Not even the Tafty majic can save the game this time as Sils are soundly beaten on their travels.
Sils travelled down the M40 to nearby Warwick to finish the first half of the season buoyed on by some recent promising displays. But due to a change in venues the team arrived at Aylesbury School to find the sun streaming straight down the pitch and winning the toss was going to be crucial. Warwick employed their special two headed coin and surprisingly won the toss and decided to attack the3 sun drenched end. Sils started well and took the game to their opponents with some fast passing play that was cutting the defence to pieces. But down the other end the defence was struggling to stare through the x-ray glare of the sun that was now straight in the eye line resulting in last minute reaction as shadows materialised into fast moving attackers bearing down onto the goal. Within 10 minutes of the game Warwick were 2:0 ahead both scored from short corners subs were being rolled on and off to freshen up the attack to no avail but at this point Ruth Dovey decided to take the game to Warwick and with some tough tackling in the midfield the ball broke during the onslaught and from the restart a short corner was won and drilled home by Dovey to get Sils back into the game. The youngsters up front were starting to gel and making some inroads into the D although often thwarted by the robust centre backs but midway through the half another short corner was converted by Kate Huntington to level the scores and game on. Attacks flowed from one end of the pitch to the other but towards the end of the half another quick counter attack out of the sun by Warwick resulted in a goal being scored from open play. As half time came and the defenders were recovering from excessive eye strain it dawned on everyone that this was in fact the majority of Warwicks 1st team attempting to get some points on the board for their beleaguered seconds.
The second half started with Warwick the more dominant side winning the majority of the 50/50 balls as Sils were brushed aside on many a challenge. The pace of Clara Miles and Georgina Jones was causing some problems within the Warwick defence although the final ball couldn’t get converted into a real goal chance although the short corners created weren’t dispatched as efficiently as they were in the first half. By now the sun was dyeing down and through the gloom Warwick were mounting further attacks a flick was awarded following a melee in the Sils D for a slightly innocuous challenge which was dispatched just evading Joanne Brett’s dive. Jones was still carving her way through the Warwick defence which was some outlet for the Sils but passes were just evading the onrushing support. Meanwhile at the other end attacks were still being thwarted but another goal was secured by Warwick to take the game more or less out of reach. But at least Sils kept battling and forced a succession of short corners although unfortunately none of which were converted.
As the game started to ebb away the lights eventually came on to lift the gloom but footing was getting difficult as the frosty night started to evade onto the pitch and footing was becoming difficult with a number of players slipping at decisive moments. With five minutes remaining the final goal was scored as Warwick were awarded yet another short corner and as one of their more robust centre backs ambled up an absolute howitzer of a shot was unleashed hitting the back board before anyone could react. Disappointing yes but undone by unsporting tactics but the knowledge that the rebuilding process is taking shape and that with a bit more practice the girls can live with a Midlands league team.
Sadly this was Ally Taft’s final game (this time) and we all wish her all the very best for the second half of the season as she tours the wild and woolly west country with Hereford.
Finally all the very best to Becky Bakewell who gave birth to her first little hockey player last week, hope everyone is well.
Happy Christmas to one and all and see you in the New Year.
Ruth Dovey scores for Old Silhillians Hockey Club
Kate Huntington scores for Old Silhillians Hockey Club