Girls’ 1st XI Hockey v St John’s College, 28.11.2018

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By Kevin Boniface, Head of Hockey

As the Girls’ 1st XI Hockey team’s last game of the season, this was also the final game in Bedales’ colours for the 6.2 pairing of Alice Perry and captain Nancy Tier. Despite tough weather conditions, the team were determined to send off the departing 6.2s with a good performance.

Things could not have got off to a better start, with Nancy opening the scoring inside ten minutes with a fiercely struck short corner. After a melee inside the St John’s circle, Amber Pearson finished neatly on the half-volley to put the Bedales side 2-0 up at half-time. Soon after the re-start, Elsa Rymer had made it 3-0 to the hosts with a shot from the top of the circle that was deflected in.

From here, huge credit must go to St John’s, who despite some outstanding saves from goalkeeper Becca Staring, fought their way back into the game, scoring two goals in quick succession.

It was, however, perhaps fitting that with less than ten minutes to go, Nancy eliminated three players, drove in to the circle and with a little bit of luck her shot was deflected in and an open game ended with a 4-2 win to Bedales.

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U14 Girls’ Hockey v Kings’ School, Winchester, 21.11.2018

By Kevin Boniface, Head of Hockey

On Wednesday the U14 Girls’ Hockey team travelled away to face Kings’ School, Winchester. Having produced a number of really good performances in recent weeks the Bedales side were growing in confidence but this was going to be a stern test for them.

The game was even for the first ten minutes or so, but soon after that the home side began to exert a lot of pressure and deservedly went 1-0 up. Huge credit to Bedales goalkeeper, Daisy Taylor and the defensive unit of Leela Walton, Maya Cressman and Olivia Cooper who defended with bravery and tenacity, limiting the Kings side to a number of half chances, despite having the bulk of the attacking play.

A score of 1-0 at half-time meant the Bedales side still had a chance; a tweak of formation moved the influential Lally Arengo-Jones in to centre half which increased the range of distribution and allowed the Bedales side to be more of a threat on the counter-attack. This plan came to fruition when Lally found Kamaya Nelson-Clayton unmarked on the halfway line, a driving run from Kamaya left her 1 v 1 against the Kings keeper and she calmly slotted the ball in the corner.

Further sustained Kings attacking pressure was not converted and the Bedales side were becoming more of a threat, especially through the pace of Zoe Lobbenberg on the right wing. It was from one of these attacks that the Bedales side found themselves 2-1 up, Zoe eliminated her marker on the halfway line and a direct run in to the circle was finished with a superb lifted shot in to the far netting.

2-1 was the final score and perhaps a flattering result for the Bedales side but one that showed if you play with grit, determination and a good team spirit things can go your way.

Holland Hockey Tour

On the Monday morning of 7 July, just two days after the end of term, Helen Retter, Kevin Boniface and Sonia Cartwright led 23 bucolic Bedales hockey players aged 14-17 to Rotterdam, home to the largest hockey club in the Netherlands.

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Despite a surprise ferry trip due to an accident on the railway, we arrived safely late in the evening to ‘Novotel’ where we suppered and slept. Tuesday brought the first training session at HC Rotterdam, where we were drilled in the generous rain by three fine coaches, one of which was impressively (and embarrassingly for us) just 16 years old. Hot-dogged and watered, the afternoon was made up of more skills, including passing, positioning and techniques, and friendly competitive mixed matches amongst the group. Late afternoon was spent cooling off in a nearby swimming pool where Kevin showed us his gymnastic diving prowess.

Dinner was a quiet affair, as the day had sufficiently tired us. Breakfast on Wednesday morning was an even quieter affair, as six of our precious players were unfortunately struck by a particularly infectious and savage sickness bug. Two of our dormitories became sans for Nurse Cartwright and Dr Retter. Luckily for med school drop-out Kevin, the boys were on a separate floor, so few were affected.

Our morning training session was in slightly better weather, which helped boost our team moral for the afternoon match. Two minutes before the game the total sick count was brought to seven, so the girls played a seven aside match, borrowing two under 15 Rotterdam players. It was a good game showing a strong level of hockey from both sides, and some stunning goals from Maud and Pippa resulting in a win for Bedales. The boys played next – a full 11-aside game; their passing was fluid and the goals mounted quickly, ending with a win of 10-1.

Glorious sunshine met Thursday, and after a few more people had recovered we spent the morning with a more gentle approach to training. Goal keepers, Roly and Ellie, were treated with an intense training session from one of the world’s best goalie coaches. After this, we spent some time in Rotterdam endorsing some of its finest products including a Hilary Clinton nutcracker and two very loud air horns which later, were inevitably banned. The girls match was again seven aside, though all the girls played in frequent rotation – on and off the immaculate water pitch. This match was tougher, as our usual fight back mentality was slightly diminished by our weakened side and we lost. The boys also fought hard, and although there were many moments of beauty, they also lost.

Friday morning was sadly our last training session, ending typically with a heated girls verses boys match. After heartfelt speeches from Maud, Helen, the coaches and our Representative, we headed home happy. A special thank you from all of us to Helen, Sonia and Kevin who managed to maintain a good sense of humour and made many marvelous memories of this eventful trip.

By Becky Grubb (6.1)

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Bedales School is one of the UK’s top independent private co-education boarding schools. Bedales comprises three schools situated in Steep, near Petersfield, Hampshire: Dunannie (ages 3–8), Dunhurst (ages 8–13) and Bedales itself (ages 13–18). Established in 1893 Bedales School puts emphasis on the Arts, Sciences, voluntary service, pastoral care, and listening to students’ views. Bedales is acclaimed for its drama, theatre, art and music. The Headmaster is Keith Budge.