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
With the rugby season well and truly underway we hosted Ashfold for what promised to be an exciting match.
From start to finish The Grove boys attacked relentlessly not letting our opponents rest or get out of their defensive half. Some superb examples of individual running was evident throughout and whilst this was exciting to watch I am hoping to see more examples of ‘team tries’ rather than ‘solo tries’ to improve our all round game.
We did have one minor slip with a few missed tackles to allow Ashfold to score but all in all it was a great show of attacking rugby from The Grove, running in eleven tries.
Well done boys!
The Grove: 55
G Rigas (3), E Martey (3), R Kimani (2), G Asade (2), K Malanda
Ashfold School: 5
Man of the Match: Giannis Rigas
On Wednesday 18th October The Grove U8 boys participated in an annual Tag Rugby festival held at Akeley Wood School. Every year it is always great fun and a great experience for the kids. This was only the second time the boys had played a fixture/fixtures together. Following on from their previous win over Quinton House their confidence was high and they couldn’t wait to get involved once more.
The festival consisted of 5 teams including The Grove, all playing each other once and the overall results based on tries scored and matches won, lost or drawn. Out of the 4 matches played, The Grove won 2, drew 1 and lost 1. Unfortunately, the loss and the draw were incredibly close matches and even though the result did not quite go exactly as the boys would want, it meant that overall they finished the afternoon in 2nd place!!
To achieve such a feat with such a small amount of experience is absolutely fantastic and each and every one of them should be so proud of themselves. The parents who came to watch and support the boys were just as an important factor to the day as they provided constant encouragement when the boys needed it most, and for this I thank you all.
Every single one of the Year 3 boys participated in each of the matches and every single one of them played a vital part in the team’s success on the day. This is a big step in their overall development and character which is priceless and can only get better. Although more tries were scored by different people, not 1 child stood out amongst the rest, the boys worked 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 and are positive that the boys can continue to improve on their fantastic performances.
Akeley Wood School 'A': 8
The Grove: 6
O. Whittam (2), M. Malanda, G. Alvarez-Custodio, S. Okesola, T. Coles
Man of the Match: Toby Coles
The Grove: 6
T. Coles (3), O. Whittam (2), S. Okesola
Swanbourne House 'B': 2
Man of the Match: Gabriel Alvarez-Custodio
The Grove: 2
T. Coles, G. Alvarez-Custodio
Swanbourne House 'A': 2
Man of the Match: Kyle Dissanayake
The Grove: 7
O. Whittam (4), T. Coles, S. Okesola, G Alvarez-Custodio
Akeley Wood School 'B': 2
Man of the Match: Oliver Whittam
Quinton House arrived with 2 teams to play which was unexpected but gave The Grove lots of game play which was welcomed at this time of the year. Our first match was against their 'A' team and although it was the first ever fixture for our U8 girls playing, the game was very competitive throughout with some excellent attacking play from Oluwadabira Filani as centre midfield and Alexa O’Kane as centre forward. Unfortunately the team found it hard to switch from attack to defence and haven’t yet established the skill of tackling, so Quinton managed to score 2 goals pushing easily past our midfield and defence. After a team talk at the end of the match the girls were then ready for their second match against Quinton 'B' team. The Grove took control of the game fantastically well and in no time at all Alexa O’Kane scored with a super run through to goal. Soon after Oluwadabira Filani demonstrated some good individual skill on the ball and with sheer determination scored the second goal for The Grove. The second half was much the same with The Grove dominating the game and we soon secured 2 more goals from Ifeoluwa Adekanmbi and another from Alexa O’Kane.
Well done girls. A super start to the season from the U8 girls.
The Grove: 0
Quinton House 'A': 2
The Grove: 4
A. O'Kane (2), O. Filani, I. Adekanmbi
Quinton House 'B': 0
Player of the Fixture: Alexa O’Kane
Friday 29th September saw The Grove Under 8 Boys play their first Tag Rugby fixture of the academic year at home to Quinton House. This was the first time all of the boys had ever competed in tag rugby and had only had 4 training sessions to prepare for it. Due to the anticipation and the excitement of it all, the boys did not show any signs of nervousness and turned up raring to go!
