24 Jan 2019
Aldenham vs Berkhamstead - Tuesday 22nd January

Despite the arctic conditions, the 1st and 2nd VII took on Berkhamsted school determined to challenge the regional and national sides. In both matches, playing outside fed to Aldenham’s strengths and they were able to challenge play and keep possession. However, an unexpected blizzard forced us to retreat to the sports hall where Berkhamsted proved to be unstoppable beating us with their speed and dynamic movements.

Making their debut to the season, the 1st VII played a competitive game against a regional standard side. In the first half to the game, the girls worked hard to challenge the physicality of the match. After their defending work shop on Saturday, Ellie Macdonald and Debbie Okeowo communicated well in defence meaning they were able to turn over the ball multiple times. Some fantastic shooting from Sasha Macdonald and Megan Yeabsley meant that they came off at half time only down by three goals. Moving inside, the girls were determined not to allow Berkhamsted to continue their lead. Emma Conway (POM) and Milly Gall worked tirelessly in centre court, connecting both the attacking and defensive ends well; however, we struggled to match Berkhamsted dynamic movements and speed. Despite our best efforts to keep up with the pace of the game, Aldenham were left trailing behind the regional side and lost the game 23-9.

It was a similar story for the 2nd VII who fought hard against a dynamic, well-oiled Berkhamsted side. Playing outside for the first half of the match, Aldenham were able to hold their own and challenge the national side who were obviously struggling to play in the wet conditions. Emile Geissmar-Wagstaff demonstrated some lovely positional holds in the shooting circle meaning that Zoe Freedman and Daisy Fraiser were able to feed the ball to her at ease. At half time the score was 11-3. Moving inside, once again Berkhamsted were able to demonstrate their speed and agility on the court. With Viola Alisha (POM) dominating the court in the centre position, we were able to transition some fantastic defensive interceptions by Jolie Sharpe, Maia Kapoor and Caitlyn Sellar-Elliot into the shooting third well. However, the communication among the Berkhamsted defence meant that we struggled to feed the ball into the circle and gave away possession too easily leading to a final score of 27-4.

Overall it was great to see that both teams were able to challenge the play of regional and national sides. Despite the loses, it has highlighted many strengths in our top two squads and exposed the players to a more dynamic, challenging and competitive style of play; something we will aspire to adopt in our own performance throughout the season.