Vacancy : Club Secretary

After a number of years in the role, our current secretary is standing down at the end of the season but is willing to provide support to anyone taking on the role.

This would be an ideal role for a player, parent or volunteer who is looking to become involved in the continued development of our thriving hockey club.

The key activities of the role:

  • To be the ‘principal administrator’ for the club, dealing with all club correspondence, distributing to relevant officers for response where required.
  • To prepare and distribute the monthly committee meeting agendas
  • Attend and keep the Minutes of all monthly Club Committee meetings and distribute copies
  • Keep signed copies of all meeting minutes on file (or shared drive)
  • To carry out or delegate all of the administrative duties thereby enabling the club and its members to function effectively
  • To work alongside the treasurer to see that all affiliation/registration documents are accurate and are paid on time

What else can you tell me about the role?

  • The Club Secretary is a pivotal role within the club and with the assistance of the Club Development Officer should provide the main points of contact for people within and outside the club on just about every aspect of the club’s activities.
  • As the first point of contact for the club, it is helpful if the Secretary is available to respond to queries during the working day via email etc.

Requirements

  • Registered member of Whitchurch hockey club (doesn’t have to be full playing member)
  • Access to internet and computer literacy, as the majority of documents are online.
  • DBS check (carried out by England hockey via club)
  • You should complete ENGLAND HOCKEY’s online Safeguarding training as you are tasked with the storing of player details including under 18’s.

If anyone is interested in taking on the role or has any questions please email secretary@whitchurchhockeyclub.com

Match Reports 22/02/20

Whitchurch ladies 2s 4 Sale ladies 3s 0

On Saturday 22nd February Whitchurch Ladies 2s finally played their rearranged match against Sale which was postponed due to a frozen pitch on 18th January.  The result of this match would determine if Whitchurch Ladies 2s finished in the top or bottom half of the division.

Whitchurch had a strong team of 15 players, the majority of whom have played together all season with some strong replacements eager to come on the pitch.

The warm up was focused to get the team to concentrate and motivated, emphasising the need to attack the ball and make sure passes were accurate.

First push back was taken by Sale, but they didn’t get far, the attacking line of Amy Fry at centre forward and Amelie Morris and Hayleigh Busby in the inner positions, hit the ball quickly to take it forward towards the Sale dee.  And this is where the ball spent most of the first half, either down the left hand-side with lovely passing play between Edina Jones and Tracey Tolhurst playing into the dee or on the right between Phoebe Jones and Nina Hodges using Molly Fry as the lynch pin to change direction of the ball across the pitch.

Frustratingly no matter how much play Whitchurch had in the Sale 22, the Sale keeper and strong defence managed to keep the ball from the goal.

Every 16 the Sale player had was heavily defended by the Whitchurch team, if the ball got past the first row of Amy Fry, Holly Gilbert or Caitlin Edwards it was soon scooped up by the halves or backs including Emily Lister, who was playing her first match for the Ladies 2s and Catherine Reece-Gresty who played a fantastic match of sweeping back.

Even though the first goal alluded the Whitchurch Ladies they did not give up and kept their heads focused defending well when needed and driving forward passing between themselves down the pitch towards the goal.

Sale did manage to break through twice during the first half, however with a strong half and defensive line, it didn’t worry Beth Wright in goal who dealt with the ball cleanly and assertively.

In the dying minutes of the first half Whitchurch were finally rewarded for their pressure with some beautiful passing play down the pitch slipped to the post and pushed into the Sale goal by Molly Fry

Whitchurch went into the halftime break 1-0 up.  The team talk by Captain Emma Clarke, bought the teams focus back on track, encouraged the team to relax around the goal mouth and stop trying to force the goal and urged players to stay out of the dee allowing the ball to be reset before being directed at the goal.

As anticipated Sale had also had a strong team talk and came out fighting, however each of their attacks were easily dealt with by the Whitchurch defence, to be able to counter attack on the Sale defence.

It was obvious the Sale team were tiring and with four subs Whitchurch was able to rotate players regularly and keep the pressure on.  It didn’t take long for Whitchurch to be rewarded by a fantastic goal from a short corner, push in from Molly Fry to Nicola Forester at the top of the dee, back into Phoebe Jones to the side of the goal with a fantastic shot past the Sale defence.

Whitchurch dominated the last 15 minutes of the match, with a goal from Nicola Forster and another from a short corner past left this time to Hayley Busby who shot to the post and scored.

In the dying minutes of the match Sale were awarded two short corners in quick succession, both of which were dispensed with efficiently by Whitchurch’s Keeper, who kept another clean sheet.

