The day started early for Matilda 'Moo' Lang who rocked up at the pitch an hour early, wondering where everyone else was (in bed), and scoring highly in the dick of the day stakes. Approaching the 9:30 meet time more of the intrepid Chiswick ladies appeared, ready to rumble at Brent Cross. Whilst we waited for the shirts to arrive, Coach Nick Richards waited patiently outside the changing rooms. And we waited, and waited, until a message came that Vicky Lorimer had turned on to the M1 and was driving nearly half the team away from London! Dick of the Day voting swung away from Moo, and in the direction of poor Vicky.
Warm up was cut short but a rousing team talk from Coach Nick with input from Captain Zoe Jupp gave the team a big drive, and the familiar shout of 'Chiswick' rang in the air.
Chiswick started well, uncharacteristically, and ran rings around their West Hampstead opponents. The forwards had several chances but a solid performance from the opposition goalkeeper denied them any goals. A combined effort of Georgie Wilson, Lili King-Harman, Zoe Jupp and Kate Murray won the team several penalty corners. A well rehearsed routine had Danni Petticrew sweeping the ball past the West Hampstead defence and into the goal.
In the second half, West Hampstead upped their game, making several breaks and creating several one-on-ones with keeper Moo who managed to forget the put the previous week's mauling behind her. Defender and ultimately the Man of the Match Clara Balfour seemed to be everywhere, hassling the West Hampstead forwards and tracking back quickly on breaks.
Unfortunately, on an occasion when West Hampstead managed to keep play in Chiswick's half, West Hampstead took advantage of a soft rebound, and no amount of diving across the goal could save it. Chiswick soldiered on, and despite creating more chances on goal, we couldn't capitalise, and the score remained tied.
However, we still won a point, and celebrated the end of the season with a splash of prosecco, and post match teas at McDonald's.
Final score: Chiswick 1, West Hampstead 1
MoM Clara Balfour
Dod Vicky Lorimer
PHC Chiswick Ladies 4s vs Imperial Medics Ladies 1s
For the last 15 weeks of competition the Ladies 4s have been at the top of their league, and with the final match they just needed one more win to see them take the title. For the first time all season though, the ladies only had a team of 11 as illness plagued the girls at the last moment. However this wasn’t going to dampen spirits as ‘Uptown Funk’ and ‘Shake it off’ blasted from their changing room the girls were pumped and looking to end their season with a bang.
The match started well with Chiswick holding possession and driving in to the attacking D with some lovely crosses from right midfielder Sophie Green. The ladies may have been taking things slightly for granted, as it wasn’t long until Imperial had a break away play, with the girls in blue on the back foot, Imperial went one on one with the Chiswick keeper Alice Taylor-Bennett. Alice Taylor-Bennett did brilliantly and managed to clear the ball, however it was picked up by Imperial yet again, and in a scramble in the D an unlucky deflection off a Chiswick stick found its way into the goal and Chiswick went 1-0 down. The girls kept their heads high, but simply couldn’t find a way back into the game before the half time whistle went.
Co-captain Chloe Hole has been known for some rousing half time talks, but she needed something special to turn this game around. After talking about holding positioning, making the passes cleaner and sticking tighter to their ‘play makers’ Chloe Hole then made each and every player look each other in the eyes and reminded them that they are doing this as a team. Some thought she had lost her marbles and the pressure of the game had gotten to her, the others were inspired and went out with new passion in the second half.
