Match Report: Byfleet v Berrylands

Saturday 8th March: 0-3 win

Perfect Day: Mark II
A perfect hockey day for standing in goal and getting a great tan through the grill of the keeper’s mask – well that was the theory at the start of the game.

Early exchanges saw Berries struggling to keep good possession of the ball and allowing Byfleet to get a passing game together to threaten the Berrylands goal.  Berries had indentified the main threat from Byfleet and rearranged the defence accordingly.

Berries slightly on the back foot but still managing to clear the ball to set up some counter attacks – which as the half went on became more likely to get Berries a goal – despite the Byfleet keeper being quick to hit the deck to clear the danger.  Berries did begin to settle, but Byfleet did have the upper hand with a few penalty corners admirably dealt with by Berrylands defenders.

Byfleet were always looking to slip the ball into the D from open play and on a number of occasions Berries keeper (me) needed to be quick off the mark to clear.  It was from one of these moves that the unfortunate incident of the stick occurred.  I cleared the ball but straight back to one of their players (5) who then hit it back on my pads.  Not knowing where it had gone I turned and tried to get back into the goal and at this point our sticks locked together – with neither player willing to give way and let go of their stick. Shot taken and deflected with some part of my boot and Berries cleared – much to 5’s annoyance at Gerry.  Approaching half time and still 0 – 0 until a lightning burst from Phoebe, who ran the ball into the D and slotted it past the keeper.  Berries 1 – 0 up but the game in the balance.

A better and more controlled second half from Berrylands ladies – from the halves and forwards but a bit more harem scarem from the backs.  Byfleet were throwing everything at Berries and we were just happy to clear up the pitch to release forwards to run, but too soon the ball would come back.  Running out of ideas as the Berries back line (with a bit of luck and a great deal of scrambling) held firm Byfleet began to tire.

Time for a bit of Berries pressure.  A succession of long corners taken by Abbie allowed her to use her latest move (it is a secret but I’m sure she will tell you if you ask!) as time and time again she made her way into the D to make a pass.  Unfortunately the Berries forwards could not get the final touch.

It was from a hit from the Berries defence collected by Grace and as her sister had done in the first half drove into the D and slotted past the advancing keeper.  2 – 0 and the game is looking safe.  Byfleet continued to attack leaving more gaps for Berries to exploit and a Phoebe’s pace again saw her in the D with just the keeper to beat and 3 – 0.  Game over and time for Berries to settle into a better passing game with players beginning to call (something lacking during most of the game) and a few more good shots from all the forwards saved by the Byfleet keeper.

Final score: 0-3 win