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Ladies 6s and Sparks Enjoy Winter Friendly

17th January 2022

By Tiff Chapman

Ladies 6s 1 – 3 Sparks

POM: Poppy Power

DOD: Tiff Chapman

For the first friendly after a month of eating, drinking and not really doing very much (any) exercise, I was so happy to see that I would be spending 70 minutes chasing people aged 20-30 years younger than me. Luckily our team strategy (be really aggressive) played right into my USP. However, a further team direction: ‘mark the tall, skinny, blond one’ was less easy to execute (spoiler alert: they’re all tall, skinny and blonde). Luckily Sinead was on hand to clarify: ‘mark the one with the ponytail!’ err thanks Sinead.

In terms of actual hockey, it was all a bit of a blur. The Sparks are a good team – irritatingly speedy and skilful, and they played well as a unit. Our experience kept us in the first half – Jen trapped a quick ball from me & held her nerve & composure to slip it passed the keeper so that we went into half time with a goal apiece. I feel like our stellar capitano gave lots of direction at half time. On the basis that a normal person can remember three things… I’m thinking I may be an outlier, because I can’t remember any of them. Either way, I was still holding onto the ‘be really aggressive tactic’ as the second half saw me have some kind of collision with a member of the oppo. A witness reported: ‘you sat on her Tiff, I hope you didn’t break her ribs.’ I obviously did not mean to sit on anyone (although in total fairness, I was quite tired and Sinead never lets me sub for a break) and I have a passing memory of said oppo player falling over at my feet then commando rolling in a very cynical effort to bring me down – that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Luckily for me, I found myself face to face with said commando’s mother at Chrissie’s awesome party on Saturday night. Now that could have gone either way. I think we both agreed it was character building for her daughter and continued with the apple sourz shots… I say I think because some elements of that night remain hazy.

As for the hockey, the Sparks scored two more goals. From a defensive point of view we absorbed wave after wave of pressure – not unlike being chased by The Terminator – They. Just. Kept. Coming. For the mids and forwards it was a great work-out having to get back & mark lots!

My final piece of learning is: don’t forget the ‘open the gate’ stretch and if you do pull a muscle in your hip, throwing some moves on the dancefloor is probably not good preparation for a match with the Vixens 12 hours later.