Category Archives: Match Reports

Blow-by-blow accounts of the latest (hopefully) action…

Match Reports 03/11/18

Whitchurch Men’s 1s 4  Oxton Men’s 4s 0

Whitchurch were at home this week against a youthful team from Oxton, hoping to build on the good work from last week at Keele. Oxton immediately applied pressure, which Whitchurch were able to soak up reasonably well, with Paul “Sturge” Leigh in goal called on far less than against Keele. The defence of Danny Foulkes, Steve Key, James Partington, Rob Chappell and Airan Jones in rotation were able to mark their players well, channel them out wide and clear any incursions into the dee. In the centre, Alex Fry, Jack Barnes and Ben Kimberley again put in strong games to control the middle of the field and distribute the ball well to the wings, but Oxton made it difficult this week and a number of passes from Whitchurch players were intercepted or went directly to the opposition, which meant a lot of running back to recover and gave Oxton more opportunities than they should have had.

The deadlock was broken with Fry launching an aerial up the field which got to Tom Forster who put away an excellent reverse-stick strike to put the Reds one up. Whitchurch then started to find more space behind the Oxton midfield, and Nick Cooper, Jon Chappell, Martin Beecher and Forster combined well to stretch out the Oxton defence. Again, attacks were snubbed due to passes not making their targets, or people driving into difficulty, but the game was well-balanced. The forwards were unlucky not to get goals from good passes into the dee, lacking just a final touch on a number of occasions. Penalty corners started to come into play as the game stretched to each dee more often, and Sturge was called on to make critical saves, but it was a penalty corner to Whitchurch that made the difference: the Reds put a training pitch routine into practice with Barnes pulling off a perfect drag flick just inches inside the left post to put the Reds two up. Another penalty corner followed shortly after, but was ruled out for height on the first strike, and Whitchurch went into half time with a deserved lead.

The half-time talk was about trying to cut out the frustrating mistakes so that the focus could be on repeating the good skills from the first half. Whitchurch set to their tasks better in the second half, but as Oxton pressed more to try to get back into the game, some of the tackles from both sides got more enthusiastic and broke up play. Whitchurch settled quicker, and put together one of the better goals from their season, starting with a clearance from a sixteen, five passes down the right wing and a sharp strike from Jon Chappell to put the third on the score sheet. It represented the best of everything that Whitchurch is striving for this season, with success coming from players running for each other and playing as a team. It was another good team effort that gave Chappell his second towards the end of the game, and it was then a case of holding on for the victory. Oxton played well, and were very strong in the middle of the pitch, but were unlucky not to get a goal themselves.

The final whistle was welcome as Whitchurch knew they hadn’t played their absolute best, but had still come away with a good win. They are away next week at Northop Hall who are currently just below them in the league table.

Whitchurch ladies 2s 0 Macclesfield ladies 3s 3

Whitchurch started off strong, taking control of the game from the start. Midfield’s Megan Brunyard, Becky Brookfield and Molly Fry worked together to get the ball up to Phoebe Jones, Sue Read and Izzy Huxley. Whitchurch held off Macclesfield but unfortunately couldn’t score. Macclesfield began to fight back, hammering the Whitchurch defence, Martha Teggin and Jess Kimberley, Leanne Read and Wendy Cooper came back to support. Goalkeeper Gwyn Thomas-Rees kept the balls out of the net. Milly Carruthers and Caitlin Edwards subbed on to give fresh enthusiasm and energy to the Whitchurch Ladies. Macclesfield remained persistent, and after some quick passing, they scored a well deserved goal. The end of the first half continued to test the defensive skills of the Whitchurch Ladies, with Macclesfield being awarded several short corners. Whitchurch worked together to keep the ball out of the goal as Macclesfield continued to press, winning the ball back from Whitchurch hit outs many times. As the Whitchurch defence worked hard, the ball was returned to their attack and several more goal attempts were made, with a very close shot just missing the back post. Half time brought a welcome breather for the ladies, and a tactful half time chat and some sweets boosted the Whitchurch Ladies’ spirits and they started the second half with determination,

