I’ve just been watching Japan beat the great Springboks of South Africa in this year’s rugby world cup. There were grown men reduced to tears on the pitch, overcome with emotion at reaching a high point in their game.

That’s how I felt today….like crying. Not because of the score-line (1-7 if you need to know), but of sheer joy at having the privilege of watching girls I’ve played alongside for quite a while now – and some that have come to the party more recently – grow in confidence and ability.

The game started with me giving quite a stern team-talk, and everyone set to the task in hand. Ceri was my loudhailer, barking at anyone daring to drift from their position or stop marking their player so closely they could check how many fillings they had. Sarah found room on the pitch to find some amazing passes, and danced round the opposition. Ruth turned on her amazing pace and weaved effortlessly through the defence, and Chloe has really found her stride amongst us and dazzled us with her pace, skill and tenacity – she simply didn’t stop moving!

Nessa was her usual brilliant self-I genuinely do not know how she doesn’t drop from exhaustion on the pitch from running so much. Julia directed players and helped everyone to have eyes in the back of their heads – running up and back seemingly with ease. And Lucy played every position on the field today – and was brilliant at all of them. Finally Rachel, who took the ball off players before they even knew about it, and stopped them dead in their tracks.

Which brings me to my brick wall of defenders – Ceri being my right hand girl throughout today, and without whom I honestly wouldn’t have stayed upright throughout the match, even if she did ‘fall’ out of the goal during a short corner…..Chris you have such eagle eyes! Fran stopped so many key passes I lost count, and Liz was strong and decisive. (I won’t mention the card!) Lastly – but not at all leastly, Jo, who kept on going and got in the way so well she totally foxed the opposition.

I love you all – including Jan, who had to umpire due to WB forgetting to bring one with them (?!) and Chris, who also stepped up to umpiring duties when Malcolm was taken ill overnight. GET WELL SOON MALCOLM! X

So I’m not going to talk about the score: instead, I’m going to celebrate the fact that we actually scored against one of the best teams in our league, we worked as a team (until the old enemy fatigue raised hIs head!) and played the best game of hockey I have EVER seen the 2nds play.

I cannot wait for next Saturday, when I get the chance to line up alongside my new heroes…..and one day we will have our ‘giant-killing’ moment – just like Japan!

And then – after crying for a bit – i will see you all in the pub!!!


Be proud 2nds…….you deserve it tonight! xxx