Bicester Ladies 3s 3 - 2 MHC Ladies 5s
Close, but not close enough!
What a match, a true epic battle! We won first pushback and worked hard from the off, out to the wings and up the line. Within the first 10 minutes we already had an attempt on goal by Rippon. There were some great links ups by team Bird and we really pressed high in the D. Bicester stepped up halfway through the first half but we made them work for every ball. The midfielders of Holly, Pippa and Annabel had their work cut out for them, and Boycott discovered how much work was involved in the diamond position. The backline of Helen, Hayley and Jodie tackled time and time again and Maddie made some great saves on goal. But our passing became erratic as we got tired and we also started letting players loose in our defensive half. Eventually one of Bicester’s players made a great run all the way to the D and banged in a goal! They used this momentum to gain to shorts, the first brilliantly cleared but the second found the back board. And then this was closely followed by a third fumbling goal. The tide had well and truly turned against us.
Half time gave us an opportunity to wipe the slate clean and focus on our strengths. Our mission in the second half was to win this half, no matter what the scoreline. And boy did we excel at our mission!
Bicester wanted more goals and pushed from the start, but we came back strong. We were more careful with our passes, kept our shape and subsequently used our wings with some great switches across pitch. Gradually the game turned in our favour as we stepped up and attacked each ball, and made great use of space with some good leads runs by Rippon, Bex (T) and myself. There was a great attempt by Rebecca (C) across goal, unfortunately one of us wasn’t on the opposite post to finish it. On another drive Jacqui passed a lovely ball up the line to Rippon who drove in to the D and found a foot giving us a short corner. Holly pushed out to her Mum, Jacqui, who stepped in and smacked the ball calmly into the back of the net. Go team Bird!
This really seemed to galvanise us even more and we pressed hard for every ball. Our defenders worked so hard, one commentator said they were like a Duracell bunny, they just kept going and going and going! Holly soon earned us another short by not allowing a Bicester player to rattle her; and another Bicester player was given a green card! We couldn’t convert off that short corner but Jacqui soon made up for that with another cracking goal from the top of the D.
The 5s continued to fight for every ball. Every time it went in to our defensive half one of our defenders or midfielders tracked it back and we saw There were some nice jab tackels and good and channelling by Emily, Jodie Jacqui, and Holly. It’s great to see so many skills being used in a match. We couldn’t quite make it 3 all but it was a resounding win the second half for us.
Team Bird was Man of the Match as both mother and daughter had a brilliant match.