Chiswick played like a table topping team in the second half. Right from the first whistle the girls put the pressure on Imperial. An early penalty corner wasn’t converted, but with the amount of time Chiswick were spending in the attacking D, they knew the equaliser wasn’t far away. The brilliant left pairing of Stacey Nevin and Grace Glendinning, which later was coined ‘the dream team’, linked up beautifully to create several runaway plays. It was from one of these plays that Chiswick finally found the goal. A beautiful cross/shot from Grace Glendinning was sneakily poached by Gemma McIntosh who was waiting on the right post, levelling the score at 1-1. This was the boost the girls needed. The mid line combo of Sophie Green, Chloe Hole and Stacey Nevin worked at 100% to drive the play up field and Chiswick quickly found themselves on the attack again. Cat Jackman proved herself a steady distributer up front and found Gemma McIntosh in the D, who this time scored off a genuine shot on goal, giving Chiswick the lead for the first time at 2-1. It was clear Chiswick were looking to increase this lead as they pushed the play up field, and this time it was Sophie Green who found herself with the ball in the D. After beating out one defender, Sophie Green then calmly took the ball around the keeper, putting it in the bottom right corner to bring Chiswick to 3-1. While the score was very much in Chiswick’s favour the pressure was certainly not lifted, and Imperial continued to attack. However, the defence combination of Jenni Holman, Renee De Lepper, Clare Ormerod and Yssie Richards kept any counter attack at bay. Yssie Richards played with maturity well beyond her years as she stepped into the role of sweeper and tidied up any loose play with ease, leaving goal keeper Alice Taylor-Bennett with a lot less action in the second half. With 10 minutes still to play, Chiswick found themselves on the attack again, Gemma McIntosh managed to convert a cross ball from Sophie Green, who less than 3 minutes later managed to convert another herself taking Chiswick 5-1 up.
With a penalty corner awarded just as the final whistle blew, Chiswick’s defender and birthday girl Jenni Holman stepped looking for her first goal of her Chiswick career. The injection from Yssie Richards came out to meet Jenni Holman, who was far too excited having the opportunity of a shot on goal that she ran into meet the ball. As the team yelled for her to take the ball outside of the D, she was unable to get a shot away, however she did find another foot and was given another penalty corner. On the retake, Jenni Holman yet again met the ball inside the circle. It was taken back out, but her shot went narrowly wide, and the final whistle blew. This didn’t bother the girls however, as they won and had finished TOP OF THE LEAGUE. With ‘We are the Champions’ being belted by team boyfriend on the sideline, the Ladies 4s couldn’t wipe the smiles from their faces. They had done it. They won the league.
Goal Scorers: Gemma McIntosh (3), Sophie Green (2)
Man of the Match: Stacey Nevin
Dick of the Day: Jenni Holman
WHO WON THE LEAGUE? FOURS!
PHC L6’s v Hendon & Mill Hill L3’s
Season’s finale was both an early start and a trek to North London; we were more Sleepy 6’s than Super 6’ers. We had to take home the 3 winning points at the very least to justify the ridiculous trek to Borough (of) Barnet and Beyond.
Chis won the coin toss and, we took to positions. The match started slow, with Chis looking a little dicey and clumping together, but soon enough we found our hockey heads and winning form and kept pushing into the attacking D. The hard work finally paid off with Pone De Weerdt receiving a beautiful pass from centre of the D and calmly pushed the ball past the keeper “GOOOALLLL”.
1-0 to Chis at half time.
We knew that scoring so early in the match would spark oppo to fight back, it was anybody’s game with the ball knocking up and down the pitch, even with P.C’s awarded during the second half failed to convert for either side. The last few minutes were tense, nail biting moments with oppo. making last minute desperate scrambles for a goal, oppo. were camped out in our 25.
The final whistle went with a massive sigh of relief for Chis and a cheer of elation.
Final score 1-0 to Chis.
MoM Freya Crossley for a fab game.
DoD Talwyn Whetter for calling for the ball “I got it, I got it…I don’t got it”
With only two games left in the season the Ladies 2's were raring to go for a crunch game against Hampstead and Westminster. H&W started strongly scoring early in the first half. Chiswick bounced back with a brilliant strike by Georgie Wilson from a short corner. Unfortunately H&W were 3-1 up by half time.
Although stand in coach Tara Feeny provided excellent advice and encouragement in her half time talk, Chiswick weren't able to capitalise on their chances. Despite epic goal keeping efforts from Millie Lang H&W put away a further 3 goals in the second half. Chiswick finished the game disappointed having not played to their usual standard but will be back next week looking to end the season on a high with a win.
M.O.M: Bernie Elliott-Bowman for a great debut for the 2s.
D.O.D: Heather Robinson for falling over and sitting on her own keeper.
