(Report by Jim Sherring)
It’s fair to say we haven’t exactly hit the high notes in this post season league, but although the Ladies suffered another defeat on Saturday the performance was positive and actually the score line didn’t reflect the balance of the game.
Barnes deserved to win, they are on a roll and were the more confident and clinical of the teams but the Ladies played some excellent hockey during the match. The first two Barnes goals came in the first quarter and both owed something to the umpires interpretation of the rules; the first was a ball that flew up off a home stick and by playing it close to one of our defenders it could have been judged dangerous by the Barnes forward (as was a similar incident in the Barnes D a little later on) ; the second was controlled by a Barnes foot which the umpire interpreted as a stick…with a shoe on it. Anyway no complaints about the third where we were punished for giving the ball away sloppily which has happened too often in this league. We had some excellent moments in the first half and penetrated the Barnes D on a number of occasions, but whereas the home side were clinical with their chances we often left empty handed which is frustrating as the build-up play deserved some reward.
Out for the second half and with renewed energy and focus the Ladies took the game to Barnes and got early encouragement when Sofia’s low drilled effort was superbly deflected home by Jennie Stephens. Further pressure didn’t elicit any more goals and towards the end of the quarter Barnes broke twice and scored on both occasions, and in that sentence lies the difference between the teams. Barnes rarely failed to maximise the pressure they applied. The 4th quarter was a stalemate but a huge positive was we did the majority of the pressing and finished the game on the attack.
Next week we host Hampstead and Westminster in the final game of the league and try to finish this leg of a disrupted season on an upbeat.