Ladies 5s beat top of the League
By Maidenhead Hockey Club
Amersham & Chalfont 1 - 3 Ladies 5s
On a drizzly morning we headed to Amersham for what we knew was a very important game. After we all had a cuddle with our team mascot (Winston), and a few licks. We got ourselves ready and headed out into the pouring rain.
Everyone showed they had been listening to my team talk and were all switched on from the start. We pushed hard up the pitch, switching the ball brilliantly between us. Our heads were in the game from the off and this was quickly rewarded when Maddie T ran the ball up the pitch, passed in, and Rippon helped it find the back of the net. 5 minutes in and we were 1 goal up against the top of the league! This gave us the boost to keep pushing hard and for the next 10 mins we kept the ball up in their half. Our marking was the best it’s been and we pressured them into making mistakes again and again.
However as we tired they made it through and got a short corner. We ran out hard, the ball made it through but luckily for us was too high for a goal to be awarded.
We fought hard for the last 10 minutes of the half but as we were tired the ball stayed mostly in our D, we worked hard to move it out but never quite managed to clear it up the pitch. They won several more short corners when the ball kept hitting my feet! But our defensive team of Sophie M, Jess, Helen and Katie were calm and ready and we ran back hard each time to help them.
The whistle for half time blew and we were all able to catch our breath and have a few moments to recover. We needed to refocus and after a good chat by everyone we knew what we needed to improve on for the second half. We started this half with the mindset that we were still at 0-0, or as I accidently said 0-1(my brain does go to mush when I’m exhausted!) but this worked and once again we went out hard. Our forwards and mids worked hard to move the ball up the pitch and Rippon made a fantastic run that nearly brought our score to 2-0.
A&C pushed us back hard but we kept on going and our work paid off as Sophie B ran up to the D determined to score (her mum had come to watch her on her scoring streak she’s on this season!), took a shot that was saved by the goalie but managed to control the rebound and bring us to 2-0.
A little change up in defence saw me and Katie drop back and I was very glad that we kept the ball up in their D. Where we won 3 short corners, each time we took our time to set up and work out which of our spice girls we were going to be. And on the 3rd try the determination paid off and Jess used her spectacular hit which whizzed passed all of the opposition and went straight into the back of the goal.
We were now 3-0 against top of the league! We just had to keep our focus and our calm for the last 10 minutes or so.
We kept going, with some lovely long balls up the pitch. We also started switching the ball more, which allowed our mids to pass up the line to our forwards.
We were tiring again though as we had had the rain beating down on us for the whole game and the opposition were awarded 2 short corners in a row. Jess ran out fast to the top each time and we were able to clear out of the D. They then won their 3rd short corner and just like us earlier in the game they were 3rd time lucky and managed to slip the ball passed us to bring our score to 3-1.
With not long to go we were determined to keep the ball out of our D, we were not going to lose this now. I could see everyone’s determination as I watched from the side line but it was clear Jess was keen to keep the ball away for our D when she did a beautiful ariel… over the fence… into the spectators!
We were more than a little pleased when the final whistle came. We had just beaten top of the league, and now more importantly we could get out of the rain!!!