At the beginning of this term, we felt our hockey was heading slightly into the unknown. With only four players from last year’s team remaining, it was difficult to know how a new team would gel together and what sort of standard it would be. After the first couple of training sessions, however, it was clear we had nothing to be anxious about. The Lower Sixth girls coming into the squad are motivated and eager to learn, which has made team training go very well.
Our first game was against The King’s School Chester on Wednesday 18th September. They are usually a strong side and their team is mostly unchanged from last year. Shrewsbury started fantastically well, being particularly strong in attack, and it wasn’t long before we were rewarded with a short corner. Satisfyingly, exactly as in training, the ball came out and was struck cleanly by Antonia Schüler into the bottom right corner. 1-0 Shrewsbury.
King’s came back strong and continued to push forward for the remainder of the half, equalising just before half time. In the second half, Shrewsbury continued to work hard, but it was obvious that King’s were determined to push on for the win. After ten minutes, Alice Sykes-Waller made a great run into the D and scored. 2-1 Shrewsbury. After this, Shrewsbury struggled to get it out of their half, as King’s continued to attack well. With fifteen minutes to go, King’s equalised for a second time to make it 2-2. Shrewsbury tried to regain possession, but King’s were too strong and took advantage of some poor defensive play by Shrewsbury. Three goals in ten minutes gave King’s a 5-2 victory. Although the result was disappointing, it was a pleasing start for the new Shrewsbury team with lots to build on in the following weeks.
Last week, on Wednesday 25th September, Shrewsbury hosted Wrekin College. This is always a competitive fixture against a strong side, and this game was no exception. The hockey was a good standard from the off and both teams played well, particularly in the midfield, making it end-to-end play and a lot of running around. Attack for both teams was stronger than defence, but neither could be penetrated in the first half so it remained 0-0 at half time.
Shrewsbury went close to a goal early in the second half with a good move up the right wing, but were denied by some good goalkeeping. Wrekin then made a break and were awarded a short corner which they converted: 1-0 Wrekin. And this is how the game finished. Shrewsbury played some exceptional hockey at times, but were just not able to convert their chances.
We continue this week preparing for Wrekin Invitation 7s Tournament on Wednesday 2nd October.