BEHC Ladies 3XI vs Marden Russetts 1-1!
By Nicky Affleck
What makes a champion?
What makes a champion? Is it just the final result or is it about growing numbers, building confidence and developing players? For Blackheath Ladies 3s, the key to a remarkable performance is a shift in mindset, not just what we do but how we do it; It’s about creating winning moments in every aspect, not just the final score or the overall place in the league.
Saturday 16th March 2019 was the biggest game of the season for Ladies 3s. After being promoted last season into Division 3 the hope of back to back promotion is within our grasp.
20 games under our belt, 15 games won, 2 draws, 3 lost and 60 goals, we sit tight at 2nd on the table. Today, we were playing top of the table Marden Russets who were just one point ahead. It meant that every second and every move would be the difference in the final result. We don’t control umpires, weather, opposition or pitch surface; we control only what we can and that’s ourselves.
We had a squad of 14 and our captain Nicky took to the sideline for this game due to reoccurring injuries but had a great plan of action for the game ahead and tuuuuunes to turn our nerves into adrenaline. This lead into a great warm up by Socks and Rosie, with the team physically and mentally prepared for the challenge that lay ahead.
The moment the first whistle blew, there was fire and passion from both sides and it was a real test of both individual skill and team support. Triangles were created and the ball zoomed around the pitch being carried by the midfield, smashed by the forwards and blocked by defence. The pressure was building and it was only a matter of time and for ONE player to have a break. After a nail biting 20 minutes, the first goal finally came, tapped in beautifully by Cat Drum. The applause rippled across the pitch but that moment didn’t last long as Marden had a lucky break down the left wing with a player who could match the speed of Usain Bolt, she swept past defence, angled herself in the D and smashed it in. 1-1 at half time.
Half time talk from captain Nicky was bursting with pride. We were playing as a team and even though the score was 1-1, we were feeling pumped and ready for the 2nd half. The second half took off like a bang, both teams hungry for a win. The intensity was at an all time high and both teams began to panic making little errors which over turned the play. After a grueling 35 minutes, the final whistle blew and the score remained 1-1.
Woman of the Match was awarded to Helen for outstanding defensive work. Donut of the day was awarded to Robyn for a wardrobe malfunction on the pitch. A big thank you to all of our sideline support, it filled us with the positive energy we needed! Also thanks to our pitch photographer Keir for coming to support us week in and week out, come rain or shine and always capturing great moments. Last but certainly not least, thanks to Joni for umpiring our game; always reliable and very fair.
The thread that runs through the whole of Blackheath hockey club is the drive for enjoyment. Hockey is meant to bring joy to every player whether it’s the thrill of the game, individual performance or team spirit. But our success is driven by the culture that we have created and the feeling of empowerment. We build our behaviours, our vision and our values, and live and breathe it every single day.
1 game remains
Who will be crowned Division 3 champions 2019? Tune in next week for the big finale.