It’s been a busy week…it’s nearly the end of the season and things are getting interesting. It has also been a week when lots of people have other commitments, so I was really glad that we went out on pitch with 11 players.

It started quickly, and it was soon very obvious that Wootton Bassett were very organised…and speedy! They were soon on us, and our defence of Fran, Bryony (playing her first match in this position) and Julia were strong and determined. However, with one slip of the goalkeeper’s leg (ahum) we went 1-0 down. We then went through a spell where we gave away a few short corners when the ball hit our feet. (I hummed ‘Jump’ by Van Halen a few times, just to raise the fun factor – young ones…GOOGLE!) We repelled each attack, Karen flying down the pitch to prevent too much passing going on. The opposition tried to shoot but never got near.  Then we started to play our way – Sue and Rachel swerved down the midfield, and Lucy raced up to the opposition’s goal. We came close on several occasions, especially when Ruth swung into town with her one-woman hockey show! Her pace and movement were amazing-as usual-and the opposition looked visibly unnerved.

But not for long. They kept breaking away from us and racing down the pitch, showing their superior speed and match fitness. They tried several times before they finally got their second goal, followed by a third just before half time.

The second half was brightened by the sunshine. Obviously the sun had heard how good Knowle were when they got into their rhythm, and came to watch! We showed some great skill, but WB carried on pressing. Karen was an absolute rock in midfield, and upset their game by pinching the ball and passing it on to Sue, who was an inspiration in midfield. Julia kept a very tight ship at the back, and regularly ran the width of the pitch to cut off opposition players. We kept on pushing hard, and spent plenty of time in the WB goal area – Jan made some amazing shots into the D to Lucy and Ruth, and Becky was an absolute revelation on the left wing…she seemed to reach every ball with her long legs, and especially in the first half irritated the opposition by the way her stick stuck to the ball!

Eventually WB broke through, and kept crossing the D until it found its way into the goal. But still we kept going, and the ball yo-yoed up and down, with everyone battling valiantly. Julia locked legs with a forward, and took a nasty fall, which stopped the match for a few minutes. Luckily she was OK, and the game continued. I sang ‘Movin’ on Up’ (Paige – just Google it!!) to motivate the team to push up towards the opposition’s goal, and they worked together to do just that for a few minutes.

But then it happened. WB came charging down the pitch, breaking forward from one of our passes, and they flew down like express trains. Sue, Fran and Bryony worked brilliantly at cutting them off, but there seemed to be twice as many of them as us. I saved the first shot….and the second….but the third completely got me. Damn my left foot! I have given it a stern talking to, and if it doesn’t improve quickly, I’m cutting it off and getting a replacement! Watch this space!

And so the game finished. 5-0. But not once did our heads go down, and everyone was still smiling when they left the pitch. That’s what playing at Knowle is all about. We work as a team, and we work hard.

A well-deserved ‘Player of the Match’ award went to Becky this week for her amazing game, and we all went home thinking about CAKE.

Hockey. What’s not to love?