitch were down to them using the wings. A lesson reinforced for them surely.
When the final whistle went we had won it 4-1 with Stephanie scoring a crown trick (well what’s bigger than a hat trick?).
The girls are really starting to gel as a team and I am excited to see what the future holds.
Apologies to any parents left waiting for children as the return journey held many traffic jams, I am however pretty sure the girls would agree - it was well worth the journey for the match. Thanks to Stephanie’s unwavering support - driving for over 2 hours to watch the match, Miss Pugh’s singing for keeping us going in the journey and all the girls for being such a genuine pleasure to take out. Next half term sees a bit more netball and a bit less hockey. But if I know my team - no less determination, no less heart and inshallah no less victories. It’s been a fabulous first half term - well played ladies. CD
Saturday, 12th October 2019
1st VII v Cottesmore
This game was a treat to watch, despite the vile weather. Both sides played flat out from the word go and produced a match of super quality. Though we came out on the wrong side of the narrow scoreline, we can be proud of a performance that was much improved from last weekend at Holmewood House. It was just a question of converting chances and they were fractionally more clinical than we were. Other than that, both sides were evenly matched and it was a cracking contest. No shame in defeat. We will re-group and try again on Wednesday. GdeM
2nd VII v Cottesmore
The rain was persistent but so were the second team. They worked extremely hard and utilised many of the new skills that we had learned this week. Eva made some superb saves as did the opposition’s goalie. Michelle and Ariel attacked with purpose and kept to their lines. Mary and Lucy made huge strides in their play this week especially remembering to keep wide.
Nao, Tracy and Sadie defended beautifully and all three distributed the ball well. Dada linked attack and defence using skill and determination. It was 1-1 at half time thanks to a goal from Ariel. We were very unlucky not to score several times in the second half from our three short corners and to have two momentary lapses in concentration that allowed the opposition to score.
Most Valuable Player: Eva Fry PMc
U11/10/9 v Cottesmore
Saturday, 5th October 2019
1st VII v Holmewood House
It's been many years since an Ashdown 1st Hockey side beat Holmewood House and today that happened. Though we weren't at the same level as we were against Windlesham, especially defensively, we were dynamite going forward and lethal in front of goal. Yet again we started slowly but found ourselves 1-0 to the good as Tara poached to great effect. Holmewood then piled on the pressure and we eventually succumbed twice; the first, a ridiculously soft goal, the second, a brilliant strike.
We took control of the contest with a phenomenal five minutes before half time. Fernandez and de Heredia started to find space and we conjured 3 goals in no time at all. When Daisy W scored her second shortly after the interval, a 5-2 lead should have been sufficient. Not so.
Holmewood came storming back and our defence creaked before caving twice. Thankfully Daisy scored her second to ease the nerves and we held on in the waning moments.
It's testament to the determination and ability of this group that they were disappointed with their performance. This was a sensational away win against a school that is not accustomed to losing like that. These are exciting times. GdeM
2nd VII v Holmewood House
The 0-4 result is deceptive. Today we played three thirds against the Holmewood U13 team. In the first third we held them to 0-0 until 20 seconds before the whistle; in the second third we held them to 0-0 until 40 seconds before the whistle and in the third third we let two goals in one at two minutes prior to the end and the other in the dying minute. The game was actually extremely close and very competitive!
Our goalies, Eva and Elsa, were superb they made many fantastic saves and wonderful clearances. Sadie and Nao were very effective in defence. Dada improves every day as our centre midfield player. Michelle, Ariel and Lucy drove forward and made Homewood’s defence work extremely hard. Tracy and Mary our super-subs played efficiently and well in several positions each.
A really good game from all concerned.
Most Valuable Player: Sadie PMc
U11/10/9 v Holmewood House
As we headed to Holmewood there was a positive feel about the minibus and everyone arrived ready to take on the Holmewood players. We had to wait a few minutes for the U13 matches to finish on the pitch and as we waited some of the children chose to watch the match on the other pitch, and others chose to start warming up with a rather over-energetic looking warm up technique.
It was soon our turn to step onto the pitch in a match situation and having done quite a lot of skills with the girls this week - finding space, thinking of who we are passing to and accuracy of passing and shooting, I was excited to see if the training would help. The opposition had 8 players and suggested an 8 vs 8 formation which we accepted and the scene was set.