Getting the ball back from a Macclesfield push back, and pressing hard for a goal. Whitchurch held possession but were unable to score. Macclesfield fought back hard and with some speedy players and quick passing, they made several more attempts on goal, which were saved. Whitchurch Ladies came back to defend, but unfortunately their efforts weren’t enough and Macclesfield made the score 2-0. Whitchurch heads didn’t drop and some excellent passing and teamwork provided the ladies with more opportunities, which were unlucky to not be converted. After a change of positions on the Whitchurch team, new plays were made and Whitchurch showed more life and determination. Macclesfield wouldn’t stop pushing, and after a very good game by both teams, with some lovely hockey, Macclesfield got a lucky goal just seconds before the final whistle, making the score 3-0. Whitchurch Ladies played well, showing some good strength, including defensive short corners in which they did not concede any goals. Gwyn Thomas-Rees was named player of the match.

Whitchurch ladies 1s 5 Chester ladies 3s 0

Whitchurch ladies 1s played Chester 3s at home this week and from the start they took control of the game holding the ball in Chester’s 25. Lisa Sullivan, Helen Mellor and Catherine Winter-Gresty passed the ball around putting plenty of pressure on Chester defence.

All the pressure payed off early for Whitchurch as Hebe Dixon scored first with a shot from top of the dee. Chester broke a few times, using the width, but balls were quickly picked up by Gayle Ladd and Millie Edwards and soon after Ellie Windsor found space and slotted through the keeper’s legs.

Whitchurch had plenty of short corners before half time, but couldn’t make any count.

After a quick break Whitchurch ladies came out strong playing the ball around Chester giving Stephanie Stanton chances on goal, Whitchurch forwards were all in the dee when Hebe Dixon scored her 2nd with a reverse shot into the near corner.

Chester were tiring and trying the same play but Whitchurch got wise to it, Chloe Lloyd and Lisa Sullivan passing back up the pitch they played their own game and with a cross pass from captain Catherine Winter-Gresty, Katie Leicester managed to get a touch on the ball and scored. With 5 minutes to go Whitchurch managed one more goal which gave Hebe Dixon a hat trick, from a short corner Lisa Sullivan and Dixon passed around Chester defence and Dixon slipped it into the far post. Whitchurch were very happy with their 5-0 win. Players player went to Hebe Dixon.

Neston Men’s 8s 7   Whitchurch Men’s 2s 1

Whitchurch took a young team to the Wirral hoping for a competitive match against a team only a couple of places above them in the league. Whitchurch were left stunned in the early stages by the by the ability of the central players in the Neston team whose combination of skill and speed left the Whitchurch midfield and defence floundering and struggling to come to terms with something they hadn’t encountered in the games so far this season.

Neston raced into a two-goal lead within minutes of the start winning and converting to well worked penalty corners. Whitchurch had to regroup when Richard Leigh had to leave the pitch after being on the receiving end of a fierce clearance by his own team. Whitchurch started to make more progress towards the Neston goal, with Craig Hockenhull as usual the driving force through midfield, ably assisted by David Brunyard.

As the attacks broke down on the edge of the Neston dee, the home side were able to spring forward in numbers, leaving the Whitchurch midfield behind, and cause all sorts of problems for the Reds defence. Wyn Morris made several excellent clearances, Doug Buckeridge scooped a couple of goal-bound efforts away, and keeper Gareth Teggin made several excellent stops and clearances. 13-year olds Sam Appleby (playing his first senior game) and Jacob Buckeridge worked hard to stifle the Neston attacks, but ultimately Whitchurch were undone by a combination of skill, pace, power and numbers, and the home side went into the halftime break with a 5-0 lead.

The 2s regrouped at halftime and an excellent team talk focused on gaining some pride from the second half, the importance of tracking back and making Neston work much harder for any further goals.

The team responded brilliantly in the second period. The midfield made a much more determined effort to get back at the Neston players when the Whitchurch moves broke down but were also a threat going forward. Ethan Gresty and Joe Faithfull enjoyed some really good spells on the left and right respectively and started to link up with Euan Morris in much more dangerous positions.

