The first team finished the season with a disappointing 2-0 loss to Cranbrook. Without two of their most experienced players the boys still played great hockey but lacked an ability to put the ball in the goal. After numerous circle entries with no result, Cranbrook scored from only their 2nd attack of the game, making no mistake after the Eltham defence was caught napping in the circle with their sticks in the air. The second half continued along the same lines. Eltham had most of the game and played great hockey but with no penetration in the circle. Cranbrook scored their second to seal the match with an aerial, to escape relentless Eltham pressure, which was edged behind to a goal hanging centre forward who rounded Phil in goal and placed the ball into an empty net. This game typified the season where some great hockey was played by the team but an inability to be hungry in the circle and some composure to finish off.
Eltham U15A faced Cranbrook on Saturday knowing that it was highly likely that this was going to be their last competitive action of the hockey season. The boys were excited about finally having a home game and being able to play in front of their parents. Spurred on by the triumphant B team winning the 9.00am game, the boys started positively, really moving the ball around purposefully and building neat, intricate passages of play. It seems the side’s perennial Achilles’ heel was presenting itself again as chances went begging and Cranbrook clung to the nil nil scoreline. It was Lewis who broke the deadlock for Eltham with a powerful slap shot on goal following a now trademark marauding run down the right flank. Eltham doubled their advantage shortly after with their fourth short corner of the game, as Ollie unleashed a powerful drag flick past the despairing right hand of the Cranbrook keeper. Eltham than had Jack to thank for keeping the side’s two goal advantage going into the half time break as Jack made a terrifically executed one-on-one save as the Cranbrook centre forward was set free after a defensive mix-up in the Eltham ranks. After the break Eltham reasserted themselves in a devastating ten minute period where they stretched their lead to 6-0 through a second for Ollie, Luke finishing from close range, Ludo after a sweeping attacking break down the right, and Harry deflecting home. In the final ten minutes the squad was rotated and Cranbrook were able to score a well finished breakaway goal after Eltham had over-committed and left themselves exposed at the back.
The U15B team took the spoils in what will most likely turn out to be their final game of the season and without a doubt played the best hockey of the season. A response was needed from a poor display mid week and the boys were hungry from the get go. A dominant first half, lacking the end product, meant the game went into half time goal less. It was clear we had to improve still to get a result. Coming out after the break the boys responded to our team talk in fine fashion and for the next 20 minutes played their best hockey of the season. A third great move in succession saw Tim race clear, one on one with the keeper. Tim repaid the faith and sent the home fans and players wild, calmly taking his time and slotting home. Frustratingly, we couldn’t add a second but continued to play some wonderful hockey, Joe was immense throughout in the centre of the midfield. As in any game a 1-0 lead heading into the final five minutes can be precarious even with how well we had been playing. A couple of fine saves from Yuxuan and a defensive display to back up our attacking flair meant we held out for a 1-0 victory to seal a 100% home record at fortress College Meadow! From only winning one game all of last season the boys have taken five wins from eight games this year! Not only have they played great hockey, we’ve all had fun whilst doing it. Credit to all the boys for all their efforts this season.
Eltham U14 finished off a once again busy week when they travelled to Cranbrook on Saturday morning. Having competed in the south regional competitions on Tuesday, a new look team took an early lead against Cranbrook through a well worked Jamie goal. Eltham attacked with pace and precision but were unable to beat the last line of Cranbrook’s defence, which proved to be the theme of the day. Following a string of short corners Thomas doubled Eltham’s lead, continuing his impressive scoring run and putting Eltham 2-0 up at half time. Throughout the second half, A team debutant Henry, made some important defensive interceptions but Eltham were unable to add to their scoring total. The game finished 2-0 in what proved to be a frustrating morning for Eltham. Nevertheless, Eltham showed just how far they had come as a team on the back of impressive commitment and hard work throughout the season.
A nervous Saturday morning but a beautiful spring one nonetheless and another keenly contested game. The first half felt scrappy; neither side managing to string passages of possession. Our midfield ran hard – Archie certainly put in some mileage but didn’t really boss the territory and we were perhaps guilty of giving away the ball having worked so hard to win it back. A couple of chances each way, our closest effort when Ezana just couldn’t connect to a great cross from the right.
