BEHC Ladies 3XI vs Gillingham Anchorians, 3-0!
By Rich Mills
The 'Gale Force' Wind Beneath our Wings
We could feel our cars swaying in the wind as we trundled down the motorway to Gillingham, for what would be an International Women’s Day thriller. A reminder that hockey is a sport that we all love not just because of the exercise and chasing a ball round a pitch, but also for the inclusivity of a sport that can bring all types of women together, from different places, different upbringings and with different careers. No matter the varying journeys we have taken to this point, here we all are showing up for each other on and off the pitch every week. What better way of celebrating one another than with a flower for each woman and attached to it a note about different important and wonderful women in history. Kylie ‘Crafty Flowers’ Brackenridge had enjoyed a crafty morning and the team were all ecstatic to receive such a thoughtful start to the day.
This led into an inspiring team talk from El Capitano Affleck. Reminding us to keep the focus but most importantly to have fun.
Wilkinson led her usual pump up the jam encouraging the team to push it, push it real good. Kate ‘Gecko’ Dunford took the opportunity to introduce us to her stylish moves and we were off and ready to flicker like a candle in the wind.
The candle flickered into the first 15 minutes, wafting the flames of Magui ‘Pollo Ardiente’ Bertarini to an appeal and the first card of the game. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.
It took us time finding our feet, battling against the wind in the beginning. After some stunning defending and clearance work from the Oppo, we finally got one up on the scoreboard in ping pong style action between Mansfield and Brackenridge, with a stylish finish from Brackenridge.
Kate ‘Long John Silver’ Wilkinson after some solid work across the centre peg legged off to get a rub down from Longley. With a few switch ups in the halves and mids, Mills distributing to Bertarini and Dunford who worked wonders with effective 1-2s and triangles with the speedy inners skipper Affleck and vice-skipper Wreathall.
A beautiful cross from Lewis to Longley who was perfectly placed in front of the keeper to dink the ball in the opposite direction. Two nil up and we were ready for a half time powwow.
Inspiring words from Captain Affleck and Rodrigues in the half time talk encouraged us to keep smilin’, dancin’, everything is free. All you need is positivity. We knew that any way the wind blows, doesn’t really matter. We just needed to reset to 0-0 for the second half and keep up the good work.
The wind raged on for the second half, with a Gillingham defender having to reposition and hold onto the ball for a 16 to stop it rolling off. Many a weather-related drama then ensued with Nicky ‘Speedy Gonzales’ Affleck taking a tumble in the Oppo’s D, luckily Brackenridge had the perfect scrunchie to hold the ice pack in place. The goal then toppled backwards for extra dramatic effect.
Sadique demonstrated true girl power by catapulting the match ball into orbit. Luckily, gravity and gale force winds brought it back down to earth and the game continued. It may have been the momentum from space that then pushed us towards our third goal with a boost of enthusiasm from Cat ‘Just like in Training’ Drum, then a reset and in ping pong fashion again Mansfield and Brackenridge secured our final goal and victory.
Strong defensive work across the back, epic defensive work in the PC’s that came our way, meant that Becks enjoyed watching the team being blown about the pitch and occasionally having fun chasing the ball out the D.
The final whistle rang out ending in a ring of fire tribute performance and an encore of the gecko dance. Magui ‘Pollo Ardiente’ Bertarini earned DOD for her green card and bringing the spice. Kylie ‘Crafty Flowers’ Brakenridge earned MOM for epic goals, team work and IWD flowers. #Scrunchies4Life.
We head into next week’s game 1 point behind the top spot, who also happen to be next week’s fixture. Hold onto your hats, we’re not in Kansas anymore Toto!
Special mention to Gazza Lewis, Mirza Baig and our resident photographer Keir Morgan for their continued and unwavering support.