MATCH REPORTS - HOCKEY
Westward played Chalfont Grammar on Monday 29th January as a warm up for the I.S.A. mixed hockey Tournament on Friday 2nd Feb. It was a shock to play on such a huge astro pitch but it was exactly what Westward needed. The boys were older and stronger and reacted quickly to passes and dodges. The ‘A’ game was a fast and furious match but we held our own and finally won 4-3. I moved pupils around a lot to see who rose to the challenge and who coped well. The girls played well and were mostly in the ‘B’ game. We lent a few players to Chalfont so everybody got to play and experience the conditions. We lacked drive in this match and the tempo was much slower but it was good practice for the I.S.A. We lost 1-5 but the match was played in a great atmosphere as this was Chalfont’s first ever match.
Onto the I.S.A. Crystal Palace is an amazing venue with long narrow pitches; the run offs were dangerous with muddy areas and three pupils fell over but it never deterred their pursuit of winning. The ‘B’ team had learnt a lot on Monday and in the first game we nearly scored four times. The parents thoroughly enjoyed watching with lots of substitutions and fast play. Eashan scored a great goal and they finally came 5th losing three matches, drawing 1-1 with Weston Green, drawing with Rosemead 0-0 and then beating Oakhurst 1-0. The goalies on both our teams I must say were superb. The ‘A’ team faired a little better. The rotating four warriors at the front attacked all the time. It was tiring but we kept pushing for goals all the time. Three of the players in this team of seven do not play at club level but they never let their team down; clearing, passing and channelling the ball from the defence with ease to the attackers. Emily scored a goal as well as the boys and we finally won all our matches scoring 9 goals and not letting any in to win the title with ease.
Nobody stood out as player of the match this was a team effort, our static skills learnt at home slowly progressed with confidence into an attacking team. Tactics learnt and applied at the correct time were noticeable, we saved every short corner and the best goal for me, although disallowed in this tournament would have been a great goal in a normal match was Nishaan’s reverse swipe high into the goal net. We always looked a better team and this time we delivered. Well done everyone I was very proud of you. A great squad effort.
The St George’s match on Monday 5th February was always going to be on the next level. Having a pitch six times bigger than ours allowed them greater breadth to play wide and show their exceptional skills. We fought hard and did not look outclassed in our general skills, but they were quicker to react and dodge round us and our defence lacked the experience to cope with their hard shots and passes. A great effort and learning experience especially for those who are going onto hockey schools. The ‘B’ team lost 1-6 Eashan scoring a great goal and the ‘A’ team lost 0-3.
The best squad I have had for a long time. Well done everyone.