Having just witnessed the heart-wrenching, penalty shootout defeat of their male counterparts at the hands of Men’s hockey, it was the turn of the Warwick Mixed Ladies to step up and get us back to winning ways. The match began in a way that I cannot honestly remember, you see after the men’s loss I needed ice cream to cheer me up and missed the starting whistle. All was good though as El Capitan Ellen Percival stepped up to the mark and took charge. She organised the team in the set formation, made sure everyone knew where they needed to be and basically did my job; so well, in fact, I’m now worried for the safety of my position, given I already know Alison Isherwood is out for the role.
In goal, we had the infallible Eve Clarke pulling off saves that David De Gea couldn’t dream of. At the back, the defensive unit of Lydia, Radhikaand Ellen Milligan. The midfield maestro’s Sarah Noles (saz to her friends) and Ganney were our starting CDMs, with our own little Lionel Messi, Holly Broyhill Fogg at CAM. "Kat" Katarina Hutchin started on the left wing, having already won MVP in a majority of her matches, she was ready to tear this ladies team apart. On the right, we had everyone’s favourite fake Italian, Alison Isherwood. Upfront was the striking duo of El Percival and Ella Ralli. On the bench started Kate who took full advantage to pursue her Pub Coms role but didn’t disappoint on the pitch either, Emma Lees she's part or Warwick marrow, so she's not afraid to see broken bones, the germaniac Sara Mohn, she may be small but tackle her once and she will take you out in a heartbeat (and scream her battle cry whilst doing so) and Mezza the ex-Prezza (Mary Francis), who had been practising her deflections in training and had evolved into a ruthless goal threat.
We started the match incredibly, honestly, the best hockey I have ever seen from most of the ladies on the pitch, beautiful interlinked play in the midfield and it was not long at all before the domination was rewarded. It was the captain El Percival who scored the first goal with an Olympic worthy strike. But the mixed ladies weren’t quite finished yet, Katarina Hutchin wanted a piece of the action, but didn’t just take a piece, she took a huge chunk of it scoring a lovely second goal. 2-0 to mixed ladies’ I hear you say, against ladies hockey, is that even legal. Yes. Yes, it is. But do you know what shouldn’t be legal, Ella Ralli stepping up and scoring a third. The ladies team were rattled, for them, half-time couldn’t come soon enough. But we decided to ease off them a bit and stop rubbing it in and the score stood at 3-0 to mixed ladies at half-time.
The ladies team decided to change things up a little bit in the second half, and by changing things up, I mean cheat. Their new team sheet was a concoction of ladies 3’s, 2’s and 1’s players determined to get revenge on the mixed ladies team who had battered them in the first half. But mixed weren’t going to just lie down, oh no, instead we decided to go down the other end and score a fourth. This time it was Alison, having been cheered on by Sara every time she touched the ball may have helped, but honestly, I think it was just a beautiful string of passes in the midfield and a cool composed finish.
The ladies were furious, they decided on a new plan, bring on the girl in the jeans. Funnily enough, this tactic sort of work, and before we knew it, the scored were level. 10 minutes called the umpire, we knew we needed to get our heads in the game, but I had faith. The ball was continuously transferred from one end of the pitch to the other, attack after attack from both teams trying to steal that crucial winning goal. I followed the action by walking up and down the pitch, analysing the game and am honestly annoyed I wasn’t wearing my Fitbit.
The ladies team attacked for a while, but in the end, it was Ella Ralli who scored that all important winning goal. The game finished 5-4, we shook hands with the opposition and then loudly sang the “We’re Warwick Mixed Hockey Club” chant in their faces. The jeering wouldn’t stop there though, Sarah Noles found an inventive way to keep it going at Pop, by changing the lyrics to almost every song to 5-4. My personal favourite being the 5 to 4 parody of Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5.
Special shout-outs go to Eve Clarke for MVP, and Alison Isherwood for leaving her newfound life of pizza and pasta to batter ladies hockey (I know it was only one goal difference but idc).
Thanks also go out to the leavers; Sara Mohn, Charlotte Ganney, Ellen Milligan, Mary Francis and Sarah Noles for putting in a fantastic performance that will surely make their CVs.
I would also like to thank everyone for putting in 100% in the training sessions and giving everything in the match. It was by a long way the best performance I have seen from all of you. I am a very proud club captain right now. The game was a pleasure to watch and please don’t let anyone ever forget the day you beat ladies hockey at what is probably the only thing they are good at.
UWMXDHC Ladies’ 5-4 UWLHC 3’s/2’s/1’s
Eve Clarke for exceptional performance in goal
Ella Ralli for getting the only green card of the day.