“She gets knocked down, but she gets up again. You are never gonna keep her down.” A little Chumbawamba inspiration this week to honour our player of the match. May we all be upstanding for our Queen of the left wing, Grace Vanbergen. What. A. Woman!! If anyone is getting a round in at the Monty, I believe she also ‘drinks a whiskey drink, she drinks a vodka drink…’!
Oundle 2s took on Towcester 4s on home astro this week. And both teams were raring to go. Approximately 3 minutes into the game, during a swift attempt on goal, the oppositions GK collided with Grace. GK helmet vs Grace’s face was not a fair fight and the collision left Grace feeling slightly worse for wear with a sizeable bump above her left temple. Needless to say she needed a few minutes on the bench to collect herself. Ice pack applied and Vicky Catt by her side, the game resumed.
I just want to take this moment to highlight as a club where our priorities lie. Thankfully Grace felt better after a short rest however initially it was evident someone needed to stay with her. Vicky instinctively supported Grace which left only 10 players on the pitch for 10 minutes but the team adapted and this was absolutely the right call. Players come first, the game second. And Vicky Catt demonstrated perfectly an example of our club ethos. Alex Duck also moved from her confident defensive midfield position to a lesser familiar role of left forward but didn’t bat an eyelid.
Being down a player did not deter one of our younger players Abbie Hodgson-Jones who joined the club only a few months ago. Her confidence has grown exponentially in just a few weeks. She had a superb game playing in midfield this week and just 5 minutes into the game she facilitated the first goal of the game and her first goal for the club!! Another young player Caitlin Isaac is in her second season for Oundle HC. Caitlin showed off some superb skills and mostly won the ball from her opponent in 1 v 1 situations. Her confidence built throughout the game today, and she went from waiting for the ball to damn well taking it and driving it forwards. If she can build like that in a game, then she will be unstoppable by the end of the season.
Mid way through the first half and Grace and Vicky were back in play. You would never have known Grace had been injured. Vicky gave a masterclass in powerful hits from the defensive 16 throughout the game. She’s our very own Mrs Miyagi of Oundle Hockey.
Jude Robinson also stepped up for the team this week and volunteered to play in goal when she is usually outfield. Jude was a formidable GK considering and was very quick on her feet in the heavy kit.
Towcester were awarded a short corner toward the end of the first half and displayed a well executed play to score from this leaving the half time score 1-1.
Thank you once again this week to our club umpires who turn up week in, week out regardless of the weather to ensure our games can go ahead. Their job isn’t an easy one, especially with over vocal and over opinionated comments from the sidelines. Relentlessly. Through the entire game. Oundle HC thank you for being professional and honouring the game and players from both teams with your respect, fairness and courtesy.
The second half kicked off and the battle of the two teams was really quite evenly paced. Towcester had a great break in our play and scored again leaving Oundle a little nervous being a goal down. Grace Vanbergen had seemingly fully recovered by now and wasn’t going to be defeated today. Alongside Ella Andrews (Captain) she made some exceptional runs and plays, Grace scored another 2 goals giving Oundle the 3-2 win at the final whistle. Grace took player of the match this week but votes were widely split amongst the team today demonstrating that everyone in the had a strong week. Time for a cider drink and to sing the songs that remind me of the good times….