PHC Chiswick Ladies 4s vs Hampstead and Westminster Ladies 7s
The Ladies 4s knew they were one win away from guaranteed promotion and that this match could seal the deal. The 4s were boosted by the recent return of Cat Jackman, following the birth of her first child, but despite a solid warm up the start of the match was rather shaky as the nerves got to the girls in blue.
About 10 minutes in the 4s started to settle with some solid defence by Sinead McGeever and Jen Holman who distributed brilliantly from the back line. The midline combination of Stacey Nevin and Chloe Hole helped to ensure the forwards were well fed. Laura Bryant, working especially well as centre forward, had several opportunities that kept the sideline support on the edge of their seats. The 4s first attacking penalty corner was awarded 25 minutes into play however Hampstead and Westminster 7s ran out with real gusto and put our striker under unexpected pressure. The Ladies 4s finally broke the deadlock with a well timed drive into the D by Laura Bryant who crossed the ball to an awaiting Cat Jackman. Despite having to brush cobwebs off her astros prematch Cat Jackman's eye was in the game as she coolly and calmly scooped the ball up and flicked it into the net behind the keeper putting Chiswick 1-0 up going into half time.
The inspiring half time talk by co-captain Chloe Hole focussed mainly on not letting the nerves affect play and maintaining basic skills like solid tackling and positioning. The 4s took this on-board and started the second half with a lot more confidence dominating possession and territory. Nicole Shipperley made several impressive drives down the right wing linking especially well with Cat Jackman who proved too quick for the keeper and found the back of the goal for the second time. Spurred on by the 2-0 lead and the vocal boyfriends, mothers and Ladies 3s on the sideline, Chiswick did everything within their power to maintain possession. A well formed press kept the ball well into the attacking half and the 4s comfortably maintained their lead.
With this win the Ladies 4s are now guaranteed promotion and celebrated with a well deserved champagne shower. With one game left to play a win next week will result in the Ladies 4s finishing top of the league table. Finally thanks to Danni and the other ladies’ captains for some excellent club spirit and a special thanks to Georgie for umpiring.
Goal scorers: Cat Jackman (2)
Man of the match: Nicole Shipperley
Dick of the Day: Alice Taylor-Bennett
We were apprehensive about playing at the place cats go to die but we thought we had it in the bag. Sadly that was just the dog.
Nothing really happened before the game, including a warm up, except hanging the dog in the bag on the fence so he could see Joy Elliott-Bowman at all times.
5 minutes in we were 2-0 down, so we decided to wake ourselves up and start playing hockey. Hazel Pozzo was informed that she scored a goal a few minutes later, after a deflection she can't even remember.
A strong half time chat with two bags of haribo saw us start the second half well, but despite all our chances we still didn't manage to score. In fairness, the other team didn't either, thanks to solid defending from Joy, BernieElliott-Bowman and co.
Our second loss of the season, we were slightly subdued, but this was relieved with deep fried sausage rolls and chips at the Pav (wish you were there Ang Li). Carla O'Donnell took things a bit far and smashed a glass on the floor, so got DOD. Ronan the dog was unanimously voted MOM.
PHC L6’s v West Hampstead 6’s
The match was off to a good start with Chis taking the initiative and driving forward into the oppositions half. With some extra assertive marking from West Hampstead, Chis worked hard and maintained control with passing in the game.
A strong midfield by both sides showed, giving an evenly matched game. Chis had a few chances but an award of a PC to West Hampstead lead to a cheeky goal that crept in to make it 1:0 before half time.
The second half saw both teams eager to win with some cracking runs from the forward line by Chis. The last 15 minutes saw some extra spirited play with a strong defence on both sides. All in all, an equally matched game that resulted in a 1:0 score to WH.
MoM Sofía Marcoartu Basterra for all around fab play
DoD Hannah Mort for her tardiness for match meet up
It was the last match of the season for chiswick ladies 1s and they were keen to build upon their win from the previous weekend against Witney who were sitting one position higher than them in the league.
Coach Pras Puna decided to change the team talk up this week and handed it over to the team for their input. Danni Petticrew found this especially emotional. We left the changing rooms determined to have a positive match and end the season on a high.
