Adel. 4:30pm. Flood lights on. Foggy weather. Curtailed vision. 2 umpires dressed in fluorescent yellow. 2 frozen Adel spectators wrapped in layers of blankets and jackets in the dugout. 2 frozen puppies, too cold to yelp in support. 11 distinct orange Adel 3s ladies starting. 10 white Colne Valley players opposing. And the starting whistle blows. Just another typical ladies hockey match.
The game started with Adel dominating early play, both driving forward and defending solidly. Stand-in captain, Emily Harley shouted continuous encouragement from the midfield. Jo Swan’s commanding voice could be heard through the thick fog. The whole defence unit had pushed up between the 23m and centre lines.
With Nat Read coming in on right defence and Flo Straughan making skillful runs up the wing, Jen Nurmi was in a fabulous position to hit in a beautiful goal to put Adel ahead. Colne Valley were given their chance to even the cards as they executed a text-book penalty corner piece to level the score 10 minutes later. And then the much needed half time whistle blew.
The second half began with more fury and determination from both teams. Despite the chances, nothing materialised. Strong run outs from GK Sarah kept the Colne Valley forwards at bay. Both Adel and Colne Valley struggled to find their rhythms as the fog descended thicker and the game momentum kept changing directions.
As the final whistle blew, it was time to call it a day with a draw. Not the result Adel were looking for. Nonetheless, it was a tough game and comfort was provided by MJ’s mint choc-chip cupcakes (see photo!).
Good luck Ladies 3s in your next match!