Having played 3 games in the space of 5 days, it’s safe to say the body is taking to the return of regular hockey season like a flying bug to the front windscreen of a semi-trailer cruising down the South West Highway. And thanks to the recent Mindfulness course that work paid me to go on at the end of last week, I’m really able to focus my attention to each and every isolated muscle group and notice just exactly how it feels. #blessed
The first mid-week match of the season saw the Warriors out on the pitch late on a Wednesday night, facing off against old foes. The game kicked off at frenetic pace, with the warriors doing their best to absorb an enormous amount of pressure for the first five minutes of play. Luckily, we’d had an excellent warm up and were ready from the first whistle.
Patience, and a lot of composure saw a quick turn of play and YM were flying down the field winning themselves the first PC of the game, resulting in the first goal of the game. Riss was on the board! Considering YM teams have a history of seeing this happen to them, it was refreshing to see the girls turn the tables! Another goal 18’ into the first half was against the flow of play, where Riss managed to put away another sausage roll from the field.
The Subs were living up to their name and running rotations like they were allergic to a bit of extended game play, but it seemed to work in their favour as the Warriors struggled to keep their eyes on all their players. The pride of lions managed to claw back two goals, taking us into the halftime break at 2 a piece.
While the second half saw better man to man marking, and a really solid passage of 20 minutes, Lions were able to jump back on top and put away another 2 goals in the last 10 minutes. Great experience to see where the level can be for game play, and stacks of positives to build on moving forward. As any good football fan will tell you.. It was the loss the team had to have.
There was a good turn out the following evening to watch the 1s boys play, but also a little embarrassing for them… I’m sure you all know the feeling. You earn a few international (bucket) caps, play in a good club team and then just try to unwind in your downtime when a few male counterparts can’t help but try to slide up close on the bench *rolls eyes* #shameless #fanboys
Little did we realise, rolling into our 3rd game JD would still be stalking us, using elaborate excuses of ‘setting up shop’ at the new Warwick Turf just to hang around. SO transparent.
With the crowd settled in at the fresh venue, it was time to give the fans what they wanted! A lovely sunny afternoon and some good hockey to watch. The warm up could have gone better, claiming a quad before the first whistle had even sounded, but some perseverance from the players showed their conscious effort to follow the advice of our visored visionary during the first half. There were two excellent goals, the first confirmed by Lou as Little Ducky, the second, coming off a magical piece of play that no one seemed quite sure who had the last touch, but I suspect it was Little Ducky once again. It was hard to tell as the defenders were back congratulating themselves on a fifth / sixth assist.
As the play goes… Liv cuts off a defender in our attacking half, feeds the ball off to Spud Half who turns, finds her inside forward in Doods. A beautiful ball back out to Suze, into Grace on the T-Swift spot, before bunting it back up to Little Ducky who put the ball where it needed to go – in the back of the net!
While difficult to always trace a goal back to its origins, this was great hockey that deserves the recognition. Previous years’ on-field strategy may have seen this ‘passing the ball’ concept as something new and risky, but seems to be working a treat for the team so far! Who knew?!
Second half was a much slower game, it was a hot day and both teams were feeling the heat. An early third goal seemed to absolutely take on the spirit of the half as Grace got an amazing breakaway, naturally opting for the Tomma, the ball seemed to go into a long, slow, almost languid loop over the goalkeeper before making its way across the line and into the box. The remainder of the half was about maintaining possession and making sure the legs held up, without letting Whitfords get one back. How great did it feel to walk away with a clean sheet?!
Unfortunately, this wouldn’t last long for most members of the team as the first Kangaroo Court session was called to order by our VC & Fines Master. Carefully laid rules and regulations were presented to the group, providing boundaries, incentives and penalties for behaviour across the squad. Ducky may have to sell the house…
The Premier 2s kicked off their season with a difficult clash against the reigning premiers from 2016 on their home turf. I think it’s safe to say the entire team were surprised by our efforts as it was quite literally the first time many of our team had played together, and we are so grateful to the two super subs who came along to make up numbers and give us a break from the heat out on the pitch!
Lisa picked up on the intensity message, and with this in the back of our minds as we crossed that white line, the message was put into action. The girls were fighting out a fierce battle, and communication was the key to holding off such strong opposition. An early goal from Reds while our team was still finding their feet proved the difference, not that Fluff didn’t try to sneak in a reply.
To be fair, she did send a ball hurtling into the net, but when that net is the outside wall of the goal, it was a very awkward pause in play when the umpire has awarded the goal and reds (rightly so) were losing their sh*t… Fluff, obviously feeling really conflicted about the situation… stayed absolutely SILENT, trying to make the more honest girls around her hush as the umpires conferred. It took a bold soul in Lou to set the record straight, and I’m still not sure Fluff agrees with this strategy! Get it right the first time Fluff & you won’t have to worry!
Another squad fines sess, some beers, and watching the 1s boys (noting JD still following me around) was the perfect wrap to an intense few days of hockey.
The fast fire start to the season has seen the BBQ team back up and sizzling, ensuring good rotation with fresh meat replacing our teammates who were back to their best on the weekend. A break between games, and a hydration session on Thursday evening down at the boys game should ensure the squad is raring to go again after the Easter long weekend.
And let’s hope that next time our VC is invited for drinks, she actively seeks to recruit a videographer for our next game, rather than pretending she’s unavailable and moving overseas….!!