The home side were still a threat on the counterattack, but, with Richard Leigh back on the field, Whitchurch did well to restrict the number and quality of chances Neston created. Again, keeper Gareth Teggin came to rescue whenever the ball got past the Reds defenders and threatened the goal.

Neston did extend their lead to 7-0, but Whitchurch were undeterred and struck back through Euan Morris after great work by David Brunyard. Euan and Fred Egerton both went close to scoring in the dying moments of the game.

This was a tough experience for Whitchurch 2s. With the 12-man squad made up of seven players at 15-years old or younger it was a big learning curve but showed that the future of the club is looking positive. Despite the score line the team learnt important lessons kept working to the end and continued to improve as the game progressed

Keeper Gareth Teggin had an excellent game and for long periods kept Whitchurch going with a number of fine saves; Joe Faithfull had an excellent game, particularly in the second half, with his strong, determined running and his willingness to look to move the ball quickly; Ethan Gresty had another strong game; and Sam Appleby made a really solid senior debut despite being dropped in at the deep end, in defence, against strong, physical opposition.

Whitchurch Men’s 2s next game is at home to Oxton 5s on Saturday 10th November at SJT.

Match Reports 27/10/18

Whitchurch Mens 1s 3 – Keele University Mens 1s 3

Whitchurch travelled away to Keele this week trying to continue their good run of form and maintain their position at the upper end of the league, and they faced a strong, young and fit University team with plentiful number of substitutes, so knew from the off that the pace was likely to be high. This was indeed the case as Keele immediately laid on the pressure in the Whitchurch half with excellent movement and passing, with the defence of Danny Foulkes, Steve Kay, Airan Jones and James Partington under constant attack. There were a number of last minute clearances, and Paul “Sturge” Leigh in goal was instrumental in keeping the scoresheet clean with a number of critical blocks and dives.

The midfield dug in and spread the ball well, with Tom Forster, Alex Fry and Jack Barnes having to put in double shifts both driving the ball forward and chasing back as Keele counter-attacked quickly from any breakdown in play. It was a game with relatively few tackles as most of the Keele attacks were based on shifting the ball out wide with early passes rather than trying to go through or around players, and this meant that they managed the game well, used the ball to do the running and caught the Reds’ defence out on several occasions with smart passes through to their high men.

When they did break, Whitchurch made great use of the ball, with Sam Conway and Ben Kimberley working well on the wings along with rolling substitutes Euan Morris and Fred Egerton to ensure that the space out wide was used effectively, and this gave the Reds the first goal of the game; having got possession in the middle of the field, Whitchurch moved it up the wing quickly, got in behind the Keele defence, and the cross to a relatively empty dee was picked up by Nick Cooper who put it past the keeper for the first goal of the game. From the restart, Keele immediately attacked again, and continued to have the majority of possession, but a few minutes later in an almost carbon-copy play, Whitchurch moved the ball up the wing, round the back of the defence and a cross to Cooper was put away to take the game to 2-0 at half time.

The second half was more of the same, with Keele continuing to attack strongly but being repelled by the Reds’ defence, with Sturge continuing to make critical goalline clearances, and the defence doing enough to stop the many attacks, and then Whitchurch broken again to let Cooper pick up his third of the game in similar fashion. It was at this point that the difference in fitness between the teams started to come in to play: the youth of the Keele team allowed them to keep attacking, whilst the Whitchurch defence tired and started letting their markers go, giving Keele a chance to break through and get one past a diving Sturge. This gave them more confidence while Whitchurch heads dropped, and they followed it up with another strong pass through to an forward in the dee who was able to get his shot away. The short-corners kept coming, putting the Reds under ever more pressure, and a clearance from the last one fell to a Keele player who put through a pass that seemed high but was allowed, and that was enough for them to get the equaliser in the last minute of the game.

A frustrating end to the game for Whitchurch was balanced by the fact that the opposition had been very strong and the Reds’ goals had often come against the run of play, so the strong first half and persistent defending had meant that the draw was a good result from a tough game. The result keeps Whitchurch third in the league, and they play Oxton 4s next week at home.

