On the 8th March the 'A' team played their home fixture against Maidwell Hall. As we had two fixtures, the 'B' team played first enabling the 'A' team to observe the opposition and prepare themselves for their pending game.
At 3pm, the first game was over and Tiya Mistry (Captain) won the first centre pass. The game started positively with the Grove stringing together a number of passes and they looked a little more confident on court. However, despite this, Maidwell Hall defence were very eager to win the ball back, therefore making lots of interceptions and gaining possession. This coinciding with a very strong Maidwell Hall attacking side resulted in the final score ending 12 – 0 to Maidwell Hall.
In future lessons, we will be working on is trying to improve our eagerness for the ball and competitiveness on court.
The Grove 'A': 0
Maidwell Hall 'A': 12
The third match of the season for the U10/11 side and with a couple of players missing it was always going to be a tough fixture. The first half of the game started well with an early goal scored for The Grove and it looked like the game was going to be closely fought between the two teams but Maidwell took control and we found ourselves 7-1 down at half-time. The second half was disappointing and The Grove just couldn’t keep possession of the ball in mid-court and we very rarely got the ball to our shooters. Maidwell were very competitive and determined throughout the game, something The Grove must strive to achieve going forwards. The final score – Lost 12-1
The Grove 'B': 1
Maidwell Hall 'B': 12
Player of the Match – Emily Garwood
Only two days after our last fixture we came up against Birkenhead School, who visit us annually as part of their football tour. Playing on astroturf due to poor weather making the pitches unplayable, we faced a different challenge on a quicker and smoother surface. The game would also be made harder by the fact four of our opposition play in the Liverpool FC junior sides. Baring all of that in mind I was impressed by the performance The Grove put in. A 6-0 score line was harsh on us as we often defended well in numbers, but our oppositions quality shone through. We came close to getting a goal back but it wasn’t to be.
Our B team were excited to face our touring opposition and were keen to force a better result than our A’s did. They did exactly that as The Grove defended valiantly and put together good phases of play going forward. We were unlucky to lose 2-0 and goalkeeper Isaac Henshaw played very well to ensure it was only two.
The Grove 'A': 0
Birkenhead School 'A': 6
Man of the Match: Damilola Omotosho
The Grove 'B':
Birkenhead School 'B': 2
Man of the Match: Isaac Henshaw
The A team faced a particularly tough game this Wednesday when up against Swanbourne House School.
The girls fought valiantly throughout, against a very strong Year 6 team and showed great improvement in their movement on the court – something we have worked hard on this term. There was some excellent defending from Mariam and Iman with great support from the rest of the team members but despite this Swanbourne lead throughout. Caitlin and Oluchi fought hard to try and get out cleanly to receive our centre passes from Tiya but unfortunately we were unable to capitalize on this on a consistent basis. Despite the increasing lead the girls remained positive throughout and continued to fight hard to keep the ball out of our defending end and should be proud of their efforts.
The Grove 'A': 0
Swanbourne House 'A': 17
Player of the Match: Mariam Elakama
The game started promptly with The Grove winning the first center pass. Throughout the four quarters The Grove girls’ managed to pass the ball up the court and there were some glimpses of excellent movement and some great individual performances.
However, on the day, it was a very tough game against a tight team. Swanbourne were much stronger at holding their position and driving in front of their players, resulting in the final score ending Swanbourne 10 – Grove 0. In future lessons, we will continue to work on the girls’ hunger for the ball and movement on court.
The Grove 'B': 0
Swanbourne House 'B': 10
With a packed fixture schedule coming up we started our busy period against Swanbourne. On a muddy pitch we had to remind ourselves to be precise and accurate with our passes and first touches. We went down early to a well struck Swanbourne goal and never really threatened to get back in the game sadly, our opposition showing good composure on the ball and ruthlessness in front of goal. We did however get a goal back through a good Jeremy Matthews strike, making the score line a slightly better 5-1.
Our B team followed with the pitch now deteriorating. We came up against a Swanbourne B team who were equally as competent on the ball as their A’s. We put some good phases of play together but came up against an extremely strong goalkeeper, on another day we would have scored two or three but it wasn’t to be as we succumbed to a 4-0 defeat.
