More than 40 boys and girls from West Herts Hockey Club were involved in fixtures on Sunday, albeit with mixed results.
An U16 boys’ team travelled to he prestigious Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre to play Wycombe.
The game was end-to-end, but after a great double-save by Mark Crippen in the West Herts goal midway through the first half, West Herts took control of the game, dominating possession and goalscoring chances.
The deadlock was eventually broken nine minutes into the second half, when Tom Watts dribbled past defenders on the baseline and lifted the ball across the Wycombe keeper into the net.
Ten minutes later, Callum Woodage made it 2-0 following a penetrating run from the 22-metre line into the D.
The pressure was maintained and Ashley Patel reacted quickly to add a third goal when a ball rebounded off the Wycombe keeper.
The U14 girls were victorious in their first match this season at home to Amserham & Chalfont.
With their goalkeeper out injured and several unavailable, the girls fielded just 10 players and went without a keeper.
Things started badly with a break from Amersham resulting in a fairly easy finish for their forward.
But West Herts came back into the game and forced the Amersham goalkeeper into making several clearances, but from one save the ball wasn’t properly cleared and was hit into the goal from the top of the D.
In the second half, West Herts made a tactical change to continue the pressure on the Amersham goal; they then scored a lucky second goal before a swift passing move saw them score a third goal on the counter-attack.
West Herts U12 mixed team had a difficult first set of fixtures. Playing St Albans boys first, West Herts struggled to get into the match and although they did have several attacks, never managed to shoot on target.
Unfortunately goals were conceded too easily at the other end and West Herts lost 6-0, despite good battling midfield performances from Aaron Benedict and Kieran Woname.
In the second game, the West Herts defence of Lucas Allen and Emma Leather was much stronger, regularly clearing the ball from danger.
Although West Herts conceded two goals, they again had a number of attacks and eventually Benedict passed to Woname who scored the team’s first goal.
West Herts U10s mixed team travelled to Hatfield to play teams from Welwyn Garden City and St Albans. The first game was against Welwyn A, and after some initial nervousness, West Herts’ team started to gel and pass the ball around. Unfortunately Welwyn quickly broke and scored a goal. Three more goals followed and the game ended 4-0.
In the second game, against St Albans, West Herts started much better, dominating possession which paid off when Ethan Antony shot and scored.
West Herts pushed for a second goal, but it never came and they won 1-0.
The final game was against Welwyn B. This game was much more even than the previous two, with both teams sharing the possession.
West Herts took the lead, but Welwyn quickly responded and scored two quick-fire goals making it 2-1 with five minutes to go.
West Herts dug in and their effort was rewarded when Elia Ali-Lauzzanna scored to make it 2-2.
Great fun was had by all and the U14 boys and U14 girls now look forward to their next fixtures on Sunday, November 2.