A double header for Abingdon 1 this weekend, looking to keep pace with Basingstoke at the top of the league and send the Division 1 title into a last-day decider in two weeks time.
First up were the ever improving Reading Uni 1 team, and as with the Oxford Uni squads, fresh and youthful legs were in plentiful supply, meaning our old (sorry, “experienced”) campaigners would have to keep a watchful guard. Our spritely Bhairavi decided to play footsie with a defender at Saturday’s Harrow tournament, and lost badly. Whilst she rested her ankle at home, Anna stepped in, keen (after we bullied her into playing) to show Division 1 what she’s made of!
Slow out of the traps today though from Abingdon 1, and 2-0 down in not much time. After his shoot-out winning goal on Saturday, The Boy’s penalty radar was a bit wonky today (the mean and beastly Basingstoke ref put the posts too far away from the line), but otherwise some great movement in attack and patient defending in defence from both sides meant the tide slowly turned, and half time was reached with Abingdon 1 sipping their Horlicks with an 8-4 lead.
Second half, and quite simply the blue-touch paper was lit! Goals everywhere in attack, and defence tighter than the Alexes paying for parking keeping out Reading superbly. And after missing her goal effort off a previous match report (*ahem*), a VERY SPECIAL mention for Anna! Our miniature Catalan-Expresslette bottled up all of her energy, and BANG! She was round her defender before you could say “siesta”, and after a nice pass from feed she was homing in on goal like Lionel Messi down the wing for Barcelona. She looked up to the heavens, saw the evil-tall post all the way up there looking like it was touching the sports hall ceiling, and with all the might and energy she could muster, those piston-like arms launched the ball skywards. Straight in, and Anna celebrated her first Division 1 goal. Well done Catalan-Expresslette! 🙂
Oh yeah, and everyone else was awesome, scoring a whopping 14 goals in the second half. Alas Reading could only muster another 2, and so a very impressive final scoreline of 22-6 was the final result. Well played all!
After the team trainers, physios and masseuses had done their work (also known as “sitting in the sun” and having a jolly good rest), it was time for the grudge match. Isis 1 are the only team to have won a game against any Abingdon team this season, and Caroline was already looking uber-scary, gnashing her teeth and pumped up ready for the contest.
But Isis 1 were also very much up for the fight, and quite a physical game followed. I was up against Helen’s Steven from Isis, so there was extra incentive for me to show him which team he should *actually* play for. Hard work on both sides, the Abingdon radar had gone a bit skewy, but generally performing well enough to keep a slender lead.
I can’t actually remember the half time score, but we had some sort of narrow lead. In fact, I can’t remember a huge amount from this match, other than Alex Girl having a healthy ding-dong with her opponent, and referee Didcot-Pete calling the captains over on two occasions, saying that everyone’s behaviour quite simply wasn’t cricket, and he wanted a good clean fight with no swearing, pushing, elbowing, ducking, petting or bombing. Everyone on both teams nodded and said yes Petey, sorry Petey, we won’t do it again Petey, and then the match continued at pace.
But what I do remember from this match is that gradually Abingdon 1’s class shone through, and the breathing space became greater as the match wore on. Which is more than can be said for the breathing in general, which got shorter as the match wore on after Abingdon 1’s energetic afternoon reached its conclusion.
Full time and well played Abingdon 1, a final scoreline of 14-8, setting up that winner-takes-all match against Basingstoke in two weeks time to decide the Division 1 title. Well played everyone! 🙂