Bristol & West [4-2] Old Bristolians
Written by: Eloise Wyke
The sun was shining fiercely on Sunday 11th July so we knew we were in for a hot and sweaty match against Old Bristolians in our final mixed league game of the summer. But before we could start, we had to find a second umpire to help Dave Morgan as the opposition didn't bring one. Fortunately, among our crowd of loyal supporters was Darren's wife, Nikki, who kindly stepped up to the plate. OBs had a bare 11 and no goalkeeper but we didn’t let that lull us into a false sense of security. The whistle went and we got off to a strong start with Dan Lusmore whipping the ball around a couple of their defenders and finding the backboard.
We then had a tough spell where we fought to hold onto our lead and successfully defended one of their short corners. We soon found our form again and after a few perfectly timed passes scored our second goal. Old Bristolians didn't give up and with an extra outfield player they managed to work the ball into the D and score in retaliation. Having 3 subs started to work to our advantage towards the end of the first half and we managed to get a third goal (Dan's hat trick) across the line before the whistle blew for half time.
We refuelled on Si's oranges and had a quick team chat to consolidate our tactics for the second half before switching ends. OBs clearly felt they had something to prove and came out hard. They were awarded 2 shorts in quick succession and when defending the second short, Ellie took a stick to the head and immediately dropped to the floor. Play stopped, the ice was brought on and Ellie was subbed off!
I was going to hand over to Si to write up the rest of the match report but he reliably informed me that he couldn't remember what happened despite being there! From other eye witness reports, I established that OBs got a second goal closing down our lead and then Kian attacked hard from midfield and scored our 4th goal taking us to a 4-2 victory.
With an unbeaten record and a goal difference of 18, Bristol & West won the inaugural mixed hockey league! But results aside, I think everyone really enjoyed the opportunity to play mixed hockey, whether for the first time or the umpteenth time, and their was a fantastic, inclusive spirit in all of the games. Thanks to everyone who took part - players, umpires, supporters and photographers. I'm already looking forward to next summer's league (hopefully minus the injury)!