LHC Round-up - 17th March

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With temperatures down to -1, and sadly snowsuits not permitted on pitch, four of our teams braved the icy winds. Here's what the teams had to say about their matches: 

MENS 1s

Mens 1's Vs Chertsey, as you can imagine, the fact that we managed to play a game was an achievement in itself, but the pitch was playable, the snow was still falling but not settling, and there stood 11 men, some wrapped up in fitting attire, some in just a t-shirt (mistakes were made Simon Wolfendon). It was tough to really get going in the match, the oppo however seemed to have warmed up properly and we're first out the gates. We seemed to be on the back door for much of the first half, and succumbed to two quick breaks in quick succession to be 2-0 down at half time. We never truly recovered from this setback and we're always chasing the game, we did however sneak one back from a slick short corner with a great drag from the top by Jamie. It wasn't enough though, and as we pushed to try and even things up we left holes defensively allowing Chertsey to kill the game off with another goal. The final score 3-1 to Chertsey and another mixed performance from a squad with lots of promise but lacking consistency. 

 
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MENS 2s (Diablos)

Snow. It came, it conquered, it sent our Mens 2 home for a spoons breakfast and some to the Ladies 1s game for some much welcomed cheerleaders. Game postponed until a slip date can be confirmed. 

MENS 3s

Our Mens 3s battled against Sanderstead Men's 2s, sitting in second place by half time and conceding the second half due to the freezing temperatures and heavy snow fall.  

LADIES 1s

So when Jack Frost and his new BFF ‘the beast from the East’ came to visit this weekend, our squad of 13 were not impressed. With temperatures set at a not-so-toasty 0 degrees, woolly hats, ski gloves and duvet coats saw us through the warm up. 

Warm up over and stripped down to our skirts and skins, we waddled to formation, praying we’d leave the pitch with the same number of blue fingers we started with. The first half was a mixture of small passes, chasing down Surbiton’s forwards, finding gaps in their defence and pushing through where and when possible. Chrissie and Jess Laslett did an amazing job moving the ball through Surbiton’s defence line, whilst our forward’s constant running kept those high options open for when a break in play presented itself. Although we lost the ball once or twice trying to move up the pitch, our defence were on the chase from the go, successfully winning the ball back or applying enough pressure to not let the op get a clean shot on goal. As always, Jo manned our D, defusing any ‘danger’ moments and redistributing play back in our favour – what a ledge! This commitment throughout the pitch meant by half time we’d had taken a few shots on goal (warm ups for the second half) and had kept our own goal empty. 0-0

After perhaps the quickest half time chat – due to falling body temperatures and the fear of Jack stealing fingers – we met the second half with more fire (and Jelly babies) in our bellies. This surge of energy saw our forwards fighting for our first goal, which after a series of passes in the D, moved behind the goalie off Liz Carleton’s stick! 1-0! A wave of cheering channeled through the team as we jogged back to the halfway line to reset.

But with twenty minutes or so left on the clock, we had a lot more hockey to play, and a handful of short corners to defend against! Each short reminded us just how easily a game can change favour, but luckily a mix of pressure and the ball seeming to be more fond of the outside of the goal than the inside, we successfully defended all five. Those out of the way, we passed the ball back up the pitch to Chrissie who moved it through a series of players into the D. Surrounded by defenders, she passed the ball to Jess Laslett who, with a very gentle nudge, took aim at the goal. The goalie jumped right to defend, a defender lunged with her stick, but the ball kept trickling and eventually found home in the right pocket of the goal. Small yet mighty wins the day! 2-0

With two goals bagged, we spent the remaining ten minutes moving, defending and generally trying to keep the ball as far away from our D. Needless to say, it was a relief when we heard the final whistle go and we knew we could return to our woolly hats and winter coats! 

We started the game knowing that a win would give us enough points to secure us a second place finish in the league. So although on paper it looks like just three little points, to us those little points represented a season worth of hard graft, grit, determination and pulling together as a team to reach one joint result. With one game left to play, we hope to finish on another high, but for right now, I couldn’t be more proud of the Ladies 1s squad and what this win means to each and every one of the players who have seen this season through. 

 
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LADIES 2s

We knew it was going to be an interesting match, with the threat of snow, an 8:45 meet time, and a starting lineup of the bare 11! What larks can be had in just a morning! At 7:15 we were already down to 10 players and the snow was Starting to fall. A desperate FB plea from the captain to rouse some assistance sparked contact from the fabulous Rebecca Lisa who was on her way back home from Brighton, and we were saved!!! We had 11! It was short lived sadly as the snow fell thicker and the Beast from the East blew more bitter, and an early smack of the ball from Surbiton flew straight in to Lucy Dorrington’s hand! Without even a murmur or a shriek of pain she was in the dug out adding more ice to her already icy wrist! Legend! The team soldiered on with 10 and spirits remained high despite a few goals in the net before half time.

The second half wasn’t without drama either with Lynda Berry being hit in the face and various other injuries made worse by the freezing conditions! Even from the sideline and with shelter from the dugout my fingers and toes had done a runner! Then, 10 minutes from the end, Lynda Berry took an inspired hitout which sailed past the Surbiton attack and Roanna Thomas was quick to meet it, taking it off down the sideline. Michelle Duncan charged forth and after a cracking cross from Ro in her usual calm under pressure fashion, Michelle caught the end of it at the far post and it was in!!!! Euphoria ensued!!!! Final score 7-1 but with a fantastic effort as always from the underdogs. Emma Warren-Brown made some amazing saves and everyone else worked so so hard yet again. A truly inspiring performance! Thanks as always to Martin for umpiring, to Becs for stepping in at the 11th hour - or should I say the 9th hour!! And really to all of the girls for playing in such foul conditions. Very proud of you all! What a buzz! Hope you’ve all warmed up and Lucy - fingers crossed for a speedy recovery. 

Other exciting news:

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The annual LHC Dinner Dance is taking place this Saturday! If you haven't do so already, please get in touch with Jon (chair@leatherheadhockeyclub.co.uk) with your club nominations, and your Captain with your player of the season. The names Jon needs from you are: 

  • Club Man
  • Club Woman
  • Club Umpire

More to follow next week (and no doubt some colourful photos from the Dinner Dance...)