The final score 4-0 to Whitchurch moving them up to joint 4th in the division, player of the match was Nina Hodges.

Whitchurch Ladies 2s have four more matches to the season, three of which are the top teams in the division so they have a very hard month ahead.  Next week Whitchurch Ladies 2s are on the road to Neston ladies 4s who are 2nd in the division.

Northop Hall Men’s 2s 2 Whitchurch Men’s 1s 3

Whitchurch travelled away this week full of confidence after last week’s top-of-the-table win, but knowing that complacency could be their downfall. They were up against a strong Northop Hall team who have developed well over the season and who were a threat from the start.

Much of the game was defined by Northop using a long, hard hit out from the back as their main method of attack, and they used it well all game, often finding their left half in space and able to drive forward. They also used their knowledge of the least-bouncy pitch in the league to play the ball around better at the start while Whitchurch got used to the conditions. They were able to put together a number of decent attacks, and were unlucky several times not to score. Paul “Sturge” Leigh had another outstanding game in goal, keeping the Reds in it and denying some great shots from the Northop forwards.

Finally, the pressure told, with Sturge saving twice from the same attacker, before the ball fell kindly and the Northop striker was able to do reverse scoop over the prone keeper. The rest of the half was evenly balanced, and Whitchurch didn’t let their heads drop; they knew the chances would come, and they started to put together some good hockey forcing some great saves from the Northop keeper, who was their standout player.

At half-time, the team talk was about ensuring passes made it to Red sticks on a slow pitch, coming to meet the ball early, and start to make better use of the width of the pitch. The Whitchurch structure was solid, and the use of substitutes was again effect and kept the tempo high. Chris Ruscoe made a good run into the dee and won a short corner, and Jon Chappell’s first strike shot was just too powerful for the keeper, smashing into his pad but continuing on into the goal.

Whitchurch started to put together some more of the full-width play, with the ball moving across the pitch twice as it went from dee to dee, and this width started to stretch the Northop defence. Two goals in five minutes gave the Reds the momentum, as first a free hit on the edge of the dee was taken by Rob Chappell who fired it to Jack Barnes who got a reverse stick screamer into the goal. This was followed shortly after with a short corner routine slipping the ball back to Rob Chappell who’d injected, and the keeper was over-committed and Chappell passed it under him for the Reds’ third.

Northop had to respond and implemented their game plan well, pushing two forwards up to hassle the Reds’ defence, and their continued success with the long ball out worked, as they were able to drive down their left and into the dee where Sturge saved twice, but then the ball clipped Ruscoe’s foot before bouncing off the post. After the initial confusion over whether the ball had gone over the line was cleared, a penalty stroke was awarded, and Sturge was unfortunately beaten despite picking the striker’s shot.

With the score now at 3-2, Northop pushed everyone up the pitch looking for the equaliser. The last five minutes was very tense at the back for Whitchurch with everyone crowding the Reds’ dee looking for a goal or short corner, but the defence held and the final whistle gave Whitchurch their tenth consecutive victory.

Whitchurch Men’s 2s 5 Bebington Men’s 4s 1

The Men’s 2s welcomed Bebington to a windy Whitchurch on Saturday. The game earlier in the season had been a tough, physical game, but the Reds had hung on for a narrow victory. Still without their top two scorers, the side were looking to build on the good play from the previous weekend but knew that they’d need to be more decisive and ruthless in the opposition’s dee.

The opening stages of the game were fairly even. Whitchurch struggled to get their passing game going as they moved forward and Bebington, whilst neat in possession in the middle of the pitch, found an unyielding Whitchurch defence of Alex Leigh, Will Snaith, Wyn Morris and Pip Jones.

As the half progressed, the home side’s passes started to become a bit crisper and more accurate. Alex Leigh, Joe Coburn and Joe Faithfull were linking well down the right-hand side of the pitch, but the Bebington defence held firm and Whitchurch struggled to create any danger in front of the Wirral side’s goal.

Despite dominating the possession and territory it was from a counterattack that Whitchurch opened the scoring. Alex Leigh played an excellent vertical pass to Marcus Conway, who in turn fed Airan Jones to run through on goal and he calmly slid the ball past the on-rushing keeper.

The goal settled Whitchurch and they enjoyed a good spell of possession and territory with Bebington penned in their own twenty-three. The home side got themselves into several good attacking positions, but some poor decision making let them down at the crucial moments. However neat interplay between Joe Coburn and Joe Faithfull saw the ball played across the face of goal where Jacob Buckeridge swept home at the back post to double the home side’s lead going into half-time.

