Please find our latest results and match reports below.
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