A Team: Hattie, Liana (Captain), Jemima, Katie, Tallulah, Millie P, Milly B, Fran RESULT: Won 2-0
The U’10 A team made the trip to Grace Dieu on quite a soggy and muddy afternoon. We were pleased to negotiate a match with 8 aside so that all Stoneygate’s excited A team could play. The match was to be played on unfamiliar grass and the girls had to make changes to their skills and adapt their game. This they did superbly! Our opposition were a mixture of U’11 A/B girls from Grace Dieu.
We were pleased to welcome Katie into the A team. She has continued to improve her hockey since the season began and today she was more than ready to be included in this match. The other girls welcomed her valuable play.
First half – Grace Dieu seemed to field their best players at this point and in the first few minutes there was little between the two teams, the ball remaining largely in the centre of the pitch. On occasions our defence – Liana, Jemima and sweeper Fran had to busily cover our goal area, protecting Hattie in goal, and they did a fine job of making the block tackle and sending the ball forwards. Grace Dieu found them very difficult to get passed but Stoneygate got much satisfaction from winning the tackles.
As the 2nd half progressed Stoneygate’s attack found more ways through the Grace Dieu defence and it did seem that the fitness of our U’10s proved to be a huge advantage – the pitch was large! Stoneygate’s running skills were most impressive. Milly B and Tallulah linked nicely on the edge of the shooting circle and the back up from Katie and Millie P was so supportive, always there to send the ball towards the goal. Grace Dieu found it increasingly difficult to keep up and with 15 seconds remaining!! (someone in the crowd shouted this) Stoneygate built an attack – Fran swept the ball wide, Katie progressed the ball from her left mid position to Tallulah’s stick, Milly B and Millie P worked together to tap the ball into the circle and then Tallulah, with all her strength, struck the ball so hard it clattered the board at the back of the goal – THE WHISTLE BLEW! Gosh, I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a last second goal being scored. It must be said that the umpire from Grace Dieu was so fair.
The 2nd half was very much in Stoneygate’s hands and as the Grace Dieu team fielded perhaps their weaker players the U’10s really took advantage. Our defence didn’t really have to touch the ball. The Stoneygate attack enjoyed pushing the ball around the pitch and trying out different skills on the grass. Katie really showed confidence and linked very well with the other midfield players, particularly Millie P. Well done Katie, you had a very good game with the A team. With five minutes to go, the ball was on the edge of the shooting circle, Millie P produced a strong hit, diagonally across the goal and nippy Tallulah was there to tease the ball into the goal. Tallulah showed in this match how hard she can work and she was excellent in both attack and defence. Her improvement in work load was so noticeable, as was her confidence and commitment to being in the most effective position to help her team.
A super win by these girls who deserved this 2-0 win. Their team play was so effective and the support they show to each other makes them so strong. Well played everyone.
Everyone deserves a special mention! but in particular Millie P and Fran for their very effective ‘scooping up’ of the ball, all over the pitch.
Player of the match and of the day goes to Tallulah who today showed her hockey at its very best. Excellent!
Mrs S. Frisby