Alex Earnshaw was quick to convert Chiswick's first goal of the match with a straight strike at goal in from a penalty corner. The rest of the first half saw chiswick with plenty of opportunities however did not manage to convert.
West Hampstead were first on the score board after half time and managed to equalise taking the score to 1-1.
Chiswick left it til quite late in the game to regain the lead however their second goal came from some quick passing up the left wing from Sarah Blackburn to Harriet Stevenson who found Bex Smith high in the D to whip out her skills slotting it past West Hampstead's keeper. Using this momentum chiswick were keen to secure the win with some passing from Danni Petticrew to Rhi Buchannan and Bex Smith set up on the right who managed to get her second goal of the match leaving the score at 3-1 to chiswick.
Another great result for Chiswick ladies 1s leaving us in third place in the league.
MoM: Bex Smith - Gooooals
DoD: Danni Petticrew - emotional reaction to team talk, issues with trackies and not knowing the score.
Today was the day Chiswick ladies had been waiting for. If we come out of today with a win, we would make automatic promotion to Middlesex Prem. League with three games in hand! And just to add to the pressure, it was Nikki Redding's birthday, and losing is just not a option when its someone’s birthday!
However, we got off to a bad start, having Hazel Posso turn up to the game with 2 cakes, a bottle of champagne and a steep parking ticket. But the sun was out, the temperature was over 10 degrees and we were armed with a bottle of prosecco, thirsty for a win!
It was a positive start, with some great passing and plays down the line, and very quickly Chiswick won a few short corners and made some decent shots on goal against a very good goalie. 20 minutes in and we got our reward, Nat Dent sneaking in a goal past the keeper!
However Chiswick’s dominance somewhat dwindled in the second half, with the team suffering what seemed to be heatstroke, with a few pink faces around the team. Yet we managed to defend our way to a 1-0 win! Chiswick had paid a high price (literally) today but promotion was secured, prosecco had been popped, jugs of beer were flowing and copious amounts of cake were being eaten – what a fantastic weekend and a great way to celebrate Nikki’s birthday!
Ladies 3s are now looking to top the league table (can never be too optimistic) and looking for that win against arch rivals Ashford.
It was a glorious day, the sun was shining and with it a spirited Chiswick took to the pitch, keen to put to rest the disappointment of the results from the previous weekend.
It was not long before Sarah Blackburn found space at the far post from a well worked short corner to slot home the first goal for the home side on 3 minutes. The momentum was with the Blues and after some tidy possession and well worked passing, Hampstead & Westminster, with some gutsy defending tried in vain to keep the ball from being bundled over the line by the razor-sharp Laura Patterson to take the score to 2-0 Chiswick.
Chiswick’s energy was up, and Hampstead & Westminster looked shell shocked. Seizing on this, another well worked move saw Alex Earnshaw break into the attacking circle and with a calm head smashed home the 3rd goal for Chiswick with only 15 minutes gone.
As half time approached, the game was end to end, Hampstead and Westminster won a corner. It was the brave Jen Romano who came to the rescue, putting her body on the line for her team, taking the ball smack in the face to ensure the Blues goal line wasn’t breached. Fortune was on Jen’s side, she had invested well at the start of the season and had purchased a face mask. In a bond only few will understand, between the dedicated owner and said mask, Jen gleefully celebrated in true style with a steady and passionate ‘fist pump’..
It wasn’t long after this inspiring piece of dedication, that Chiswick burst into the attacking circle and were awarded a short corner. This allowed man of the match, Rhi Buchanan the opportunity to slot home the 4th goal for the home team giving Coach Pras Puna a comfortable half-time talk.
Hampstead & Westminster came out for the second half steadied and focussed. Chiswick were made to work hard for their attacking chances, with Becky Smith sliding to miss on the far post after a slick move from the half way line linking Lara Patterson and Harriet Stevenson. The visiting team were rewarded for their staunch efforts with 5 minutes from time; eventually beat the impressive Kylie Burnett to finish the game 4-1 to Chiswick.
A great result and well deserved.
MOM: Rhi Buchanan – she can defend
DOD: Jen Romano – That’s why I bought the mask – hell yeah! USA, USA!