Guildford (3s) 4 – 1 Berrylands

Goal Sofie D

Down to deepest Surrey we all trekked, some after a late night out in Wimbledon and some after an early morning trip to Gatwick, all ready for the final match of the 2016-17 season. The start of the game was delayed slightly waiting for the pitch to be watered and then we were off! As so often seems to happen, Berries were slow off the mark and Guildford, with their nippy young forwards, scored two goals before you could say “Blimey, they’re quick”. However, if you took the first five minutes or so out of the match, the game was extremely evenly balanced and soon Teresa in goal (who was very unlucky not to have saved Guildford’s first goal, having parried the first shot skilfully with her glove) and Hannah, Cairalee, Lins and Emily in defence had worked out the danger players and stuck to them like glue!

Before too long, Grace broke away up the centre of the pitch and dribbled her way into the D; her wide shot at goal (or was it a deliberate pass) was neatly picked up by Sofie and slotted past the keeper. 2-1. Game on!

Guildford, rotating their 16 players at regular intervals, managed to keep up the pressure and scored a 3rd goal just before half-time. Once again, Sharon went above and beyond the call of duty when defending short corners and shot out to cut off any shots at goal and Guildford had to resort to varying their short corner routine by slipping the ball sideways before shooting.

T gave us an encouraging half-time team talk and made us aware of Guildford’s game plan – play the width of the pitch and feed into the centre to score – and we managed to restrict them to a solitary goal in the second half, despite losing Hannah to a bashed finger and Lucia S got a bad whack on the ankle but managed to carry on after a brief respite off the pitch. Grace had another long run down the right of the pitch but failed to capitalise and the match ended 4-1. Upstairs for baked potatoes, a drink and some delicious hockey-themed cake courtesy of Ali. There was also a well-deserved presentation to T – thank you for getting us through another season!

Squad: Teresa (goal), Lins, Ali, Hannah, Emily, Lucia S, Sharon, Cairalee, Sofie D, Emma, Nikki, Helena, Vix, Grace

Royal Holloway 6 – 1 Berrylands

Goal Sharon – and what a goal!

Sharon’s 4th minute goal deserves a paragraph all to itself ….. if only Tim was on hand with his camera! Royal Holloway were taken by surprise as Sharon, Lucia R and Vix penetrated their D, Sharon taking the ball up to the left of the goal. The goalie saved the first shot which Sharon then parried in mid-air, to her left, and scooped the ball into the net. Jubilation all round the ground (from the Berries supporters at least). Unfortunately this galvinised Royal Holloway into action and they pressed forward in waves. The defence kept the attacks out but unfortunately the umpiring was not up to scratch (not you Gerry) and they managed to score two goals before half-time, one from a dodgy short corner.

In the second half Royal Holloway had decided to stifle Lucia S’s play, having recognised her as a danger player on our team and their fitness, youth and speed really began to shine through. One of their tactics was playing for short corners and we had to defend a number, with Sharon doing her usual speedy running out to block the initial shock. However, the rest of their goals came from a break away in the midfield with a long diagonal pass to a player hanging near the goal who deflected the shot into the goal. T saved many shots but the quality of the finishing at times was too much. Unlike last week’s game, the Berries passing was not accurate enough and the opposition were so swift onto any loose balls that we were unable to increase our score although Lucia S did score from a short corner but Gerry ruled it was too high and it was disallowed (boo).

Royal Holloway look destined to rise up the divisions but they will have to sort out their dire umpiring situation before too long – both matches we have played against them have been marred by the poor (non-existent) umipring skills of the poor girl drafted in to carry out the task.

Squad: Teresa (goal), Lins, Ali, Hannah, Emily, Lucia R, Lucia S, Sharon, Cairalee, Sofia G, Sofie D, Canela, Helena, Vix, Grace

Berrylands 3 – 0 Horley

Goals Emma, Vix, Grace
Berrylands debuts Katie, Sofia G

What a difference a week makes ….. we came, we saw, we conquered! Earlier in the week the squad was looking a little light with Canela and Sofie D sunning it up in Spain and other team members unavailable but the word was out and not only did we have two new recruits – welcome Katie and Sofia – but Helen returned after a few months’ absence and there was even an offer from Rachel who hasn’t played for a couple of years. Linda was available to play in goal giving Teresa a much-deserved chance to run around the pitch and she certainly did!

The sun was shining, the supporters were out in force, Tim had his camera. The stage was set!

A few highlights:
• Linda going to ground to save yet another Horley shot from close range
• Teresa clearing the ball off the line to prevent Horley scoring
• Sharon’s AWESOME running out at short corners to cut off the first Horley shots. And I mean AWESOME (Tim’s photo proves it!)
• Lins calmness personified in front of goal, clearing our lines and acting as the final defence before our goal
• Emma modestly claiming the first goal “Well, the ball hit my stick and went in the air into the goal” ….. yes, Emma, you scored!
Vix’s superb slight touch to deflect Lucia’s cross from a short corner into the back of the net for our second goal
• Cairalee and Ali smothering Horley’s play and preventing them getting into the D
• Lucia S tireless tackling, and defending, and running up and down the pitch, and up and down the pitch, and up and down the pitch again ….
• Helen’s run, taking the ball down the left hand side of the pitch to cross the ball in to Grace …..
• Grace then scored our third goal, calmly, to finally see us on our way to victory!
The oppo’s captain reckoned there was a force field around our goal during the match. That was no force field – that was Linda and the defenders!

