Ladies 8 Finish Season on a High
By Debs Ogun
Ladies 8s 5 - 3 Richmond Ladies 4s
(Difficult to say which Richmond team we were playing against since 3 of them showed up at Sugden Road to face our 6s later on in the afternoon. Don’t worry girls, we tired them out for you!)
The oddest of games to end the oddest of seasons. Despite living closest to today’s pitch, Debs still managed to be reliably late although she did rather enjoy being greeted politely by the football substitutes on her stroll from the clubhouse #stillgotit
Beaney and Beaumont messaged to say that they had hit some standstill traffic, but once they realised that they’d pulled in behind some parked cars they were on their way again, somehow taking in the glorious sights of Ashford on route to Richmond. After all, surely the 11 O’clock pushback was only a suggested time, wasn’t it?
This week’s wonderful addition to our team came in the guise of Tilly who was a fantastic member of the midfield. Her tireless running, determination and skill were a joy to watch. Goal one was well deserved, after making good ground up the pitch she dribbled around the goalie and slotted it home. Well done, Tilly! Richmond then turned up the pressure. The defence were tested and the mids lent their support.
Realising that it was going to be a warm evening, the umpire knew that he had enough firewood so asked Chengai to leave the field for two minutes to reflect on her over-enthusiastic chopping technique – green card!
Determined not to let this affect us, we held strong. Crazy Legs stepped up a gear, ably assisted by partner in crime Mimi, she took the ball into the D, outskilled the keeper and scored a beautiful goal number two.
BUT WAIT! cried Richmond. They had got wind that something was amiss. A quick count revealed that we had 12 on the pitch. Whoops! The umpire declared that the goal had to stand but our captain would be going for a long sit down. He very apologetically explained to Louise that he would have to give her a yellow so off she scuttled to the dugout.
Debs is clearly an even worse maths teacher than hockey player (better stick to baking!) since she hasn’t even managed to teach the team to count to 11 and clearly 12 – 1 – 1 is well beyond their capabilities given that we still maintained 11 on the pitch with Louise in the sin bin. If we hadn’t stood still for them to take their corner, Richmond might never have noticed. The umpire strode purposefully across the pitch towards Louise, hand in pocket getting ready to retrieve another card but Louise managed to convince him that despite our many vices, we did not have a vice captain!
With a few shouts of, “Get a grip Surbiton,” and, “Sort it out!” we resumed until half time and a much-needed opportunity to regroup. Words of wisdom, a few giggles and some sports gums were shared and we were back on the pitch. Richmond had scored before half time so we resumed at 2-1.
Taryn displayed the sort of skills that you really can’t teach, demonstrating clearly her ability to be successful at the top level in any sport. Crazy Legs passed the ball across the D and Taryn dived, neatly pushing it behind the keeper. Goal number three. This made us happy as we felt that Richmond couldn’t claim that we could only win by having 12 players on the pitch. This smugness was short-lived however as Richmond obviously had other ideas.
Niamh will be taking acting lessons in the off-season so as not to telegraph her fouls in the D to the umpires with hands lifted around her aghast, guilty face! Richmond scored two in quick succession and things were not looking good. Poppy then revealed an insane level of lip-reading skill to perfectly predict their short corner routine – where was that for the rest of the season???
Dolly had toned down her sass level this week but unfortunately the umpire had done the same with his hearing aid so seeking clarification of any decisions proved particularly difficult.
At 3-3 we were desperately in need of some inspiration. Beaney lived up to her fine pedigree and stepped up to the plate. Having run it up the side of the pitch, one of our young whippersnappers hit the ball into to the D for Beaney to deflect in. Goal number four. Then in a move almost as flash as Taryn’s dive she nutmegged the keeper for goal number five.
Now all we had to do was keep it out at the other end. Ruby finished off her excellent season keeping a clean sheet unlike the other defenders, all with own goals to their names. Ellie continued to display great marking skills and an uncanny ability to emerge from an outnumbered melee with the ball.
Finishing victorious, it was back to Surbiton for teas. The team expressed their gratitude to Louise for her sterling captaincy through tumultuous times. Luckily their thanks will last longer than the balloon! MOM was voted with Rosina being the worthy winner and Debs an honourable second. The initiation of our colts continued with the introduction of a few games. Luckily their ability to count in 5s is slightly better than their ability to count to 11! Thank you very much for a lovely game of 5s and thank you very much for a great, if not a little strange, season.
The Ladies 8s would like to say a huge thank you to Ann and her superb hospitality team for making it possible to enjoy each other’s company on a Saturday; to Chrissie for working at getting games, rearranged games and pitches sorted; and to the many lovely folk who have umpired for us this season. THANK YOU!