Oxford Hawks versus PHC Mighty Ducks...
Keeping in with the weekend theme of the 90's and a classic 90's movie about a team of misfits ”Ducks" (Us) with so much potential that improves as the season goes on and comes across top of the table the "Hawks." (Oxford)
It begins at the fine establishment that is Linford Christie stadium with a four seasons in one day kind of weather. We were prepped and ready the game started off at pace with a lots of turnover from both teams, but through a well-constructed piece of team work that saw crisp short sharp passing through the midfield, which resulted in Laura Jacques destined to score unleashing a missile towards the bottom right hand corner where the "Sneaky Pink Panther" Ceilidh Walker snuck in a sneaky final touch, to claim the goal and open up the scoring. It was a welcome returned for Ceilidh who had been out with nasty head splitting knock to the head a few weeks prior. It showed a real sense of guts and fearlessness. Up 1-0 the game was a rather stretched affair and played predominantly in the middle third, with midfield battles, long reaching hits and counter attacks. With pressure and a well taken PC from the Hawks they scored leveling the scores at 1-1 just before half time.
Second half the game opened up and became more expansive. But an unfortunate turn of events saw the Hawks take the lead. 2-1 down... Ducks never say die.... So with countless attacks and penetrations, we continued to put pressure on them through the midfield. With some classy stick work from Lisa Crane down the left and some strength from Tee Barrack who held her position and drove through to pop the ball into the circle where Rhianna Buchanan whacked the ball at goal only to be saved but deflected into open space where out of nowhere, it was just like she has appeared from Hogwarts or in this case from the side-line Becky Smith appeared and with such class and composure put the ball into the back board which brought us to two apiece. The game was up for grabs with both teams fighting for the 3 points and not content on settling for a draw... It was a well fought battle- but our defence held strong with some superhero tackles made by Mary, KD and Cath and the heroics of Tilly our "Man of the Match "Matilda Lang. Who was faced with yet another stroke, but with her larger than life presence at the monstrous size of 5 foot nothing- she psyched out the stroker taker, who could only produce a pitiful push which rolled at the pace of a snail towards her and every so coolly she palmed it off with her glove.
The game finished as a draw and taking only one point- we can be proud of our efforts and with one week off, we shall we regroup, reenergise for the remaining games of the season and you just never know what it holds, as the competition to finish first is still up for grabs.
DoD: Laura Jacques
MoM: Matilda Lang
A three hour round trip, one hospital visit, and a loss, made for a frustrating afternoon of hockey for Chiswick as they travelled to Witney for a feisty encounter against a team riding high in the league. Undefeated since the New Year break, Chiswick were rightly feeling confident and neither Pras Puna's temporary memory loss nor Becky Smith's attempts to warm up with her latest stylish-yet-impractical hockey accessory (her handbag) could break the mighty blues focus.
Chiswick started brightly and put the home team under pressure but it was Witney who opened the scoring with a free player in the D forcing a good save from Millie Moo in goal only for a second Witney forward to tap in the rebound. Witney doubled their lead just 10 minutes later with a fast paced counter-attacking move, stretching the Chiswick defence and leaving Millie with little chance in goal. Some strong play down the middle by Becky Smith and Rhi Buchannan helped Chiswick create their own chances before the end of the half, but they couldn't find the net before the half time whistle.
After a passionate and emotional team talk by Cath "I want an Oscar nomination" Day, Chiswick started the second half inspired. And it wasn't long before man of the match and hat trick hero Tee Barrack scooped the ball over the logged keeper to put the Blues back in the game. But hopes were soon dashed when Witney were awarded a controversial penalty flick, which they duly converted.
But more drama was to unfold when Ceilidh Walker was struck on the head by a rocket of a reverse stick shot from Rhi Buchanan, ultimately needing hospital attention. With Jen 'Boobs' Romano ably standing in at left wing, Chiswick got on with the task in hand.
However, it took a further Witney goal for the blues to start playing the hockey they were capable of and a comeback was sparked. Cue one yellow card (them), two more goals (us), copious dullard long balls (them) and a fair amount of umpire heckling (errr.....Pras) and Chiswick were back in the game at 4-3 and just minutes to play. Unfortunately the clock was against the West Londoners and Witney hung on for the three points.
Mom: Tee Barrack (Hat trick hero)
Dod: Becky Smith (warming up with her handbag) and Pras Puna (umpire abuse and forgetting our keeper's name!)