Epsom 10 Oxford 0
On Sunday, the mighty Oxford Vets travelled to sunny Epsom for the second round of the Ladies Over 35 Cup. Obviously it was hard to believe that certain players could be in that age bracket (!) but a team of 11 faced the opposition.
The Oxford team was depleted not only by broken thumbs, flu and holidays (not allowed next year) before the game, but a serious groin strain to Tinny meant we were also without our top striker. The passion and commitment of the whole team was summed up by the fact that Tinny travelled and stood on the pitch to distract the opposition, even though she could barely walk. Her echoes of ‘RUN’ as she smacked a long ball up the pitch set the team into fits of laughter regularly.
Oxford had the first chance of the game, when Sarah made a great run into the D, picking up the ball and striking it early and hard but, sadly, just a couple of inches the wrong side of the right post. This proved to be one of our rare trips into the opposition’s D. By half time we were 3-0 down, as the opposition were well drilled and fit.
Captain Katie Smith went for a tactical formation change, and Oxford came out strongly in the second half. Unfortunately, that only lasted a few minutes until Epsom suddenly got a taste for scoring goals. The final score was a little flattering although Epsom dominated throughout. One Epsom striker managed to score a double hat trick, flicking the ball into the net at every opportunity.
After a pitch injury with 5 mins to go, Katie Smith standing with the ball, asked the umpire what she should do now, expecting the answer to be a bully (excitedly, just for old times’ sake, for those of us who can remember starting every match with a bully off?). With exceptional speed and wit, the umpire replied ‘Just score’! How embarrassing is it that even the umpires were desperate for us to get into the attacking D?
That said, a great time was had by all mainly due to the sense of humour that prevailed throughout. Having ‘thrashed’ Banbury in the first round, we should be proud of paving the way for the future as no other Oxon clubs could raise a team for this event. Marianne Bint was awarded ‘Man of the Match’ for her steady control and crucial tackles although everyone gave of their best and enjoyed the well-spirited game.
Hockey was the winner!