The Grove 'A': 1
Swanbourne House 'A': 5
Man of the Match: Jeremy Matthews
The Grove 'B': 0
Swanbourne House 'B': 4
Man of the Match: Giannis Rigas
Under 10/11 'A'
This was the first U10/11 fixture of the season played away at Northampton High School. As usual we arrived nice and early for the 'A' team to be thoroughly warmed up by their captain by Caitlin Hendry. At 2:30pm the game began with The Grove winning first centre pass. In the first quarter of 8 minutes, Northampton High School used their possession more effectively to score 4 quick goals. However, after the break and a few positional changes, The Grove girls suddenly found much more space on court and were able to apply additional pressure to Northampton’s defence to score 2 successive goals.
After two more quarters, the final score ended Northampton High 8, The Grove 2. Despite the score, it was quite a close match with some great individual performances. However, moving forward and in the next lesson we will be focusing on defending effectively, particularly within our defensive third.
The Grove 'A': 2
Northampton High 'A': 8
Under 10/11 'B'
The first match of the season for the U10/11 side. We arrived in good time for a thorough warm-up which was needed with the afternoon weather becoming bitterly cold. The atmosphere between the teams from the offset was competitive yet sporting and I was extremely proud of the way the girls conducted themselves throughout the afternoon. The first quarter of the game was closely fought between the two teams and The Grove found themselves only 2-1 down at the whistle. The second quarter saw some missed chances from The Grove and a few mistakes in mid-court which allowed Northampton High to capitalise with the score moving to 5-2 down at half-time. The third quarter was filled with missed chances from both teams and the score remained the same going into the final quarter of the game. This quarter The Grove worked really hard, particularly in mid-court and they managed to get the ball to GA and GS for 2 successful shots at goal. The last goal was magnificent from Chloe Cave who took a chance with a shot near the edge of the circle within the last minute of the game. Unfortunately, the team didn’t have enough time to draw level so the final score was 5-4 to Northampton High School.
The Grove: 4
Northampton High: 5
Player of the Match: Iman Komane
On Tuesday 7th February the The Grove Under 8 boys travelled to Buckinghamshire for a fixture against Ashfold School. The afternoon took the form of 2 games being played against an Ashfold ‘A’ and B’ team.
The first match against Ashfold ‘A’ was great to witness. with sides played some excellent football. The Grove took the lead early on through a strike from Kanye Nwuga which boosted the confidence of the whole team. Unfortunately, as the game progressed fatigue started to kick in and Ashfold were able to come from behind and win the match.
The second match was a different story. During the brief interval, the boys had managed to compose themselves and came back on to the pitch raring to go. Right from the off the boys were on the front foot with two more excellent strikes from Kanye Nwuga to complete his hat-trick for the day.
Both teams once again put on a great display, with Oliver Surely and Joseph Imonioro completing the goal tally and some brilliant saves from goalkeeper Ethan Ireland.
Finally, thank you to the parents who made the journey to come to support the boys.
The Grove: 1
Ashfold School 'A': 2
Man of the Match: Kanye Nwuga
The Grove: 4
K. Nwuga (2), O. Surley, J. Imonioro
Ashfold School 'B': 0
Man of the Match: Ethan Ireland
A beautiful wintery afternoon greeted The Grove U9 boys as they arrived in South Buckinghamshire to play Ashfold school.
The identical format to Swanbourne House awaited the team with four, ten minute quarters against Ashfold 'A' and 'B'.
The first match saw The Grove take on Ashfold 'A'. This was a cagey affair with both sides sitting back with the ball and not a great deal of attacking Football was played. The halftime dead-lock was broken by Ashfold A three minutes from time with a well taken free kick. However special mentions to Stellan Chinnappa, Leon Gunasekara and Alexander Chan who all defended Manfully during the entire match.
Our Second match against Ashfold 'B' was a very different match, with The Grove dominating from the start. Findlay Hovell and Gbolahan Asade combined well for our first goal of the season. Unlike other matches The Grove got stronger as the second match wore on. Kwaku Malanda had two great shots on goal, with Findlay Hovell adding a second goal for the Grove just prior to half time.
The second half saw Wilfred Clark make two excellent saves, with Findlay Hovell scoring two more goals with the final score 4-0 to The Grove.
A special Thanks to all the parents who came out to support the team.
The Grove: 0
Ashfold School 'A': 1
Man of the Match: Stellan Chinnappa
The Grove: 4
F. Hovell (4)
Ashfold School :0
Man of the Match: Findlay Hovell
The second match of the season for the U.9 team and after a thorough warm-up and the sun shining we were ready to start.