Match Reports 13/10/18

Whitchurch ladies 3’s 0 Golborne ladies 3’s 0

Despite the blustery weather Whitchurch started well with some strong attacks into the dee and won two short corners in quick succession in the first five minutes. Unfortunately, Whitchurch were unable to convert them but maintained the pressure well throughout the first half with some driving runs from attacking players Millie Carruthers, Annie Buckeridge, Kate Buckeridge, Caitlin Shaw and Holly Gilbert. Victoria Corlett was especially relentless with her superb tackles and our captain Wendy Cooper deserves a special mention for her excellent defence of our own dee, preventing many attacks from the Golborne front line. New recruits, Mia Spruce, Fran Ball and Annie Leigh worked very hard on the wings running back to support the defence and forward to support the attack.

When Golborne did manage to get past our superb backs Jan Teggin and Mel Reid, and goalie Gwyn Thomas-Rees refused to let any goals in and dived across goal several times to maintain our clean sheet. Mel Reid was magnificent with her hard hitting out and deserved being named ‘players player’ from the Golborne team. Unfortunately, Mel had to limp off with a hamstring injury early in the second half and was replaced by experienced back Emily Lister, who won the prize for the most running as she defended and led some attacks up the left wing.

Whitchurch carried on attacking right until the final whistle with Holly Gilbert narrowly missing the goal several times. A draw was perhaps a fair result as our excellent defence kept out shots from Golborne when we were caught on the counter attack but Whitchurch are definitely making progress and improving game on game.

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

Whitchurch Men’s 2s welcomed Bebington 4s to a wild and windy Whitchurch on Saturday afternoon, looking to build on their good performance at Runcorn in the last match.

The Reds immediately took the upper hand in the game and forced a short corner within the first couple of minutes, which Martin Beecher fire just wide from the edge of the dee. With Craig Hockenhull and Jake Wood providing impetus from midfield, the home side continued to dominate possession and territory during the early stages, although they struggled to create any real shooting opportunities.

Bebington were content to sit back and soak up pressure and hit Whitchurch on the counter attack. The Reds defence of Mark Sugden, Brendan Coburn, Doug Buckeridge, Richard Leigh and Will Snaith dealt with most of the attacks before they got anywhere near the home dee, although on the odd occasion that Bebington did get close to the Whitchurch goal, they were keen to play the ball against home feet, looking for short corners. From one corner they struck the post and another was well defended by the home side. Keeper Gareth Teggin also did really well to rush from his line and put off the forward as the ball ricocheted into the dee and found the Bebington player unmarked in front of goal.

The home team continued to press forward and Beecher and Hockenhull both had chances but couldn’t find the target, and good work on the flanks through Ethan Gresty and Joe Faithfull led to dangerous crosses that neither side could get to. As the half drew to a close, Whitchurch forced another short corner and although Jake Wood drove the ball home, the ball was deemed not to have left the dee, and the goal was ruled out.

Initially the second half followed a similar pattern, with Whitchurch dominating, but struggling to create clear opportunities and Bebington playing on the counterattack. As the home side became more frustrated with missed opportunities and some umpiring decisions, Bebington opened the scoring. The ball again ricocheted around the Whitchurch dee, but this time a visiting player was able to turn the ball past Teggin into the goal.

Whitchurch pushed forward in response and had a flurry of chances through Phil Tranter, David Brunyard, Paul Humphries and Beecher, with Jacob Buckeridge and Jake Wood doing well to keep the ball in the danger area as the visiting keeper made saves and the defenders hacked the ball away from the goal.

Bebington, however, extended their lead as a high ball into the home dee found a visiting player who sliced his shot, so the ball looped into the air and over the stranded Whitchurch keeper Teggin. The fluke goal was harsh on Whitchurch but they continued to attack and try and get themselves back into the game.

Rotating from the bench, the home side brought the injured Doug Buckeridge on up front. A neat combination of passes between the two Buckeridges and Beecher enabled the latter to power into the dee and fire home to halve the deficit. Doug Buckeridge then forced the Bebington keeper into a save at his near post as Whitchurch pressed for an equaliser.

