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L6 Frustrated by Wimbledon After Strong Start

10th May 2021

By Val Beveridge

Ladies 6s 1 – 2 Wimbledon L5

I find you can always tell what kind of week you’ve had by your most frequently used emojis. In summary: frustrated, sad face, stress, face palm, worried, sweary, head spinning, fingers crossed and wine. The joys of being Chair of Selection (winky, joking face emoji). Though my eldest teenager advises me that most of the ones I use actually now mean something else entirely. Thank you Gen Z.

So it was a relief to finally arrive at Raynes Park to find a full squad, empty pitch and enthusiastic Coach and Captain/Manager.

We were a bit apprehensive as the table suggested Wimbledon were on good form but with inspired words from Rory (#BestCoachEver, #Lucky6s, #SorryForThePainWeCauseYou) and excellent composure and leadership from El Capitano Daly we started really strongly, dominating the first 20-25 minutes and causing Wimbledon no end of grief.

Loren and Fee had clearly had double helpings of Shreddies, washed down with a Red Bull infused espresso or twenty as they swept up every threat coming through the midfield and created excellent D entries. Great driving runs from Maisie, with her trailing defender heard to frequently squeal, “Don’t have her, don’t have her, help!” until Maisie collapsed face down, exhausted in the D (more than once – yet somehow I’m DOD? More on that later).

At the other end, Sinead and Giselle were sweeping up threats, often off the goal line with more composure than their body (and mouth) language tended to suggest. Ably assisted by Zebedee Marlijn going from vertical to horizontal and back again in the same time it takes the weather to turn in Glasgow.

We were definitely more threatening down the right hand side and finally it came together. Val picked up a loose ball high on the right and drove the baseline, momentarily thinking, ‘Oooh, I can see a 1cm gap to shoot through,’ then Lily stormed into the D, hangover evaporating, superhero cape flying, and saved the day with a loud clear call, loosely translated as, “Don’t be an eejit”. One quick pass later and Lily smacked the ball home. Confidence lifted, we nearly repeated the feat several minutes later with Amy sprinting into the perfect position (without the hangover of course!), cape flying, but sadly the pass was intercepted. Ruth also came agonisingly close on several occasions but the goals just wouldn’t come.

Let’s pretend that games last for 45 minutes instead of 70 minutes so we can just skirt over the remainder of the match where we seemed to convert our energy and enthusiasm into mistraps, panic passes and loss of composure. Tiff gifted the centre forward a few wayward passes but her pace to get back and tackle saved us along with Jess T’s excellently timed tackles. Jess O’s loyalties were fully tested as she battled with her former teammates to close them down on the left and Evie also battled on hard through the midfield winning fouls as opponents ran out of options and tackles got sloppy.

We were getting increasingly frustrated and we kind of imploded, ably demonstrated by Val who either a) delivered a gentle, playful tap on the back to the defender who blatantly obstructed or b) full-on shoved a player off the backline as Val was too old and slow to get round. As cynical fouls go, it paid off as Wimbledon repaid the favour minutes later conceding a short corner. Sadly, despite Jen usually being able to produce backboard-splitting strikes they just weren’t working for us.

So, a frustrating result. All the energy and work rate just not always in a composed and productive manner. Rory will be thrilled to know that we’ve had a think about development opportunities, much like when you google symptoms before going to the GP thinking you have all the answers. Next week’s tip should be not to put so much pressure on ourselves, especially if you’re leading!

MOM: Loren (runner up Sinead with nine other players mentioned)

DOD: Bruiser Beveridge who now has the following emojis also in their frequently used list: boxing glove, shame, apologies…