On Wednesday 2nd October Shrewsbury travelled a few miles up the M54 to Wrekin College for their annual Invitation 7s Tournament. Shrewsbury were in the 2nd half of the draw and with 5 teams to play, but only matches of 8 minutes one way, it was going to be fast and furious. Shrewsbury didn’t get off to a great start in their first game against last year's winners Denstone College. We were caught off guard from the outset and went 0-1 down after about 10 seconds. Shrewsbury fought hard for the rest of the game and produced a sound performance, only letting in one more goal to finish the match 0-2. Not a bad start against a strong Denstone team.
Our 2nd match was against Hereford Catherdral School and we were keen to put the Denstone match behind us. Shrewbury girls did just that and after having most of the play in the first 4 minutes got a deserved goal to go 1-0 in front. From here, we continued to play well and dominate the match, eventually putting in 2 more excellent goals from Alice Sykes-Waller and Charlie Perkins to win 3-0.
Match 3 was against Moreton Hall and despite Shrewsbury having the upper hand, we just couldn’t get the ball in the goal in the 8 minutes so the game finished 0-0.
Match 4 was aginast Shrewsbury High School who had looked dangerous in earlier matches, with a particularly strong centre forward. After 7 minutes the score was still 0-0 and was a good game of end to end hockey. The deadlock was finally broken by the High School and Shrewsbury lost 0-1.
Our final match was a frustrating game against Wolverhampton Grammar School. Shrewsbury had most of the play for the majority of the game, but Wolverhampton’s Keeper was excellent and managed to continually deny the pressure from our forwards. At the end of 8 minutes, the score was 0-0. Slightly disappointing results overall meant that Shrewsbury finished 4th, but some good performances in a fun format of the game to take ahead to our next game.
On Saturday 5th October, Shrewsbury hosted Bedstone College. This fixture has been more competitive over recent years and Shrewsbury was looking forward to pushing themselves. The game started at a fast pace and was pretty even for the first 5-10 minutes. After Shrewsbury had settled, they began to play some excellent hockey, keeping a good structure and working the ball into the opponents’ half more and more. After 12 minutes, Alice Sykes-Waller was rewarded for her hard work and Shrewsbury went 1-0 up. This gave us the confidence we needed and Shrewsbury went from strength to strength. Sykes-Waller positioned herself excellently, with some great moves down the right wing and Cecy Price supported well on the left. By half time Shrewsbury was 4-0 up. We continued to push forward in the 2nd half, with much of the play in Bedstone’s 25. Our midfield played some good balls into the D and the 2 forwards were able to convert them. Final score Shrewsbury 7 Bedstone 1 with 3 goals for Alice Sykes-Waller and 4 for Cecy Price
The County Tournament for Shropshire Girls Senior Hockey took place on Wednesday 9th October at Moreton Hall. There were 6 teams entered and games were to be 15 minutes one way – not a great format for Shrewsbury who have been slow to start this season and take time getting into their rhythm.
Our first game was against arguably the strongest side in the competition – Ellesmere College. Ellesmere had most of the play and the Shrewsbury defence were constantly tested. They held firm and kept Ellesmere out, resulting in a 0-0 draw in the first game. A good result.
Our 2nd match was against Bedstone and after our recent victory over them, we were confident. Shrewsbury played some excellent hockey and a total role reversal to the previous match. Unfortunately, just as Ellesmere were frustrated by their inability to score against us, we found ourselves unable to get the ball into the goal. Bedstone then went on the break and scored a fantastic goal against the run of play. Shrewsbury pushed on and got one back, but weren’t able to capitalise on their performance and the game finished 1-1. A frustrating result.
Our 3rd game was against Wrekin. Wrekin had had a bit of a shaky start to the tournament, but were improving every game and seemed to have saved their best for us. Wrekin pushed hard throughout the 15 minutes and despite some good work from Shrewsbury, they were too strong for us and Wrekin won 3-0.
Some good play over the afternoon, but work to do on the final execution.