As the whistle went for the first pass it was fairly quickly clear that we were well matched against the team with the ball going from end to end. Stephanie D got hold of the ball and made immense use of the wing, running past all their defence and she managed to finish it with a goal. The upper hand belonged to us. Within fairly quick succession she had managed to get another past them and the score was 0-2 to us. The girls were clearly getting excited, but we were far from secure in a win and Belle in goal was troubled more than once. Just before the half time whistle they managed to get one through and it snuck past Belle and into goal. They tried for another, however Indya had other ideas, somehow she appeared all over the pitch - one minute as a forward the next defending the goal - with might I add great effect. She was later voted as the Holmewood player of the match - they were right, she was devastating in both attack and defence - in the same match!
We reached half time with the score 1-2 to us. The team talk from Miss Pugh was not quite what I think the girls were expecting - she was fully aware of how amazingly the girls had played, but the match was far from won and any complacency would have resulted in a loss with a team of this quality.
As the whistle blew for the second half at first the girls seemed to somewhat flounder. They allowed another goal past them and Daisy looked at me with slight concern - could this win be taken from them? The Ashdown parents were in fine voice and the positivity and cheering pushed the girls on - rather than crumble and fall, the team seemed spurred into action.
They used the wings to devastating effect, Katia and Stephanie D both biding their time, waiting for the ball and running it up to the D with the opposition left wondering what had happened. A truly glorious cross from Katia led to the next goal scored by Stephanie M. The smile from Daisy was returned with a reassuring nod - this could be their match. The class of the game play the girls then put in was nothing short of excellent. It was like they suddenly realised how to come together as a team, use the wings, pass accurately and then Stephanie D took advantage of the ball coming her way to score again. Making the final score 2 -4 A win for us. Many moments have not been commented on yet - Scarlet tackling a girl that had to be about twice her size - and winning! Lydia and Daisy saving us time and again from danger when the ball came to their end, Belle being solid as ever in goal and India setting up the third goal with a pass that can only be described as bullseye levels of accuracy. Indya really was a pivotal part of our win and deserves another mention - she really was everywhere and whenever I started to worry about a legitimate goal threat, she was there to see the ball off ably assisted by Lydia and Daisy.
I often ask the girls "But who was the real winner?" and the correct answer is "the sport", however I think this one time, due to the class with which they played, I would accept their response being "us". CD & LP
Wednesday, 2nd October 2019
1st VII v Ardingly 2nd Team Won 3-0
1st VII v Ardingly 3rd Team Won 2-1
The 1st team were an absolute joy to umpire today.
Over the course of the two matches I was extremely impressed by aspects of each girl’s game.
Ana’s stick work was superb. She worked the ball very effectively and passed just before she was tackled. Her work from free hits within five yards of the circle showed maturity well beyond her years. She was extremely pleased to put away a stunning goal to win our second match.
Zadie made many super saves, especially in the second match, her clearances were superb some almost making the half-way line.
Amalia and Giada were strong in defence and worked extremely well together. They have really understood when to move forwards, when to hold their ground and when to leave the ball. A superb performance.
Ariel had her first outing with this team. She stepped up her game and by the second game looked totally comfortable in her role.
Daisy has incredible determination and was able to make many tackles from seemingly impossible positions. Her passes across the circle were well timed and accurate. She scored a goal, with 8 seconds to spare before half time, in our second match.
Tara scored an extremely well deserved hat-trick in our first match. She positioned herself in exactly the right place to receive and use any cross that raced across the circle.
A lovely afternoon spent with talented and charming girls. PMc
2nd VII v Ardingly
Drew 2-2 and Drew 2-2
Today we played two very even games. The first game started off, unfortunately, with Ardingly taking a quick lead. Sadie played a great defence and we had a few attempts but didn’t succeed. At half time, we were down 2-0, until Mary made a great pass to Michelle and she tapped it in. Our chances were not looking great as Ardingly were rebounding of all our attacks, until again Michelle scored a great goal, aided by Lucy and Mary, equalising us for a draw.
