This week Leicester hosted Buckingham and were keen to remain undefeated at home. Buckingham have recruited well over the summer gaining a number of Welsh internationals. With Leicester at full strength and Buckingham boasting a good start the season this promised to be a hard fought game.
It was Buckingham who got out of the blocks first with many promising attacks however, as proven in the last few weeks the Leicester defence are a force to be reckoned with. After the first fifteen minutes of Buckingham dominance, Leicester began to find some flow to their game, challenging the Buckingham GK. At halftime the score was still tied at 0-0.
The second half saw end to end hockey with both teams taking advantage of multiple counter attacks. Both teams had chances through penalty corners although neither team able to execute. With three points on the line, both teams through numbers forwards however neither had success. With the fulltime whistle the fate of the game was sealed as a 0-0 draw.
On reflection, either team could have walked away with the three points, therefore it was 1 point won rather than 3 lost.
Leicester 1-5 Leamington 1s
The 5th team had a slow start as they got used a very sandy Leicester Uni pitch. However, it was short lived and soon everyone realised that short sharp passes were the answer and by the second quarter the game got going.
20 minutes into the first half Leicester had 2 short corners in a row but were frustrated not to score until a third short when a determined Jennifer Pollock received and scored a fabulous goal with a firm hit right into the corner. Play continued to be dominated by the 5ths, however, at half time we were only 1-0 up.
Emma Richards moved to centre midfield which really opened up the game. She passed the ball well to the forwards and made some great runs. Lydia Cross, Jennifer, Abi Archer and Anna Godwin all made some fantastic runs and some great passing between each other created numerous goal opportunities.
There was a whole succession of further short corners where we were unlucky not to score until at last Judith Bensi, who had a great game throughout, scored with a lovely pushed deflection. Then things really got going. Anna made numerous fantastic runs up the right wing and scored a lovely goal with a powerful shot from a ball she took all the way from the half way line. Lydia scored a great goal with a superb hit off a great firm push on short corner by Abi. Abi continued to play with confidence and deserved to score her lovely goal also.
The backs all played solidly with some great persistent play from Alexia Scudamore and some good one-twos from Sophie Vincent. Rosemary Jacques did some great sweeping of the ball at crucial times. Ails Bullivant directed the defenders brilliantly and solidly prevented many runs by their forwards, though at one point she forgot she wasn't a goal keeper anymore and dived to stop a playing running with the ball and was lucky not to be sent off. Alex Peet was playing in left midfield which didn't get much play however she did some great interceptions. Sarah Levy came close to scoring a goal off a run from the 16 but their goal keeper who was our man of the match saved it. Marian as always played solidly. She did some lovely combinations with Anna and was unlucky not to score. Leicester 5ths continued to play with determination throughout, chasing down the ball and rarely allowing the Leicester Uni girls much of the play despite them having some good players. Poor Charlotte Parker in goal didn't touch the ball once but managed to top up her tan in the lovely sunshine. Anna Godwin was awarded player of the match. A well deserved 5-0 win.
Squad: Charlotte Parker, Alexia Scudamore, Marion Godwin, Sophie Vincent, Emma Richards, Rosemary Jacques, Ails Bullivant, Anna Godwin, Judith Bensi, Sarah Levy (C), Alex Peet, Abi Archer, Lydia Cross and Jennifer Pollock.
On a sunny Sunday lunchtime, the Leicester U18's faced up to the formidable and dangeruous opposition of Repton HC in the first round of the England Hockey Club Championship.
The game started brightly, with Leicester passing the ball beautifullyand claiming a PC in the first minute. Unfortunately, the advantage was not made of. There folowed a period of play which can symbolise the entire match- played at high pace with exciting, quality end to end hockey. Both teams were dangerous on the break, and the first ten minutes of the match saw defenders and keepers on both sides working incredibly hard. The deadlock was broken wen Bea and Liv linked up beautifully, with Liv finding the back of the net.
Repton did not take the score lying down, and fought back strongly. Gee was called upon several times, with one scramble in the Leicester D seeing the ball literally cleared off the line by Tara after a Gee save followed a Reton rebound.The pressure eventually told, with Repton securing the equaliser and raising the tension another notch.
Credit to the Leicester Squad, who's heads stayed up and remained calm despite the furious pace of the game.Another great pasage of play saw Leicester moving the ball around the pitch- Hattie, Georgina, Siobhan, Molly and Hannah were supreme in midfield- and the ball eventuslly found Maeve in the Repton D, who finished off in style, taking a scoreline of 2-1 into halftime.
The second half saw a period of scrappy play at the start, and Repton put the Leicester girls under a huge amount of pressure. Several PC's went Repton's way, and credit to Gee and her team of defenders who kept the ball from finding the back of the net. The coaches called for calm, and there followed another great passage of play with Georgina calmly moving the ball up the field. The ball literally found Maeve on the baseline and at a ridiculous angle- how she did it will never be known, but she found the back of the Repton net and took the scoreline to 3-1.
Within 5 minutes of the wonder goal, there was yet another scramble in the Leicester D. Saves were made by Gee, Skelly, Eleanor AND Tara, and crucial tackles made by Ellie and Gemma, but Repton were awarded a PC, which ended in 3 successive PC awards. A tense time, but the Leicester girls remained steely calm, and the scoreline reamined secure.
With the match entering the last 10 minutes and the pace of the game never slowing, the fact that Leicester had a larger squad and were able to have rolling subs began to show. However, credit to Repton who never stopped pushing. Abi Archer made a couple of powerful and energetic runs down the pitch, one such successful move leading to a short corner being awarded. In the final minutes, the ball was pushed past the Repton keeper by Bethan (who had looked dangerous all afternoon) following a long corner.
Huge congratulations to the under 18 squad and coaches for their performance. Thanks to all parents and supporters (who as usua were fanastic pitchside and 'behind the scenes'). Thanks also to Repton HC and their supporters for travelling to Leicester and providing such a great match- we wish them the best of luck in the plate competition.
The under 18 squad would also like to thank our manager, Jan Lloyd, for working tirelessly to ensure we can just focus on our hockey, safe in the knowledge she has taken care of absolutely everything else!