Our final match of the season against Thornton and we arrived in good spirits with two wins under our belts. After a hesitant start to the game the girls soon relaxed and were once again confident on the ball and driving forward in attacking play. The girls generally had possession throughout and with a solid defence the ball didn’t stay in our half for too long. Positional play from The Grove was much improved and I was particularly impressed with Ifeoluwa Adekanmbi and her movement off and on the ball as our Centre Forward. Oluwadabira Filani was first to score for The Grove, again with her sheer determination and perseverance in the circle. Ifeoluwa Adekanmbi was well deserving of a second goal into the second half followed closely by sister Ewaoluwa Adekanmbi securing the win for The Grove. What a fantastic end to the hockey season. Well done girls.
The Grove: 3
O. Filani, I. Adekanmbi, E. Adekanmbi
Thornton College: 0
Player of the Match: Ifeoluwa Adekanmbi
Our Under 9 Girls were very excited about their final fixture of the season away at Thornton. We arrived in plenty of time to allow for a good warm up, and also to allow our goalkeeper to kit up in good time.
It was the first match Thea-Donya Kassaei had been goalkeeper, and she stepped up to the mark straight away. We had a few shuffling around of positions, which meant we had a very nervous start. Once we settled down, and our defense stepped up, well done Thea-Donya and Mikayla Martey, we were beginning to get the ball into our half a lot more. We were, however, still panicking when we moved the ball into midfield. The first half finished 0-0, so we were defending well.
We had a little talk at half time, and we also shuffled around a little, we had a very strong team. We kept pushing and pushing, but we always missed the goal by centimetres. The girls didn't give up though, and thanks to good midfield from Hannah Siddall and Arianna Vieceli Fitch, we passed beautifully to Alexa O'Kane and then Sophie Hartley-Wiley finished with a strong goal!! It was long awaited but worth it, the last match of the season ended with a win.
The girls have progressed so much this season, they should be very proud of themselves. Well Done Girls!
The Grove: 1
Thornton College: 0
Player of the Match: Alexa O'Kane
We rounded off our rugby season with a visit to Beachborough, hoping to end the season on a high. I’m delighted to report all the hard work the boys have put in over the season really was evident in this match.
From start to finish we attacked, really testing our opposition’s tackling and rucking skills. The Grove used the ball quickly and looked for their strong runners. One person who has always been a strong, quick runner is Elijah Martey, but in this game, he developed his defensive skills; Elijah wasn’t necessarily tackling the opposition but even more dangerously just ripping the ball from them and turning defence into attack in the blink of an eye. Elijah ended the game with five tries.
Our other two tries were scored by Findlay Hovell, showing his skills on the ball to power through the defence. We did concede one try but to win our last match of the season 35-5 is a great result.
Well done boys for signing off the season in style!
The Grove: 35
E Martey (5), F Hovell (2)
Beachborough School: 5
Man of the Match: E Martey
A very breezy afternoon for our fixture against Ashfold and after a quick warm-up the match was underway. There was some brilliant play from both sides and the game was closely contested throughout. Very quickly into the first half The Grove took possession and with some excellent drives forward from our mid-field Amaya Saiz-Arthur scored with an excellent strike. We generally had most of the possession for the remainder of the first half and had a number of attempts at goal but the Ashfold defence was strong and the goalkeeper made some very good saves. The last 5 minutes of the first half was tense and we found ourselves under a lot of pressure from Ashfold and thanks to Chloe Cave and Jana Alsallal in goal we managed to keep the score with a 1-0 lead at half-time.
The second half remained tough and The Grove worked extremely hard under a great deal of pressure from Ashfold. Eventually the hard work paid-off and with some extreme determination in the oppositions circle Emily Garwood managed to get a final touch on the ball to score. After a tense few minutes the final whistle blew leaving the final score with a 2-1 win for The Grove.
An excellent result girls. Well done.
The Grove: 2
A Saiz-Arthur, E Garwood
Ashfold School: 1
Player of the Match: Chloe Cave
After our success on Friday the girls were very excited and confident for our match against Beachborough School. It was a very nerve-racking game throughout with the play up and down the pitch. With an early lead for Beachborough, The Grove really stepped-up their game with some fantastic play from Regan Hovell in defence and our midfield, once again making positive moves towards goal. It wasn’t long before Oluwadabira Filani managed to score with support from Ifeoluwa Adekanmbi to make the score 1-1. After a real battle between the two teams, The Grove had possession of the ball in the Beachborough circle just before half-time. Unfortunately with lots of frantic defending from Beachborough the ball came off a defenders stick into their own goal which put us in front at half-time. After a positive team talk the girls were ready to face the second half and once again it was a battle up and down the pitch. With a slight lapse of concentration in defence we conceded a goal early into the second half putting the score back to 2-2. The Grove continued to show real determination on the ball and with some great balls through to midfield and some excellent dribbling skills demonstrated our third goal was scored by Oluwadabira.
