Three victories in opening round

Halifax Hockey Club under 16 girls started their season with five games on their home pitches and had a successful morning.

The team are largely last year’s under 14 side so all are at least a year young at this age group, or two years young in some cases, so to win three matches, draw one and only lose to last year’s National club champions Wakefield was no mean feat.

Victories against Wakefield 2nd string (5-0), Leeds (2-1) and Leeds Adel (1-0) were built around good team work with Cara James and Laura Walker strong at the back, Ellen Campsall pulling the strings in the centre of midfield and Philippa Wilkinson and Rachel Hoyle deadly in front of goal. Corrie Jackson worked well down the right side of the pitch with Lucy Hollingdrake combining with Grace Ramsden on the left. Both Sophie Kaney and Rebecca Kendal were making significant contributions to the team and the skilful Molly Midgley was able to find space and allow Ellen Campsall to move forward into attacking areas.

Rachel Hoyle netted five times and Philippa Wilkinson four were Halifax’s scorers in their three successes while Hoyle also scored in the 1-1 draw with Harrogate where Sasha Penny-Ward made some excellent saves.

The final game against Wakefield was a harsh lesson against an excellent team who won all their matches comfortably with Halifax hardly able to get the ball out of their own half. A 4-0 defeat was a fair scoreline although the girls never gave up and they showed an impressive level of determination.

A YOUNG and inexperienced Halifax under 12 girls showed some encouraging signs as they started their Yorkshire League campaign.

The first game ended in a defeat by Huddersfield where their attacking formation saw them exposed at the back which resulted in three goals being conceded.

Halifax began to show signs of getting to grips with the game against Wakefield but were once again caught on the break and went down 2-0.

Halifax changed formation for their third match against Leeds, playing twin defenders, Annabelle Delaney and Leah Kalter for the majority of the game. This worked well with Halifax playing with more confidence but unfortunately two errors proved costly

Confidence had grown by the time they took on Wakefield and they began to string passes together and threaten their opponents goal, Good work from Jodie Staples and Annie Denton kept the pressure on Wakefield and this paid off when a loose ball was slapped home by Robyn Fawkes to give Halifax their first win.

Hungry for more success Halifax started the next game strongly and had Huddersfield on the back foot. A wide passing move involving Emily Walker and Katie Illingworth saw the ball being crossed into the ‘D’, where Robyn Fawkes battled to be on the end of it and an off-balance shot saw Halifax take the lead. Unfortunately, the fall which followed resulted in Fawkes fracturing her left arm but she had still done enough to earn her side victory.

Without their top scorer Halifax battled well in their final game against Leeds with Katie Illingworth going close with a shot.

Regan Midgley made a couple of crucial saves in the Halifax goal but unfortunately the pressure exerted late in the game could not be turned into goals and they had to settle for a goalless draw.