It was a dismal, damp afternoon with the icy rain showering the homely pitch at the Tring International Sports Arena.
Although the precipitation may have dampened our luscious locks, our spirits could never be diminished (especially with the heroic Chops at our side). We were confident about the game ahead, eager to improve our narrow loss to Broxbourne earlier in the season.
Having lost poor Kelly during the week due to injury (we wish you a speedy recovery!), we were in need of an eager goalkeeper. Of course, none other than the magnificent, awe-inspiring hero that is Chops, stepped up to the mark. Keen to show her incredible versatility as a forward, and now a goalkeeper, Chops donned her pads…or Sam’s pads…and prepared for the game ahead.
The game began well. Patricia, Jo, Emma and Helen linked the play together fantastically across the midfield, distributing the ball to the forwards who were then able to smother the Broxbourne defence, pressuring for a goal. Our efforts soon paid off. Helen “I claim the assist because I started the move” Savage riffled the ball across the pitch to Jo who transferred it deftly to Emily. Hurtling up the wing, the ball was soon in the D. With a swift cross to the awaiting Emma on the P spot, the ball was solidly slotted into the back of the goal. 1-0! Jogging back to the half way line we nodded our heads in triumph…or maybe to remove the raindrops from our eyes…either way, we were feeling good!
After numerous penetrations into their D, we were eventually awarded with a short corner. A hard injection; a smooth slip. Charlotte took a quick shot, narrowly hitting the post. The rebound was quickly greeted with a lifted slap from Emily past the keeper. 2-0! Half-time.
With the wise words of Chops echoing in our ears, we were ready to attack again; the importance of impressing our awe-inspiring captain was our main concern! Frustrated by their lack of success against our unstoppable defence of Annamarie, Zoe, Rebecca and Patricia, Broxbourne began to resort to aggression. Brandishing her hockey stick angrily, Rebecca’s marker attempted to eliminate Rebecca from the game, using her stick as a makeshift barrier. After numerous other pushes and shoves, the game was paused. Chops, being the trooper that she is, bravely journeyed from the comfort of her goal and went to discuss the happenings of the half with the umpires (thank you Steph and Ben). Helen, temporarily filling the remarkable shoes of Chops, supplied the team with some noteworthy advice, keeping us focussed on the task at hand…victory.
Play resumed. Spritely Sophie H, now doing her shift as a midfielder, played some fantastic passes throughout the half, specifically one to Kate which Chops later exclaimed that she, herself, would have been proud of! Sophie L and Charlotte never ceased to impress with multiple runs down the wings, skilling any player that dared to get in their way! The third goal finally came with another cross from Emily, gracefully swept into the goal by Kate. 3-0!
The final goal was nothing less than a spectacle in its own right! With a few rapid passes around the P spot, the ball finally found Sophie L who casually tucked the ball under her arm on the reverse, soring passed the bemused goalie who was completely star-struck by the perfectly executed manoeuvre. 4-0. We were satisfied! But, reflecting on it all, I think we can safely say that our triumphant win was down to none other than the sensational Chops who performed a total of 3 word-class clearances from our D…what would we have done without you?! I dread to think.
With jacket potatoes (and other selective treats graciously supplied by Annemarie and Chops) in our bellies, the ladies 3s rejoiced over their fantastic win! However, during teas Chops continued to amaze, educating the group with her extensive knowledge of subordinate and compound conjunctives…don’t worry, we didn’t have a clue either!
MOM: Emily (also receiving votes were Charlotte, Sophie H, Emma, Helen and Zoe).
Match Report: Emily