The first quarter of the game saw Ashfold dominate with some strong passing, dynamic movements and well executed shots in goal. The Grove took time to settle and found it difficult to keep up with the pace of the game. After a quick team talk and reassurance The Grove started the second quarter with more possession of the game in the centre third and started to show some determination to win the ball with some good interceptions from GD and GK. Unfortunately we still couldn’t stop the consistent shooting from Ashfold and they led 7-0 at half-time.
The third quarter saw more attacking play from the Grove and we had some excellent passes into the circle. Perseverance saw a great shot from Amaya Saiz-Arthur which gave us our first goal of the game. Unfortunately Ashfold were still playing very well and continued to score at the other end of the court. At the end of the third quarter we were losing 9-1. We did manage to score one more goal in the last quarter of the game by Olivia Sobera which finished a difficult and challenging game. A good effort by all the girls with lots to work on for the next game of the season.
The Grove: 2
A. Saiz-Arthur, O. Sobera
Ashfold School: 11
Player of the Match: Amaya Saiz-Arthur
Friday 3rd February saw The Grove U9 Footballers travel to Quinton House. Unlike other matches this term, Quinton kindly played just the one team with two 15 minute halves allowing for some good open football to be played.
The first half saw both teams squander several chances on-goal, with The Grove having slightly more Possession and Territory. Unfortunately, The Grove could not convert any of their opportunities and the first half finished 0-0. Early in the second half Gbolahan Asade had two fantastic opportunities to score with both shoots going wide. Alexander Chan and Stellan Chinnappa were required to defend for the later part of the second half as Quinton House pressed for the winner. Findlay Hovell and Kwaku Malanda played well, but with just 25 seconds remaining Quinton House scored a very fortuitous goal with the ball hitting the back of a Grove player and going in.
It was a fantastic effort from the whole team to hold out as long as they did, however the opportunities Quinton House created did merit the 1-0 score line.
Well played to both teams and thanks to all the parents who came out to support the team.
The Grove: 0
Quinton House School: 1
Man of the Match: Gbolahan Asade
With the football season well underway we hosted Southwood School. Due to recent downpours the fixture was moved to Newton Longville astroturf as our fields were too wet. This was no bad thing as it made passing slick and fast and the surface nice and even.
It was clear to see early into proceedings that we had a tough game on our hands. Southwood were passing the ball with great composure and skill, but we managed to negate any potential chances they created.
This didn’t last sadly, and Southwood quickly raced to a 3-0 half time lead with some well taken goals. The Grove weren’t clinical enough in their attacks going forward and this needed to change in the second half.
The second half followed a similar pattern but improvements were made. Ayomide Adewuimi fired a shot past the far post early on in our most dangerous attack of the game, and we were much quicker to put pressure on our opponents. As we became more tired, Southwood exposed the space that was left available, and were ruthless in front of goal scoring a further three goals.
With a final score of 6-0 there were certainly areas that needed improving but we were up against an extremely strong side. Good effort boys!
The Grove: 0
Southwood School: 6
Man of the Match: Damilola Omotosho
This was the U9's first competitive fixture this season and it was against Swanbourne House. Upon arriving early and undertaking a thorough warm-up, the game began with the first centre pass awarded to The Grove.
There were two matches to be played, against Swanbourne 'A' and 'B' team. Across the two games, Sophy Pearce started as centre and distributed the ball beautifully across the court. Similarly, Amaya Saiz-Arthur had two great games, dominating the play as Goal Attack by her competitiveness to win the ball. In defence, Eve Bailey, Jaina Kavia and Iraa Kulkarni made some excellent interceptions and Hana Iguchi as usual placed herself into some lovely positons on court. Also, a special thank you to Hannah Siddall from the U8's who was a last minute addition to the team.
The final score of the first game against Swanbourne 'B' team was The Grove 4 – Swanbourne 0. In the second game, the final result was The Grove – 0 Swanbourne – 7.
Overall, it was a fantastic afternoon enhanced by Swanbourne’s hospitality. Importantly, the girls were wonderfully behaved and demonstrated great determination on court.
Moving forward, we need to work on driving into a space and quicker decision making on the ball.
The Grove 'A': 0
Swanbourne Hosue 'B': 7
The Grove 'A': 4
Swanbourne House 'A' 0