So this week saw the U18 and U16 teams taking on Wirral Grammar School. The 1st XI had the luxury of an extensive bench with so many players available we were spoilt for choice.
After a nervy start by both sides, we began to open up the opposition’s defence with some early long balls into space.
Jack Jones and Fin Hare ran hard to stretch the defence being fed well through the midfield by Alex Benfield, Joe Gardener, Jacob Heaton-Rue and Sam Khorram-Sefat.
Eventually, our work paid off with four passes from a 16 hit out, driven into the D and Fin Hare getting on the end of the strike to put us ahead.
The game was fiercely competitive and the ball travelled from one end to the other with pace and purpose from both teams. Twenty minutes and in Sam finished off a great individual effort along the baseline to put us two ahead, he then put us three up with a strike from the top of the D.
So three-up at halftime and in control. At this point we started to rotate the bench and whilst some of the continuity was lost we maintained a fair amount of possession. However, Wirral managed to get their act together and threatened our D on a number of occasions.
After 10 minutes, they converted a short corner and added to the score a further 10 minutes later.
The final 10 minutes were frantic and the pace of the game did not drop. For some reason, we tried to carry the ball too much rather than sticking to a wider and longer game. It made for exciting viewing unless you were on the coaching side of the fence!
When the final whistle went we were rewarded with a 3-2 win, a fair reward for everyone’s effort. Well done everyone.
Once the 18s stepped off the pitch it was time for the 16s to take to the field. In a game where we dominated much of the possession, we struggled to get the ball into the back of the net.
The goalkeeper must have been covered in bruises but they count for nothing and the game went to halftime with no score. Eventually, we managed to squeeze one into the goal off the stick of Tegid Goodman Jones, quickly followed by a second scored by Jacob Heaton Rue. In an attempt to spoil the outcome, the opposition scored on the back of strong middle third of the half with respect to both possession and position.
The final act of the performance came in a short corner which was well converted by Fin Hare. Final score 3-1. A positive performance which sees the 16s growing in confidence thanks to two wins and a draw.
On Thursday a combined 14s and 15s side were travelling to King’s Chester to take on their U14 side.
From the outset the King’s side showed some excellent stick skills and combined with some slow reacts on our part they found themselves three goals ahead in a very short time.
To our credit, we began to play with a little more composure and restricted the opposition to just one further goal in the half. The second half was a completely different game we began to close down their attacking moves and find men in space to threaten the opposition's goal, we were rewarded with a number of short corner and shooting opportunities alas none found the back of the net. A first-class end to a difficult game in freezing temperatures, well done to all!
On Saturday we hosted St Anselm’s. The u15's were up first with a close fought contest. The first half started quickly with chances at both ends. The only goal of the half was scored by Finn Hare. It was a great individual goal beating numerous players and slotting in from a tight angle. In defence, Jasper Richardson and Sam Bixby both had solid games with good positioning making numerous tackles.
The second half we dominated keeping St Anselm’s pinned into their own half for long periods. We created numerous chances and finally, Adrian Lewis converted a sharp chance.
The last ten minutes had a few nervous moments as we conceded with five minutes to go but we held on for a deserved win. A pleasing performance and the team continues to improve.
The under 14's were up next again a strong St Anselm’s team. The first 20 minutes was played mostly in the Rydal Penrhos’ half and we were four goals down. Luckily Ethan Morris pulled off a string of saves or it could have been worse.
We continued to fight and played much better towards and straight after halftime. Tom Hughes continued his scoring form with two more goals to bring the score to 4-2.
Unfortunately, the joy was short lived as St Anselm’s scored another three unanswered goals before the final whistle. On the plus side, the boys showed plenty of spirit despite the score and, in spells, passed the ball around confidently.
Thursday sees the Intermediate House Hockey.