The fun started this week before we even got there! Ceri ‘Tom Tom’ Carter always uses her phone to get us to where we’re playing….and we’ve never had any issues before. Today, however, it took us through so many winding lanes I thought we were going to end up playing on a farm! Several stops, phone calls and texts to Liz’s husband later, we got to the venue at 2.29pm….and were due on pitch at 2.30pm!!! I think Liz was really pleased to see us, as prior to us arriving she was the sole player. Personally I think she would have still won the match!

And so we started. Our usual period of indecision was quite short this week, and we quickly got into our stride. Winscombe’s attack was quickly neutralised by my epic team of Ceri, Liz, and Lucy – though we did miss our usual stalwart, Fran ‘Solid’ Southway, who was selflessly umpiring for the 1sts. Then, I was completely caught on the wrong foot by a shot across goal…Ceri tried bravely to deflect it out, but the ball was not playing fair, and jumped into the goal. The team kept their head up and battled on, but unfortunately another goal followed. Winscombe were well-drilled and made the most of their short corners.

Not that we gave up. As we always do, everyone kept their heads held high, and battled on. We were certainly having the best of the play, and the score-line did not reflect how well we were playing. Vanessa ‘Whirlwind’ Hay danced her way up and down the pitch, and Karen ‘No-Messing’ Norman kept passing the ball up the pitch. We were desperately missing Rachel ‘Brick-Wall’ Williams and what is becoming a legendary stop, but Roanne ‘Sgt Major’ Wootten and Ruth ‘Dribble Queen’ helped ease the pain by passing between each other with telepathic skill. Our forwards were desperate to score…how they hadn’t yet was the biggest mystery since ‘Who Killed Lucy Beale????’

Suddenly we were awarded a short corner…we bit our lips as it was passed in. It passed round what seemed to be everybody, before Sarah ‘Zippy’ English fired in the shot. The shouts went up, and the smiles returned! Immediately, we were on fire! Grace ‘Puffer’ Harvey was goal hanging like a pro, and I really felt we were going to get more goals. Times were good. We passed to each other, and appeared to take the ball off Winscombe almost as if they weren’t there. And then the unthinkable happened….Winscombe were on a charge, and everyone was doing their best to evade the attack. Somehow they broke down our defences-and another goal went in.

During the half time break, Grace decided her asthma was playing up too much in the cold to play for a while – she’d struggled on as long as she could, but she was told by everyone to take a break. We carried on, and again held our own. Then Winscombe were awarded another short, and we lined up in the goal. Then my worst nightmare came true-Winscombe fired it in into the right hand side of my goal, just out of reach!!!!

Luckily, my team could see my distress, and set about doing something about it. Our battling midfield whipped the ball off our opposition, and passed it up-field. Sarah picked it up and ran with it…literally. It was like something out of ‘Chariots of Fire’ as she danced and weaved her way up to the goal – and scored!

And that was how it finished…3-2. Everyone played their socks off, and I went back to Bristol (without the phone telling us to go up any country lanes) tired but very happy.

Anyone out there reading this that doesn’t play……what on earth are you doing??? Be sensible and do the right thing….come and join us!