The under 16’s fourth game of the season was a success, with the team defeating a strong Birkenhead side comfortably. The team took the first few minutes of the game trying to find their feet, with resulted in a number of mistakes and eventually led to Birkenhead taking the lead from a short corner. This gave King’s the wake-up call that they needed, and the team started to play the hockey that they had become accustomed to after the last few games. With the team playing to their usual standards, an equalising goal was imminent, with the team piling players’ forwards. Within a few minutes, Callum Snook slotted home after a neat move down the wing. Max Gillson also scored only a matter of minutes later, and the team when into the half a goal to the good, after a sloppy start. King’s started the second half confidently, with the team dominating both possession and territory as well as moving the ball around the back with pace, which resulted in numerous switches of play. Sean Neary slotted home twice in quick succession, by finishing off a neat piece of play down the left flank, as well as winning back possession in the opposition half and driving through the middle of the pitch, finishing off his run by flicking the ball past the keeper. Cameron MacKinnon added a fifth in the closing minutes of the game.
There were a number of positives to be taken from the game, including the team’s control of possession and territory. The patience of the likes of Max Ridings and Sean Neary when passing allowed the team to hold the ball in the midfield and move it around the pitch quickly, and exploit the spaces left in the Birkenhead defensive unit. This control of possession allowed the team to press higher up the pitch, which forced Birkenhead to rely on quick counter-attacks and long passes through the middle of the pitch. Another positive to be taken from the match was the team’s display of versatility; King’s when into the game with 15 players in total, which left 4 substitutes on the bench at all time, and resulted in heavy rotation through-out the game. A number of players played out of position, but all quickly adapted to the rigours of their role which allowed for the team to maintain their fluidity in play and meant that the team were a threat the opposition for the entirety of the game.There were good games all over the pitch, with Marcus Wesley, Cameron MacKinnon and Sean Neary all having exceptionally good games. Wesley often drove down the left flank creating two-on-one situations with the midfield and forward lines against the opposition fullback. MacKinnon showed great work rate and determination through-out the game, making a number of tackles in the midfield and driving down the pitch with the ball effectively. Sean Neary, who was deployed in a deeper role, created numerous chances of the team, picking out good passes to switch the play to the other side, as well as causing havoc to the Birkenhead defence with his mazy runs with the ball, and his ability to get past his marker without the ball.
The first cup match of the season for the under 16’s was a success, with the team winning in an emphatic style over a strong King’s Chester side. The team began well, dominating both possession and territory, forcing the opposition to rely on their pace on the counter-attack to create any chances on goal. The team pressed the defence well, and occupied space well at the opposition free hits, often causing them to play the ball backward, or causing an error in their defence, which ultimately lead to Cameron MacKinnon slotting home the first goal of the game, after he pounce on a poor ball from the opposition to drive into the circle and finish neatly in the bottom left corner. The team when into the half one goal to the good, but knew that King’s Chester could come back at any point. The started the second half strongly, with Archie Phillips hitting a first time shot only a matter of minutes from the break. The goal was created from a hazy Sean Neary run down the baseline after good passing play between Neary, Callum Snook and Max Ridings. This calmed the nerves in the King’s Macclesfield side, allowing us to merchandise the play more, with the team exploiting the gaps in the King’s Chester midfield and defence. The likes of Charlie Toms and Sam Buckingham were able to find long-ranged passes for Neary, Phillips and MacKinnon to latch onto the end of, which caused panic in the King’s Chester defensive unit. The third goal of the game came from Sam Buckingham, who took the ball past a number of King’s Chester player in the midfield, and drove in a strike from the top of the circle. The final goal of the game came from a short corner, with the ball being slipped to Sean Neary, who launched a goal-bounded shot, which was deflected by a King’s Chester player into the goal.
There were a number of positive to take from the game, including the fact that King’s Chester didn’t win any short corner; the under 16’s dealt with their tackles outside of the defensive circle, and were strong but clean when inside the circle, which left goalkeeper Tom Carter with very little to do. The team were also very accurate with their passes through-out the game, which allowed the forward line to make more adventurous run in and out of the King’s Chester defensive line, and allowed for more fluid passages of play in the midfield and on the wings, many of which lead to chances on goal. The King’s Macclesfield defensive unit also played well, often man-marking the opposition forwards out of the game, or holding them up allowing the midfield to support the defence; this lead to a limited number of chances for King’s Chester to score.
