I have two words for you this week – Emma Aubury. The guardian angel of Oundle Ladies Hockey, and in keeping with the musical analogies, my my did she ‘Set fire to the rain’.
Before the game even started, some tough decisions had to be made by Oundle Ladies 1s this week: to bother with a brolly on the walk up to the pitch? to wear a base layer or not? when to commit to the warm-up and inevitable drenching and step out from the dug out??? To wee or not to wee? that is ALWAYS the main question!!
Despite being soaked to the core we got off to a flying start and were awarded a short corner almost immediately. This was perfectly executed and Tasha Darrington (Oundle Legend) scored just 2.5 minutes into the game. This was also her first touch on the ball and what a touch it was. This boosted our confidence from the get go and during the first half we appeared to dominate the play. Hannah Postlethwaite (Queen of the right wing) and Issy Gorely appeared to cover the most ground this week, switching seamlessly from defensive to attacking manoeuvres. I’d be interested to see their match day step count! Helen Smith hardly let a ball get past her with her hamstrings of steel and ground-level blocking skills. And Hattie Smith, once again making some superb runs to support the defenders (despite a few cheeky Cinzano’s the night before!)
We kept the ball largely in our attacking half and had more attempts on goal but sadly these were halted by the opposition or just a fraction off target. Rugby and East Warwickshire 3s were a commendable force and optimised a break in our game, a strong strike from the top of the D and they scored making the score at half time 1-1.
R&EW must have had a killer half time pep talk as they considerably upped their game in the second half. Play was a lot more evenly split between both ends of the pitch and Oundle felt the pressure. Mid-way through the second half, R&EW took full advantage of a break and demonstrated a tactful play, outnumbering the defenders and got their second goal.
Praise for the defenders is due this week as Captain Ruth Trolove made some superb tackles and clear outs and despite the opposition having a few short corners awarded, they didn’t score from any of them. This brings me to Emma Aubury, our player of the match this week and someone who probably prefers to stay under the radar so I will try and sum up her worth succinctly. Her one-handed reverse stick blocks are equitable to Thor laying down his hammer, unmovable. She can out-manoeuvre any opponent, and if by chance they do win the ball, she can double back with speed and finesse and win it back. And just for fun, she can travel the ball the length of the pitch and make a shot on goal very nearly giving us our equaliser with minutes of the game to spare but sadly just missed the mark. She is one helluva player.
Some very close calls and very close losses these past 3 weeks but the team is looking forward to our next game in Leicester in a weeks time.