It was a gorgeous, sunny day when we all arrived at Frome. Everyone was quick to get ready, and I didn’t even need to tell them to get out and get warmed up! I must admit, the lazy side of me smiled when I watched the Frome girls moving the nets….though no doubt we will be doing that next Saturday!

In no time at all the match began, and as usual both sides made a jittery start. As we sized each other up, we settled down to a better rhythm. I heard lots of calling between the Knowlies, and they each helped one another to know where to pass – though I think it was a bit confusing at times when it sounded like everyone was shouting….Frome included!

That communication did us good, as there were a few moments where Frome were threatening our goal, when Karen and Rachel kept on talking, and Frome’s efforts came to nothing. We did give away a few short corners for balls hitting feet, but our new ‘box’ method of taking shorts worked well initially, and all the Frome shots came to nothing. It was brilliant to see the midfield working really hard (as usual), and picking the ball off some of the lesser experienced opposition. Nessa was an absolute trouper, going for every ball, and not giving up if it went past her. Hope too made me feel quite dizzy with her circling and running round in every direction. (Obviously why I’m a goalkeeper!!)

Our forwards were also working their socks off….Ruth, Grace and Grace (AKA Bambi) were busy trying to break through, which was amazing to watch. So many games I have been kept so busy at the back that I have not been able to put my ‘el capitan’ hat on, and actually admire what the players do. But today I could sit back for a time and admire their pace and determination. I think I am going to re-name the Grace’s ‘Road Runner’ and ‘Speedy Gonzalez’ (Google it if you are too young..) and I’m still trying to think of something for Ruth. E-mail me ideas!

But all good things come to an end – as I tell my Dairy Milk wrappers every time – and eventually the Frome girls broke through-and scored. It was a good hit into the corner of the net, but perhaps I should have stopped watching and got sliding a bit sooner!! Back to the middle, and we all started again……..

The next goal came from a short – again a loose foot, but this time the ball thundered into the top corner of the net with the sound of a death knell. Everyone kept their heads up and carried on. Lucy worked wonders all over the pitch, and really caused trouble for Frome. One great perk of being the goalkeeper is being able to watch the expressions of the players, and today I lost count of the times where our opposition were obviously frustrated by Knowlies getting in on their shots, and pinching the ball. Lucy was right in the heart of it all, as was Jan, who put in some great tackles and hits.

At 2-0, the whistle blew for half time………

After a rousing team talk, jelly babies and water, we re-started. The sun was full and strong, and it was a bit blinding, but the team kept their enthusiasm and energy and set to work. Chloe (our well-earned player of the match) wove her way round all the opposition to pass the ball upfield, and Ruth almost scored a one-woman goal at one point! And we definitely knew when Julia went off for a well-earned rest….her energy and insight throughout the match was incredible today – as always!

However, the heat and the tenacity of our opposition were too much and we finished the match 5-0 down. But we all came off smiling and happy with what we had put in to our joint effort. I have plenty to look at ready for the re-match later in the season, but we will be better prepared and ready to go.

The way I look at it, I spent a couple of hours with some of the best girls I know having the best time ever….only to come home and despair at my national rugby team who couldn’t win to save their lives! Just wish I could have played another game of hockey instead! My girls show week on week the same determination, resilience and team-work that lead the England ladies to win the European Cup last month….and one day we will have the equivalent of our own cup final. Till then I will just enjoy my highlight of every week – lining up alongside them every Saturday.

Enjoy your week girls! x