There were good games all over the pitch, with Joe Laughton, Will Harrop and Max Ridings having exceptionally good games. Laughton dealt with the pace and dribbling ability of his winger using his strength in the tackle and physicality when on the ball, which often took the winger out of the game, preventing numerous counter-attacks from King’s Chester. Harrop, who also played against with the opposition winger, used his recovery speed to his advantage, often man-marking the winger, which drew the play into his flank, allowing play to be spread into space once the ball was won ball. Ridings displayed his both his offensive and defensive prowess through-out the game, dealing effectively with the opposition forwards with strong tackling, as well as driving down the line and finding a good ball into the midfield to start counter-attacks. The experience and ability of Toms, Buckingham, Phillips and Neary shone through-out the game, with all four players demonstrating their impressive passing range and ability to drive into space whilst taking on numerous players. This gave confidence to the rest of the team, which in turn spurred them on to play at a higher standard.
Overall, the match was a success, with the team showing promising signs for this season 16’s cup, and for the next season’s under 18’s cup. The under 16’s face Weaverham High School on Monday in the cup, and they look to be well up for what will certainly be a tough game against Weaverham.
King’s 2 Calday Grange 4
The first game of the season for the under 16 boys was a learning experience for all, with the team losing to a strong and well-organized Calday Grange side. The team was missing a number of players, such as the like of Sean Neary and Max Ridings, who were both occupied with other sporting activities, and James Jordan, Joe Laughton, Max Gillson and Ben Robinson.
The goals came from two well-executed short corners within quick succession of each other, late in the first half; Sam Buckingham took the ball around 2 opposition defenders, and finished the move off neatly with a power strike in between the goalkeeper’s legs to get King’s onto the scoresheet and then moments later, Charlie Toms drove home a rebounded shot from Buckingham. The team went into halftime with the scores equal, conceding two weak goals earlier in the first half. The boys started well in the second half, but were unlucky to concede a poor goal minutes into the second half. Despite numerous chances to make the scores level, the team was unable to find the back of the goal. Calday Grange then made it 4-2 with a wonder-strike from their centre forward.
The team didn’t perform to the standards that we had become accustomed to last season, which was a disappointment, however, this was only the first game of the season, and the team showed signs of promise for the upcoming cup games. The cause of the underperformance of the Under 16’s may have been the fact that this was the first time this season that a number of the players in the team were playing on the same side as each other, with all of the Under 16 squad representing King’s at either First or Second XI level. There was also a distinct lack of structure and positional awareness in the team, which will only improve as the team plays more hockey and begins to acclimatize more to the system deployed.
The Boys Hockey at King's has made a promising start to the year with some good results for teams and individuals. Just last week Archie Phillips was selected for the U15 boys High Performance Assessment Camp. After great performances for his JRPC side Manchester, Archie was one of 18 boys selected for his age group and will now take part in a 3 day camp at the end of October. It is a tremendous achievement and just rewards for the hard work Archie has put in at the start of this season. A handful of other King's boys put in good performances for their JRPC sides but unfortunately did not progress through to the 2nd Tier of the program.
The First XI side has continued their good start to the year and now has 2 wins and a draw to show for it. A hard fought 2-1 victory over Hall Cross was the most recent result at home last Wednesday. Sam Buckingham converted a well executed penalty corner with a terrific deflection and Sean Neary continued his prolific start with another goal from open play. The side then held onto the lead with some great defensive work from Chris Harrop in midfield and Paul Roberts at the back. They face tough opposition this week against Calday Grange before facing King's Chester on October 14 in their first cup match.
The younger sides enjoyed mixed results versus Calday Grange with 2 wins and 2 losses. It is good to see plenty of goals being scored by the boys and with tightened up defence the results should see improved results.
On Wednesday the 23rd September King’s first team set off on the two hour coach journey to Rossall School in Lancashire. The level of determination to come away from this game with a result was high amongst the team after last week’s fixture against Denstone. The tactics were to give 100% within the game and communicate throughout.
The game started fast with Natalie Stevens scoring an early goal which gave the team confidence and kicked everyone into action (especially since she is usually defending the goal).
Rossall proved to be a physical opposition that were competitive and determined to win as much as we were. The score at half time demonstrated their determination as it was in their favour with the score being 2-1.
After an effective team talk at half time by our coach Miss Hopkin Kings started the second half brilliantly with the score line being changed quickly to our advantage after Tori Blackwell scored two impressive goals.
As the game developed our structure and team play improved, however a moment of misjudgment allowed Rossall to gain another goal making the score 3-3.
Our heads didn’t fall; it gave us the extra push whilst fatigue was setting in, as we looked for one final goal. In the last few minutes Abi Johnston scored a composed goal, which meant that we had the lead once more. From then we knew that all we needed to do was keep possession until the final whistle was blown.