With time almost up Buckeridge again broke into the dee but was thwarted as the visiting keeper rushed from his line, and the keeper then saved well, twice, as Hockenhull followed up to strike shots at goal. The final whistle blew as Bebington eventually hacked the ball clear.

Again, the 2s played well but couldn’t get the result their play warranted. The young players played well … even when on the end of some robust treatment. Two new players made their debuts for the 2s, and hopefully David Brunyard and Paul Humphries will be back for more games in the near future. The defenders played well once again and restricted the opposition chances and Gareth Teggin continues to improve in goal and couldn’t do anything with either of the goals scored by Bebington.

The 2s don’t have matches on the next two weekends, unless a fixture gets rearranged. The next 2s game is scheduled for 3rd November, away to Neston 8s.

Whitchurch Men’s 1s 10 – Bangor City Men’s 2s 1

Whitchurch travelled to a very wet and windy Bangor this week to play a restructured club combining the previous University teams with local city players, so were unsure what to expect in terms of strength of opposition. As it turned out, Bangor were a man down, so the Reds were at an immediate advantage, but the important requirement was to make that count: other teams in the league had already got three points from Bangor, who are bottom of the table, and Whitchurch had to ensure they did the same to maintain their league position. Complicating matters was that Whitchurch themselves were fielding a changed team, with four players moved up from the 2s, as they too had players away or still injured, so it was critical to make a good start.

A good start was indeed made, as Whitchurch began brightly in the steady rain, moving the ball well and spreading it wide to Fred Egerton and Sam Conway on the wings. The Bangor defence let them go time and again and it gave the Reds many opportunities to stretch the play around the dee and attack from all angles until Ben Kimberley got a quick pass through to Nick Cooper who got his shot past the keeper for the first goal of the game. Another followed swiftly as Kimberley his first on the board, and Whitchurch continued to dominate, implementing the plan for a high press if the game allowed and spending large portions of the game entirely in the Bangor half.

Bangor lost a player to injury early in the first half, but were able to find an extra player and started to get more of the ball on the break. Euan Morris in goal, stepping up from the 2s, had an excellent game and was instrumental in saving a Bangor short corner, coming out bravely and kicking the ball to safety just as their striker was about to hit it from the penalty spot area. At the other end, two more goals from Kimberley and Cooper had the Reds go in to half time 4-0 up and in complete control of the game.

The half time talk from captain Alex Fry was about repeating the good parts from the first half, and ensuring they continued to get more goals in the second rather than sitting back. It was an opportunity to improve the finishing skills from around the dee, even if that were to mean letting in a goal at the other end, and Whitchurch put that into practice immediately in the second half with Cooper scoring within 30 seconds of the restart. The rest of the game was well controlled, with Conway and Egerton swapping sides regularly to unsettle the Bangor defence, and the midfield of Kimberley, Fry and Tom Forster holding the centre of the field well, recycling the ball across the pitch as well as back to Danny Foulkes and James Partington in central defence allowing attacks to reform on either side. Also stepping up from the 2s were Wyn Morris, who at right back took their winger out of the game with excellent marking, and Joe Coburn in his first game for the 1s putting in a composed and confident performance with tight marking and skill on the ball ensuring their right wing was unable to put together an effective attack.

More goals followed for Whitchurch, with Kimberley getting a reverse-stick strike and a drag-flick from a short corner routine, and Cooper got to an impressive 5 goals for the game by being in the right place at the right time after some selfless passing and movement in the Bangor dee. At the other end, Coburn continued to defend hard and keeper Morris made a number of important saves. Perhaps the most incredible goal, though, came from Bangor with the clearing sixteen taken by the goalkeeper (who was shaping up to flick it before deciding to kick it) whose hefty clearance took a deflection, bobbled over or past every Whitchurch defender and got picked up by the Bangor high man who got it round Morris for their consolation goal. The celebrations were almost as impressive and the Reds couldn’t help but applaud!

The final goal went to Whitchurch with a move down the left getting to Cooper in the dee whose shot was going high but wide of the goal before Egerton swatted it down into the goal for his first to cap a strong game by him. The final score was 10-1, and was fully deserved; it was a strong team effort around some excellent individual performances. The man of the match was Joe Coburn for his impressive performance and the result sees Whitchurch go third in the league. Next week they play Brooklands MU 6s at home.

