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Archive For 'March, 2017'

LADIES 3rd TEAM RISE TO THE OCCASION vs ROSS!

25 March 2017 at 16:33

For their final match of the season Stroud pulled off a draw against one of the top 3 teams in the league!  The development of this new Stroud side during the season has been astounding; from a team that had never played together to a team holding its own in the league is impressive.  The level of ball control, the standard of the tackling and the passing is a result of strong determination, commitment and training.  Stroud's goal came from Sarah Scott who perfectly executed the 'take the defender with you, then dodge back' move.  She lost her marker and was able to slip the ball past the Ross keeper.  Stroud's GK, Sara Price, remained calm and business-like under pressure.  The defence of Lydia Wakefield, Emma Crowe, Karen Whitehead and Pauline Edgington were under sustained Ross attack for much of the game, but were able to prevent the Ross players from scoring.  The Ross goal came from a short corner.

Centre midfield, as always, was controlled by Marsi Whelan, who was expertly and ably assisted by Sian Freer, Sophie Payne and Mandi Lewis.

The forwards were on fire this week with star player Annabel Wigley determined to escape her marker and forge into the Ross 'D'.  Issy Smith's solo runs and Pip Robb's short passes ensured that the Ross team were under pressure for much of the game.  1:1 draw was a great result for Stroud and a wonderful way to finish the team's first season.

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M3s are Champions

20 March 2017 at 08:24

Stroud M3s are Marches Division 2 Champions

Stroud Hockey Club’s 2016-2017 season end celebrations feature a marvellous performance by the Men’s 3rd XI.  The team secured promotion 2 weekends ago with a nervous 0-0 draw at home, before sealing the Champions’ spot on Saturday, beating a resolute, but destined to be second on the day, Newent B side.

With one game remaining, Stroud can afford to enjoy the game, safe in the knowledge that all their hard work, dedication to the team and a massive desire to play attractive hockey, has paid dividends.  Under the auspices of captain Chris Bargh, to whom we owe a debt of gratitude, the squad’s almost unique blend of youth and experience, pace and cunning, ensured the small but stalwart band of supporters were entertained week after week.  Half-time jelly babies aside, no dubious deliveries of controversial substances were required and once Stroud hit the top in the game before the Christmas break, beating then title contenders Winchcombe 6-0 at home, they never looked back with any conviction.  It was all about the next win.

A magnificent defensive record, and an unbeaten home record to boot, were just two stand-outs from the season.  To concede a more than frugal 5 goals at home all season is fantastic.  The defence, fronted, or perhaps backed, by Bryn Nicol in goal, was the foundation of the season-long performance.  Sol Bowen, one of several youngsters who grew in stature throughout the season, cemented his position at left-back and deservedly won the award for most improved player.

Centre midfield maestros – maybe that is an overused term these days – Alex Elder and Steve Batt provided the pivoting power, distributing the ball with aplomb and displaying more than a pinch of tenacity and steel when the chips were down.  They were also gracious enough to allow part-time midfielders, namely the strikers, to take their places when required.  In all honesty, the squad had the ability and confidence to play in almost any position on the pitch, without detriment to the result.

A goal difference of 71 is something at which nobody should sniff.  The potent strike force of Chris Bargh, voted player of the year by our readers (sorry, players) and Tim Norman, 28 goals and counting, was pretty deadly, complemented the frugality of the defence.

Before giving a mention to all regular and semi-regular squaddies, mention must be made of Bob Brewer and Nigel Sherwood’s appearances for Gloucestershire Over-60s.  Sherwood reached the semi-finals and attended England O60s trials at the illustrious Olympic Park.  Brewer was unfortunate to miss several matches in the latter half of the season, but was named the club’s Umpire of the Year at the annual Dinner and Dance, as he switched his efforts.

Yes, perhaps it is all about the statistics, but, in truth, all we need to say is “We are the Champions” and give a shout-out to the valiant buccaneers who have made those such an enjoyable and successful season.

The regulars … Chris Bargh, Tim Norman, Matt Watts, Dom Creech, James Testar, Sol Bowen, Nigel Williams, Huw Widgery, Bryn Nicol, Ollie Roberts, Alex Elder, Steve Batt, Harvey Freer, Dan Rose-Innes, Bob Brewer

The slightly irregular (no offence intended) … Stuart Holt, Hamish Norman, Calum Norman

The odd appearances … Nick Hitchcroft, Dan Richards, Henry Bonham, Elliott Bonham

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FORWARDS' STRIKES BLOCKED!

18 March 2017 at 16:25

With a baker's dozen or more shots on target the Stroud attack and midfield went all out to push the ball past the Wotton GK.  Small of stature and big on ability the youngster stopped shot after shot from entering the Wotton under Edge goal.  This was a nice performance from Stroud whose passing was top notch;  balls were passed and picked up square, up the line, across the top of the 'D' and in both corners of the pitch.  Playing with just 11 players the Stroud team began to tire in the final 10 minutes but still kept up its defensive work with this week's star player Lydia Wakefield stopping the Wotton attack from the first to the last whistle.  Fit Bit figures this week were 3.4 miles, 4 miles and 6 miles!

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LADIES 3rd TEAM FIGHTS TO THE FINAL WHISTLE!

11 March 2017 at 15:25

Stroud Ladies 3rd' X1 never gives its opposition time to rest and today was no different.  Having gone 1-0 down against the run of play, the team threw all its energy, effort and skills at finding an equalising goal.  The short corners were well executed with some fine, forceful hits by Jenny Howorth.  The attacking formation of Mandi Lewis, Pip Robb and Sophie Payne was determined and the smooth, accurate passing of the ball was a delight to watch.  Defenders Lydia Wakefield and Jules LeBihan both gave their opposing players no space for personal flare or fast-moving attack.  The Di Furlong, Sara Price duo as sweeper and GK was dynamic.  It was a pleasure to have Sian Freer back in the team after recovery from injury and the half line of Sian, Marci Whelan and Kathy Williams had the centre of the pitch wrapped up.  Stroud's goal was scored in the dying minutes by Mandi Lewis from a fabulous pass, typical of her extraordinary performance throughout the match, from this week's star player Issy Smith.

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L3 BATTERED BY BOURTON SHOWERS!

05 March 2017 at 11:37

Stroud were battered relentlessly by torrential downpours in their match against Bourton 3rd team.  Always a challenging game this Bourton team were determined to win.  They went ahead when the rain made it impossible for the ball to be stopped cleanly by the Stroud defence and the ball trickled over the line.  There was a repeat goal a short time later.  Stroud's attack made some headway with shots by Issy Smith, Sarah Scott and Annabel Wigley.  The short corner routine was well executed by Marsi Whelan and Stroud were unlucky not to deflect the ball into the net.  Di Furlong did a great job of covering for Pauline Edgington in centre field who was struggling with a hamstsring injury.  Kathy Williams was awarded Player of the Match for her dogged determination throughout the game.

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