While the Ladies 1st XI’s debut season in North Premier Division doesn’t begin until next Saturday, the Ladies 2s kicked off their season with a home fixture in Cheshire League division 2 against a very physical Chester second XI. Edge got off to a good, if slightly scrappy start, with Jude Offer flinging herself into the goal to edge in a shot from Nicola Hall. The rest of the first half was quite a tense affair with Chester’s physical defending style frustrating Edge which allowed the visitors to draw even before half time. The second half saw Edge step up their game with some brilliant attacking play and some very strong defending from Sophie Wheeler. Nic Hall scored 10 minutes into the half, with Izzy Mowatt solidifying Edge's lead 15 minutes from full time. 3-1 at the final whistle to Edge as they start their season as they mean to go on.
In the same division a young Ladies 3s went down 3-1 to Northop Hall, hindered by having no subs or goalkeeper. Defender Louise Middleton bravely stepped into the keeper’s pads but things got worse for Edge when they found themselves reduced to nine players following an asthma attack and an injury. They played by far the better hockey but numbers told and they were 2-0 down at half time. They regrouped brilliantly despite Bethany Woodhead, who had played up front on her own for most of the game and ran herself into the ground, taking a stick to the head.
The 4s were away to Triton in Cheshire League division 3 and, like the 3s, found themselves on the back foot from the start due to not being able to field a full team. They started tentatively with only 10 players and struggled to keep Triton out, finding themselves going into half time 0-4 down. More fluid play in the second half and a hat trick from Emma Fluck saw the final score 7-3 to Triton.
The 5s drew 1-1 against Winnington Park 2s at home in division 4, while a very young 6s team travelled away to face Sandbach 1s in division 5. Edge’s pace and fitness paid dividends in the first half and they went into the break 2-1 up. However, Sandbach came out hard and fast in the second half and gained two goals back within a few minutes. Edge’s inexperience then showed when they found themselves on the back foot and panicked, enabling Sandbach to win 4-2. A learning experience all round but much more to come from a team comprising many girls playing Ladies hockey for the first time.
The Mens 1s set themselves a serious challenge this weekend with two friendly games against National League opposition. Deeside’s higher tempo proved too much of a question for Edge and they went down 5-1, despite playing well and Sam Gregory finding the back of the net. Their second match against Leek ended 4-4 and saw goals from Angus McCormick, James Warburton, Sam Buckingham and Rob Trem. The team is now well prepared for next weekend’s league opener against Didsbury Northern.
The 2s played away at Bowdon and came away with a 6-1 victory against a side boasting a number of ex National league players. Alderley’s goals were shared amongst Simeon Mellor, Matt Hardy, Joe Coxon, Matt Cresey and Chris Hardy while Simon Pickering excelled in goal.
The 3s took on a Bowdon 4s side at Kings Macclesfield. Bowdon started with 10 men and while Edge’s team comprised three Junior players, it was they who took the initiative and opened the scoring after five minutes after Dom Andrews slid the ball under Bowdon’s keeper. Edge then scored again before Bowdon, bolstered to 11 players, scored with a reverse stick shot from the top of the D.
The second half was a more even affair but was put beyond Bowdon’s grasp when Julian Scarsbrook converted a short corner and then Ben Sharrock deflected a shot in on the far post - a comfortable 4-1 win in the end.
A well-balanced Men's 4s team, bolstered by the return of Rory Savin, beat a young Bowdon 5s team 7-1. It was great to see seven different scorers: Harry Oakes, Tom Helen Curran, James Parkin Rory Savin, Andrew Jordan, Josh Benton and Ed Offer who pushed up from central defence.
The 5s took on Bowdon 6s at Kings and quickly took control of the game with an early goal from Luke Stevens who positioned himself at the left post to tap in after a good move. Louis Godfrey then scored twice, the second goal being a brilliant reverse stick strike from the edge of the D.
Edge controlled most of the first half with some slick passing with Bowdon only coming into the game towards the end of the half when Edge tired and stopped passing as well. This enabled Santi Houghton, who was making his debut in goal, to make a couple of good saves and some excellent kicks to clear.
The half time team talk focused on Edge getting back to their short passing game which resulted in debut goals for Joe Clapham, Oliver Clemetson and Sam Jones - a hugely encouraging 6-0 win from the team with good performances all over the pitch. Joe Clapham was the overall man of the match with a dominant display in central midfield.
A new look Men’s 6s drew 3 – 3 with Bowdon 7s. It was great to see Scott Brown, Paddy Wright and Archie Benton making such strong debuts in adult hockey and an overall very positive team performance with some strong passing moves. Edge dominated in terms of D penetration, attempts on goal and short corners won, while Bowdon played on the break and scored from each of their serious attempts on goal.
The Beavers A team had a friendly match against Kings Macc year 8 boys. Kings played with greater physicality and speed started strongly and it took a few minutes for Edge’s younger boys and girls to get to grips with the level of concentration required. Kings scored first but Edge fought back hard and started to pass the ball with confidence which resulted in a reverse stick equaliser from Oli Farrer. Edge had the better play for the next 20 minutes but failed to convert. Kings’ pace and pressure proved too much in the final 20 minutes and Edge conceded three goals as a result of not clearing the ball wide. Despite the 4-1 result it was a very even contest with some great performances all over the pitch, notably from Kizzy Ward who ran hard all game, Henry Morris who stuck to the task of tight marking and Reuben Frodsham who was dogged in his determination.
The Beavers B team played Preston Beavers at Fallibroome. Edge started strongly with some great passing, moving the ball out wide for the most part, resulting in several attacks in Preston’s D and a lovely goal from Maia Stephenson. The black and white onslaught continued and a second goal was fired in from Lara Tabachnik. An obviously frustrated Preston replied with a goal but not before some excellent defending from Edge. The game continued end to end in the second half, with Edge tiring towards the end. It ended 2-2 with great games from Keira Owen, Emelia Simkins-Cowell, Molly O'Driscoll and Maia Stephenson to name but a few.
The C team also played at Fallibroome against a depleted Bolton side resulting in a7-3 win to Edge. Goals were scored by Marnie Murison (2), Carys Bastin, Layla Jones (2) and Helena Sykora (2). Helena also very kindly scored two goals for the opposition when playing for them!