Hockey: Wilmslow kick off the season with a home win


Wilmslow Mens 1st 6 Doncaster Mens 2nd 3

Wilmslow welcomed newly-promoted Doncaster to Oakwood Farm for the Men's 1's first game of the season in North Division 1.

Wilmslow got off to the worst possible start when Doncaster won and converted a short corner high with a shot into the net in the third minute.

This sparked Wilmslow into life and the oranges started to dominate the game, controlling possession in the Doncaster half. Just five minutes after going behind, Wilmslow were level as Steve Edmonds sneaked in at the back post to finish a great passing move.

Wilmslow found the time before half time to go into the lead, with Steve Edmonds crashing the ball high past the Doncaster keeper for his second, before David Boddy prodded the ball under the keeper after great work from Martin Wright and Tom Davenport.

Wilmslow kept the pressure up after half time, and within 5 minutes of the interval were 5-1 up, with Andy Hunt scoring two close range finishes at the end of slick passing moves, starting in the defence.

At this point, Wilmslow's focus waned slightly and they let Doncaster back into the match, with two successive goals to make it 5-3. However, with two minutes left, man of the match Cameron Armstrong set up debutant Joe Booth who calmly took the ball around the keeper and lifted it into the net to make it 6-3 and finish the game.

Another was an accomplished performance from Fabio Stubbs, newly promoted from the junior ranks.

This was a good win for Wilmslow, and highlighted some areas for improvement for the rest of the season as the oranges look to finish the season how they have started it - at the top of the league.

In the other mens matches the 2nds lost a close encounter 1-2 away to Timperley 2s. The 3rds had a good win 5-2 away to Neston as did the 5ths 4-1 winners at Urmston. The 4ths came unstuck against an experienced Crewe Vagrants 2nd team 1-5.

Wilmslow Ladies 1st 6 Didsbury Greys 1st 0

The Ladies 1st team kicked off the new season hosting Didsbury Greys at Oakwood Farm this Saturday.

Having been relegated from Div. 1 last season, Greys were an 'unknown entity' and posed a potential early threat to the Tangerine Team.

Unfazed by this, Wilmslow started fast and were unlucky not to score within the first few moments with Emilie Kelman's shot being parried by the keeper.

This buoyed the home side and several minutes later a lovely pass found her again in the D where she deftly eliminated both the last defender and keeper to slot in the opening goal.

Having a strong squad allowed Wilmslow to utilise their subs to best effect, bringing wave after wave of fresh legs on to keep the energy up and they were soon rewarded with a second from Lindsey Rachubka.

Half time found new coach Ray-Hills advising the ladies to keep their focus, stay composed and to carry on working hard for each other as a team.

In the second half, Wilmslow's pace didn't falter with repeated attacks utilising both wings and deft passing to continue to pile on the pressure. Several corners were awarded, resulting in a 'Cullenesque' drag flick from Carla Botha and bullet strike from Rachubka netting their 3rd and 4th.

Down at the other end, keeper Lang made several crucial saves to keep Wilmslow in the game when the Greys managed to occasionally slot a long ball through to a high forward.

Slick transfers in defence and relentless effort in midfield meant Wilmslow's possession remained at a high percentage and when newcomer Harvey struck from the top of the D, Westbrook-Platts was perfectly positioned to deflect the shot past an oncoming keeper to make it 5.

The scoring hadn't ended there though, as another well worked corner resulted in a fabulous deflection from Lily Harrison to cap the goals at 6.

Second newcomer Percival was unlucky not to score with a shot going just wide and there were several other near misses which could have seen an even higher goal tally.

Next weekend Wilmslow travel the short distance to play Alderley Edge in the hottest derby game in town. There the ladies will look to continue their high level of effort and performance that has positioned them at the top of the table after their first game.

In other games Ladies 2nd finally found their form and trounced Macclesfield 2nd 7-1. The 3rds won their third game on the trot by 2-1 against Oxton 2nd. 4ths and 5ths both played Alderley teams and shared the spoils one game each.

Photo caption: Ben James takes over as Wilmslow 1st XI skipper from Martin Wright who led the team for three highly successful seasons.

Match report by Steve Kinsella.

Hockey, Wilmslow Hockey Club