Squad: Linda (goal), Teresa, Lins, Ali, Lucia S, Sharon, Cairalee, Sofia G, Emma, Katie, Helena, Vix, Grace and Helen V


Leatherhead (2s) 5 – 2 Berrylands

Goals Sharon, Sofie D

The sun was shining at Therfield School but as we took to the pitch, we were two players short ….. Canela and Sofie had been stranded by an uber driver somewhere in deepest Surrey and were desperately trying to find their way to the ground. They finally arrived about 15 minutes late, courtesy of hitching a lift from a kind local lady!

Leatherhead took advantage of our somewhat disorganised start and scored two goals in the first 4 minutes and try as we might, we could not overcome that deficit. Nobody watching the game (Ruth and Cathy) could deny the total effort put in by the whole of the Berries squad – running and tackling to win the ball but then, having put in all that effort, failed to pass the ball accurately and all the hard work was undone. Leatherhead put together some fine passing moves using all the pitch and Berries found it difficult to get past their experienced defenders and kicking back. We had plenty of short corners, all of which Leatherhead managed to keep out of the goal though Grace and Sofie had close misses. Sharon finally took a chance when the ball broke free in the D and took a shot which somehow bounced and bobbled its way past the post! 2-1 against the odds. The crowd went wild. “Come on Berries”, shouted Fermin, our No 1 fan.

Half-time and we took some refreshment to up our energy levels – special juice from Patagonia with secret ingredients courtesy of Lucia S and family. Surely this would do the trick? Sadly, no, as Leatherhead scored three more goals but at last Berries showed what we could do – Lucia took the ball up the centre of the pitch and passed it forward to Sofie who beat the goalie with a lovely shot and there was the welcome sound of the ball hitting the backboard. However, it was too little too late and Leatherhead fully deserved their 3 points. Off to Oxshott Cricket Club for welcome refreshments – soup and plenty of cake! And the bar was open. What more could you want?

Squad Teresa (goal), Emily, Hannah, Cairalee, Sharon, Lucia S, Canela, Sofie, Grace, Ali, Helena

Berrylands 0 – 1 London Eds (4s)

So near and yet so far ….. once again, London Eds defeated us by one solitary goal which came half-way through the first half. They had bought a full squad of 16 players. Berrylands were without Vix who has picked up a bad toe injury from the Bank game (nothing broken) and Helena who had a slight groin strain.

There was an early scare for Berrylands early in the first half when Sofie slipped after sprinting after the ball over the back line. It looked nasty as she had banged her head but she was soon back on the pitch. Emma, too, took a battering from one of the opposition and went flying. Grace also was pushed off the ball when making a foray into the D; as you can see, it was a physical match. Not only that, one of their players took extreme disagreement with some of Gerry’s decisions and wisely took herself off the pitch before she exploded – she did have the grace to apologise to those of us on the sideline.

Highlights of the match:
• Berrylands – lots of short corners, failed to convert
• Hannah – GPS tracking – quote “I did keep my width” You sure did Hannah!
• Emily – lots of encouragement from the back
• T – brilliant saves
• Two near misses at the end of the match – Sofie wide of the right hand post, Grace wide of the left hand post.
• London Eds stayed for tea – and loved it!

Squad: Teresa, Ali, Emily, Hannah, Lins, Lucia R, Lucia S, Sofie, Emma, Grace, Nikki, Canela

Bank of England (2s) 0-3 Berrylands

Goals – Sofie D hat-trick!!

The sun was shining down at the Bank of England, the supporters were out in full force (albeit playing on the climbing frames and swings) to watch a superb victory by Berrylands over bottom of the league Bank.

The game got off to an evenly-matched start as both teams were looking to improve their points tally in the league. Bank were proudly fielding a full team plus two subs, Berrylands had twelve.

After 10 minutes, Berrylands broke through the Bank defence with accurate one-touch passing between Nikki, Grace and Sofie – Sofie took the ball into the left hand side of the D and took a superb reverse sweep shot into the far corner of the net. Five minutes’ later came the second goal following a solo effort from Sofia running from the half-way line with the ball, past the defenders and hit the target with a reverse sweep right from the edge of the D. Bank’s experienced goalie had no chance.

3 rd goal came in the second half – Sofie being marked more closely by Bank’s number 11 but managed to break away once again and score with reverse shot past the goalie. Grace took on number 11 and prevented her from dominated the middle of the pitch.

Vix – bashed toe – jump next time!

Nikki – strong in the middle of the pitch, holding on to the ball and passing out to Grace and Sofia

Strong defence – Lins, Lucia, Sharon, Lucia and Canela – did T touch the ball at all?

Short corners – Berrylands had a string of them in the second half but were unable to convert. Credit to Bank’s defender who was more daring than Sharon at running out at short corners. Interesting to see that Bank were also using defenders’ masks at short corners.

So all in all, a rewarding afternoon’s work, followed by the usual sausage roll, chips and beans in the clubhouse (or, for Lucia R, the vegetarian option – chips and beans) plus a rousing rendition of Happy Birthday for Lucia S plus a delicious cake made by Canela of course). There was even a soft play area for the toddlers. What more could you ask for? Even Eddie the (Bank) umpire had a good game ….. and that’s saying something.

Squad: Teresa (goal), Lucia R, Ali, Lucia S, Canela, Sharon, Lins, Vix, Helena, Grace, Nikki, Sofia