A super result. Well done girls.
The Grove: 3
O. Filani (2), O.G
Beachborough School: 2
Player of the Match: Ewaoluwa Adekanmbi
On Tuesday 21st November, we played Beachborough School at home. We decided to take a large team with us, with lots of substitutes so most of year 4 could experience the excitement of a home fixture. For some, this was their first ever fixture, so they were very nervous.
We could see from the start that, Beachborough were very strong. Within 2 minutes we conceded a goal, but our spirits were high. We were also very nervous starting and it took us a little time to get into our stride, with some children being in new positions. We gained possession, however, from some excellent defending from Mikayla Martey. A special mention also goes out to Harini Sivivakeesar for brilliant goal keeping. Unfortunately, Beachborough were a very strong team, and in the first half we conceded 4 goals.
At the start of the second half, a stronger team was put out, and we had some excellent passes from Alexa O’Kane, Sophie Hartley-Wiley and Arianna Vieceli-Fitch this eventually led to us scoring a beautiful goal. We managed to get the ball into our half more, but we struggled to keep possession. We conceded 3 other goals in this half, but the girls were not disappointed with this, as we made some excellent progress against a very strong team. Well Done Girls.
The Grove: 1
Player of the Match: Harini Sivavakeesar
This was the U8’s third fixture of the season and after a tough match the previous week the girls were determined to build on the lessons learnt. Akeley arrived and after a good warm-up the match began. The Grove got off to a very good start and there was some excellent play from mid-field showing some positive moves in attack. We really didn’t give Akeley any opportunity to enter into our half of the pitch. It wasn’t long before Oluwadabira Filani was able to find some space through Akeley’s defence and scored a lovely first goal in the first half. After a positive team talk at half-time The Grove continued their attacking play into the second half and with some excellent play on the left from Ewaoluwa Adekanmbi and support from Ifeoluwa Adekanmbi the ball was driven into the attacking circle again for Oluwadabira Filani to score two more goals. This secured an excellent win for the The Grove.
Well done girls. An excellent result.
The Grove: 3
O. Filani (3)
Akeley Wood School: 0
Player of the Match: Ifeoluwa Adekanmbi
On Friday 17th November The Grove U8 boys faced Akeley Wood School at home for penultimate fixture of the year. The boys have been working so hard in training in order to continuously replicate their great performances this year and once again it paid off.
Right from the start the boys controlled and dictated the tempo of the game by scoring multiple tri’s in quick succession. Each player played a valuable part in the performance and the teamwork and effort on show was wonderful to watch.
One of the team’s strongest aspects of their games this year has been their ability to run and drive forward with the ball whilst successfully managing to evade their opposition. Every single time the boys were in possession they looked lethal on the attack, making it very hard for Akeley Wood to mount much offence.
In the second half Akeley Wood managed to get themselves back into the game a bit more through some great pieces of play which had to be applauded. Fatigue started to kick in towards the last 5/10 minutes of the match but the boys held on and kept strong as a unit in order to see out the game and take home an 8-5 win.
Another factor of the performance that was great to see was the teamwork and work ethic of each of the boys involved. They have learnt to encourage and motivate each other even at the toughest of times when morale has been low.
Tuesday 28th November sees the boys play their final fixture away to Ashfold School, looking to end the year on a high and come out on top.
Thank you to all those involved including friends and family, your support is always greatly appreciated.
The Grove: 8
Akeley Wood School: 5
Man of the Match: Toby Coles
This week our U12/U13 girls hockey team had a fixture against Maidwell Hall School. The game was played in fantastic spirit from both sides and although the girls did struggle to keep possession of the ball, our defence was determined and battled well to keep the ball out of our circle. A special mention goes to Jana Alsallal who was superb in goal and made some incredible saves against some super shots from Maidwell. Unfortunately the Maidwell team was just too strong for us on this occasion and despite the girls best efforts they conceded 3 goals in the first half and 4 in the second with the end result a loss of 7-0. Well done to all the girls for their hard work!