The second match started in a similar way with Ardingly swiftly scoring immediately after the pushback. Just before the end of the first half I managed to get the ball in the circle so Michelle could pass to Lucy, who then passed the ball back to Michelle, to get us yet another amazing goal. In the second half, Dada was running all over the pitch and managed to gain possession of the ball many times. Nao defended amazingly but unfortunately the ball got through despite Elsa's brilliant efforts to save it. Things were not looking good, until Tracy cleared the ball out of their circle, and gave a great opportunity for Lucy to score the second goal. This again equalised the game for a 2-2 result. Overall, everybody performed brilliantly and managed to produce a great score against a strong side.
Match report written by Eva
Wednesday, 25th September 2019
U11/10/9 v Burgess Hill
Under stormy clouds in Burgess Hill the girls went into their hockey match feeling positive. During training on Monday we practiced using the wings, as quite often they are left untouched by players and a great deal of distance can be made. It is common for young players to use the centre of the pitch and to run up and down through the maze of players. If you can break onto the wing, great things can happen, and today's match was an example of that. Most of the play in the first half was played in our attacking end, but working up through the maze of people was proving difficult, so shots at the goal were intercepted. The first person to use an opening to the wing was Belle. She passed the ball out to Stephanie.D, who took the ball straight up an empty wing, into the shooting circle and then scored. A repeat of this happened when Lydia seized an opportunity, passed out to Indya on the wing, who scored for a second time. I really admired the team's determination to carry on, through wind and driving rain. Although they did not win, the progress they have made this week was clear to see. Well done girls! LP
Saturday, 21st September 2019
1st V11 v Windlesham
What a way to start a season! To say it has been the most successful past couple of years for the 1st VII hockey side is to deploy understatement to the fullest. Therefore you could imagine starting the season away to a big school like Windlesham, dominating the early proceedings and then conceding a soft opening goal; it felt as if we were cursed. However, we didn't lose our faith nor our discipline and continued to believe in our own ability. What followed was some of the finest hockey I have seen from an Ashdown side, resulting in a five goal barrage either side of half time. We played some terrific stuff and scored some crackers; Tara's first goal in particular was a thing of beauty. It's impossible to name a girl of the match. Each played their own important role in his most excellent of victories. The novice Zadie made some splendid saves. Giada and Amalia were collososes in defence. Fernandez, Tara and de Heredia worked tirelessly in midfield, their hardwork yielding chances for the clinical Wang up front. Long may this winning run continue! GdM
2nd V11 v Windlsham
These enthusiastic girls played their collective socks off during our match against Windlesham. With a squad of ten players, rolling subs were very much the order of the day, and most girls played in varying positions during the afternoon.
Eva was solid and dependable in the goal keeping position. She made some superb saves and has even begun to instruct the defenders. Sadie took all our backline passes and this she did quite well. All we need now is faster decision making and she will have nailed this important skill.
Nao, Tracy and Elsa were efficient in defence and cleared the ball well. A little more passing to the wing and they would have been superb. Mary played in attack and defence. She was tireless in her endeavours. Dada’ who is totally new to the sport this term, was superb in centre mid. She defended beautifully and fed the attack accurately and well. Michelle began the game in defence where she was good, in the second half I played her in the attack and it was here she began to shine.
Lucy and Ariel were our forwards for the majority of the match they really punished the Windlesham defenders when mistakes were made and had many shots on goal. It was Ariel who scored both of our goals.
Most Valuable Player: Ariel PMc
U11/10/9 v Windlsham
With glorious sunshine giving us a last taste of summer and the grass pitch having a panoramic view, the scene was set for an historic match! The score line of 0-6 does not begin to cover the way our girls played. They were impressive in every way and although they lost, the lessons they learnt and sheer spirit they displayed was exceptional.
The first half the Windlesham team surprised them - they were clearly a strong team and the defence had their work cut out to keep up with them. A few goals snuck through and things started to look bleak. Many times I have seen teams cave under such circumstances, but our girls took it as a challenge and really took them on. It would be hard to single out any of the team for praise from the first half - they all gave it everything they had and at half time many pink faces were to be seen.
