Saturday 26th September 2015
Knowle 1 v Hanham
It was a gorgeous, sunny day when we arrived at Merchants’ Academy for the first league game of the winter season. After a quick catch up pitch side, we were urged by our dedicated captain, Sue, to start our warm up.
New recruit, Kelly, took the lead in putting us through our paces! The usual running, side stepping and high knees were followed by a quick feed of the chickens, opening and closing the gate and some ‘swanning’ around ☺ See Emma for a full demonstration!!
After this we started warming up goalkeeper, Rachel, with our 3 man weaves and other drills. Not only did this prepare us well for the game ahead but also helped to intimidate the opposition. How things have changed at Knowle!
At 11:15 it was time to start the game. Things kicked off quickly and we were soon showing our dominance over the opposition. Some excellent play down the left hand side of the pitch gave Zoe the opportunity to put the ball into the ‘D’ for Emma to slip past the keeper! Fantastic…..and all within the first 3 minutes of the game!
From this point on we came alive, with some excellent passing in the midfield involving Saz and Zoe and some good attempts on goal from the forwards. Kate, Sue and Sophie also continued to maintain an impenetrable line of defence at the back, helping to keep the ball in our attacking half for most of the game.
After some heavy attacking play in the ‘D’ and some unsuccessful shots on goal, the ball was stopped on the line by a defender’s foot so we were awarded a penalty flick. Captain, Sue, stepped up to the plate and scored effortlessly to put us 2-0 up.
The game continued with us dominating the opposition. We demonstrated some excellent passing skills and played like a cohesive team. It was great to see our training paying off!
Sadly, during one of our attacks on goal the ball rebounded off the stick of one of the opposition and hit one of their players in the mouth. After stopping time and counting teeth, she left the pitch with some ice to have a sit down. Nurse, Sophie, ensured that she was comfortable and then the game resumed.
The next goal came from a beautiful cross from the right made by new recruit, Kelly. The ball came in hard from outside the ‘D’ towards Sarah, who was on the far post.
Skilfully, Sarah got her stick to it and redirected the ball straight into the back of the goal! Great team work, girls!
Despite our success, Hanham remained strong throughout and eventually managed to pull one back just before half time.
After a positive team talk and some jelly babies (thanks Saz!) we were ready to carry on!
The second half was equally as exciting as the first with the whole team putting in 100% effort. We started in a strong position being 3-1 up and our confidence continued to soar as we played some excellent hockey.
During the second half we were awarded several short corners, most of which we successfully converted into goals. Bizarrely, goals 4,5 and 6 came from the same set piece, involving the same 3 players! I pushed out to Kelly at the top of the ‘D,’ who did a quick slip to Zoe on her left and Zoe took the shot. The ball hit the goalkeeper’s kickers and I scored from the rebound………three times!! On the forth occasion the defender got so fed up she put her foot on the line to stop it going in and we were awarded another penalty flick. Kelly stepped up to take the shot and placed it confidently in the bottom left hand corner! Great stuff!!
Somewhere in amongst these last 4 goals, Hanham did manage to get one past us but we were so elated at the score and the standard of our play, nobody really cared!
The final whistle came and signalled the end of the match and a fantastic start to the season! After ‘three cheers’ and shaking hands with the umpires and opposition, we commended ourselves on a fantastic team effort.
After a quick warm down and some more swan poses (again, speak to Emma!) we were ready for teas! Another fantastic spread from the Knowle players, which was greatly appreciated by the opposition.
We all left Merchants’ academy on a high and we were even more delighted to discover later that evening that we were top of the table! Start as we mean to go on, I say!