On Saturday 26th January, nine girls travelled down to Plymouth to represent SUWPC as the 1st team for our BUCS competition. We went intending to play five matches, but only ended up playing four after UWE failed to turn up, which definitely worked to our favour having only two substitutes!
Our first match was against Plymouth, and it was immediately evident that our mix of first team, second team and entirely new players were struggling to work together. We had many breaks and swims, and many chances at goal but unfortunately only two (Katie Owen and Rhiannon) managed to find the back of the net. The stand out aspect of the first match was our defence, with virtually the entire team defending with more physicality and determination than I have ever seen them have before. This coupled with our shooting meant that the game became a simple swimming race up and down the pool towards the end of the match, which tired the players far more than we would have liked in our first game of the day. The match ended 4-2 to Plymouth.
Our second match was against Gloustershire. Yet again, the girls showed true dedication in their tackles, and we spent a large proportion of the game in our attacking half. The team began to get used to each other, setting up fantastic attacks and wings, but unfortunately our shooting let us down again and we only managed to score two goals (Rhiannon and Ali) whilst conceding five.
After a break, we had our third game against Cardiff. We were prepared for a very tough game, as Cardiff had been relegated from Division 1 this year. However yet again, the team stepped up their game and came together and the match ended 7-3 to Cardiff. It was noted by a parent who came to watch that Eloise had a fantastic match in goal, saving a huge proportion of the shots that came towards her. Our three goals were scored by Katie Lightowler (2) and Katie Owen (1).
Our final match was against Marjons. Yet again, we were prepared for an incredibly tough and violent match after watching Marjons play other universities. Our team was incredibly tired by this point, and with two of our players injured and ill on top of that we didn’t fancy our chances for the match. But yet again, the team managed to get better. We battled past bad referees, Ali and Katie O getting punched in the eye and someone ‘getting up in Kate’s grill’ and telling her to ‘get the f*ck off’, and managed to end the game 4-1 to us. Our four goals were by Katie L (2), Kate (1) and Abi (1).
We definitely ended the tournament on a high, and I am so proud of how every single one of the girls played!
Notable achievements were:
- Kate, Rhiannon and Abi scoring their first goals for the University.
- Sophie playing for the first time for the university.
- Ali getting angry for the first time for the University.
- Our honorary TJ, Katie L.
- Amy’s success in not getting in the pool all day.
- Eloise’s fabulous post-game lunges.
4 – Katie L
2 – Rhiannon
2 – Katie O
1 – Abi
1 – Ali
1 – Kate