Oswestry Ladies 1s 2 Whitchurch ladies 1s 0

This week Whitchurch 1s travelled away to play Oswestry 1s. Despite the weather and the blow of losing a player before the start of the match with car trouble the Whitchurch team had high spirits and were determined to work hard for another win.

Whitchurch started the first half strong, with Millie Edwards and Emma Harper stopping many Oswestry crosses into the dee and goalkeeper Maddy Sugden saving many shots from short corners and open play. After a few minutes of battling to keep the ball out of the Whitchurch dee with Chloe Lloyd making some good tackles, Oswestry found a gap in the defence and scored putting them 1-0 up. Whitchurch kept their heads up and continued to work hard and push forward with the ball, but couldn’t get a goal.

After the half-time break, Whitchurch came back strong and started the second half well with captain Catherine Winter-Gresty and Kate Leicester making some amazing runs and crosses into the Oswestry dee. However, nobody was able to get a touch on the ball to score. Both teams continued to play well with Maddy Sugden making more incredible saves and Hebe Dixon making some amazing runs and tackles. Due to only having 10 players, Whitchurch began to get tired and this is when Oswestry managed to score another goal making the score 2-0. But Whitchurch still didn’t give up. Players Helen Mellor and Ellie Windsor made some good tackles and runs into the dee, where Lisa Sullivan had some shots but was unable to score from them. The final whistle went and the score remained 2-0 to Oswestry. Whitchurch goalkeeper Maddy Sugden received best player.

Next week Whitchurch 1s will play Deeside 3s at home.

Whitchurch Ladies 2s 1 Runcorn ladies 2s 2

It was a damp Saturday afternoon as the Whitchurch ladies 2s team took to the pitch. Whitchurch started strong and took possession despite Runcorn having first push back.

Whitchurch maintained the majority of possession in the first half despite the constant pressure from Runcorn ladies. Whitchurch worked together and started to string the passes around the team including some good runs from Izzy Huxley, Molly Fry and Amelie Morris. However Runcorn’s quick reactions led to an unexpected goal, despite Gwyn Thomas-Rees best efforts.

Half time came and Whitchurch had s good team talk and came back regrouped in the second half. After a slight change in our attack, Whitchurch came back fighting with an amazing goal from Nina Hodges. Runcorn took this as an opportunity to restructure their attack, by leaving a high man up and hoping for a lucky ball through the middle. Despite our best efforts Runcorn managed to sneak another goal leaving the game 2-1. Whitchurch rallied though and continued to work and regain possession until the final whistle. In the end Runcorn’s technical skill and powerful running were too much for Whitchurch this time.

Match Reports 06/10/18

Whitchurch ladies 1s 4 Winnington Park ladies 2s 1

Whitchurch ladies 1s entertained Winnington Park this Saturday and from the start Whitchurch took control of the game passing well between midfield players Lisa Sullivan, Catherine Winter-Gresty and Hebe Dixon and had a definite upper hand on Winnington Park as the ball stayed up in the attacking half.

Whitchurch had many shots on goal, but it took something special from new player Katy Leicester who scored flicking up over the keeper into the net to break the deadlock. Winnington Parks keeper made a number of fine saves to prevent Whitchurch extending their lead in the first half. Whitchurch’s defence pushed high allowing Sophie Ward and Millie Edwards to support the forwards adding extra pressure on Winnington.

After a team talk at half time Whitchurch came out maybe a little on the back foot as Winnington Park took a goal from top dee. Whitchurch ladies had a wake-up call to the fact they were not going to have an easy second half and really showed Winnington that they weren’t going to be beaten. Forwards Jessica Carruthers, Katy Leicester and Nina Hodges opened themselves up to receive the ball from outside the dee and this gave Jessica the opportunity to slip in a goal passed the keeper. Spirits high Whitchurch had a run of shorts due to their persistent pressure in the dee and Lisa Sullivan scored their third goal. As Winnington Park tired Jessica Carruthers took the ball half way up the pitch to a defence free dee and shot another into the corner.

