Twas the night before hockey, when all through the land, forboding forecasts, meant matches may not stand…….
Don’t panic I’m NOT a poet and I certainly know it, so won’t subject you to my desperate attempts!
Our last match of the season against Blueharts was not to be deterred by the elements.
We would, with Tring Sports’ go ahead, be able to play and not join the many cancelled games of the day.
After watching an exciting match before us, (the only other Berko team to secure a fixture - Men’s 4’s), a worryingly frosty corner on the pitch developed. This was duly inspected by our able umpires Ed and Peter to decide if our game would be abandoned after all. We all waited with baited breath to finally be told that - the game would indeed proceed.
Many supporters arrived to brave the bitter cold, wrapped up warm, with a fair few ‘Berko Bobbles’ making their debut, including our very own ump Peter modelling his to perfection!
The pressure was on, the whistle blew, and we were off!
A strong first half for Berko proceeded with some fantastic hockey being played between the midfielders and forwards. We were dominant with some great short passes leading up the pitch.
A sweet cross into the D from Sian rocketed in to be met with a stretched stick, but alas the touch was not enough.
The battle was on with Blueharts breaking, the pressure now on our defenders as the ball headed in their direction. A short was awarded, the defence held strong and with a quick release of the ball up the pitch it was picked up and taken out of harms way.
Berko were on form, taking the ball repeatedly into their 23.
A short corner was awarded, calmly injected to the top left by Stef, strong and direct, received by Terri with a strike on target, saved by the keeper. We fought to get a rebound but failed to deliver.
Another short with the injection received by Clare top right, had her strike also being denied a ‘look in’ from the competent Blueharts keeper.
The temperature was working against us, grumbling came from the opposition as the D area slowly and steadily glistened.
Half time arrived, the score held at 0-0.
Our trusty umpire duo, Ed and Peter carried out a further inspection as ‘Jack Frost’ was working hard in one of the D’s. Would the game be abandoned after all?
It was decided that the match would continue, but with a very speedy turn around.
The blue lipped, goose bumped Berko side, had the quickest half time chat this season, and started our ‘not so dominant’ second half.
With some determined Blueharts play, our defence were at battle.
Babs not allowing anyone through her patch, armed with her trusty one handed weapon, stood her ground.
Blueharts tried to run through Stef as our last line of defenders, and were denied entry on numerous occasions.
Kelly and the defender possey repeatedly denied Blueharts their many shorts and attempted goals, but finally their determination paid off, and managed to slip one home, we were 1-0 down.
Heads held low, was this the end…...
Having now made the game harder for ourselves, we took the battle into their D.
With a desperate fight between the two teams, a Blueharts defender was resolute not to let us through, and deliberately hoofed the dangerous ball off the back line.
The signal was made without hesitation, Peter, ‘Not On My Watch Missy’ Karmali, immediately awarded a PF. Captains decision was to bring Stef back into attacking action.
With great composure, the ball only had one destination, and that was the back of the net – nicely taken Mrs Langdon!
Now levelling the score to 1-1 we were back in the game.
Our free hits worked well, with some nice passing around the back, Stef working it through with Charlotte and Lana.
Kate and Molly worked hard with some nice runs up the right, ably assisted by Sian and Bunni.
The left also worked well together with some nice little touches between Lauren and Emily.
However, Blueharts managed to break our defence again obtaining a short and finally secured their second goal from a slick routine, taking the score to 1-2.
We may not have looked as dangerous as we did in the first half, but we didn’t ever give up.
With even more desperate determination another, (and our last) short of the match was awarded.
The injection was received top left, a strike on target was yet again blocked, Blueharts were not going to allow a leveller.
Players played hard, but the fire in our bellies in the first half now was more like embers in the second, had the cold got the better of us?
The whistle blew with an ecstatic Blueharts side, and a deflated Berko.
Lessons will be learnt and built on from this game.
2018 here we come with even more determination and fires raging!
A special thanks to all who came to support, and to our umpires Ed and Peter for braving the bitter weather!
MOM went to Sian Davies for some great hockey and only pipping Stef at the post by 1 vote.
Match Report: Terri
Happy Christmas Everyone! Love from The Ladies 2’s X