Whitchurch held a three goal lead in the reverse fixture against Bebington, but the Wirral side introduced a physicality that day which knocked the young Whitchurch side out of their stride, so the focus in the second half was for the home team to move the ball swiftly, but carefully, whilst avoiding getting into contact with their opponents.

With Richard Leigh and Doug Buckeridge providing some calm in midfield, the home side moved the ball well and put Bebington under pressure from the start of the second half. A good ball forward sent Will Gilbert clear on goal and as he drew the keeper at the edge of the dee, he unselfishly squared the ball to Ethan Gresty who drove the ball into the open goal.

Although Bebington continued to play some neat hockey through the middle of the pitch, they still struggled to pose a significant threat to the Whitchurch goal. Will Snaith, Alex Leigh, Pip Jones and Wyn Morris continued to intercept passes, make blocks and tackles, and provide a solid base for Whitchurch to move forward.

The home side were making chances and Marcus Conway almost got on the end of a cross at the back post. As Bebington legs tired, Joe Coburn found more space in midfield and his incisive pass put Marcus clear and he slammed the ball past the keeper to make the score 4-0. This was quickly followed by Airan Jones second goal of the game. The Bebington keeper made an excellent double save from Airan and Will Gilbert, but Airan slammed the third effort high into the net.

Bebington were undeterred despite the score line and continued to play their own good hockey. As the Whitchurch subs rolled on into unfamiliar positions, their own play became more ragged and Bebington belatedly threatened the Whitchurch goal. Keeper Neil Jones kicked clear on several occasions, but a brief flurry of short corners just before the end of the game saw Bebington pull one goal back.

The 5-1 win was an excellent result for the team. Still without their leading scorers there was a worry that the team might struggle to score goals for the second week running, but Bebington’s willingness to play their own hockey benefitted Whitchurch. As the Wirral side’s attacks broke down, Whitchurch found space to move the ball and, more importantly, space within the dee to get shots and passes away.

The intensity provided by the midfield and attackers made life difficult for Bebington and their attacks struggled to make much headway, but for the second week running the defence was excellent and provided the platform for all of Whitchurch’s good play going forward.

In their next game, the Men’s 2s entertain the runaway league leaders from Bangor University. Pushback is 1:30pm at SJT.

Match Reports 15/02/20

Whitchurch Men’s 1s 4  Neston Men’s 5s 0

This week’s top-of-the-table clash was a classy affair between two teams who gave it their all in testing conditions, but which left Whitchurch six points clear after a scintillating performance. With Storm Dennis having already flooded the Whitchurch pitch, the game was moved to Ellesmere College in an attempt to prevent the postponement of such an important game. The conditions at the start were blustery but dry, and the game started at a high pace that would be maintained for the full 70 minutes.

Whitchurch fielded a strong team with four substitutes, and that played a good part in their success: players ran hard and then rolled off, which ensured the pace and fitness could keep the game under control. Neston have done extremely well this season, and are the only team to have beaten Whitchurch, and brought an even stronger team this week to try to do the double and potentially go back to the top of the league.

From the start, it was a high quality game, with both sides playing great hockey. The Reds were able to bring their A game, and put together the hockey they’ve played for sections of games previously, but this time for the entire game. There were no lulls in performance; no quiet patches or periods where things didn’t work out. It was a consistent effort with solid results and the rewards were fully deserved: Nick Cooper grabbed the first by dribbling the ball round the keeper and unleashing a shot from an acute angle. He could have had a second with a long aerial ball coming his way into the dee but his first-time shot on the half volley was fortuitously saved by the keeper rushing out. The Neston keeper made a number of great saves during the game to keep the score down, but their defence was under constant pressure.

By the start of the second half, Storm Dennis was unleashing torrents of rain, but nothing was going to dampen Whitchurch’s enthusiasm for the game. The teamwork in the second half was as good as the first, with everyone playing for each other – whether being unselfish in the Neston dee and opting to pass rather than take a shot, or at the back where Chris Ruscoe was again on form making critical last-second saves when everyone else had thought the Neston striker was about to score. Paul “Sturge” Leigh was a rock at the back, again, making blocks and diving saves to record yet another clean sheet for the season. The defence worked as a unit, and the midfield were up and down the pitch all game, attacking and defending in equal measure.

