There was sheer delight as Hitchin Belles Football Club returned to competitive action.

The U16 Blues started with a great 4-1 win at St Albans with a hat-trick from last season's top scorer, Hannah Baynham.

The U14 Blues won convincingly against Wormley Rovers with a 5-0 success. New signing Michelle Lam got two but she was edged in the scoring charts by a hat-trick from Abbie Vizard.

Another debutant, goalkeeper Isabelle Collis, marked her first start with a clean sheet.

For the U12 Blues, the match against Evergreen was their first taste of a competitive fixture.

The team have moved up a division this season and into a new format and after a slow start, they found their rhythm.

Olivia made some good saves in goal and the girls played some lovely football at times, creating lots of chances, but going down to an unfortunate own-goal.

The U14 Sapphires suffered a 4-1 defeat to Chorleywood Common in their opening fixture.

They are playing an age group up this year but are responding well to the challenge.

Nerves got the better of them allowing in the first half as they trailed 2-0 but they scored and had numerous chances until tiredness led to two more Chorleywood goals.

The Comet: Hitchin Belles U12 Sapphires run through some drills.Hitchin Belles U12 Sapphires run through some drills. (Image: Hitchin Belles Football Club)

The U15 Whites lost 6-2 to Oaklands having gone into the game with injury worries.

A spokeswoman said: "They all played so well and fought really hard at 2-2 in the second half but Oaklands then put on attack after attack, quite a few of which we defended or saved.

"But three goals in the last 10 minutes gave them the win."