The match started well for The Grove as they took a 2-0 lead. Unfortunately, due to a lapse in concentration Quinton House were able to pull the match back level. The match consisted of four 7 minute quarters and throughout the entire game the scores stayed extremely close with only 1 or 2 points difference at any time. Finally, as fatigue started to kick in it was The Grove showed their second wind and managed to pull away in the dying few minutes of the match to record their first victory with a score of 10-8.
Every single one of the boys played extremely well and should be proud of their performance and efforts. Gabriel Alvarez-Custodio captained the team well, he showed great leadership skills and great sportsmanship to Quinton House. Toby Coles stood out also with his penetrating runs and excellent pace through the heart of the Quinton House defence, causing them all kinds of trouble!
Thank you for all of the support from parents who turned up to watch, it is greatly appreciated by everyone.
The Grove now look forward to their next matches at the Akeley Wood festival in a few weeks’ time, hoping to build on their current success.
The Grove: 10
Quinton House: 8
Man of the Match: Toby Coles
On the 28th September, The Grove girls faced their second game of the season against Beachborough School.
After a 40 minute drive, we arrived in time for a warm-up and a thorough team talk before commencing play. The whole team approached the game very positive due to their fantastic win the week before and they were all very excited to begin.
The game begun with the Grove taking the first push back. The girls started well and managed to get stuck in. However, the Beachborough team had exceptionally strong players and they managed to make some fantastic breaks in order to find the goal.
The second half was slightly shorter than the first due to Beachborough having another game straight after against Quinton House. However, the Grove girls still battled away with Chloe Cave in defence having an outstanding game. She consistently made strong tackles to break down the opposite teams attacking play and cleared the ball away from danger.
The final score ended up Beachborough 5 – Grove – 0. However, considering that Sophy Pearce helped out in goal last minute to replace Jana Alsallal who was away and the fact that it was only the Grove girls second fixture, there were lots of positives to take away from the afternoon.
The Grove: 0
Beachborough School: 5
This was the U10/11’s first fixture of the season against Quinton House and what a great fixture it was!
The game started promptly with The Grove winning the first push back. Throughout the first half, we were very much dominating play, demonstrating some fantastic attacking play which continued throughout the whole game.
Jana Alsallal managed to keep a clean sheet, making some very important clearances. This was helped by a fantastic defence, with Chloe Cave, Sophy Pearce and Eve Bailey strong in all of their tackles.
In midfield and on the wing, Maya Shah, Gabriella English, Iman Komane and Carolina Diniz Fernandez-Lomana demonstrated superb vision distributing the ball beautifully down both of the channels. And in attack, Amaya Saiz-Arthur showed great commitment and hunger for the ball, scoring a total of three goals!
Overall, it was a fantastic game with both excellent individual and team performances all around. Well done!
The Grove: 6
A. Saiz-Arthur (3), G. English, C. Diniz Fernandez-Lomana
Quinton House School: 0
Player of the Match: Maya Shah
With the rugby season well and truly underway we travelled to Quinton House full of anticipation after last week’s win against Asfhold. We knew we still had areas to improve on though and the game was never going to be easy.
We started sloppily with some missed tackles and went behind early. Sadly, we never recovered and poor mistakes in important areas and at crucial times meant we couldn’t stop conceding tries. When we were on the attack we showed promise but couldn’t quite string that final pass together or break through the defensive line. We did get on the score sheet when Findlay Hovell reacted quickest to a loose ball and pounced to score but our attacks were far too infrequent.
More missed tackles meant the score was mounting higher but one highlight did come when Elijah Martey picked up and ball and used his pace to break through Quinton House’s defences to score. Soon after Kwaku Malanda picked up his first try of the season, running home into the corner. Unfortunately, this wasn’t enough to mount a comeback and we ended a tough game with a 50-15 defeat.
Our next fixtures come on October 11th as we host our annual rugby festival, plenty of practise will be taking place between now and then to ensure our ‘A game’ is present then.
The Grove: 15
F. Hovell, E. Martey, K. Malanda
Quinton House School: 50
Man of the Match: Findlay Hovell