With a fresh set of legs the 4s set out for our game this Saturday against Cala Ladies 3s. As they had just come down from the league above we knew we had our work cut out for us, as we headed out to the pitch the sky was grey our spirits were high. Maybe this would be the first game of the season we didn't feel like we were going to get sun burnt / melt into a puddle? Who really knows what ideal hockey weather is anyway!?
Eager to get going we step out into the drizzle, ready for the game ahead. The whistle blows and we're on our way. Our pass back, and from the start the ball is sent out the wing to Emily who dibbles up the length of the pitch. With some lovely play using the all our space Watsonians hold possession for what seems like a full first half itself! However, Cala were relentless and batter down the field into our defence. Hannah C controlling the top of our D sees them off and sends the ball right back up the pitch, making its way to Hannah L who's silky skills move the ball in between the Cala players.
Unfortunately it wasn't all plain sailing, the ball somehow made its way into our D and after some great saves by all defenders, Cala scores. Not phased by this our girls hold their heads high and are straight back to the fight. In a great position AJ drives that ball straight into their side of the pitch with determination, sending it up to Suzanne who makes a run for their base line but is met by one of the Cala defenders. All of a sudden we are all back down the other side of the pitch, how did that happen? And even quicker another goal is awarded to Cala. Our spirits are still not dampened, unlike our strips thanks to the weather. Mel with a sprint down the side of the pitch likened to that of Usain Bolt (thanks Kim!) brought the ball once again closer to their goal. Just as it was on the verge of entering the D... the whistle blew for half time! Just our luck.
With a quick half time motivational chat, including Saskia singing the praises of everyone's fire (!!!) we head out ready to go once again. As if we couldn't get any more determined we turn the dial up to 11! Jodie is defending as she picked up some tips off of a British Hockey Olympian, or more like she gave him some tips! Catriona gets the ball and once again we see the skills and energy of the youth players and gaze in wonder as play is set up the length of the pitch, sending the ball into Ellen. She takes a shot and... rebound... SHORT CORNER. We set up ready for our chance. Suzanne takes a straight strike, it hits off the goalie. After several rebound shots the ball goes off the back line. With expert instruction from Kim we set up our press giving Cala no options through the pitch. Endless runs are made each way up the pitch, our weekly marathon training is definitely coming on nicely!
The game seems to be growing ever more tense. Some of us, Jen, even tackle so hard we take a tumble, JEN! Now that is commitment to the game. However, Cala are back in our D and are trying hard for that third goal. But our defence is trying harder! Saskia is like a woman possessed, saving all possible goals in sight, and sometime even those that might not have been goals, but why leave it to chance eh! The ever reliant Catie expertly clears the balls out to the wings and up the pitch. And then another bit of bad luck, Cala get another goal making the score 3-0. Never ones to let an unfortunate goal get us down we keep going. Fight after fight we run the length of the pitch as if our life depended on it, sending the ball up and down and back again. Hana N making great play out of our 25. The whistle blows and we all breath (or wheeze in my case) as sigh of relief.
Slightly disappointed with the score but more buzzed about how well we played as a team we all scrabble to get off the pitch and out of the rain. While getting changed in the corridor (because who needs a deposit for the changing room key these days!?) we congratulate each other for a good shift and talk excitedly about future games!
Congratulation to our Player of the Match Saskia
Thank you to Fi for umpiring