Match Reports – 25 & 26th March 2023

Macclesfield Men’s 2s 4 Whitchurch Mens 1s 0

It was another frustrating loss this week for Whitchurch, despite playing some excellent hockey throughout the game against a decent, similarly-ranked team from Macclesfield. The scoreline didn’t reflect how close the game was, and the Reds were only a touch, tap or chance away from scoring several goals themselves, including some champagne hockey with an aerial ball being collected out of the air and bounced on a stick all the way into the dee, only to go agonisingly wide.

Whitchurch did everything but score this week: Martin Beecher had several opportunities, having done all the hard yards, but the Macclesfield keeper was on good form; Tom Edwards had another fantastic game and shows the promise and skills that Whitchurch are looking for in their younger players. Paul ‘Sturge’ Leigh had another great game in goal, despite carrying injuries – his diving save drawing applause from both teams. Alex Fry and Sam Conway were solid at the back, making crucial interceptions and tackles, as well as moving the ball all around the back with confidence. Everyone put in a decent shift, and some of the play was reminiscent of the best games from this season, with only the last touch or pass just not going to plan to leave the Reds goalless despite some really excellent play.

Knowing they played far, far better than the scoreline would suggest let Whitchurch leave the field with heads held high, but Macclesfield were just that bit stronger on the day and deserved the win. Whitchurch have their final game of the season at home next week against Alderley Edge, and will finish mid-table after another decent season.

Warrington Ladies 1s 0 Whitchurch ladies 1s 2

Whitchurch ladies 1s travelled to play Warrington 1s this Saturday,

Taking their regular team, they were confident but relaxed as they controlled the game, passing strongly up the pitch playing mostly in the Warrington half.

Any breaks were quickly picked up by defence Chloe Lloyd and Hayleigh Busby, using the width of Tilly James and Holly Edwards. Mid players Molly Fry and Mollie Bell were holding strong, making great runs up the middle of the pitch. Lots of pressure on Warrington as they packed out their dee with defence keeping Whitchurch from scoring in the the first half.

After a break and plan of action to get around the Warrington players, Whitchurch had a run of short corners  and eventually managed to convert with Captain Cath Gresty’s straight strike and Lisa Sullivan catching the rebound and making it 1-0.

Relieved to be on the score sheet, Whitchurch moved the ball confidently round the pitch, but were quickly singled out when attacking the Warrington goal, a fast run up the wing by Gresty fired the ball into the dee where Sullivan picked out Jasmin Williams and Poppy Huxley who passed between them for Williams to slot past the keeper.

Warrington kept trying to move up the pitch, had a break but was stopped in their tracks by Keeper Phoebe Gregory kicking out to Sarah Kay, Whitchurch kept attacking until the final whistle, quite happy with the 2-0 end result.

Saturday – Whitchurch Men’s 2s 1 Golborne Men’s 8

Whitchurch took on both of the top two runaway teams in the league competing for top spot both teams brought full strength teams and showed Whitchurch no mercy.

Whitchurch defended well for large parts of the game and denied Golborne a string of opportunities in front of goal, but Golborne’s well-disciplined attacking line-up punished any mistakes with their goals coming from well executed penalty corner routines.

Airan Jones grabbed a consultation goal for Whitchurch driving into the dee and unleashing an unstoppable shot past the Golborne keeper.

Sunday – Whitchurch Men’s 2s Deeside Men’s 5s 8

Still hurting from the previous day’s efforts Whitchurch entertained the league leaders in a re-arranged fixture.

Whitchurch started the game with only 10 players due to the clocks moving forward and were punished by two quick goals before they had their full complement of players.

As with the previous day Whitchurch worked hard to create chances but a well drilled forward line kept the score ticking over.

Joe Chester’s grabbed the consolation with a strike almost identical to Jones the previous day.

Despite the scoreline Whitchurch came away from both game playing some of their best hockey of the season with most looking forward to a well-deserved rest.

The ladies 2s also played two matches over the weekend and continued their excellent run of form with two big wins. Saturday 9-0 vs Warrington ladies 2s and Sunday 11-2 vs Macclesfield 3s guaranteeing them a top 5 finish in their first season since promotion.