Vixens Win O35s Cup First Round Match
By Val Beveridge
Surbiton Vixens 4 – 0 Holcombe Ladies
Investec Womens Over 35s Tier 2 Championships
Team: Beveridge, Bonstein, Chapman, Clarke, Craze, Davies (GK), Dempsey, Elsom, Fitch, Fraser, Gallagher, Goodden, Jenkins, Macartney, Osborne.
Umpires: Carolyn & Jo
You can be sure three things will be in bountiful supply when the Surbiton O35s Vets team (aka The Vixens) get together: hot flashes… of exquisite skills; pre-match injuries galore and widespread evidence of alcohol dependency.
Charlotte’s cider-fuelled team planning the evening before led her to display Diane Abbott worthy maths skills as our squad varied from 11 to 16.
In the interests of election impartiality all the parties are pish and I will be holding out for Montgomery Brewster’s None of The Above party to enter the race. #Landslide.
Fee won the dubious award of “quickest injury” by pulling her back before even stepping on the pitch but had good company in the dugout with Jo (crocked knee) stepping in as Coach.
Jess led a brisk and ambitious warm-up involving Extreme Yoga ™ and some combos that could have featured in a Tena Ladies advert (squats AND tuck jumps?? wtf?) but it set us up for a hard and fast start. We were soon peppering the Holcombe goal with plenty of shots; denting the metalwork, first timing PC slips and flicking rebounds back at the keeper. Sadly she was good at pinball and kept us out until late into the first half when Sian unleashed her deadly reverse stick strike.
The second half started with more of the same as Sian got on the end of a lay-off from Charlotte, who had retreated to defence but proved no less effective at smacking the balls through to the forward line.
Goal number three followed soon after as our Shamrock Mafia, holding the left flank, executed a beautiful manoeuvre. Emma drove out from defence into the gap created by Lisa’s well timed run, allowing Emma to smash the ball through to Anne who had popped up on the p-spot ready to dent the backboard.
It was far from a one-sided affair though with Holcombe opting for a strong hitting game to penetrate our defence. No such luck for them though as Annie excelled at finding the safest angle out of the circle with her clearances and when under pressure had Sinead’s razor reflexes to clear off the line. Spuggie controlled the marking and transfers at the back and a welcome return from Tiff ensured we had comedy (and effective) tackling.
Bethan and Sian provided the perfect double act in the middle (our very own Chuckle Sisters) with some sweet “to me, to you” passing and Cathryn produced some amazing driving runs into the D, leaving opponents trailing in her wake. Ruth caused the oppo defence so much grief that they resorted to 3 on 1 tackling.
The final goal came from a broken down PC with the inevitable pinball in front of goal finally resulting in the ball rebounding out to Lisa at the top of the D who clinically smashed it low and left well out of the GK’s reach.
4-0 victors in a good-natured match with quality umpiring and added sunshine.
We all retired to the Bar for a bit of hair of the dog and a great spread supplied by Charlotte courtesy of Costco (sandwich platters, cookies, a 42 inch 4K TV and a hot tub).
Many thanks to Carolyn & Jo for calm and composed umpiring.
POM: Lisa for phenomenal running. Special shout out to Bethan for amazing transfers.
DOD: Sian for retiring to defence and immediately conceding a soft (and very amusing) long corner. Runners-up: Charlotte for poor maths, Fee for turning up already injured and Anne for deflecting Bethan’s certain goal.