Ladies 5s Lose Out to London Eds
By Emily Hughes
Ladies 5s 1 – 6 London Eds 1s
Having taken a while to get into our game last week, we made sure we were well warmed up and started with all systems firing. Putting early pressure on Eds, you could sense them a little surprised at being held 0-0 for so long.
Both teams had a couple of chances, or at least we should have. When Emily got the ball into the D, rather than a simple pass to Evie at the top, she went for a reverse stick effort at goal. Unfortunately, after slipping on some leaves in the process, she barely made contact with the ball and instead left a few layers of skin from her derriere on the pitch. Just play the easy ball next time.
Eds did then put one away, but still our defence held strong. Sunny and Lily making a couple of critical tackles, and we held 1-0 for another 10 minutes. However, Eds then put on a display of top-notch hockey and put three more away in quick succession.
4-0 down at half time, Coach Winter kept the team talk specific, focused, and positive, and challenged us to 'win' the second half. Tarek also reminded us that the objective is to move the ball down the pitch, simple, but evidently needed and we started the second half with this in mind and found ourselves in the D early on a number of occasions.
Better organisation, backing ourselves, and playing our own game, we had a much better presence in the match. Our half backs Chloe and Simmi were both pushing higher up the pitch, with some great runs down the wing. We had a small pause after Evie went in for a hard tackle, but will wish she didn’t put so much force in as unfortunately it directed the ball straight up her stick and into her lip. Having said that, a quick trip to the beautician to even up with some filler on the other side and she’ll have lips that the cast of most reality TV shows would die for. Helen (AKA The Flamingo), Cara and Emma were alternately making lead after lead, and won a number of short corners, but we couldn't quite convert.
Eds did manage to get another past us, but we finally put our mark on the scoresheet when Emma won us a fourth short corner, and we opted for ‘The Caterpillar’. Emily injected to Amber, who slipped the ball back to Emily where it was slapped hard into the goal. It might have been deflected in by their defence, but they were only trying to stop Cara from getting her stick on it! A moment of jubilation and spirits well and truly lifted.
We kept the pressure on and gave Eds a real run for the money in the second half. Communication across the midfield was great improved, with Rowan controlling with middle of the pitch, and Amber, Nat and Mimi creating lots of 1-2s on both sides. Unfortunately, in the dying moments of they managed to sneak another past us, despite Marlijn hitting splits that Simone Biles would have been proud of.
A tough game, but beaten by a team who are deservedly unbeaten at the top of the league.
POM: Sunny for cool, calm and collected play in defence.
DOD: Emily for a) slipping over in the D b) lack of mouthguard c) flashing Billy"
I don't like losing, but I did still enjoy my time on the pitch with such a great group of teammates.