Winning just comes so easily as we are magnificent. FACT.
Basking in the glory of their first win, the slightly puffed Wapping squad made up Babs, Fran, Hanley, Six, Ailis (GK) and Billsy (Captain) set up camp on the viewing balcony of Brentwood Sports Centre. Discussion on the merits of cooling down and stretching took place whilst the squad awaited their next game which was scheduled for 10:15pm. Needless to say that it was again... all talk... no action.
There were no complaints when the umpire called Wapping and Havering down to play slightly ahead of schedule (to the detriment of some poor girl who had her head split open in the game before so it eventually got called off whilst the pools of blood on the floor got mopped up and she was whisked away in an ambulance).
Wapping knew that Havering were going to be a tougher bunch to beat, particularly as they had a handful of those specialist team members... more commonly known as “substitutes”. This is not to say that Wapping didn’t have a substitute – we did – and she was great! Where Wapping was at a particular disadvantage is that with 5 outfield players and only 4 hockey sticks, when you substituted, you had to exchange both high fives and a stick. This is a lot to think about when you are trying to “get off the pitch” which is basically hopping over the boards into a small landing space of less than a metre.
As expected, Havering were no push over and they took the lead from the start. Undeterred, Wapping ladies recovered their composure, and Six converted a great solo run into a goal. Fran – still raging about her green card from the first match, converted her anger into 2 further goals (the Ladies 1 squad may find this useful knowledge – Fran scores goals when she is “seeing red”). Six and Fran kept the pressure on the opposition by providing Hanley and Babs with some probing passes in the Havering D, and Wapping was unlucky not to have scored a few more goals in this period of play.
Havering – realising that our lack of substitutes might eventually result in us tiring, kept the pressure up and Ailis had her work cut out to prevent Havering from retaking the lead. Some quality saves from Ailis did not stop the Havering attack, and Billsy was awarded her first green card with an ill timed, tired block stick tackle. After preventing Havering from converting on a number of short corners, Billsy decided she’d had enough and dribbled the ball basically straight through the middle and flicked the ball past the Havering keeper. Not always known for her speed, spectators could be forgiven for missing Billsy’s lightning bolt display.
There was a 5th goal awarded to Wapping – however, after various enquiries, the owner of this goal has not come forward – therefore, Billsy has adopted it as her own.
When the final whistle was blown, the Wapping ladies were delighted with a double header whammy win. Sadly, as it was past 11:00pm, they had missed last orders and were left with nothing to do but to get in their cars and head home. A double header with no celebratory beer after – that just isn’t hockey. The next instalment of indoor will be on Thursday 9th October, where Wapping take on East London and the Old Loughtonians. One thing that will be for certain - Billsy will be bringing some cans of beer for the squad to consume after the second game.
Special mention to Az for cheering Wapping from the viewing balcony.