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