U16 Boys’ Hockey v Churcher’s College U15, 27.02.2019

By Kevin Boniface, Head of Hockey

What an excellent match this was. The mixed age Bedales U16 side came across a talented Churcher’s U15 side and it made for an absolute thriller.

Churcher’s had most of the initial attacking play, but the plan was always to use the Bedales physical strength and speed to play direct and on the counter attack. This worked perfectly for the first goal as the ever present Arthur Lingham won the ball outside the Bedales circle, played a quick ball to Ed Marshall-Smith – who would go on to have one of his best performances in a Bedales shirt – followed by a release pass to Alec Grew, and as both teams thought the ball was going out on the bassline, Alec managed to swoop in and convert it with a superb one handed finish.

Deservedly, Churcher’s equalised soon after, but as half-time was approaching, Marshall-Smith once again influenced the game and neatly converted to make it 2-1.

Having worked incredibly hard with the bare 11, Bedales knew they were going to be up against it in the second half as Churcher’s rotated their squad of 16, keeping fresh legs on the pitch. Despite some solid goalkeeping from Laurence Johari and resolute defending from Charlie Abbott, Churcher’s deservedly drew level and were now having the bulk of the attacking play. The situation worsened for Bedales as they lost Marshall-Smith due to a calf injury with 10 minutes to go.

However, against all the odds, a powerful drive forward from Oscar Amis, followed by a penetrating reverse stick pass caused panic in the Churcher’s circle. Alec Grew positioned himself well and finished calmly to put Bedales 3-2 up and take the victory. A really enjoyable, competitive game that could have gone either way.

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Boys’ 1st XI Hockey in the Hampshire Hockey U18 Trophy Competition, 30.01.2019

By Kevin Boniface, Head of Hockey

On Wednesday the Boys’ 1st XI travelled to Southampton Sports Centre to take part in the Hampshire Hockey U18 Trophy Competition. In their first game the Bedales side got off to a good start, threatening with the pace and power of Loet Brouwer down the right hand side and deservedly went 1-0 up. Unfortunately, they then took their foot off the gas a little which allowed their opponents, HCS, to come back in to the game and earn a draw.

In the second match, Bedales once again took the lead but a freak deflected goal gave Peter Symonds College renewed hope, and as the game was nearing the final whistle, Peter Symonds scored a well worked short corner to take the game 2-1. This game appeared to knock the Bedales side, and in their third game against Ryde, they produced a rather lacklustre performance, deservedly losing 2-0.

The Bedales side used the break between games to revisit how they were trying to play hockey, and focused on more ‘stick to stick’ passing and better decision-making in the final third. This paid dividends, as in their fourth game they produced a hugely improved team performance that included some standout defending from Ollie van Hoeken and Finn Wilkins, which gave the team a platform to attack from. Two excellent individual goals from Jack Cecil and Loet Brouwer saw the Bedales side take the game 2-0.

The final game of the tournament came against a high scoring Barton Peveril side who had already won the competition. It was perhaps a bit of a surprise to the tournament winners that Bedales nearly took the lead, with the industrious Jack Cecil carving out another opportunity for himself. He was unlucky not to score as he calmly lifted the ball over the advancing keeper at the top of the circle only to see his effort roll agonisingly past the post.

As Barton Peveril moved through the gears, they were met with strong resistance from right half Carter Clothier and goalkeeper Anthony White. After a long period of resolute defending from the team, Loet Brouwer was ‘released’ at the other end of the pitch and left the Peveril defenders for dead, but having done the bulk of the hard work – beating three defenders and the keeper – he couldn’t quite add the finish. In the end, though, the Barton Peveril side were too strong and two superb finishes saw them win their final game 2-0.

On the whole, it was an excellent tournament for the Bedales side; the boys who took part were an absolute credit to the school and should be proud of their efforts – however, they may end up ruing some missed chances in the earlier games.

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.

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.