This game proved to the team that we do have the ability and strength be a dangerous opposition and respond to the pressures of the score line. This result will give the team confidence to go into our next challenge the National Schools U18 Tournament, and enable us to have a fighting chance of coming out with a victory.
Player of the match: Tori Blackwell
Final score: 4-3
Abi Johnston (Captain)
Cheshire Cricket Board are starting their Autumn coaching courses this coming Wednesday (23rd Sept) evening at Tytherington High School in 2 slots; 5:30pm – 7pm for 8 to 13 year olds, and 7pm to 9pm for 10 to 15 year olds. There are still places left if anyone is keen.
Players who impress will be invited on the Advanced courses which will start before Christmas, which in turn hopefully lead on to Excellence courses after Christmas and then into the Cheshire squads for next season.
Those who have attended these courses before should have automatically received an invite, but if you have never attended before then you can apply for a place via the Cheshire Cricket Board website: http://www.cheshirecricketboard.co.uk/AutumnCoachingCoursesforChildren.html.
Cheshire Level 3 coaches will be running the courses, so it’s a great opportunity to learn new skills and develop as cricketers whilst in out-of-competition season.
The new season of hockey has started well on the boys side. A high scoring game for the 1st XI against a strong Old Boys kicked it off with the returning students the eventual winners 6-4. It proved a good warm up for the boys who beat Merchant Taylors' 4-3 the following week. The 2nd XI started their campaign with a 3-2 victory, also against Merchant Taylor's, with many of the boys putting their hand up for selection in the firsts during the season.
U15 Hockey vs Denstone College
This weekend we travelled to Denstone College, our first hockey fixture of the season and came back with a 10-0 win. We had a very strong first half with our goal keeper and defenders making some great saves. The score at half time was 8-0 with Ffyona, Adele and Hannah scoring some great goals from the top of the circle and Izzy Stevens with a tap in on the post. Denstone fought back in the second half; however the team stepped their game up, worked hard and kept the ball out. Goals in the second half came from Olivia Moores and Ffyona Booker, and the highest goal scorer of the match was Hannah McCormick with a hattrick. Denstone selected Izzy Stevens as their player of the game and the King’s player of the game went to Grace Gudgeon. This is a great start to the season and I hope this success continues, well done girls.
(Captain) Olivia Moores
King’s School trampolinists were in seventh heaven after their best ever performance at the North West Championships.
Competing against the top club and school teams from across the region, King’s were the stand out squad with seven teams named North West Champions and pupils Rowena Moores and Oliver Jones crowned champions in their own individual competitions.
In all eight teams qualified with six individuals performers to represent King’s in the North of Britain Championships to be held in Northern Ireland on January 31.
A special mention should go to under 14 novice Vicky Theaker who was placed eighth in a section with 133 competitors, an outstanding achievement for a newcomer to the sport.
The results were:
Under 19 Elite girls first with Rowena Moores first, Beth Burrows fifth and team members Katie Fray and Antonia Bianchi.
The Under 19 novice girls second with Tash Salem third, Kelly Corcoran fifth and team members Becky Quinn and Sophie Jackson.
The Under 14 Elite girls first with Susie Moores Moores fourth, Olivia Moores fifth and team members Izzy Stevens and May Broadley.
The Under 11 intermediate girls First with Izzy Moores third, Izzy Watkins sixth and team members Scarlett Brough and Amy Willock.
Under 13 boys elite first with team members Harry Pinches, Harry Collett, Harry Wallace and Paul Saurez
The Under 14 novice girls with Vicky Theaker eighth and team members Emily Friston, Hannah McCormick and Fiza Kokan
The Under 14 intermediate girls were Anna Kaz, Zoe Thomas and Imogen Collinson
The Under 19 intermediate girls first with Eleanor Collett third, Fiona Cornish fourth, Ellie Holder eighth and Amy Johnson tenth.
The Under 11 novice boys first with Oliver Jones first, Elliot Naylor second and Ted Broadley fifth.
The Under 11 novice girls Team One first with team members Sophie Fletcher, Cara Holliday, Jessica Burton and Millie Crummack. Team two were Lydia Hine, Serena Panton, Lotte Clarke and Holly Burke.
GIRL'S HOCKEY FIXTURE SATURDAY 13TH DECEMBER IS NOW AT HOME VS KING'S CHESTER
U12s: Meet 9am, Start 9.30am Finish approx 10.30am
U13s: Meet 10am, Start 10.30am Finish approx 11.30am
U14s: Meet 9am, Start 9.30am Finish approx 10.30am
U15/16s: Meet 10am, Start 10.30am Finish approx 11.30am