With five minutes to go Whitchurch held the ball up in Winnington Parks half preventing any breaks and securing the three points. Players player was awarded to Millie Edwards.

Ladies 1s play away at Oswestry next week.

Neston ladies 4s 2  Whitchurch ladies 2s 2

Whitchurch travelled to play against Neston on Saturday. Whitchurch knew that this was going to be a very tough but evenly matched game. Neston applied the pressure quickly to the Whitchurch defence who had seen a lot of the game with in the first few minutes. Within the first 15 minutes of the match Whitchurch strung together some amazing passes between Ellie McEvoy, Emily Vernon and Amelie Morris who slotted the ball past the advancing keeper.

Neston quick reactions after the Whitchurch goal, caught Whitchurch by surprise and scored the equaliser.

Whitchurch then worked together and started to string the passes around the team including some good runs from Martha Teggin, Edina Jones and Leanne Read and Izzy Huxley but without reward.

Whitchurch were awarded a penalty stroke after a clash of sticks and the ball being stopped from Stephanie Stanton. Jess Kimberley took up the challenge and slotted it straight through the keepers legs to bring the score line to 2-1.

Half time came shortly after and Whitchurch regrouped and then worked out a plan to get some more chances. Neston came out faster than they had been in the first half making Whitchurch have to rethink again.

The advanced Whitchurch goal keeper Gwyn Thomas Rees saw a lot of action along with the advanced defence of Chloe Lloyd, Emma Clarke, Jess Kimberley and Edina Jones fighting off the fast and skilful Neston attack and then equalised and brought the final score to 2-2.

Player of the match went to Jess Kimberley

Runcorns Mens 3s 2 Whitchurch Mens 2s 1

With last weekend’s game cancelled, Whitchurch Men’s 2s took a youthful and inexperienced side to unbeaten Runcorn, looking to improve upon their 8-0 thumping from their opening game of the season.

In bright sunshine the opening exchanges were evenly balanced, with most of the possession, for both sides, in the middle of the pitch, as attacks floundered before making progress into either dee. Whitchurch enjoyed some controlled possession with Craig Hockenhull instrumental in all of the team’s good passing movements.

The defence of Mark Sugden, Doug Buckeridge, Wyn Morris and newbie Brendan Coburn supported each other to snuff out the Runcorn attacks before they threatened the Whitchurch goal, and provided the platform for the younger members of the team to become more confident and progressive higher up the pitch.

Joe Coburn, Joe Faithfull and Euan Morris combined superbly down the Reds’ right side and became more of a threat to the Runcorn goal, while Phil Tranter, Ethan Gresty and Jacob Buckeridge worked some good attacking positions down the left. Shots at goal were still at a premium, but Runcorn retreated deeper into their own dee, and became more desperate in their attempts to keep Whitchurch away from their goal. A number of short corners were won and Whitchurch worked some creative routines to threaten an opening goal.

Runcorn were reduced to long punts down field to create their own attacking moments. A couple of half chances came and went, before the home team opened the scoring against the run of play. A cross into the dee didn’t look to be any particular threat, but despite young keeper Gareth Teggin best efforts the ball trickled agonisingly into the Whitchurch goal.

Undeterred, Whitchurch pushed forward and almost immediately equalised. Joe Faithfull picked up the ball deep on the right and drove into the Runcorn dee along the touchline. His pull-back was flicked on to Euan Morris by Craig Hockenhull and Euan took his time to fire home Whitchurch’s first goal of the season.

Spurred on by their goal, Whitchurch created more opportunities to score, but a lack of ruthlessness in the dee, and desperate defending by the hosts kept the score level until halftime.

Whitchurch continued their good play into the second half. Again Craig Hockenhull was instrumental in the middle of the pitch, but the younger players continued to combine well, with short, sharp passes and movements. Craig Hockenhull, Joe Coburn and Euan Morris saw shots go wide or cleared by the Runcorn defence, Phil Tranter forced a good stop by the keeper, and the Reds did force the ball into the goal at a short corner, but the whistle had already gone for an infringement.

