All posts by Craig Hockenhull

Under 16 – University of Birmingham Hockey Club Coaching Sessions – June 2023

University of Birmingham Hockey Club are running coaching sessions throughout June 2023.

These sessions will be led by current members of the University of Birmingham Hockey Club Women’s 1st Team, with multiple players achieving international junior and senior caps from a range of nations, including England & GB, USA, and South Africa.

Below are the dates that we will run sessions throughout June. The sessions will be held on the Bournbrook Pitches at the University of Birmingham, and are available to anyone under the age of 16. Please respond to the date(s) your children would like to attend, providing their name and age.

Sunday 11th June, 9-11am

Sunday 18th June, 9-11 am

Sunday 25th June, 9-11 am

The cost will be £10 per person per session.

Please confirm attendance for the first session (11th June) by Thursday 8th June

For further information see the Clubs teamapp new page or contact

Coca Hall

Match Reports 01-04-23

Whitchurch ladies 1s 3 Knutsford ladies 1s 0

Promotion for the ladies 1s and they played Knutsford at home with a relaxed feel. From the off Knutsford found themselves defending heavily as Whitchurch attacked strongly, within 3 minutes Whitchurch won a penalty corner and a powerful straight strike from Captain Cath Gresty flew through the keepers legs and hit the backboard.

Knutsford held tight in their dee as several more shots on goal came from Lisa Sullivan and Georgia Munro, but then another penalty corner was awarded and a slip from Gresty to Molly Fry deflected up into the net.

2 -0 now and Knutsford tried to make some attack on the Whitchurch twenty-five but the defence Hayleigh Busby and Chloe Lloyd made some speedy interceptions and pushed the ball back up to Tilly James and Sarah Kay who pushed up high to give as much pressure on Knutsford as possible.

A battle for Whitchurch as Knutsford’s defence held very tight not allowing them to score again in the first half.

A quick break and back on the pitch, Whitchurch thirsty for more goals played the ball round but Knutsford players were attacking hard working in packs the break down the Whitchurch play, Jasmin Williams worked tirelessly to stop attacks down the right, Sullivan,  Gresty and Munro made attempts on goal but couldn’t break the defence.

Whitchurch sat back as they began to tire, but a couple of balls were needed to be cleared easily by keeper Caroline Wynne. Fast footwork for Mollie Bell, she dribbled the ball through the middle to top dee to slap past the keeper.

With 5 minutes to go and Whitchurch continued to control play until the final whistle, for a comfortable 3-0 win.

One more rearranged game to play away this Tuesday night against Lymm.

Whitchurch Mens 1s 11 – Alderley Edge 5s 1

In their final game of the season, Whitchurch put together some of their best hockey to finish off on a high. Initially against only 10, as opposition players were late to arrive, the Reds knew they had to put the pressure on from the start and were able to put a goal on the scoreboard early on – and that was to set the tone for the day. As the scoreline increased, so did the style with the peak being the goal within 30 seconds of the start of the second half, as the pushback was followed by several crisp, clean passes before the shot on goal, with Martin Beecher showing his natural goalscoring abilities to pick up his hat-trick for the day.

Luke Beddow also got three, with captain Jack Barnes picking up a brace, as did Tom Forster whose second was a well worked flat-stick deflection from a short corner pass from Barnes. Phil Handley picked Whitchurch’s eleventh to mark their best result of the season – and there could have been more, with shots just creeping wide. In fairness to Alderley Edge, they had limited numbers but the young players on their team showed immense promise for the future. The one goal opportunity they had they took well, and they were using their speed effectively to try to find gaps in the Reds’ defence, but Neil Jones was strong in goal, and Alex Fry, Sam Conway and Chris Ruscoe were tireless in defence making critical interceptions.

It was the sort of game that Whitchurch would hope to play each week: everyone ran hard, worked well for each other on and off the ball, and kept positive attitudes throughout. In what’s been an up-and-down season, it was a great ending and showed what they’re capable of on their day.

Whitchurch ladies 3s 0 Runcorn ladies 2s 5

Whitchurch entertained Runcorn at home for the final match of the season.

Whitchurch were on the back foot from the start with having no keeper. But Wendy Cooper, Elsie Cottrell, Mel Reid and Rachel Chester’s buddied up and managed to keep Runcorn at bay for long periods of the game. Runcorn were awarded a penalty corner which they scored from. Whitchurch pushed through with runs from Chester’s to Erin Harnden, Jan Teggin to Sue Read who narrowly missed the goal. Runcorn took advantage of the lack of keeper and scored another 2 bringing the score line to 3-0 at half time.

After a up lifting halftime talk Whitchurch went back out fighting with keeper Phoebe Gregory back in to make some amazing saves on the line. Cooper picked out Bella Clarke who ran around the Runcorn mid field who picked out Alice Page who then continued down the baseline to pick out Abi Ashley on the penalty spot but was beaten by the Runcorn defence. But Whitchurch wasn’t stopping there with Mabel Hazelhurst picking up the ball from midfield and picking out Evie Hall on the Right to slip it to Chester’s who drove the ball towards the Runcorn Dee.

Runcorn then acted quickly and slotted another one bringing the score to 4-0.

Whitchurch were determined to get onto the score sheet with runs from Clarke, and Page towards the Runcorn Dee. Runcorn slotted their final goal within the last few minutes of the game bringing the final score to 5-0.

Player of the match was awarded to Mel Reid.

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.