The Grove: 0
Maidwell Hall: 7
Player of the Match: Jana Alsallal
A long trek over to Ashfold on a dreary afternoon but the Under 8 girls were all very excited for their first away fixture of the season, and for some, their very first hockey fixture. With very little time to warm-up the girls played their first game against Ashfold 'A' team who were very strong. Our defenders were tested throughout the game and despite making some excellent tackles in places, found themselves all too often moving away from players and leaving players unmarked which made for some easy goals by Ashfold. Our mid-field struggled to keep possession of the ball during the game, although a special mention goes to Oluwadabira Filani who worked extremely hard to try to get the ball into our attacking half. We re-grouped after the first game and I was extremely impressed how up-beat the girls remained into the second game against Ashfold 'B' team. I think the girls were getting very tired at this point and found it difficult to remain focused. There were definite periods of good play during the game with Ifeoluwa Adekanmbi becoming more competitive on the ball driving forwards into space and making some great passes to Oluwadabira Filani in centre mid-field. Oluwadabira Filani managed to capitalise on one of these moves and scored a great goal in the second half but we were already 3 goals down at this point and became too difficult to bridge the gap in the time we had. Onwards and upwards girls to the next game.
The Grove: 0
Ashfold School 'A': 5
Player of the Mathc: Oluwadabira Filani
The Grove: 1
Ashfold School 'B': 3
Player of the Match: Oluwadabira Filani
Our Under 9 Girls had a Hockey fixture away at Ashfold Prep School. We always enjoy our fixtures at Ashfold, so the children were very excited and ready to have an enjoyable game.
We first played Ashfolds ‘A’ Team. We could see straight away there was some very strong players on the team, however, our girls were strong and tackling the ball, with some excellent defending from Mikayla Martey and our new goalkeeper Hannah Siddall. In the first half we conceded 2 goals, but the girls were still very upbeat at half time, and we made some beautiful passes out to Alexa O’Kane and Sophie Hartley-Wiley. Unfortunately the ‘A’ team were very strong and we lost the game 4-0.
Our second match was against the ‘B’ team, who were also very strong. Even though half of the girls had played the first match, we were still very upbeat and ready to go. We managed to keep possession of the ball in this match a lot better, again with excellent defending and passing from Arianna Viceli-Fitch to Alice Alder in midfield. We were using space well, and I could see all the hard work in Sports lessons had paid off, and we were passing out to the wings, and our stick skills had improved. Unfortunately, Ashfold ‘B’ team were very strong and we lost the match 2-0.
Altogether, we had a great afternoon, and we have taken the loss positively, we now know what we need to work on in lessons to improve for future fixtures.
Well Done Girls.
The Grove: 0
Ashfold School 'A': 4
The Grove: 0
Ashfold School 'B': 2
On Tuesday 7th November The Grove U8 boys came up against Beachborough School for their 4th fixture of the year. Following on from their previous performance at the Akeley Wood festival they couldn’t wait to get stuck in again.
Unfortunately, the boys suffered a defeat, but regardless of the result they should all be extremely proud of their performance. The Beachborough team that the boys were up against were a very experienced side and had already participated in a lot of fixtures this year.
The game did not start off quite as planned for the boys, at half time they were 7-1 down. At this point in time frustration started to kick in and heads started to drop. During the half time break the boys sat and reflected on their performance so far and what they needed to do as a team in order to improve.
Instantly the boys came out strong by scoring 3 great tries in quick succession, putting Beachborough on the back foot and confidence started to grow. For the remainder of the match the boys remained strong and did not stop working hard right to the end. Unfortunately, all of their hard work was not quite enough to overcome the half time deficit but it is a learning curve and learning from their mistakes can only make them stronger. It is a big test of character to fall behind and come back, and they showed that greatly.
Every week the boys are getting better and stronger as a unit and will continue to build on that for the remainder of the year. As always, thank you for the support from parents who came to watch, it is always greatly appreciated.
together as a team, showed encouragement to each other and helped each other out with every aspect of the afternoon.
We look forward to the next fixture at home to Akeley Wood School and are positive that the boys can continue to improve on their fantastic performances.
The Grove: 8
Beachborough School: 10
After lots of training the time finally came for the U9’s first contact rugby match, and it came up against an always strong Beachborough team.
Right from the start I was extremely impressed by both sets of players but when you factor in it was The Grove’s first match it was incredible how well the boys were tackling, making hit after hit and not relenting as the match went on. As we went into half time we were three tries to two up, but knew the second half wouldn’t be anything other than difficult.
The match continued in the same vein with both teams looking to score whenever possible and with the score tied at six tries apiece with one play remaining it took some heroic defending on the try line to keep out a possible Grove try.
Drawing 30-30 against a strong opposition was an outstanding result and the boys were very unlucky not to have one, a great start to the season and extremely promising signs!
The Grove: 30
K Nwuga (3), J Imonioro (2), K Adeleye
Beachborough School: 30
Man of the Match: K Nwuga