Match report by Kim Bishop-Laggett
The clash between Southgate W6’s and Wapping W7’s was nothing short of a gripping encounter that unfolded on Saturday at the John Orwell Sports Centre. The urban setting, with the Shard looming in the background, added a distinctive backdrop to the intense battle on the hockey pitch.
From the first whistle, Wapping controlled the tempo, and the midfield battle was keenly contested. Both defensive lines remained resolute, denying any early goal-scoring opportunities.
Southgate seemed on the back foot but some great saves from Helen kept the scores level. As the half progressed, it became evident that a breakthrough would be crucial, and it was Southgate who capitalized on the opportunity. In a twist against the run of play, a long ball from the Southgate defence found it’s the way up the pitch to Jos Lee, who exhibited great speed and control before clinically lobbing the Wapping goalkeeper, securing a 1-0 lead for Southgate.
The second half saw a determined Wapping intensifying their offensive efforts, aiming to level the score but Jos, Lynn, Lily, and Didi, Southgate’s attacking four, started making a real impact giving the opponents a run for their money, linking up and passing, making some impressive moves. The Shard loomed large as they battled and challenged Wapping’s defence.
Our coaches, Howie and Stroller, held the sidelines, guiding us and keeping the energy high. Kate, Clare, and Caitlin worked tirelessly in the midfield battling for possession, intercepting passes, and combining to create transitions from defence to attack. These midfield dynamos became increasingly crucial in maintaining Southgate’s composure, controlling the midfield battles, providing crucial support to both the defensive and attacking phases of the game.
Julie’s strong performance bossing the centre of the pitch disrupted Wapping’s rhythm and provided the foundation for Southgate to weather the storm.
The defensive quartet – Dervla, Hannah, Andrea, and Kim – held their ground in moments of intense pressure, displaying resilience in the face of Wapping’s continued offensive pressure, saving numerous short corners, and preventing them from finding the back of the net. Their co-ordination and positioning created a formidable barrier throughout the match. The quartet’s ability to read the game, make crucial tackles, and initiate counter-attacks added a layer of confidence to the team.
Amidst the intense action in the second half, a light-hearted moment unfolded that brought a touch of humour to the match. In a surprising turn of events, Helen, seized an opportunity to intercept a back transfer, playfully stealing the ball from teammate Kim. Evidently, Helen was taking no chances and displayed her quick reflexes even beyond the goal line.
In the dying moments of the match, with Wapping pushing for a late equalizer, Kim made a critical save on the line from a penalty corner and a particularly challenging sequence of shots was expertly dealt with by Helen, securing Southgate’s hard-fought 1-0 victory.
The sun, cast its warm glow over the match and the whole experience was a blast. Hockey is not just about winning; it’s about teamwork, friends, fun moments, and giving it your all. We had all of those on Saturday. Looking forward to more games like this one!