After half time the girls had a real sense of determination and they really were not going to go down without a fight! There were a couple of opportunities for goals as the girls managed to thread the ball past their attack and up towards their goal. Daisy was so close to scoring and gave the goalkeeper a fright but sadly it wasn't to be. Stephanie M kept on driving the ball away from the back and Katia and Daisy didn't waste the opportunities given creating some real promising breaks, but sadly Windlesham's defense was just a little to strong for us. Stephanie now in the goalie kit heroically saved a couple but was not forced to work as hard as in the first half as our team started to get the measure of the opposition. The match ended with a defeat for us, but such an amazing game that our girls looked every bit as proud as Windlesham. After the cheers players of the match were chosen and Stephanie and Stephanie were chosen for us by Windlesham. Every single child had played an important and at times pivotal role in the match and the only disappointment is that the scoreline in no way reflected the effort our players put in. Yet again I was proud to be associated with them. Well played girls! CD
Thursday, 12th Septemer 2019
Junior A Quicksticks
V Won 5-0, V Won 4-0, V Won 1-0, V Won 1-0
The junior A Team, Indya, Stephanie D, Daisy and Stephanie M were superb today. Every girl played in both attack and defence. Great skill was shown in by Indya and Stephanie 3s in attack, using the Indian dribble to great effect. The determination to close down Cumnor's attack by Stephanie 4s and Daisy was a joy to behold.
Goals were scored by Indya and Stephanie 3s and Stephanie 4s PMcC
Junior B Quicksticks
Won 2-1, Won 3-0, Won 3-1
We arrived at Cumnor rearing to go with all 5 members of the team keen to show that yesterday's defeat was an unlucky blip in what hopefully will be a future of increasing victories as we get to grips with the intricacies of hockey.
We were to play 3 matches against three different home sides - each match was 4 a side. When we arrived I was particularly proud of Lydia who volunteered to play for the home team as they were one player short and we had a spare. I was told (and witnessed when we played them!) that she was a key player for them and she certainly showed some skillful stick-work when we were against that team!
The first team we played, the girls were getting used to the smaller pitch and 4 a side. No goalie, a defence and an attack player and then two midfield. Katia absolutely shone throughout the entire festival showing determination and real gutsy game play. Belle seemed to find her feet pretty rapidly and became an awesome forward partnering Katia at the front to devastating effect. Katia scored 2 goals and Belle was robbed of one which just went wide. We soon realised that we had a winning formula up front, this left our defence somewhat inactive and raring to be part of the action! Stephanie J soon was released to join the attack and Scarlet remained ready to ward off the opposition if we needed. The match ended and we won it with ease 2-1.
When it came to the second match we were confident of our formula, but we swapped Scarlet and Stephanie J to allow them both to have a bit of time with the action - due to the strength of attack from Katia and Belle there was little call for defence! We won the second match 3-1 with goals from Katia and Belle.
The final match we also took an early lead so we decided to mix the team up a bit to allow the other girls to have a go in attack. Katia and Belle defended and Stephanie J and Scarlet were in attack. Scarlett jolly nearly managed to sneak a goal in, but was robbed at the last second by a defender getting in the way - it was so close! Stephanie was pivotal in her passing and crossing the ball accurately to Scarlet and Katia. We won the last match 3-1 and the girls were all delighted with how they had played.
As the coach I think that a victory is a joy, however on this occasion far more important than the victory is if the girls have learnt from the experience. I believe the learning curve from this match will be something that we can take forward into future matches and use to great effect. It was a source of great pride to be associated with such well mannered and dedicated girls. I feel I must mention Lydia one more time as she really did impress not only with the game play I witnessed, but also her attitude in coming forwards to play for the opposition. The season is shaping up to be an exciting one! CD
Wednesday, 11th September 2019
U11 Ardingly Hockey Festival
v Lingfield Lost 0-2, v Hurst Lost 0-1, v Windlesham Lost 0-1, v Ardingly Lost 0-2
The Ashdown Under 11 Hockey team is made up of girls from the under 11, under 10 and under 9 age groups. Facing teams who were all under 11s we knew this was going to be a tough afternoon. The girls became know as 'The Little Blue Ones', however this did not reflect their performance on the pitch. They fought really hard, and although they didn't score any goals in the four eight-minute matches they played, they didn't lose by many each time. It was clear they had listened to their training they received before-hand because their understanding of the game was excellent. Many of the games were actually played in their attacking half for the majority but they just struggled to get it past the strong defense players on the other team. Areas to work on are skills in the shooting circle, using the whole pitch and going in for tackles. They are a brave team and will no doubt have some great successes this season. I wish them best of luck for their tournament tomorrow and can't fault their enthusiasm to carry on through some tough matches. Well done girls! LP