When you expect the league season to end in mid-March hockey players start making plans for their Saturdays in April. So with a rearranged match set for mid-April the prospect of putting together a team was daunting. With two weeks to go and only 7 players on the team sheet things were not looking good, but don't underestimate the dedication of hockey players. Thanks to people returning from injury and childbirth, people returning from holiday a day early and juniors willing to play a match before rushing to a tournament the ladies 3s took 14 to Henley.
Everyone knew what was riding on this match. A win or draw would see the 3s safe in Prem2 for another season, a loss would mean relegation to Division 1.
A common theme for the 3s this season has been an improved performance in the second half. Therefore for this match we endeavoured to play two second halves. The hockey-gods did not play along with this ruse; Henley had the majority of the possession in the first half and despite heroic defence from Hawks the score at half time was 3-0 to Henley.
And so to the real second half and a single aim - to maintain possession. For with possession comes opportunity. The opportunities came, but just a little too late. Through sterling work from Sophie Bennett and Jess Oakhill both Becky Drury and Kim Williams had good shots saved. With 7 minutes to go Jane Holmes finally broke through, receiving the ball on the penalty spot and calmly slotting the ball past the keeper for a consolation goal.
The final score was 3-1. As ever the ladies 3s left the pitch proud of their second half performance, their commitment and determination, but lamenting the result of the first half and the mountain it left them to climb.
Caroline Baggs, Sophie Bennett, Alex Cherry, Sally Clark, Derryn Cope, Emma Cragg, Becky Drury, Katharine Hardstone, Jane Holmes, Kirsty Luscombe, Jessica Oakhill, Laura Scragg, Kim Williams, Phil Williams
Player of the match: Emma Cragg
|Jane Holmes||Open Play|