At the other end, the balance shifted as Whitchurch started to stretch away: Dale Seymour drove the ball into the dee and took a shot which was blocked, but the rebound fell to him and he drilled it in. Sam Conway was on the receiving end of a powerful cross and calmly swept it in first time. The final goal was a beauty, with Jack Barnes driving into the dee and holding the ball while the Neston keeper and a defender came out to get it, before slipping it under his arm across to Cooper who now had an empty goal and all the time in the world to slot it away with the last hit of the game.

The atmosphere at full time within the Whitchurch team was as good as any all season. It’s a testament to the Neston players, who put in a real shift and made the game so hard, but the Reds were rightly proud of their effort – a full 70 minutes of hard running, good skill and solid teamwork, and a 4-0 result to put them six points clear at the top of the table, and in clear sight of promotion at the end of the season.

Whitchurch ladies 2s 5 Crewe Vagrants ladies 4s 0

Whitchurch ladies 2s travelled to Ellesmere due to flooding of their home pitch to play Crewe hoping to secure a win despite the torrential weather. In the first half, Whitchurch faced the driving wind and rain and managed to score off a short corner. Catherine Reece-Gresty and captain Emma Clarke provided a solid defence letting no balls past them so Beth Wright had a very easy job as keeper. Nina Hodges, Holly Gilbert and Caitlin Edwards stayed strong, moving the ball around the Crewe players up to the forwards. Hodges, Tracey Tolhurst and Hayleigh Busby triumphantly all scored a goal each.

In the second half, Whitchurch upped the pace pushing through Crewe and making beautiful runs down the pitch. Using Hayleigh’s W press, Whitchurch were able to keep the ball up in the top half and Nicola Forster was able to achieve two well deserved goals. Megan Brunyard, Catherine Reece-Gresty and Caitlin Edwards kept a strong mid-defence and allowed no balls through giving Crewe no opportunity for a goal.

Whitchurch had four players out of position and was missing six of its regular players. This did not show in their game play as they went on to win 5-0.

Man of the match was Amelie Morris

Oxton ladies 2s Whitchurch ladies 1s 6

Despite the awful weather, Whitchurch arrived to play Oxton with determination for the tough game ahead. The first half was difficult for Whitchurch, but they persevered, with Emma Harper and Chloe Lloyd creating an unbreakable defence in the back. Captain Catherine Winter-Gresty and Ellie Windsor worked together on the right, creating numerous opportunities, which eventually led to a break for Whitchurch. Sarah Field utilised this, slotting the ball into the goal, and leaving Whitchurch 1-0 up as the whistle blew for half time.

In the second half, Whitchurch went back out with resilience, battling against the wind. Oxton fought back, putting keeper Maddie Sugden to the test, but she saved all that came to her. Within minutes, Whitchurch had secured themselves a short corner. Harper slipped this to Field, who effortlessly put it into the goal.

Kezzie Hutchings and Sophie Ward played the ball up the pitch making some incredible runs down the wing, which Grace Berry deflected into the goal. Incentivised by this, Whitchurch continued their strong attacks, scoring once again from a short corner, finished by Hebe Dixon. Centre half, Molly Fry, made a break down the middle, crossing in to Jess Carruthers, who scored on the post. Field finished the game with a third and final goal, once more from a short corner, finishing the game at 6-0 to Whitchurch. Players player was awarded to Hebe Dixon.

A week off next Saturday for the 1s but return on the 29th for a home game against Neston.

Neston Men’s 8s 0  Whitchurch Men’s 2s 0

Due to a quirk in the fixture calendar, the Men’s 2s travelled to the Wirral for their final away fixture of the season to face Storm Dennis and a Neston side boasting a formidable home record. Half -term commitments and injuries meant the Reds were without both of their leading scorers and their regular central defenders, so several players stepped up to play in unfamiliar positions.

Despite the re-shuffle, Whitchurch started the game on the front foot. They moved the ball well, keeping the passing short and simple, but working themselves into threatening positions with regularity. Neston were content to sit deep, but leave three, or sometimes four players, in high, wide positions and hit the ball long, bypassing midfield. The Whitchurch defence had to be diligent with their marking. With Doug Buckeridge and Richard Leigh barking out instructions, full-backs Alex Leigh and Will Snaith were careful not to get caught upfield when the Whitchurch attacks broke down.

Chances were hard to come by in the first half. The packed Neston defence made life difficult for Whitchurch to create shooting chances. Will Gilbert picked up the ball at the top of the dee several times but couldn’t find space for his shots and Joe Coburn’s dazzling skills saw him go close. Both Ethan Gresty and Fred Delf-Rowlandson couldn’t quite get on the end of crosses at the back post after making good runs.

