It was with mixed emotions that those entering the third stage of their hockey career received their call up to the over 35s team. Some were delighted, some appalled or in denial, whilst for others it was simply too much, and they escaped to the bosom of their families for a comforting lunch.
Despite having 15 players to manage, and dressing for success, coach Ready didn’t have much to do on the sidelines, though she has promised her style will iterate through to the full suited attire as and when we reach the later rounds of the cup.
After a full warm up, and much envy that the opposition had thought to bring yoga mats (partially weather related, possibly more about age), the debutants huddled together for warmth and comfort before the game started. They did not feel the need to bring sweets to secure their place in the team, though Gemma was very keen we went back to a school style stretch, big circle, figure of 8 hip rotations and arm swings. Aside from Jonsey wearing a pink sweat band to match the pink on her shirt, there was noticeable lack of bandanas, a team kit requirement which will be addressed.
The actual game reflected many of our league games from the previous day, plenty of chances created, but very little converted. However, 11 minutes in, Jill rounded the base line and smashed a cross over to Heidi who deflected in from a sharp angle at the far post. Heidi had been in goal the previous day so perhaps this insight enabled her to channel the right mentality to beat the keeper.
The Burnt Ash keeper was quite literally a wall for the next 40 minutes, making saves with every body part, her stick and her helmet, leaving Ali both in awe and jealous of the action.
Ready’s advice at half time was cheerfully ignored by everyone as we wanted to keep the GK busy, so kept shooting at her. Some lovely buildup play by the defence (actually I can’t remember if they were involved or not, but they are usually vital) fed Rocky to find a free wheeling Jonsey who ran round the top of the D before a powerful shot finally beat the keeper for 2 - 0.
The 7 short corner masks we had at our disposal weren’t required and the remainder of the game continued the pattern, lots of shots but the GK on top of nearly everything. Thanks to our many supporters, especially those whose mathematical skills enabled them to work out how many years they have to wait for their own apparence ( a distressingly long time for some). A solid start to our first vets game in 4 years.
Next game: 3rd December, draw awaited.