Blood, Sweat and Tears. Literally.
Gowerton travelled to Aberystwyth University on 19/11/2016 and played what I can only describe as the gutsiest game of the season thus far!
The pre match warm up, saw the girls get the fire in their bellies for the game that was ahead. We knew it was going to be a tough game and we were determined to kick off the game with a strong start and mentally dominate the game.
The whistle blew and we went out fighting straight away; it took us 10 minutes to settle and to adjust to having players playing out of position in the centre of the field. Then, we clicked and communication was outstanding; the girls were calling their players and we were reading the play really well. Aberystwyth had 2 key players who broke down through the middle of the field, Lauren Humphries had the task of ‘taking out the dutch’ and boy did she do this! Gowerton were unlucky in the first half, which saw us concede a goal. The goal came off a foot from Aberystwyth but was allowed by the umpires. Gowerton did not let this affect their spirits.
Half time talk and there was not an inch of negativity in sight. I could not say anything other than good words to my girls. We were to go back out there fighting.
Half time whistle went. Out the girls went again, fighting for every single ball. Victoria Vaughan and Ria Cannon fought like animals in the mid field, we used the substitutions frequently in order to keep fresh legs in the mid field. Gowerton were switching the ball across the field out to Ffion Morgans, Paige Hobbs, Kellie Melbourne and Rhiannon Simms. After the half time talk the wide mild fielder players used the width to our advantage (Ffion is no longer a defender!). Gowerton pressed on every single free hit that Aberystwyth had, limiting their chances of breaking. Our play seemed to be improving and we were forcing Aberystwyth to make errors.
Midfield sent a ball through to striker Jessica Williams, which saw her receive it on top of the D, she quickly switched it out to Nicola Tucker on the right, which was then directed straight back into Williams in the D, everything went into that goal. The pitch erupted; we were back in the game. (I had a lump in my throat at this point). Text book hockey right there!
Gowerton continued to fight for absolutely everything, no player was left unmarked and no ball was left un-tackled. From the back, I could see how much the girls wanted this. Aberystwyth were strong on the attack, using their key Dutch players to break through, but Amy Hansen was on fire. She was bouncing goals away from her goal, chest saves, the lot! The defensive line; Hannah Preuss and Alison Jones were clearing the balls to the mid field and Rhiannon Simms was like lightening when defending the short corners. DE-FENCE!
Gowerton were unlucky in the second half and we conceded a second goal from Aberystwyth. My girl’s heads dipped for a split second but they went straight back out there and continued the fight against Aberystwyth.
Final whistle and Gowerton had not been able to secure another goal; final score was Aberystwyth 2- Gowerton 1.
Gowerton gathered in the centre of the field. For the first time ever in my hockey life, I was proud despite losing. I could not have asked for anything more from my girls on the pitch during this game. I know how much it meant to everyone and there was not one thing that we could have done more. There were tears, hugs, pile ons and a car crash. We lost but we smashed it!
Gowerton ladies hockey club, I am so proud of you, and to have captained you for this game will stay with me forever.
In light of this, I cannot pick a captain’s player for this game as you all deserve recognition. Thank you.
GLHC for life!
Gowerton v Aberystwyth University – 0-1