Coming back after Christmas, with only 3 BUCS games left, we set our sights on gaining back our high position in the Saturday league table. Although Daura had unfortunately returned after her Erasmus term, meaning we were down a defender, we were pleased to welcome Charlotte Thomas back to the forward line after her term in Venice. When we started the rotation of teams in the league again, the return of her speed and skill was felt immediately as we began to win with greater results than the previous times we’d played those lower teams. Every week felt really exciting as we continued and continued to play solid hockey, winning 5-2 against Solihull 2s coming back from being down 2-1 at half time, winning 7-2 against Olton 3s and 6-0 vs Atherstone. A particular highlight for me was smashing Rugby 4-0 on the third time we played them, with a full squad of 16, thanks to Becky and Daura visiting for Hockey Ball. In our last BUCS games, we managed to draw again to Loughborough 4s, only lose 2-1 to Loughborough 3s and improved our score against Birmingham 3s. Despite less Wednesday matches, we still managed to pick up a load of injuries and niggles, so shout out to Mitch and Joe for all the recovery that kept us fit enough to play for the last games of the season (and on a lot of occasions keep injured players off the pitch!).
Before we knew it Varsity was upon us, and despite a lot of nerves, (but thanks to all of Annette’s amazing promo) we ended up absolutely nailing it with a final score of 8-1! Our forwards were on fire, putting away some incredible shots (@Chelsea) and getting results from most D entries. We all revelled in having a full squad of 16, but the atmosphere was so amazing I know everyone wanted to get back on as soon as they were subbed off. The whole team was so calm on the ball and really wanted to work for each other, it was such a fun match to play and I know I’ll remember it for ages.
Among everything else we still managed to fit in a team social, which did, of course fitting to the hockey girl stereotype, involve food; and loads of the team managed to campaign for positions on next year’s exec, not to mention Char’s amazing re-election as Sports Officer! At Hockey Ball our two awards were won by Bridget and Lauryn. Lauryn was voted our Most Improved Player for her incredible work ethic, attitude and desire to improve. I have no doubt that it was her enthusiasm that catalysed her massive improvement, and made her the reliable, hard-working player she is now.
Bridget was our Player of the Season, for her ceaseless energy, constant positivity, passion for the team and her bubbliness all the time. She is the definition of an asset to the team, giving every player so much confidence on the pitch and I know she will be sorely missed next year.
Unfortunately the end of the season was rushed and eventually left unfinished. Despite the team’s excitement to play our last few matches and our willingness to return over Easter to play an unmovable fixture, WWHL has officially cancelled the final games and notified us that we finished in 5th place in the table. Even though we didn’t get the chance to play some of the teams above us, 5th is a great place to finish considering the end of season circumstances and it makes me so excited to build on this position next year! From the looks of our group chat, the team has already started off-season training in quarantine with tons of enthusiasm which will hopefully have us in great shape for preseason.
Thanks to the entire team for a wonderful year, everyone’s commitment has been outstanding and the thought of not seeing you all until September is really quite sad! Leavers, please come and visit whenever you can we’d love to have you, and don’t give up your hockey! To everyone at home, stay happy and healthy, see you ready for more hockey when we’re out of the woods!