Match Report:
Saints 3 – 1 Oundle

Issy ‘Phwoar-ly’ Gorely, Oundle HC’s very own wizard on the pitch because ‘everything little thing she does is magic’. (Read into the rest of the lyrics as you please but that line works perfectly!) What a woman and what an athlete she is. Endurance ✔️ Speed ✔️ Skill ✔️Smile to melt a thousand hearts ✔️.
Issy (The Wizard) is typically not one seeking the limelight and far too modest but I’m afraid you’ll have to buckle in as things might get uncomfortable for you as I sing your praises this week.

Oundle ladies 1s travelled to Moulton College today to face Northampton Saints 3. They were a strong opposition and from the first whistle you could tell they meant business. Credit is always given where it is due, and Saints 3s really had us on the back foot in the first half from their sheer power. They were particularly strong in their midfield and forwards forcing Oundle to play a heavily defensive game. It’s fair to say that the ball was largely in our defensive half of the pitch for the first 35 minutes of the game. But we kept fighting, made a few breaks but didn’t quite match their 3-0 score by half time. Issy, who was positioned as a right wing mid was involved in almost all plays and manoeuvres on the right hand side of the pitch (and sometimes the left.) She was superb at driving the ball forward, but the opposition were quick to intercept meaning the ball was quickly back in our defence. Issy would double back and become a defender every time. As well as deflecting shots on goal, she also facilitated play into our attacking D. She was phenomenal and didn’t appear to tire.

Liv Belcher, aka ‘The Holy Goalie’ because she is an angel on and off the pitch, was fast on her feet as the opposition had many more attempts on goal. She made some amazing saves but Saints were prepared for the rebounds. At one stage they realised they couldn’t get round Liv in goal so they tried going over her head a few times but Liv but a stop to those tricks too.

Half time came, and we had the pep talks of all pep talks from Captain Roo. The score line and power from the opposition did cause us to become flustered at times and lose the focus from our game. As a team we really benefited from the half time pause in play to collect ourselves and regain our focus.

The second half was a completely different state of affairs for us. The whistle goes, Queen Hannah (Postlethwaite) makes an astounding run and gets the ball into the attacking D and a shot on goal within 30 seconds. Their goalie save this shot but it was a first class example of what Oundle can do. Queen Hannah was in her trusty right forward position but again she was supporting all plays from all angles and at one point seemed to apparate from the left defence to make a startling interception.

Mrs Miyagi (Vicky Catt) striked again with a sterling hit out to our Wizard on the right wing who forward passed to Hannah allowing her a rapid entry into their D, a shot on goal and score!! We were now 3-1 and play was much more evenly spread over the entire pitch. Kat Barnes and Charlotte Webb made a cracking due on the left. Has anyone seen the classic Robin Williams film ‘Flubber’? Because I can only conclude that Kat uses this on her stick to explain the sheer force she has with hit outs! Some really excellent plays from Kat, getting the ball into our attacking half. And Charlotte never stopped working. Making runs, applying pressure, and always keeping position on the left mid wing. The opposition didn’t get a goal in the second half which is a testament to the entire team. Once again, yours truly gave away about 4 short corners in the second half but a round of applause for the defenders in general including the mids who doubled back, because they didn’t even come close to scoring again. Final score was 3-1.

We’re already looking forward to next week, let’s hope we bring a little more magic to the pitch.

P.S. Happy Birthday to Helen Smith who came to play instead of being pampered and waited on by her nearest and dearest.

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