The half time discussion focused on stepping up the commitment in the basics of tackling and passing and moving at speed. Eltham started the second half the stronger much more eager to get the ball forward into the scoring zone and put the away defence under pressure. Oles had a couple of fine chances from corners and open play but couldn’t quite get any power on his shots. At the other end Will made some excellent saves to keep us in the game. With Max and Kieran restored in defence and Efan and Martiyan holding the middle, a period of stability ensued and then, a golden moment. A ball through the middle found Atharv one on one with the keeper; a few seconds later exasperated heads in hands from the crowd as the effort was cleared.
If this was indeed to be our final half of hockey in an up and down campaign, the response from the squad showed how much we have come together throughout the season. With five minutes to go, Atharv found himself once more alone in the D with the goalie to beat. When his first shot was saved, the rebound came back and he reached to slide the ball onto the backboard. Eruptions of emotion from the coach and spectators followed. A thoroughly deserved victory; the whole squad were magnificent today.
The U12A team played against Trinity on Friday fielding a large squad to give more experience of playing at the highest level. Ed, Jermaine and Will all being promoted upwards and they equipped themselves extremely well and never looked out of place. After going 1-0 down the team rallied well and pushed high to put pressure on Trinity and despite not having the lions share pulled a goal back from a Matthew strike.
In the following periods the team sucked up a lot pressure and never took a backwards step against a physical Trinity side. Daanish fell down and got back up and stole the ball time and time again. Jermaine used his awareness and skills to beat a man and then distribute to give the team much needed go forward. Having soaked up all the pressure Eltham managed to get the ball into the oppositions D and another clean effort form Matthew put the team in front which was a lead that they never relinquished. This was a great squad effort by everyone who took part.
The U12B team had a very slow start to the game. Although the squad were blessed with many players this week, the constant change in formation meant the team found it difficult to use the width of the pitch and to maintain ball possession. The team put in a good defensive game with awesome block and jab tackles. Unfortunately once we turned over the ball, it was the case of hockey tennis where the ball found itself back in the oppositions possession. Bertie had a fantastic game, making many amazing saves, leading him to be voted player of the match. After the second third the score line was 6-0 to Trinity. This was the crucial moment. A positive team talk and small targets for the final third. The boy’s didn’t give up and after a fantastic run by George we scored our first goal. It was the best 15 minutes the squad had played, with the final score for the third 1-2. Although the final score line 1-8 was disappointing, the boys took a lot away from the game and it provides a number of things to work on as the team continue to develop.
The Under 12C team started off their game against Trinity at a slow pace and Trinity used that to their advantage to score early through some good play upfront, Trinity were quite strong inside their attacking D and hit the shots early to deny George any time to make any saves and they went 3-0 up in the first 10 minutes. The Eltham midfielders tried to run through flat sticks which didn’t help them to get going in the game, Trinity went on to score two more goals and the score was 0-5 when we went into half time. The players realised that they needed to be a lot more proactive while defending and the second half started off by Liam and Ivan attacking well through the wings to win two short corners but couldn’t convert them, the defence also stepped up to tackle early, both Rupert and James played out well in defence to deny any goals in the second half to Trinity. Eltham tried hard up front but couldn’t score. Although the team put up a good performance in the second half their first half performance meant that they had to settle in for a 0-5 defeat to Trinity.
The U12D had a well fought game against a very good Trinity side. We went down 2-0 in the first half. I think the boys thought that they weren’t allowed past the half way line because we offered nothing in attack. Some stern words at half time had the boys coming out flying. We scored early and were right back in the game at 2-2. We pressed to take the lead and within 30 seconds of hitting the post Trinity countered and before we knew it we were looking down the barrel of a loaded gun at 4-2. The boys continued to push but unfortunately the flood gates opened. Final score 6-2. A spirited performance to round off a successful term. Star man: Alex Coghill
E 2-4 Loss
F 6-1 Win
G 2-1 Win
H 2-5 Loss
On a stunning afternoon at the meadow the entire Year 7 took on Trinity. With the A,B,C and D teams playing away and the E,F,G and H teams hosting our opponents What followed was an outstanding show of hockey.
In the first round the E and F teams had some exciting games with the lead changing hands constantly in the E’s. An early onslaught saw Eltham take the lead twice only for Trinity to peg them back and win 4-2. In the F’s the boys played magnificently and special mention to Uzo who grabbed a hat trick as the boys won 6-1. In the G team game Eltham kept it tight through out as the game ebbed and flowed, but they clung on for an excellent 2-1 win. Finally, the H squad worked tirelessly and with great passion, they were in the game throughout but three late goals sealed a 5-2 win for Trinity. What a wonderful afternoon and well done to all involved.