Match Report: The Elegant Zimmers vs The Marvellous Mobilities
By Val Beveridge
The Elegant Zimmers: Tiff, Nat, Frances, Dawn, Jane, Sophie, Debs, Clare (Teddington), Annie, Val, Anne, Lisa
The Marvellous Mobilities: Lindsey, Ellie, Leah, Sian, Rosie, Ruth B, Sammy, Emily, Georgie, Sunny, Louise, Debs (Maori Vamps/Belle Alliance), Anne
(other discounted names: Anne’s Angina Angels; Tena Tigers, Is It Just Me Or Is It Hot In Here? Reconstructed Knees, Titanium Hips….)
As I was (very kindly) handed a lovely glass of pink Bollinger after the game and not a pen and paper it’s entirely possible that this match report will be as accurate as one of Donald J Trump’s tax returns.
So, up there with some of the greatest mysteries of the Earth… who built Stonehenge? What are the US Government hiding in Area 51? How does Katie Price afford all those holidays when she’s constantly being declared bankrupt?… is the million dollar question - what could entice 30 party focused, desperate-to-dance women onto a hockey pitch to get sweaty, dehydrated and possibly bruised mere hours before the social event of the SHC calendar for the last three years (thank you Covid)? None other than Anne Macartney’s big birthday (60 in case you’re curious and now like Voldemort and Macbeth in theatres, we shall speak not that number again).
Anne (who plays in our L7s and Vets teams) has been a much loved member of SHC and an absolute ray of sunshine on and off the pitch at Sugden Road for many years now. So it’s no surprise that so many of us wanted to help her celebrate her birthday by engaging in the activity we all enjoy the most. Drinking. But we also really love hockey so thought we’d play a bit of that too.
As reflects Anne’s popularity the pitch, the subs bench and sidelines were bulging with party-minded people.
Some of our spectators had flown in especially from such exotic places as Washington (Lindsey) and the foothills of St George’s Hill (Jo), with Sinead, Spuggie, Fee, Baz and Emma ensuring the subs bench was just as loud with laughter as the pitch.
There then followed a highly amusing and enjoyable game, the details of which escape me completely. There were some goals at both ends, some even scored by the attacking team. Plenty of lively banter with our amazing umpires Ellie and Giselle, and some over-exerted muscles, the pain of which would be lost in the midst of our hangovers the following day.
Anne’s fitness and determination were once again on show as she popped up all over the D causing trouble for the defenders. But, as you often choose your friends to reflect your own characteristics, our initial thoughts of setting up special birthday-goals for Anne to score quickly evaporated as our own competitiveness took over. Ruth even kindly took my shot at goal that I’d carefully teed up for myself. She put it five foot wide of the right post (not that I remember). Now we’ll never know it was headed for the top corner, just like Emily’s two “dream” goals.
Annie (GK extraordinaire) showed her usual nimbleness running between goals for each quarter and frustrating plenty of shots at goal – some that were even on target in the first half, though maybe not so much in the second as half time refreshments were less of the H2O variety and more of the double fermented grapes variety.
It was fabulous to see Sian back on the pitch displaying her usual presence and deft touches in the D with an effortless looking P-spot deflection. The rehab is still work in progress though, exemplified by a “firm” ball (i.e. an absolute rocket!) fired from Charlotte that led to an uncharacteristic mistrap from Sian and the ball rebounded about three metres away. Everyone froze waiting for Sian to leap on it only for her to wail, “I caaaaaan’t ruuuuuuun”.
My blatant attempts to undo years of childish behaviour towards umpires proved to be a tactical blunder. Plying the umpires with champagne at half time was supposed to be a winning tactic but instead it offered direct proof that when holding a whistle in one hand and glass of champagne in the other it makes starting the stopwatch impossible. Something we gradually realised at about minute 28 of the third quarter.
A final bit of tactical shirt/team swapping to take advantage of the fact there was one GK-free goal led to some more goals, making the final score most likely a high numbered draw. Let’s face it, we weren’t really there for the scoreline.
We all retired to the Clubhouse for the most delicious canapes and champagne (14 bottles! That I DID keep score of), while reassuring Ann and the Bar Team we wouldn’t make a mess before the long anticipated EOS.
Anne delivered a beautiful speech summing up perfectly that our hockey friends at SHC do indeed feel like our “second family” and how lucky we all are to get to spend time doing something so fun with people we love and respect. Then it was time to spruce up and head to “pres” with our teams. Apparently it’s what the kidz call aperitifs.
A fabulous day all round and a big thank you to Anne for letting us share her special celebration with her. We’re honoured to have shared the friendship, laughter and craic with her.
I’ll just leave you all with this quote from Madame Bollinger (our unofficial sponsor for the day) on her fine drink. A wise lady indeed: “I drink it when I’m happy and when I’m sad. Sometimes I drink it when I’m alone. When I have company I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it if I’m not hungry and drink it when I am. Otherwise I never touch it – unless I’m thirsty.”