Whitchurch Saints 4th XI v Howards 3's - Saturday 2nd February 2013
Score 1 - 2 Loss
Saints effort in this game cannot be faulted at all. However, the lack of match time was very clear as Saints made far too many mistakes at crucial times. Having nearly all the play, Saints were unable to break down a resolute and experienced Howards defence who simply soaked up the pressure and then scored two break away goals in the first half when the Saints midfield was caught napping.
With a better formation in the second half Saints attacked again and again and yet were still unable to convert their chances with the Howards keeper having a stormer. It was only until a few minutes before the end of play that they broke through when Maria Cheadle followed up from close range to slot the ball home in the corner. Saints continued to attack but inevitably ran out of time leaving them to rue too many basic errors and reflect on a game they should have won. Having been called up to the 3s, Lou McCarroll was a big miss in this game, but congratulations to Liv Blok for her man of the match and thanks to Carin Scirrow for a great job umpiring.
Whitchurch Saints 4th XI v Bridgend 2's - Saturday 1st December 2012
Score 3 - 1 Win
After a two week break the 4s faced Bridgend 2s in the final league before the xmas break. With patience, Saints started to put together some great early passes and making the most of Elinor Mahoney’s speed up front. Saints put the opposition under a lot of pressure, and after a couple of accurate linking passes between Elin Hughes, Cath Hughes and Lou McCarroll with Elinor Mahoney making a diverting run, Lou was able to connect crisply to first time finish from a wide angle. Saints continued to play well deep in Bridgend’s half with Kylie Powell making some incisive and skilful runs from midfield, while at the other end the defence was able to contain any break outs with Lucy James and Vicki Smith curtailing the threats from the flanks. Saints won a short corner which Gaynor was able to convert to take a 2-0 lead. Bridgend launched a few attacks and won a short corner from which Claire Stewart made a cracking save low at the left post. However, another short corner saw Bridgend pull a goal back after indecision at the back.
After half time Saints continued to look to attack at every opportunity and again attacked with guile, speed and skill. Saints had most of the game in this half but Bridgend were dogged in defending their D, with their goalie making some outstanding saves. Eventually at the third attempt, Elinor Mahoney was able to force the ball home. Saints had many chances but were unable to convert more which is an issue which needs addressing. Having said this the team played well, it was a good win and it was a nice confidence building game all round, so well done everyone and to Maria Cheadle for her man of the match award.
Whitchurch Saints 4th XI v Gwernyfed - Saturday 17th November 2012
Score 2 - 5 Loss
The 4s made the long journey to Brecon for a 10am start for a game which they will have to learn from as within minutes it was clear that mentally, Saints were still on the A470 around Merthyr Tydfil somewhere. Gwernyfed were well organised, strong in tackles and first to every ball, causing all sorts of mayhem in the Saints defence, so it wasn’t a surprise when they took the lead. Saints were missing strength in the central positions but did manage to put a few attacks together, equalising when a Cat Jones cross was deflected into the goal by a Gwernyfed defender. Gwernyfed kept up their attacks and then the Saints defence lost their cool and totally collapsed. Indecision, panicking when clearing the ball, and getting in each other’s way led to the concession of three preventable soft goals and so at half time Saints were 4-1 down.
In the second half Saints picked themselves up and reorganised with Lou McCarroll and Hannah Taylor steadying the midfield and Saints were like a different team. With a better structure and shape, Saints soon got to grips with and dealt extremely well with the Gwernyfed attacks. Saints pulled a goal back through a great run from Jessica Roberts, but a comeback of epic proportions was put to bed when Gwernyfed managed to sneak another goal home. Saints were definitely found wanting in the first half and left themselves with way too much to do, but at least in the second half they played much better and showed that they could compete with the opposition. Congratulations to Lou McCarroll for her man of the match award for the second week running and thanks to Julie Cook for making the journey to do a sterling job of umpiring.
Whitchurch Saints 4th XI v Cardiff Uni 2's - Saturday 10th November 2012
Score 2 - 1 Win
After a couple of weeks rest the 4s arrived eager for this game. However, the students proved to be fast, fit and organised, and Saints were soon under a lot of pressure camped in their own half for long periods. When Saints did attack, they took their opportunity well. After winning their first short corner of the game, Gaynor Gierak stepped up to strike a cracker right in the bottom left corner to beat the keeper. Again the students applied loads of pressure and Saints found themselves playing far too deep in their defensive end of the pitch. Despite some panicky moments, the defence held out thanks to people getting their sticks in for decisive touches and Claire Stewart having a corker in goals. Saints went to half time with a 1-0 lead but definitely needed to take a well earned breather to calm down and regroup.
The second half again saw the speed and skill of the students continuing to put Saints in all sorts of trouble but still they held out, waiting to break on counter attacks. And let a moment of sheer brilliance; a superb cross with loads of pace was delivered into the D from Cat Jones, and was first time steered in low past the keeper's right for a brilliant goal from Lou McCarroll, who later admitted she'd shut her eyes. This was a moment for all to savour, because Saints did what they are capable of, 2 passes out of defence, Cat Jones striking the ball into the D for Lou to do her job, and it paid off handsomely. What a beauty.
Saints then had to withstand withering attack after attack, and unfortunately they eventually conceded. Sensing a student fight back could be on the cards, the 4s subtly changed their tactics to absorb the pressure and wait for opportunities to counter. This paid off and at the final whistle the victory was with the 4s.
This was a massive team effort and a gritty hard grafted win with everyone playing their crucial part – thanks team 4. Well done all and to Lou McCarroll for her man of the match award.
Player of the Match : Louise McCarroll
Whitchurch Saints 4th XI v Swansea Uni 2's - Saturday 20th October 2012
Score 2 - 1 Win
Saints took to the pitch in a confident manner, determined to put the previous week’s loss behind them. Even though Saints put together some good passes and passages of play, the students proved to be pretty sound opposition with some sterling defensive work. Still Saints kept up with their attacks winning a couple of corners which they were unable to convert. Not long after, in contrast, the students won their first short corner of the match from which they scored to take the lead. Saints for all their pressure found they were unable to break the students down, but also importantly managed to contain them from scoring again.
With Saints still 1-0 down late into the second half, their midfield started to pick up the pace launching attack after attack. Some lovely skilful runs from Cath Hughes and a quickly taken free hit in the opposition 25 from a very determined Lou McCarroll saw Saints eventually equalising through Megan Molly Atkins. Sensing the students were tiring, Saints continued to attack and move the ball around. They won another short corner, which to every one’s joy; Liv Blok managed to get on the end of, to slip the ball past the keeper. Within a few seconds of the restart the final whistle went, to the relief of a quite a few tired legs.
A much deserved win due to a gutsy fight back, so well done to the whole team. Congratulations to Morgann Williams for her man of the match performance after her outstanding goal keeping work.
Player of the Match : Morgann Williams