In the Pink at Bicester for Cancer Research
By Helen Todd
When the going gets tough the tough get going!
We arrived early on the sunny Saturday morning to find an injury in the previous game had delayed our pushback so we had good amount of time to get ourselves warmed up and our heads ready to play. The whistle went and we started strong, quickly intercepting their pushback and pushing up the pitch to the goal. We all went up to support with this attacking press just as we had practiced in training.
We won our first short corner of the match. Pushed in by Maddie, Jess swung her big hit but it was deflected by the goalie. We picked up the rebound and tried again with a hit that was slightly too wide to go in.
We kept up this attack, keeping the ball up in their quarter until they managed to brake through. We all jumped back to our end of the pitch but they managed to get the ball to the D. Our defense worked hard but it was Keira who cleared the ball with an excellent kick!
The opposition kept up their attack, pushing into the D, Jess W wasn’t going to let them through though and used her big hit to move the ball halfway up the pitch.
They were soon back in our D again and my foot got in the way giving them a short corner.
We all ran back from the half way line to help to make sure the ball didn’t go in but the defensive team of Helen, Hayley and team Jess had it all under control and the ball was cleared from our D.
It was at this point that we managed to push back up the pitch and our forwards took the ball to the D where Sophie (who had only just subbed on) tapped it in to score our first goal of the game.
Bicester weren’t giving up and pushed us hard back to our end, they won two short corners in quick succession, but it was Helen each time that cleared the ball calmly from the D.
Half time talk gave us a chance to regroup and calm a little. Some of the opposition had got frustrated with the umpiring and we needed to keep our cool. We had lots of positives to talk about but we did need to try switching as we had been mostly up the left side of the pitch.
Team chat over and we were ready to start the second half. Our push back and we used it, driving up the pitch to the D. We won two short corners, but were unable to get any goals from them. Maybe something we need to practice or have a change up.
We didn’t let this deter us and our hard work paid off as Taylor excellently slipped the ball into the goal bringing us to 2-0
They used their start to push hard again and managed to get into the D and won a short corner. We cleared it but they used their long corner to drive into the D scored brining us to 2-1.
This seemed to give us a boost of energy and Havana drove up the pitch, she passed into the D but it just missed the goal. We then seemed to take it in turns to push up the pitch, first it was Bicester who managed to win two more shorts, which Helen once again cleared. Then again Havana broke and started her run up the pitch, unfortunately this time she was intercepted at the half way line and they brought the ball back down.
There had been a few comments from spectators and players about the umpiring and so the captains were called to tell their teams ‘no more!’ We played on but in the last few minutes the opposition were frustrated with the game and there were a few heated moments. Then for some reason Sophie was given a card, we were all unsure of why or even who was being given the card at first as we had not seen a fowl. In the final minute of the game Bicester won one last short corner, the defense lined up in goal with me there as Jess D was off, we were not going to let this in, not in the last few seconds of the game! They lined all their players up around the D, but once again the ball was excellently cleared and the game was over. 2-1 to us keeping us in our spot of second in the league!
It was agreed that Keira deserved to win this weeks Man of the Match, with some really fantastic kicks and clears in her first full match playing for us. But I would also like to say how proud I was of everyone, you all played very well and we really worked as a team.
Oh and a special mention to our team mascot of this week, Winston!
Written by Pippa Smith