Jacob Buckeridge, Ethan Gresty and James Page continued to battle against opponents much bigger and older than themselves, while at the other end of the pitch, the Whitchurch defenders continued to restrict Runcorn’s efforts to penetrate the Reds’ dee. However, late in the half, despite their good play, a loss of possession clearing a sideline ball, allowed Runcorn to put together a neat passing move and score from their first meaningful shot of the second half.

As the Reds pushed forward looking for an equaliser, they became vulnerable on the counterattack. The Whitchurch defenders cleared up most of the Runcorn attacks, but the hosts did break clear once, and keeper Gareth Teggin brilliantly charged from goal to force the Runcorn forward wide and the resulting shot never threatened the goal.

Unfortunately the game finished 2-1 to the hosts, but the 2s can take many positives from the game. The passing and movement up front and through midfield caused Runcorn no end of problems. Joe Faithfull was dynamic on the right, Ethan Gresty played really well in midfield, and Gareth Teggin’s late rush from his goal line certainly prevented a third Runcorn goal. Brendan Coburn, a product of Back-to-Hockey and injured Wyn Morris both had excellent games in defence.

The biggest compliment to the side was graciously given by their opponents, and the fact that a Runcorn side that now have three wins from three games, felt that Whitchurch deserved at least a draw from the game.

The 2s will look to continue their upturn in form next Saturday when they entertain Bebington 4s at SJT.

Clwb Hoci Eirias Ladies 1s 9  Whitchurch ladies 3s 0

Whitchurch arrived at Colwyn Bay with low expectations, after Eirias’ success earlier on in the league. They went out bravely and fought continuously throughout the match. Unfortunately, Whitchurch conceded their first goal only a few minutes into the game. This did not stop their resilient attitude though, as they came back just as strong. They battled through the first half, with some close shots on goal from Annie Buckeridge and Ellie Windsor, and some superb runs down the wings from Holly Gilbert and Mia Spruce. By half time they had managed to keep the score down to only 7-0.

After half time, the team went back on re-energised and raring to keep this half’s score under 7. The defenders, Jan Teggin and Mel Reid were outstandingly brave, even after some amazing shots on goal from the other team. Louise Cottrell, the goalkeeper, made countless incredible saves, securing her player of the match. Kate Buckeridge ran onto the ball fantastically, after some lovely passes from Wendy Cooper, which created some opportunities for shots on goal. Caitlin Shaw made some excellent tackles in the middle of the pitch, as well as some great crosses into the dee.

After the final whistle blew, signalling full time, Whitchurch came off the pitch ecstatic; they had only conceived two goals that half, making the final score 9-0.

Whitchurch Mens 1s 3 – 2 Macclesfield 3s

Whitchurch Mens 1s made hard work of this game against a well-organised and resilient Macclesfield side. Despite dominating early exchanges, with scoring chances for Peter Scales and Nick Cooper, many attacking plays were cleared up by the Macclesfield defence, and it was the visiting team that scored first on the break late in the first half – a raised shot wrong-footing keeper Paul Leigh. Whitchurch continued to press until half time, but were unable to convert possession into goals or penalty corners.

The second half saw the pressure lifted temporarily, with an early equaliser created through patient work from Scales on the right hand side, before crossing for Cooper to finish from in front of goal. But the game then settled back into the previous pattern, with Whitchurch increasingly frustrated by their inability to score further. A penalty corner awarded to Macclesfield saw the visitors again go in front, with a raised shot deflected high off the goalkeeper’s pads, leading to a period of ill discipline and a string of sin bin offences for Whitchurch players, including captain Alex Fry. However, the away team were unable to capitalise on this advantage, and when Whitchurch returned to full strength they were able to settle and push for the win.

Excellent individual skills from man of the match Jake Wood at the top of the D, saw him create the space he needed to shoot hard and low to the keeper’s left to level the score. Within minutes Whitchurch had clinched the game with a flowing move starting out wide with Fred Egerton and only two incisive passes required to present Cooper with his second. Whitchurch maintained possession for most of the final minutes of play, and managed to survive one final scare at their end to hold on for the win.