Another away game for the O35 squad and it was an elite 11 that gathered at Cantley Park to face South Berks. No complicated subbing plans to digest, just taking on board unusual positions and trying to get tired limbs to cooperate. And how many times do two players arrive without contact lenses?
Eagles won the toss but South Berks were more sprightly in the warm up and in the opening moves of the game. Only superb saves from the ever youthful Linda kept them out. It was just a matter of time before the Eagles were a goal down, but as the game progressed we began to work those triangles ( and weary legs) and started to put some pressure on the opposition. Rachel and Bernie were tireless as inners and hard work and perseverance plus a few more good saves meant we were only 2-0 down at the interval.
By now we had learnt how to make the ball do the work and retained possession for longer periods. Determined tackling from Bernie and Phil kept the defence in tact and Jenni and Bernie were linking well down the right, with Jacs holding the middle and distributing with her usual panache. It was one such move that led to a penalty corner and an Eagles goal with one-eyed Rachel Bellamy slotting home a rebound from the pads.
2-1 and all to play for. The play was now a bit more even and shots were saved by both keepers. It was going to need something special to beat Linda and it was a piece of individual skill and speed that led to South Berks next goal that bounced in off the far post.
It wasn’t long before an Eagles attack was mounted and a hard cross from the right saw blind Pip dive and connect to deflect the ball into the goal. 3-2! Could we scramble a draw? Well , no we couldn’t, but it was a good game played in a friendly spirit and the best team won on the day.
Thanks to South Berks for providing both umpires.
Squad: Linda B; Bernie U; Phil W; Caroline B; Jacs; Jenni H; Rachel B; Bernie L; Pip G; Kat P; Sherene B.