Many weeks of hard work and dedication culminated in the final game of the season for the Ladies 1s on Saturday. A win or a draw would maintain our first place position in the table, meaning a promotion up to the East League for next season.
An unusually hot day left many of us lamenting the lack of warm weather training in the run up to the game. But, reassured by Will Holderness that squash was the best form of hydration, we arrived pitch-side with our water bottles full and adrenaline pumping.
Emma managed to keep us in the running by clearing the ball off the goal line in the opening minute. Not quite the start we had anticipated! Hertford's young team certainly weren't meek and mild; we concentrated on our defence with Vicky, Deb and Megan thwarting further attempts on goal.
As the first half progressed, we found our rhythm and were spurred on by cheers from the crowd. Faye was calm and collected in the middle, working the ball up and out of defence to the midfield. Stephie made some speedy runs down the line, forming lovely triangles with Abi, Emily and Ali. We upped our attacking efforts, with Pip, Harri and Sarah linking up on the left. Short corners were awarded, we targeted the rebounds off the pads...but sadly no goals for the L1s. Half time arrived, nil all. But promotion was still in our sights.
The second half saw us camped in our defensive half, but we cut off the opposition's attacks on goal. There were some end-to-end runs and tensions began to run high. A green card was shown to a Hertford attacker just as their coach decided to sub off the goalie. With 10 minutes to go, we switched our formation to maximise our defensive strength with Maria providing reinforcement across the middle.
As the final whistle blew there were tears, laughter and cheers. It was a great game and fab to see so many people at the pitch to share our result! Countless thanks to everyone who has supported us this season, to Mari and Hannah for cheering us on from the bench, and to Coach Dina of course for putting up with us all. She'll be developing our new season training plan already..!
Berkhamsted L1s 0 - 0 Hertford L1s