Sonning Ladies 1s 1 - Hampstead and Westminster 2s - 2
This fixture started like many other London away games: short period of hand-wringing in the rammed Sonning car park to decide who drives, convoy makes it to the car park exit before the inevitable starburst and sat-nav panic.
This week we added an extra pre-game feature to keep Maips on her toes. Having already lost 3 players late in the week, Mary’s boyfriend played his trump card and totalled his car, resulting in one less forward as she rushed to his rescue (he’s fine by the way).
Sooo, one call to the Ladies 2s later and we have a bench. Thanks girls - you are legends.
We arrived at Paddington Rec with little drama. Just £6 for the parking ticket, thank you very much.
As is now tradition, in Mary’s absence we decided to play fun hockey - high press after 15 minutes of half-court. This worked quite well, so well in fact that we didn’t change formation at all - a very strange, sensible decision made collectively by the team.
Hampstead and Westminster 2s scored an unstoppable short corner after about 5 minutes but Sonning kept their heads and the tempo up and equalised shortly after. Annie Oke waltzed through the H&W 25 area and made a sublime pass to the far post. Coops, still reeling from a surprise head-butt from Claire Hickey, managed to poke it in. 1-1.
H&W scored a second ridiculous (decision and execution) short corner either before half time or after, can’t remember.
Sonning were robust and energetic in the second half, our new look midfield - Annie, Emma, Sammy, Sophie, Claire (not all at the same time) linked up well with the forward line where Lorraine and AJ were both in excellent form and really unlucky to miss a couple of chances by just a fraction.
As ever, the defence was solid. Gemma, Joy, Maips, Pikey, Lars and Anna played brilliantly - saving us from a slew of attacks and setting them up in return. The game finished 2-1 to H&W but with Sonning pleased with their improved performance.
After an away game played at 1:30 our thoughts always turn to one thing - food. Will it be hot food? Where’s my cup of tea? Do I like this? There had better be cake (Pikey).
Maips set her timer carefully so that we’d be back in time to avoid a mahoosive parking fine, and we walked the apparently short distance to H&W’s club house which you get to by walking down the high street and through a cupboard full of coats - it’s truly magical.
Teas were splendid home-made spag bolognese for all you hockey tea enthusiasts. However, none of us fancied paying £6 for a cup of tea in the luxury club house, so we popped into a cafe on the way back and Maips treated us all to a cornucopia of cake, muffins, tea and coffee.
Leaving Paddington Rec was a different story. Beware - they lock the gates at about 4pm (it’s a park??). After a bit of trespassing, berating and then flirting with parking attendants, plus quite a lot of old lady grumbling, we managed to extract our cars from the car park. We were all home before midnight though.
Player of the match - Annie
Muff of the match - Hickey