I am honoured again with the task of writing the match report and as I have little memory of the game, please forgive if any of the details are wildly inaccurate or just blatantly untrue (always reassuring – which game do you remember?! Capt.).
The first thing that was apparent was that while our average age was pushing up towards the high 30′s plus, Reading Uni’s er… wasn’t.
However unabashed we started the game high in spirits, but perhaps low in concentration as again we went down to two early-ish goals. We picked ourselves up though and throughout the rest of game played some very nice hockey the sort that we are becoming accustomed to playing – passing the ball around even backwards and sideways. The most inspiring thing in a somewhat frustrating game was the massive work rate by every single player. Everyone worked their socks off, all game, no one eased off until the final whistle. Tina, MOM lead the way in midfield. Amanda F and Mary getting stuck into tackles and winning the ball constantly.
Our valiant defence stood firm, making key tackles to thwart Reading Uni’s attacks and sweeping the ball off the goal line with last ditch tackles which resulted in a 0-0 second half .
We still tried to play attacking, rather than defensive hockey with Karen & Tammy surging forward to back up Tracy H’s hard work at the front, but we just couldn’t put the ball away.
Unfortunately Tracy M took a bad knock to the ankle in the second half which resulted in a trip to A&E. Happily though, nothing was broken ‘just’ badly sprained so hope she’ll be back playing very soon.
But that wasn’t the end, cos later that evening the Fabulous Fours were Stepping Out…
Looking fabulous (of course!) and ready to party (always!) we went to the Club Christmas Dinner. And there I think I had better stop and leave the rest to your imagination!
Saturday 30th November
Having made the long, arduous trip to Sonning HC we were very excited to see that the combined average age of both teams was nearer 35 than 13 – and that was only thanks to man of the match Emma, Shakila and one very un ‘veteran’ looking colt on their side! You could see the confidence in our team go up a notch or two before we even took to the pitch.
And Ant (currently sunning herself in her native South Africa) we didn’t let you down, scoring THREE goals (Emma, TC and Tracy). Yes, I said THREE. They even went into the goal at the correct end of the pitch, and with our usual strong defence and help from Nat in goal we ended up winning 3-0.
This certainly eased the frustration of having to watch from the sidelines again, though I must remember to bring my foghorn next time so all my ‘really useful’ advice can be heard.
The game went from end to end but as our confidence grew so the play started going from side to side, forwards and sometimes even backwards. Shakila did well playing at the back of the midfield, Audrey, Heidi and Rachel made some timely interventions at the back and at times Karen and Tammy surged forward (sometimes even staying on their feet), and could often be seen in our attacking D. Janice was her usual versatile self, Amanda M-B and Tracy M brought much needed stability to the midfield whilst up front (and sometimes even out wide) our goal scorers were thoroughly enjoying themselves.
Well done to all, and thanks to Sonning for a good game played in friendly spirit.
Saturday 23rd November
In case you didn’t realise, hockey is a game of two halves and many triangles!
In the first half, our triangles were far too obtuse, bordering on straight, and so we were quickly 3-0 down. A quick maths lesson at half time led by Ladies Captain Rachel soon had us thinking more acutely and low and behold, we won the second half 1-0! Well done everyone for a really good team performance, led by man of the match and goal scorer Sarah.
Other highlights included a cameo performance by Tracy (don’t tell Russ), Tammy lasting the whole game without being injured and some great running in the midfield by the young Karen. Hope your foot is not too bruised Heidi, and thanks to Rachel M for your coaching support.