2nd VIII v Loretto

St. Mary’s 2 – Loretto 2
2nds v Loretto 1 7 sept 16

It was a super-hot afternoon and the heat was making the conditions challenging for playing hockey. Due to illness the squad had two U11 players, Anna M in goal and Hannah C on the outfield, accompanied by Anna S (captain), Louisa, Rowan, Ruby, Lucy W, Iona and Isla. Spirits were high for the first match of the season and what a super match it was! The skills from both teams were silky and the work rate high, which was really pleasing for the start of the season. The two teams were very evenly matched and both had many full court advances and opportunities in the Ds, but to no avail. Being in the right place and having sticks low to the ground are of paramount importance when trying to get the ball over the goal line and was something to work on going forward into the second half.

As the whistle blew for half time it was 0-0 and as the sweat was pouring off the girls they rehydrated ready to face the music once again. The second half was as exhilarating as the first with plenty more opportunities in both Ds. St. Mary’s were the first to get the ball over the line having lifted it into the goalie and it going down her leg pads leaving our attackers wondering where it had gone! As the goalie moved, the ball fell to the ground and over the line, but after a lengthy discussion between the umpires, the decision was made to not allow the goal but to award St. Mary’s a free hit from outside the D. Later, an external hockey expert confirmed that the goal would be allowed as it was an on-target shot, deflected off the goalie.

As time was drawing to a close all 16 players on the field were eager to get something on the score board and Loretto continued to pile on the pressure. Our legs were beginning to tire, however, and a couple of gaps in our lines gave Loretto the opportunities they’d been after to have a clear shot at goal and they put away two great shots in quick succession. St. Mary’s weren’t for giving up though and realising their errors in the final minute of the match a last attempt of a full court press was, at last, a success! It came about through some text-book hockey; a cheeky drop pass that then went out wide, up the wing, into the D, ending with a cracking shot into the far corner literally seconds before the final whistle blew.

The St. Mary’s girls had worked so hard and should be delighted with their performance. The 2nds can take pride in themselves and despite the uncertainty during the match as to whether their first goal would stand or not, they can rest assured that it was indeed a draw for their first game.
Keep up the great work girls! You have started strongly so keep working hard, keep the fitness levels up and keep practising those silky skills!
2nds v Loretto 2 7 sept 16

Mrs J Scott Aiton

Jules Birdsall, 08/09/2016

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