Golden Eagles 4-1 Teddington
The Golden Eagles came home to roost to play their 3rd game against Teddington at home. With the opposition arriving before 2pm and keen to get a prompt start, the Eagles were happy to forego a lengthy warm up routine especially as the rain clouds had gathered to water the pitch ahead of the starting whistle. For the first time captain Caroline Baggs had more to organise than who was to play in which position as, with 4 new ‘eagles’ taking their maiden flight, substitutions decisions would have to be made!
The first whistle blew as the heavens opened but both sides settled quickly into playing some end-to-end hockey. Early on the Eagles’ forward line of Rebecca Black, Marianne Bint, Sarah Dawson and Linda Billington created the better opportunities forcing Teddington’s defence to work hard to keep the ball out. Some good interlinking play in the midfield between Sue Clark, Emma Forrester and Nadine Hatten finally saw Teddington’s luck run out when a well-timed pass from Sue into the D was put clean away by Sarah for the Eagles’ 1st goal. Although Teddington started to gain more possession driving the ball forward, the defence of Vicky Easton, Jacqui Barlow, Becky Madden-Waite and Phil Williams were up to the challenge keeping the ball from causing Evelyn Hargraves any problem in goal.
The first substitutions were made and saw Susan McErlain, Heather Miller and Caroline reluctantly leave a dry dug-out to join in the action. With fresh legs it wasn’t long before another Eagles attack saw Teddington give away a short corner for a foot in the D. As soon as the group huddle had decided to play the ball to Jacs for her straight strike option the 2nd goal was in the bag.
With no further change in the score line the half-time whistle blew and, as the pitch continued to be watered from above, a quick turn-around saw the second half whistle blow before the Eagles had the full 11 players on the pitch! Despite the confusion, the Eagles were soon back to full strength applying pressure from every direction. Vicky making some great runs up the right while Heather was attacking on the left. With Jacs and Emma controlling the centre, another great pass into the circle saw Rebecca take aim and with her usual strong strike Teddintgon’s goalie could do nothing to prevent the ball crossing the line. In reply, Teddington pressed forward and were rewarded with their first short corner of the game. Despite Evelyn’s shout of ‘Ready’ nearly deafening Jacs, Teddington were denied any reward by pressure from Jacs and a great save from Evelyn. A quick outlet from Phil to Vicky then saw the Eagles back on the hunt for another goal. This time Caroline supplied the inbound pass to Sarah whose reverse stick skills beat the Teddington defenders for her 2nd and the Eagles’ 4th goal.
Shortly after, a lapse in the Eagles’ concentration or perhaps Teddington’s determination not to come away from Oxford without a goal saw Teddington awarded their second short corner. This time despite a quieter shout of ‘Ready’ and an initial save from Evelyn, the second shot sneaked past inside the post. With 14 minutes still to go and spurred on by their goal, Teddington pressed forward down their right to be met with some solid tackling from Susan. Unfortunately, during one such run an accidental collision caused a Teddington player to fall awkwardly breaking her wrist. Given the facts that a trip to A&E was going to be required, that Teddington had all travelled in one minibus and that they had no subs, the umpires were consulted and a decision made to end the game with the final score of 4-1 being counted. Not the way any of us wanted the game to end, especially as the rain had finally decided to stop! Our best wishes go to the Teddington player for a speedy recovery.
Final Score: 4-1
Goal Scorer: Sarah Dawson (2), Jacqui Barlow, Rebecca Black
Man of the Match: Sue Clark and Rebecca Black
Umpire: Charlie Baggs
Team: Caroline Baggs, Marianne Bint, Rebecca Black, Sarah Dawson, Vicky Easton, Emma Forrester, Evelyn Hargraves, Susan McErlain, Heather Miller, Jacqui Barlow, Phil Williams, Becky Madden-Waite, Sue Clark, Linda Billington, Nadine Hatten.