Neston were struggling to get into the Whitchurch dee. The Reds defence was cutting off the supply to the high forwards and Neston tried to play through midfield, but the away side worked hard to break up attacks in the middle of the pitch. However, as legs began to tire at the end of the first half, Whitchurch came under some sustained pressure. The home side put together better passing moves through midfield and although the Whitchurch defence was resolute, they were struggling to clear their lines and the ball kept coming back at them. A flurry of short corners was well defended, and keeper Neil Jones, Alex Leigh and Doug Buckeridge did well to clear the ball after a melee in front of the Whitchurch goal.

The stalemate at half-time was a fair reflection of the game, although Whitchurch were more welcoming of the interval than their hosts. At the break the Reds talked about the need to focus on those high forwards and the need to work hard and track back diligently and they started the second half with much more assurance.

Whitchurch dominated much of the second half. Half chances were created with regularity. Joe Faithfull and Jacob Buckeridge both went close; Will Gilbert still couldn’t quite find space for his shots and Joe Coburn was also crowded out by defenders whenever he received the ball in the dee. The Neston keeper made a couple of handy stops and the ball flashed across the goal several times without a player in red being able to get their stick to the ball.

Neston had their moments, but these were few and far between, with the biggest danger coming from a short corner close to the end of the game that was brilliantly blocked by Dave Brunyard at the top of the dee.

This was an entertaining game, well umpired and played in an excellent spirit by both sides. Whitchurch shaded all areas of the game but without Euan Morris and Luke Beddow they lacked a cutting edge up front. Otherwise the team played some excellent hockey, both with and without the ball. Richard Leigh and Doug Buckeridge marshalled the defence well and Will Snaith enjoyed a much better game than the previous weekend at Golborne. The defenders were well supported in their duties by all the players in midfield. The tracking back and diligence to cover the Neston attacks was very pleasing. Joe Coburn ran the game from midfield and yet again Alex Leigh was excellent in defence, whilst also providing a valuable attacking asset on the right-hand side.

Whitchurch Men’s 2s now have four home fixtures to complete the season, starting with Bebington 4s on 22nd February.

Alderley Edge ladies 7’s 4 Whitchurch ladies 3’s 2

Whitchurch Ladies 3’s travelled to Macclesfield just as Storm Denis hit! Without their captain and only had one sub but they shook off the rain and remained upbeat. The team were very grateful to Chris Wilson who stepped in at the last minute to umpire travelling from the ladies 1s game in Oxton. (Thanks Wendy for organising).

Whitchurch chose to play with the wind for the first half and stuck with the tactic of three defensive players along the back, Emma Stubbs, Mel Reid and Jess Kimberley giving us strength and big hits out of the dee to Libby Fox at centre forward, Annie Buckeridge at left inner and Jaz Williams at right inner.

In the first ten minutes, there were several near misses on goal in the Alderley Edge dee by attacking players Louise Whitley, Fox and Kimberley. The opposition were fast on the break and managed to go one goal up despite some good defensive tackling by new comer Poppy Huxley at right half and some excellent running by Annie Leigh at left half. Emily Lister and Annie Buckeridge worked hard on the left hand side of the pitch frustrating Alderley and allowing Kimberley and Williams to make some blistering drives through the middle.

Against the run of play, Alderley Edge were quick to steal a missed Whitchurch pass and scored again making the score 2-0. Undeterred, Whitchurch fought straight back, with Stubbs improving game on game, finding a pass out to Kate Buckeridge at right half who drove the ball through to Williams who slotted home Whitchurch’s first goal.

The 2nd half was a similar affair with impressive tackling from Whitley and Huxley on the right, superb hit outs from Reid, Kimberley and Stubbs to Fox who won several short corners but some excellent goal keeping and defensive play from Alderley Edge denied Whitchurch from levelling the score and Alderley Edge caught Whitchurch on the break again to make the score 3-1.

Whitchurch were very impressive with their ‘never say die’ attitude despite being so wet their shirts were twice their normal weight! Eventually, Kimberley broke free into the dee and won a penalty flick which was brilliantly saved by the 14 year old Alderley keeper. Alderley ever dangerous on the break sneaked in another goal despite some brilliant keeping by Louise Cottrell but Whitchurch were not to be denied and the battling skills of Fox and Whitely were rewarded by Whitley scoring just before the final whistle resulting in the final score of 4-2.

Jess Kimberley was nominated as players player!

Player Survey 2020

https://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/5406871/Player-Survey-2020

Senior, Junior and Academy hockey in North Shropshire