After Mel put the team on a high by informing us of her latest accolade – winning apprentice of the year for Bucks fire service (well done Mel!) – the Ladies 1’s went out fighting following a disappointing game last week.

Our focus in training had been very much on converting our attacking play into goals and I think we managed to complete that brief today.
With a new formation of players and despite the miserable weather we started the game strongly and managed to win a short corner within 5 minutes. Unfortunately the first few short corners did not make it past the goalie but on the fourth, and after a quick 1-2 pass between Mollie and Steph at the top of the D the shot was taken and reached Megan on the goal post who calmly put it into the back of the net. Now we were on the scoreboard our nerves were calmed and we settled into playing some fantastic hockey. We somewhat peppered the defenders, with balls into the D from Mel, Molly, Steph and Sarah reaching both Rosie and Abi, who was doing some fantastic runs up front.  Faye, in her new role as sweeper, passed it from left to right effectively and we demonstrated our ability to play the quick, strong, short balls passing between all players from defenders to attackers. With Harriette coming on up front a new injection of pace meant the defenders were unable to keep up and we finished the first half 3-0 up.
The second half showed much of the same. Ann and Emma were getting positively freezing by this point in the back line but were still able to defend fantastically when the time came. There were some great passages of play around the back moving from Megan through Ann and Emma, around to Maria who was always able to find either Faye or Mel for her infamous runs. Our defenders successfully protected the goal on their short corners with a fantastic couple of saves from Vicky out to the wing. Unfortunately one of those was converted into a goal making the score line 4-1. This didn’t dampen our spirits and we continued to fight for more goals using great stick skills, work rate and teamwork to end on a final score of 7-1. Goals were scored by Rosie (x2), Steph, Sarah, Mollie, Abi and Megan (which only reflects further what a team effort this was).
Man of the match was won by Rosie (I can only assume for actually managing to score this week) with Megan also receiving 4 votes.
The Dummy award was tied between Rosie for adopting the foetal position right in front of the goal after being taken out by the goalie (and very nearly saving our own goal) and Abi for bringing along a fairly interesting collection of pre-match accessories.  Our additional award of ‘Stroppy Knickers’ was won by Molly for in the most polite way possible questioning a number of decisions made by the umpires.
All in all a fantastic effort and more of this next week ladies!