The Beds were prepared for a tough first league game against Saffron Walden, who had been demoted from the division above us last season. We started strong and, despite their persistence in attack, defence kept the ball away from our goal by making some great tackles and clears. We used the transfer around the back to keep possession although we struggled to get the ball past the half way line due to their dominance in midfield. However when we did break we looked strong in attack with Mel, Emilia and Charlotte making great runs and almost scoring. For the first 20 minutes we held them off the goal with Holly saving some powerful shots from short corners and skillfully defending all corners of the goal. Eventually they managed to convert their possession in the D into a goal, this was followed by 2 more before half time. Despite this we did not let our heads get down and we played well together as a new team. After half time we had a few more promising breaks but didn’t manage to convert and they scored another ? goals, our tiredness due to only having one sub beginning to show. We finished the match and although the score was disappointing we were praised for having stayed positive and we felt we were starting to get used to playing as a team.
I woke up on Saturday morning a happy captain. It was a sunny, beautiful day for a bit of hockey and, somehow, the Beds had scrambled together 13 players – not bad for a pre-season Saturday match. At 8:55 I met some of the girls and cycled to our meeting point. When we got there at 8:59 there were no other Beds waiting for us, but our meet time was 9 o’clock so I didn’t think much of it. 9 o’clock came and went and I was starting to get twitchy. Soon it was half past 9, half an hour til game time, and I still had only 9 players. Good as the Beds are, two men short might just exceed our abilities. Frantically calling the other two women’s teams begging them to send me a player or two, I tried to show the team that everything was going to be fine… I wasn’t so convinced.
Eventually, I managed to acquire two players who turned up, as instructed, in black kit. It was 9:47: just over 10 minutes until game time but we looked unified, prepared, and raring to go. We sprinted to the pitch and I enthusiastically, but apologetically, greeted an umpire. The reciprocation? He just stood and shook his head at me. Thinking his problem was with our timing, I apologised once more for our tardiness, to which he responded, ‘No, that’s not the problem,’ he then looked me up and down and pointed to my shirt, then my socks, saying, ‘this is’. Baffled, and not sure whether or not to be insulted, I looked around to my team, only to realise that I wasn’t looking at my team at all; I was, in fact, looking at Royston Ladies 1s, wearing the exact same kit as us.
Week 2 and almost everything that could go wrong had gone wrong. Panic mode was swiftly activated. Our solution? Some rather disgusting smelling bibs were adorned and shin pads were worn over socks – not a bad look, and a distraction for the opposition if nothing else. And thus, before the hockey had begun, I was given the honour of DOD, unanimously, by my lovely team. I won’t be making that mistake again.
As for the hockey, for a brand new team with lots of fresh faces and very little experience playing together, we did a fantastic job. Everyone remained calm and positive under the hectic conditions pre-match, and played the best that I had seen so far. A 2 – 1 victory, though encouraging and an exciting first win, was not reflective of our standard, and I hope to see many more goals in our home match against Royston. Emilia Davies shone with a new confidence, with her skills and pace on the ball proving too much for the opposition – a worthy MOM. A few stick tackles here and there need to be addressed, as does subbing on *at the half way point*, but the umpires informed me that I had a great team in the making. Let’s hope this Saturday can prove them right! And get me out of this DOD position…
MOM: Emilia Davies
DOD: El Robson
The Beds prepared themselves for another large one, this time for initiations. With the fresh dressed as beautiful peas and the older years dressed as princesses, another large one was indeed had. Having not been at the main event, I was shocked and appalled to see a couple of the fresh (albeit second years) not looking like a green and round vegetable in the fine establishment that is Cindies. Poor form from these fresh. Meanwhile some kept true to their word and kept their swimming caps and green paint on and boogied through the night.
Many peas were feeling the effects of the large one the night before and training wasn’t as focussed as it normally is. I got laughed at for my limby defending (a mean distraction technique I think) quite a few times but went home excited for the match ahead.
Friday (Welfare night):
After a hard days work (a whole 2 hours of contact!), I was feeling ready for some welfare that came in the form of pizza, the Cats JCR, and arguably one of the best films ever made. A lot can be learnt from the film ‘Gold’. Impeccable stick skills, how to play in wet conditions (bare foot apparently), some absolute cracking team talks, and most importantly some dance moves that I’m sure will be replicated in the cloob this Wednesday. It was also discovered that some anon Mblues player got asked to be extras in this film but declined. Could have been the start to a great career. Poor form. To highlight some of my favourite quotes:
‘I love hockey’- a staple.
‘Like you pass the ball in a game … just like that sometimes in life you have to pass your dreams as well’
‘A great player is not only the one who shoots the ball in the goal … a great player is also someone who gets the ball to a place from where a goal can be scored’
‘No dream is impossible … if we come together and believe that this dream will come true’
Deep and inspiring stuff.
Game day had arrived. We got some fresh kit, had a team talk, and watched the end of the Blues game (we’re nice like that) before warming up. After a 6-0 win last week against a team higher than the one we were playing meant we were feeling confident. We also overheard that they only had 10 players, but didn’t tell all the beds this as sometimes we can all get a bit overexcited and play worse hockey than we should. El set some incentives-MOM and highest scorer didn’t have to do fitness the next week. A big incentive some might say.The game was played and lots of goals were scored. Some highlights from the match:
Sarah being so desperate to get highest scorer that she fell over most times she scored.
9 people getting on the scoresheet.
3 goals (first ever!) from a limby defender who got quite excited and decided to jump and scream a fair amount (sorry March Town, realise this may not have been too helpful when it was the 23rd goal…)
Getting a feature on twitter #rugby score-n.b. Simon on Twitter, our goals were not ‘deflected by chance’ but yes we were ‘relentless and disciplined’
After a record (?) win of 23-0, double helping of a sausage roll pizza combo (inspired by ‘buzzfeedTasty’ surely), we couldn’t decide a MOM or DOD so I volunteered to write the match report. Surely there is no doubt that we are the best team in CUHC after this huge win.