On a bright, sunny morning we assembled at the Club for what was to be our newly formed sixth teams first outing. A swell in numbers made a late entry into Div 6 possible and with the retirement of Bank of England W1s from the Division we found ourselves with our very first league match.
As is the way of hockey, some unavoidable withdrawals meant that our ranks had diminished before we even got on the pitch, however, as luck would have it our opposition, Tulse Hill & Dulwich, also arrived short of numbers, so we were evenly matched with nine apiece.
This made for hard work on the pitch, but there was lots of space and we used it well. Our forwards proved to be speedy and, with Annabelle leading the attack and Dervla working her way up the outside, we were soon peppering their goal with shots. Lily took up some great positions and looked threatening on the far post, but it took some time to make our mark. Sarah held the middle of the pitch, as she does so well, directing our attack and distributing the ball left, right and centre at pace. Elina to her left put in a tough shift against some wily players and tackled again and again to win the ball and get us the turnover. Jos to Sarah’s right, proved a natural attacking midfielder and found her way into their circle again and again.
However, it was not all plain sailing as Tulse Hill found their way through by leaving a player high and using the good old long ball. Laura, making a return to the pitch after some years (decades she says), quickly found her groove and made some crucial tackles. Her partnership with Kim proved a very solid defence.Jas was superb between the posts, making saves repeatedly, double saves and triple saves.
We were rewarded with two goals before Tulse Hill staged a comeback and capitalised on an unusual lapse in concentration from the Southgate side. However, we recovered and the final score of 5:3 to the ‘Gate was well deserved.
Jos scored a hat trick, Lily scored a breakaway solo goal, and from Sarah who eventually poked the other goal home. MVP was Jos for three banging goals.
So, a very satisfying first outing for the sixes. Great fun was had by all in a competitive game, and we look forward to next week’s encounter with Wanderers Wolves.
Many thanks to all who came out to support and also to our umpires.