On a scorching hot Saturday afternoon, the Dutch women’s As took to the Happy Valley pitch for our first game of the season against Aquila As. With a number of new players to the club and only a few training sessions under our belt, we were prepared for some disorganisation on the field, a battle with the heat and a game of finding our feet. But we needn’t have worried! The team gelled quickly, communication was strong and the work we had done in training really paid off.
We took control of the game very early, with the forwards and midfield making it incredibly difficult for the opposition to break through our press. We controlled possession and where they did break through, our defenders were well organised and strong in the tackle. Before long, our persistent attacking led to a short corner, which Liesbeth smashed straight into the goal taking us to 1-0 up. Play continued in our favour, with good passing and some excellent skills from many of the players. One attack led to Charlie receiving the ball on the inside of the D, she demonstrated her silky skills, skinning the keeper and pushing the ball to the back of the net. 2-0 up for half time!
After a half time pep talk, plenty of water and an entire packet of energy tablets (never before happened!), we returned to the field to continue what we’d been doing. The second half was much the same as the first - we dominated possession and our press kept the opposition at bay. When they had any opportunity at attacking our defenders worked their magic and Lan saved the day in goal. Our persistent attacking meant we had lots and lots of chances on goal. A strong keeper on their team and a little trouble converting some of these chances kept us goalless for a lot of the second half. But patience eventually paid off… Maud, who dominated the right side of the field throughout the game, received the ball and used her pace and skills to dribble into the D. She looked like she was going to slap the ball, but quickly realised she had little space so she dodged a few more players and reverse hit the ball taking us to 3-0.
The whistle blew for the end of the game just as Aquila had been granted a short corner. In true team spirit everyone used the last of their energy to quickly close the opposition down and clear the ball. The game was an excellent start to the season - all players worked hard, worked together and just about survived the heat. The victory and the dehydration certainly made that post match beer taste even better!
Ladies A Captain
DUTCH DELIVER AGAINST CRICKET CLUB
(HONG KONG CRICKET CLUB 1 - 3 DUTCH MEN's A)
It was all too hot to handle for the Hong Kong Cricket Club; as the Dutch secured a winning start to the season. The match was played in +34 degree heat as the two teams did their best to create chances in an end-to-end game of hockey.
As usual against the Cricket Club, the Dutch were expecting a tough game against a well-organised and fit team, and this is what they got. Both sides struggled to play their nicest hockey in a first half under the beating sun, but both sides creating a series of decent attacks. Big gaps opened in the Cricket Clubs defence as the Dutch took an early lead in the first 20 minutes; Van Mil getting the opening goal at short-distance. But the first half was to end equal as the Cricket Club were gifted a goal of their own, a touch of football from the Umpire’s feet allowing a break-away attack that led to a one-on-one goal. The first half ending 1-1, with both sides very sweaty and totally exhausted.
The tempo was raised immediately in the second half with both teams refreshed and perhaps that a slight percentage increase in performance could bring a positive result in this game - the heat was draining and demanded that extra boost of energy. Dutch took the lead within the opening 10 minutes as Van Mil opened his second scoring account for the season following a string of passes that started out-wide and finished just inside the circle. The Dutch defence and attack was being connected well by Jules, driving forward the attacks at every occasion. With just over 15 minutes left to guarantee a win from the game the Dutch kept their ability to keep creating chances. Following a string of pressure at in the Cricket Club's half, Berend added a beautiful backhand shot in the high left corner of the goal.
So the Dutch are off to a winning start!
With a few players still to come back next weekend it is looking super positive for the season
The DHC Committee unites the club with a series of social events, co-ordination of the season. Hear more about what the Dutch Hockey Club in Hong Kong is up to. Remember all welcome!