It certainly didn’t take long for the ladies 3s to warm up at lunchtime, in bright sunshine next to the beach-like sandy conditions of Tring International Sports centre.
Pre-match discussions, however, seemed somewhat subdued as our team considered the task ahead in the heat and with news of a total lack of subs. The Holderness class act umpiring team blew for the start of the match and the 3s immediately fired up in to life, dominating at the start. For a very new team of players, the passing was superb with multiple runs and attacks on goal. We were soon awarded a short corner, Kate Goodwin was called up from defence, taking a straight strike from the injection which rocketed into the back of the goal with impressive speed and accuracy 1:0. Domination of the game continued with a run and shot on goal by Emily Hogan, just tipped over by Laura 2:0 The 3rd goal came before half time with a slick pass from the top of the D from Sophie out to Hannah Whitby, who crossed the ball to Emily, who coolly pushed the ball across the goal line. A good way to end the first half.
After much needed water and a few minutes in the shade, we were off again. Saffron Waldron came out fighting and our defence had to work hard. Jo Fisher, as always, with calm head, clearing the ball out over and over, despite great efforts, Saffron Waldron did manage to pull one back. This did seem to give them a second wind and the pressure on us at the back was increasing. Thanks to solid work from Sophie, Kate G, and Jo, plus some sterling work from Jenny Musgrave running out of defence with the ball and earning herself 3 well deserved MOM nominations, they together, steadied the ship.
Berko L3s were now starting to look like Liverpool FC on the counterattack, with the speed of our youth, breakaways were looking increasingly dangerous for Saffron Waldron. Hannah and Ellie carrying the ball well, with new and very welcomed club members Rosie and Laura looking impressive and linking up well on the left. On one for these blistering breakaways, the ball was passed across the D and Kate Hedge deflected it into the back of the goal.
Despite a solid performance by Sam in goal, Saffron Waldron manage to pull another one back. We continued to battle all over the pitch, determined to keep our heads, and with ten minutes to go, Kate Hedge made a run on goal and flicked the ball decisively up into the top left-hand corner of the goal, over the goalies’ shoulder, securing our 5th goal of the match. This surprising turn of events caused Jo Fisher to come out of defence to offer special congratulations …it felt like BHHHC equivalent of the ‘Hollywood handshake’, the only thing that could have topped that experience, was if Chops had been there to see it….
Final whistle made it 5:2 to Berko 3s and we are (for now at least) top of our league table.
Written by MOM Kate Hedge