Match Report: Ladies 2s (East) v. Cambridge University 2

Thursday, 21st of January 2016 | Posted by Caz May
Match Report: Ladies 2s (East) v. Cambridge University 2
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Good evening all. Having had a chat with our friend Al when sending our result in today, it occurred to me that I haven’t written an epistle for a little while! So here we go, I hope you find it interesting, we do every week without fail!!

As I am sure you have all spotted, we have had a tough season so far, a fairly new team, a tricky lack of consistency, but besides all of that an absolutely terrific desire from all of the girls, and without fail a great team effort, therein lies the trick. Nobody likes to lose, least of all me, but to do so in an atmosphere of fun takes away the sting. We had a double header last weekend to start the new year, St Ives top of the table at home on Saturday and Wisbech Town away on Sunday.

Best to be honest I find, so only fair to say a very poor start to the game on Saturday, slow and more than far too many silly mistakes. obviously a tactic to make us play!!! I wish! Anyway needless to sat once we were three nil down we began to play. The second half was substantially better, two one. As a highlight our goal was a beauty, scored by Rachel L from a free hit just outside the long corner marker, not to be confused with a long corner, as St. Ives may have been. Straight ball, in, Rachel in a perfect position, and clunk on the backboard. A cheer from the warming up first team men, (thank you) and we were off the mark. it is all that training Knowlsey, we do listen!

Sunday was a bit of a trek, past Wisbech whose pitch was flooded again, to March Town. Again, clearly something wrong with our starter motor, two easy goals let in, and one absolute cracker in the first half, and an injury from a very hard straight strike, that caught our friend hop along Kerry on the ankle bone, ouch!!

The second half was end to end action, every ounce of energy was given by both teams and the second half was no score to anyone. A vastly improved performance that once again gives me faith that we can do it.

Today we went to Cambridge University to play their second team. The home leg was back in those boiling days in September, so we knew what to expect in terms of fitness and in the way that they expertly roll substitutes on every five minutes, all five of them!

Today was really rather cold to say the least, many a base layer was visible. Today had to be different, we had to start off better than normal. Well we did, we absorbed pressure from the off, showing a mixture of grit and determination, as well as some excellent shielding, tackling and short snappy passes that broke their play down, and once again a nod to Knowlsey, using three touch hockey or close to. An exceptional first half save from Kerry, diving smartly to her right at full stretch pushing the ball away with outstretched stick was the highlight of the first half for me and phrased nicely by Sharon. If it hadn’t been for an annoyingly sneaky ball that bobbled in we would have gone in at half time nil all. ( I should add there was a very clear opportunity for a second goal but luckily for us, the ball seemed magnetised out of the net.)

The second half started and we were immediately under pressure, resulting in a very quick goal, and pressure again. It was at this point that their half time talk change of tactic became evident, as they very adeptly employed a half court press, that whilst we all know how to try and do one ourselves have very rarely if ever had a team do it against us. In all honesty we were simply thrown for a few minutes and need to learn some tactical awareness of what to do in such a situation. Anyhow, those plays lasted for about half of the half, the rest of the time being end to end hockey, we would attack and leave the play incomplete, Cambridge countered and on several occasions scored. The final score of 8:0 was a great result for Cambridge University, and I take nothing away fro their incredible skill and tenacity when I say that the result makes it look like we were not in the game, and that would not be true to say. As Nicky puts succinctly, “We put on an excellent display of courage in the face of diversity. As always we went down fighting, demonstrating a positive display for the love of the game.” That didn’t win us the game or indeed give us any points, but enabled us to run round together at the end, proud of our efforts and not disheartened, when such an emotion would be totally possible.

Roll on next week, we live to fight another day.

See you all soon,
Caz xx

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