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Match Report 26-09-20

Whitchurch Mens 1s 4 – Neston Mens 5s 1

With the scheduled first games of the year all postponed because of Covid 19, Whitchurch started the season at home against Neston who had also been promoted last season. As such, the Reds knew the quality required would be high after two highly competitive games last season.

The match started at a high tempo, with Neston piling forward in numbers and moving the ball around well, and were unlucky not to get better results for their efforts. Paul “Sturge” Leigh was again solid in goal, making several diving saves despite an injury to his hand. Danny Foulkes controlled the defence, assisted by Chris Ruscoe and James Partington, and Steve Kay on his return, and they used the whole width of the pitch to start attacks as per the game plan. Dale Seymour and Joel Leese owned the centre of midfield and were able to spread the ball out wide to the wings as well as slowing play down and recycling back to Foulkes. Jack Barnes and Joe Coburn provided width, and were fundamental in building attacks. Up front, Martin Beecher, Tom Forster, Fred Egerton and Will Gilbert gave the Neston defence headaches, using their speed and strength to make a number of incisive runs.

It was a well-built attack coming from composure on the ball in the middle of the pitch which provided the first goal, with simple passes going straight to their targets, before Barnes unleashed a rocket into the Neston goal. It was followed shortly after by Beecher firing in the first strike from a short corner to put the Reds 2-0 up. The pressure started to show as some of the Neston tackles got less clean until tensions boiled over and a straight red card was shown to one of their players. The match restarted after a short pause, and both teams were keen to ensure that their hockey dictated the rest of the game and not cards, but having a one-player advantage gave Whitchurch some breathing room and allowed them to control large parts of the game.

In the second half, Neston had possession for large parts of the game despite being a player down, but were unable to get the final touch on the ball that would have given them a goal. Most of their attacks came down the middle, but they were able to use their wings, and Coburn and Ruscoe were instrumental in blocking attacks and returning fire. At the other end, Forster collected the ball wide on the left and was able to drive in and fire his shot behind the diving keeper to go 3-0 up, and then Gilbert scored his first of the season with a sublime tap-in at the back post, bringing the previous week’s training exercises right onto the match pitch.

There were a number of further opportunities for the Reds, with Beecher being unlucky to claim more goals, but Neston never gave up and were able to make one of their attacks count, driving into the Reds’ dee and picking up the rebound from Sturge’s excellent first block, before dinking it over him into the net.

The game finished 4-1, with Whitchurch going top of the league (with few games being played this week). While Covid may play a further role in the outcome of all sport this year, Whitchurch can be happy with their first game and it bodes well for continued success this season. First-game rustiness was mixed with some solid play and training-pitch set-pieces, and with more young players coming through it should provide a solid foundation for the year ahead.

Player Requirements for returning to hockey

Firstly a big thanks to Anna Latham who has taken on the role of COVID officer for the club.

If you have any questions or suggestions we have setup a club email

We at Whitchurch are looking to commence training on Wednesday 26th August. However, training, as well as games, must take place under strict rules, as laid out by England Hockey and the government. With that in mind, anybody who wishes to participate in training (and matches) will need to do the following :-

Mandatory requirements for players before training / games


  • Check your contact details on TeamApp are up to date and make sure you ‘save’ them even if you don’t change anything. This a requirement of returning to play by England Hockey and the Government for the ‘Track and Trace’ system

You will not be permitted to train or play without completing both and the COVID officer confirming! Please be aware that it takes up to 48 hours for your details to become visible to us on the England Hockey portal, so please complete both in plenty of time.

We would also like to get an idea of numbers interested in playing and training so we have sent out a link on Teamapp with the below questions:

1. Can you please confirm whether you are willing to return to training at the current time? Please chose Yes / No / Maybe in the dropdown box.
If you answer maybe, we would welcome your feedback in either the comments on TeamApp, or if you wish to keep the comments private, please email .

