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!)