Hawks Ladies 3s travelled away for an afternoon match at Amersham - with rain, fog, and an afternoon start at Amersham it was all suspiciously reminscent of last year's fixture on Bonfire Night at the same venue. Last year Hawks were disappointed with the result, so could they pull it together this year for a victory?
Hawks went into the match unbeaten in the league. As the rain began, Hawks won first push back but quickly realised that playing uphill into a headwind is probably a bit of a disadvantage. Hawks were dominant and ran attack after attack on the Amersham goal, but were unable to find the backboard until a short corner in the 10th minute gave Beth the opportunity to use her silky skills and put one away. 1-0 to Hawks. So far, so antediluvian.
Our dedicated cohort of spectators started to notice that the rain was getting a bit heavier. Waterproofs were rustled up and umbrellas hastily retrieved. Most of the players were too busy making unsuccessful runs on Amersham's goal to notice that things were getting distinctively soggy at the downhill end of the pitch where GK Emily tried to make sure that her goal wasn't floating away. Amersham had the occasional break but the robust defence of Katie M, Jacs, Katie C, and Lucy ensured that our D remained largely unused and we were able to battle back through the wind toward the attacking goal.
After 20 minutes, our sustained effort paid off and we won a short corner which was tipped in by Bonnie to take it to 2-0. Relieved to be adding to our lead, Hawks had a moment to look around and realised that, yes, the rain really was quite impressive. We survived half time huddling in the goal and Jacs briefed us to keep doing what we were doing, only downhill this time.
Hawks entered the second half with the wind behind them and sloshed down the pitch in floods of rain. The ball was somewhat slowed down by the water but we kept pushing to increase the score to reflect our dominance on the pitch. The high forwards tried not to float away while they waited for service in the attacking third and eventually another corner was awarded. As we lined up, we realised that we couldn't actually see any of the lines on the pitch - anywhere - because they were all under inches of water. Was that really the D we were standing at? How would we be able to see when the ball crossed the goal line (we were quite sure it would sometime soon)?
Hawks optimistically discussed shortie options (will a hit move faster through standing water or do we need to invent some sort of hybrid paddling dribble?) while the captains and umpires conferred. And still it rained. And rained a bit more for good measure. Those wearing contact lenses found that if it pours hard enough, yes, rain really can wash your contacts out of your eyes.
Eventually we decided to postpone the match for ten minutes to see if the pitch would drain. Giant sweeping brushes were unearthed and Amersha swooshed the water around the pitch for a while, looking unconvinced. Hawks dithered about whether we deserved a rematch in the hope of scoring some of the goals we'd threatened to put away, but reasoned that we don't seem to have good luck at Amersham anyway. Then we posed for some soggy photos for a while (see above) and squelched around Amersham's changing rooms getting cold.
Ultimately the umpires and captains agreed to abandon the game at 2-0. (Un?) Fortunately we had played enough of the match for the result to stand, so Hawks came away with three points, though feeling slightly like we had underachieved. With no showers available, we shivered our way to the pub and were incredibly grateful for the warm and welcoming teas provided by Amersham.