2. Can you please confirm whether you are willing to return to matches at the current time? Please chose Yes / No / Maybe in the dropdown box.
If you answer maybe, we would welcome your feedback in either the comments on TeamApp, or if you wish to keep the comments private, please email .

Your responses will only be used as an expression of interest, so we can gauge numbers for training sessions and whether we have the numbers to field all our teams. Your response is not binding … you can change your mind at any time.

Find attached the latest information for Players from England Hockey – Advice for participants. Please read and familiarise yourself with the requirements.

We will provide further information about how training will proceed once we have an idea of numbers willing to attend.

Obviously, we appreciate that are many different views and opinions regarding the Covid situation – even within the club committee. We respect that some players will not wish to participate in team sports at this stage, whilst others may be prepared to return subject to the organisation to minimise risk, and there will be other members just desperate to get back on the hockey pitch. Please feel free to respond as you see fit, or comment as you feel appropriate. We request that all members respect each other’s opinions on participation. Nobody is right and nobody is wrong!

Also, please bear with us (the committee) whilst we work our way through the requirements to restart activities on the pitch. There is a lot to do and a lot to consider.

Many Thanks

The Committee

Whitchurch Hockey Club AGM – Wednesday 27th May starting at 20.00 – online

Due to the unprecedented times we are going to hold our AGM for 2019/20 on-line for the first time.

The link to Zoom for the AGM will be available in Teamapp nearer the time under ‘Events’ section. So please check in advance that you have access to Teamapp and Zoom and the link works for you.

Hope to see as many of you there as possible if not just to see if it works.

If you have any questions or topics that you would like to raise please send to by Monday May 18th 2020.

Craig Hockenhull, Secretary

Committee and Club Roles

This is also your opportunity to get more involved in the running of the club – if you would be interested in putting yourself forward for any role on the committee or elsewhere, please let us know and we will get in touch to discuss and make sure you’re included in the nominations.  We have a very strong team of members and volunteers working hard in the club but additional support even for a small amount of time doing anything allows us to continue growing the club further.

All the roles and responsibilities are on the website at

 Also there is a document explaining why we hold an AGM at the above link.

Agenda for AGM

  • Chairman’s report
  • Academy and Junior Report
  • Financial Report
  • Election of officers
  • Team Reports (we are going to compile a report rather than reading them out)
    • Ladies 1s
    • Ladies 2s
    • Ladies 3s
    • Men’s 1s
    • Men’s 2s
  • Any other business (Topics presented in advance)
  • Closing and Targets for next season

Vacancy : Club Secretary

After a number of years in the role, our current secretary is standing down at the end of the season but is willing to provide support to anyone taking on the role.

This would be an ideal role for a player, parent or volunteer who is looking to become involved in the continued development of our thriving hockey club.

The key activities of the role:

  • To be the ‘principal administrator’ for the club, dealing with all club correspondence, distributing to relevant officers for response where required.
  • To prepare and distribute the monthly committee meeting agendas
  • Attend and keep the Minutes of all monthly Club Committee meetings and distribute copies
  • Keep signed copies of all meeting minutes on file (or shared drive)
  • To carry out or delegate all of the administrative duties thereby enabling the club and its members to function effectively
  • To work alongside the treasurer to see that all affiliation/registration documents are accurate and are paid on time

What else can you tell me about the role?

  • The Club Secretary is a pivotal role within the club and with the assistance of the Club Development Officer should provide the main points of contact for people within and outside the club on just about every aspect of the club’s activities.
  • As the first point of contact for the club, it is helpful if the Secretary is available to respond to queries during the working day via email etc.


  • Registered member of Whitchurch hockey club (doesn’t have to be full playing member)
  • Access to internet and computer literacy, as the majority of documents are online.
  • DBS check (carried out by England hockey via club)
  • You should complete ENGLAND HOCKEY’s online Safeguarding training as you are tasked with the storing of player details including under 18’s.

If anyone is interested in taking on the role or has any questions please email