L3 grab last minute equaliser in top of the table clash
You might want to carve out some time for this one.....
It had been an exceedingly unlucky week for me leading into Saturday’s top-table clash with Southend. Do you want to hear all about it? Thought so. Let’s throw it back to Monday where it all began.
As we all know, I am a well-rounded, D to D hockey player, renowned not only for my attacking prowess in the form of consistently struck reverse hits and the ability to aerial, but for strong, low tackles in defence. As always, I was busy showcasing all of this quality during Monday night’s training session. I went in hard and low to expertly block a strong hit from Becky, but somehow, and definitely not due to the acute angle of my challenge, the ball’s trajectory defied the laws of physics and rocketed directly into my face. Owing to my stoic constitution and extremely high pain-threshold, I thought nothing of the incident and proceeded to be excellent for the rest of training. However, to my horror, I awoke on Tuesday morning to find that I had grown a second chin overnight. Mercifully, there appeared to be little bruising, so I journeyed to law school, safe in the knowledge that my youthful body would have the swelling under control by the end of my two-hour morning seminar, if not by the end of the commute. Unfortunately, I exited class at midday to find that a dappling of discolouring had erupted into a gargantuan haematoma, covering approximately one quarter of my otherwise flawless face. I also noticed a significant deterioration in the quality of my eyesight over the course of the day as well as an overwhelming sense of fatigue but I brushed aside such anomalous feelings of weakness, putting them down to residuary alcohol poisoning from my weekend spent being a legend, combined with the possible need for an eye-test. I therefore headed home, confident that a quick nap would have me refreshed and raring to go for my netball match that evening.
Four hours later, I awoke tardier than intended and hotfooted it out of the building to ensure a prompt arrival at netball. Unfortunately it took me two hours to get from Lewisham to Angel because 3 separate forms of public transport broke down on the way, resulting in my missing the entire match and my team having to default with a 10-0 loss in my absence. Good day so far. Nauseous, tired and a tad perturbed by the fact that absolutely everything didn’t go my way that day, as it usually does, I decided to cut my losses and retire for a 9pm bedtime, which – much as Roche might try to argue to the contrary because ‘the clocks have gone back so it’s actually 10pm’ – remains an unacceptably early bedtime for anyone under the age of 86.
I awoke at 3.30pm on Wednesday. Yes, that’s right, I slept for circa 18 hours and missed an entire day of my life. Only at this point did it occur to me that I may have suffered a mild brain injury when the ball hit me on Monday. I should have known! As if my eyesight is ever going to be anything less than perfect 20/20 vision, or my energy levels lower than that of a scholar-athlete at the peak of her physical prime! It all made sense.
Thus, having spent much of the week unconscious and my few waking hours scorned as a veritable Quasimodo, by the time Saturday rolled around I was in need of a win. Things began to look up from the outset. While some had dithered over whether to have a lunchtime siesta prior to the 3pm meet time, I revelled in the fact that I had woken up at all that day and set off for Stratford, ready to vindicate the week’s events by playing the game of my life. For the first time in weeks I managed to make it all the way to Lee Valley entirely via public transport and was able to remove my jumper guilt-free on arrival, without a stolen playing shirt in sight. So far, so good. The rest of the team were also riding high at the prospect of a quality game of hockey that could cement a position at the top of Essex Prem. With Dad wearing the goalie kit inside out, intelligence from Holtie that Southend had a ‘prozzie’ masquerading as their number 9 and our very own Harlot Henny ready to distract in crop-top and doll clothes, we felt extremely prepared for the challenge ahead. I was also starting to look less ugly and arguably even rock the chin bruise, to the extent that Krelle also hit herself in the face during the warm-up in an attempt to be me.
The game commenced smoothly, with Southend proving a worthy competitor, but Wapping showing an immense work rate and team spirit to challenge for the top spot. Wardy proved that she still has some serious gas in the tank for someone of 25 years of age, matching Southend’s pace and wiggling through their defence with wanton abandon. Norty skillz from Henny, exemplary leads from Holtie and deft pivoting play from Dudley throughout the midfield ensured that Wapping kept the pressure on throughout the first half. Outrageously good managerial game from Hainsey kept the match flowing particularly smoothly and was an enormous help throughout – massive thank you. Shout out to me also for remaining in control of my limbs at all times and only going to ground purposely and when strictly necessary in order to make game-changing diving tackles, even at the expense of a grazed nip. All this despite Krelle’s ungainly attempt to sabotage me just as I subbed onto the pitch with a nonchalant declaration that she was going on a date with someone else next week (hands up for team Bucket). Special mention as well for Zoe Lagerlegend, Roche, Rach and Becky (that’s definitely all the members of the back line that I care to mention) for relentless defending and excellent clearances throughout the game. Despite some horrific dad jokes and uncalled-for Lord of the Rings references, the utmost credit must also be given to Babs for an incredible display in goal, without which we may have found ourselves with a higher goal deficit towards the end of the match.
As it turned out, despite a near impenetrable defensive display from Wapping, Southend managed to slip a properly av goal into the mix and we found ourselves on the back foot with just ten minutes to go. Nonetheless, our fighting spirit remained palpable, with Ruadhan running the opposing defence ragged and Shalls also indulging an uncharacteristically mobile display to win multiple chances in and around the D. Their efforts were not in vain. With 4 minutes left on the clock, Wapping won consecutive short corners, the first attempt coming agonisingly close to crossing the line. Knowing that it could be our final attacking chance of the game, massive slapper Lagerlegend stepped up to wallop in the second corner. In a spurt of brilliance, none other than top goal-scorer Issy Meere herself went in for an all or nothing deflection, rocketing the ball not into her own face, but squarely into the back of the net. Scenes. We proceeded to celebrate a 1-1 draw as if we had won the league.
Notable events after the game included Wardy savaging me in a pint-off and the revelation that Holtie has been secretly minted since her parents won Who Wants to Be a Millionaire in 2007. Feeling left out, Wardy tried to compete with this by fabricating that she had been on a game show called Ball Sack as a child. Nice try Wardy – we all know that TV didn’t exist back then. Also in an attempt to appear young and fun, Roche and Dad vowed to send more nudes via the well-known instant photo-messaging app, Cat-Flap.
Content after some sick hocks and yellow match teas, all 14 of us piled into Dad’s car and drove home. Look forward to winning the league again next Saturday.
MOM – DadDodBabs: absolutely heroic performance in goal
DOD – Krelle: adultery
Unsure why I am writing this match report.