A Story Involving Sheep

9th Feburary was the last semi-final match for the Ladies 1sts against Cardiff Met. The journey up was a long one, and we put the time to good use getting information on our opponents.

“IT’S A POND?!” Yelled Rosie, as we found a website telling us about Cardiff’s 25m by 4 lane pool, which was only a metre deep in 75% of it. “We’re not all going to fit in it!”

And it was true, we didn’t. We arrived with plenty of time to spare and warmed up, and attempted to change our tactics for use in the smallest pool we had ever seen in our lives. An arc wouldn’t work here, and neither would wings. It would have to be down to strength defending the ball, and moving it up and down the pool cleanly. It was a good thing the single referee looked so professional, because a lot of the match was going to ride on his decisions!

The first quarter started very equally, as both teams tested each other. 3 goals by Cardiff in the first three minutes were straight away answered by 4 from the Soton ladies, 2 each for Sofia and Amy, before Cardiff snuck another one past Liane to finish the quarter 4-4. It was obvious that it was going to be a very close match, as the teams were incredibly similar in speed and ability.

The second quarter started the same, a very quick goal by Cardiff’s pit edged them into the lead, and then disaster struck.

Cardiff counter attacked off of a missed shot, and Alex cleanly chased their player down. Not wanting to get sent out, she hung back until the player picked up the ball, went in for the tackle and…

OUT screeched the referee. Knowing better than to argue, Alex swam straight for the side and subbed out for Rosie. Cardiff were too hasty with their man up and shot, easily saved by Liane. The referee waved Rosie in, and everything looked fine for the counter attack when suddenly…

PENALTY squawked the referee. “Why?” asked Amy.

“THE LITTLE HARLOT USED THE STAIRS! I TOLD YOU NOT TO USE THE STAIRS”

“Sorry, you are mistaken. You did not tell us to use the stairs. Rosie was only trying not to splash on her way in.” explained Amy.

“I DID I DID I DID! PENALTY!” stomped the referee.

We’re very sorry for the misunderstanding, and you’re right.” said Saf calmly. “But please could you tell us how you would like us to substitute next time?”
“NO! PENALTY!” And he threw the ball back into the water.

And the Cardiff player said “Penalty? What is this penalty of which you speak? I only know how to sheep!” And lo, the whistle was blown, and the ball passed twice, and a shot taken from 2 metres, and it went in.

“That isn’t what a penalty is!” shouted Amy, a tiny bit irate by now.

“NAY, GOAL. MY WORD IS LAW” Squabbled the referee, and it was so.

Full of riteous anger, it only took two passes and 13 seconds for Sofia to score our next goal.

Another option was given, as Amy got a foul outside of 5 meters and shot.

“NO GOAL” screeched the referee. “Yes goal!” said Amy, still sitting where she had shot, and pointing at the 5 meter line in front of her.

“NO GOAL!” squeaked the referee, pointing at the same 5 meter line, before walking off. Cardiff managed to pull another back, leaving us 7-5 down at half-time.

So far the game had been very even, and relatively clean. Costumes were being grabbed, and people held under water, but we weren’t tired and we were holding our own.

The third quarter started and we were in high spirits, we knew we could pull back a 2 goal lead, regardless of dubious refereeing. We knew we were the cleaner team, and that could only go in our favour.

Both teams sat at a stalemate for the first two minutes. A shot came in, which Liane saved. The girls swam out, already quick on the counter attack. The referee walked with the field, apparently not noticing the player holding Liane in the corner of the pool. A shout was heard, and the referee turned around, already by now 20 meters away.

“Well, I could not see what happened. Because I am silly and I walked away. But I must not let them know that. Screw that huge rule that says advantage to the attacking team… WHITE BALL”

And lo, the ball was taken from inside two meters, and the shot was taken, and it went in.

“That’s not what a free throw is!” Shouted Amy.

“NAY, GOAL. MY WORD IS LAW” Squabbled the referee, and it was so.

With lower spirits now, Cardiff managed to put 4 goals past the brave travellers, only answered by one of our own.

A hero in attack, Sofia managed to swim the ball up the pool, only to be stopped on 4 meters by a defender. The referee decided that minor fouls weren’t a thing that he liked any more. He stood over the two players, and apparently didn’t watch as Sofia was taken under the water and kicked in the throat. She popped back up, hat off, and the referee suddenly realised that he did actually have a job. But Sofia could not take the ball. Sofia could not breathe. Sofia was lifted out of the water.

“What happened?” asked the team. “Kicked in the throat” she rasped.

“I DIDN’T SEE NOTHING” Sulked the referee. “But I guess you can substitute. I’ll allow it.”

But it was not to be, and Cardiff counter attacked again to score. The quarter ended 13-7.

The rest of the game followed in a similar fashion, with one more kick in the throat causing a hyperventilating episode for Amy, a goal from Alex, and an end score of 17-9. And lots and lots of neutral balls from the referee, after he went for a nice wander away from the ball and “didn’t see nothing”. Good thing we all know never to argue with the ref.

FUN STATISTICS YAY:

Goals;

3 Amy and Sofia

2 Alex

1 Joana

Majors (Cardiff got 3 majors);

1 each for Rianna, Amy, Alex, Rosie, Jazz, Shitbadge.

Kicks to throat;

Numerous for Rianna, Alex, Amy, Sofia.

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