On Wednesday November 6th two mixed age teams braved the elements at St Bede’s for the first match back after half term. The ‘A’ team led by captain Ella H. and the ‘B’ team led by Camilla combined to play alternate quarters in one match to avoid lengthy, soggy waits between games. In fact it was not just a soggy afternoon but truly saturating! A waterlogged pitch meant that the game was played on the tennis courts – a difficult task at the best of times but extremely challenging when not only did we have to get round the opposition but also some fairly large, deep puddles! However, the girls rose valiantly to the task with not a grumble to be heard.
The ‘A’ team played the first quarter with Isabelle Ast. and Arabella in defence. It was obvious from the start that this was going to be a tricky surface with the ball whizzing off the sides or rolling through water. Steady, controlled play was going to be the aim of the game. Isabella B. on the left wing tried to execute some composure on the ball while Zara and Isabelle Ash. made some good runs. Despite this, the first quarter ended goalless and it was the turn of the ‘B’ team to try and make an impression. This they did, with centre forward Francesca F. making some superb runs and turns, demonstrating much needed patience and a cool head. Defenders Elissa and Saffron stayed alert and by half time Smallwood had taken the lead through Camilla. The third quarter saw the ‘A’ team back on court this time with Charlotte and Isabelle Ast. helping up front. However, it was St Bede’s who clawed a goal back by pouncing on a loose ball and equalling the score. Issy B. and Ella H. continued to fight hard and it was Ella who took the ball herself round several players before slotting it home. Finally the ‘B’ team returned for the last quarter. Hema made an impression at left wing, holding her space and making some careful passes. Katy worked hard on the right and Olivia L. in her very first match really got stuck in! Iona finished the game with a storming performance, showing great determination and neat footwork, keeping her stick low in the tackle, and dribbling with control. It was Francesca though who sealed the game. Time and again she employed some lovely composed hockey, turning confidently and making some quality square passes. Her reward came when she scored another well-deserved goal – her second for the afternoon.
A very sloshy game but the girls made the best of it and came away not just with very wet socks but a well-earned victory. Well done!
St. Bede’s 2 – 4 Smallwood