It was 10:54am. We had made it to St Ives. One of us had broken a vending machine, another had visited the Indoor Centre first, just to be thorough. But all players were accounted for and ready to go (if not all that spritely). Where was our umpire? Naomi, would you umpire? Never fear, Jan is here! Our hero in yellow came dashing on, and without much further ado, the game was afoot.
Except we didn't turn up. Physically yes, but with the normal L2s style, sadly not. One might blame the fact that we have grown too accustomed to a fast playing surface. Indeed, the St Ives sandy carpet was a challenge for those of us who expected the ball to travel at greater speeds than a snail's sprint, or who had temporarily confused Cambridge South's kit for that fashionable green affair that our guided busway cousins sport. Our privilege showed when we repeatedly failed to go meet the ball. Normally, it comes to us.
Really, there were some stand out moments. Or sit down moments, if you're Kendra Seed and you've just received a short corner injection to the top of the D. Why strike when you could become even more grounded? A sentiment that several players on both sides took to heart, with quite a few falling foul to the slippy sandiness of St Ives over the course of the game.
Early chance gone, and St Ives were quick to the ball (literally, every time) and quick to net two goals to place us firmly on the back foot (or bumcheek, multiple times) fairly early on.
This isn't our normal pattern, you note. Well, personally I blame Mr Brynjolfssen's outlandish pre-match report for the lack of match-winning early goals from Dr Lee. If she'd wanted such critical acclaim, she could have pursued her early dreams of being a Rose instead of letting her sister take the Galway crown.
The half-time talk was tense. MISSING: the L2s A game - last seen during last week's match, if found please do return to Long Road College, preferably in time for Dave to not notice a thing.
Soon into the second half, and Loopy (I hasten to add here that we hugely appreciate her outstanding effort this weekend to rack up some travelling miles for the end of season awards, thank you!) added to the hilarity with a nonchalant kicking save, so nonchalant in fact that St Ives lead was extended once more, and we could not come back from being 3-0 down.
However, we weren't finished yet. No no. Captain Warburton had a trick up her sleeve, one she's been practising for a while. Give that woman a free hit outside the 23 (outside, not inside) and watch her step up. One solid hit straight into the D, a glancing kiss off Kendra's stick, a sweet deflection past the Ives goalie, and bang, the backboard was met. It was a moment of true beauty. None of these scrappy goals, it's all or none for the L2s. And for the last 15 minutes, it was all indeed. That's the L2s we know, fighting tooth and nail for every ball, no matter who we take out. Connecting passes. Genuine spirit in the game. It's a shame it was all too little too late.
Never mind, there were sausages, chips and beans for teas.
Lemon votes were duly awarded to Jan for being exactly on time to umpire (thanks for travelling!), Naomi for playing in a hat (it was cold!) and Kendra for her sit-down short corner (that's a novel take), but even this was pipped to the citrus post by Jess for making the classic Ives mistake and detouring to the Indoor Centre (someone has to).
Despite the bitterness in this match report, there was actually some good play involved, and notable mentions go to Harriet, Emily and Dani (cheered on by her ma and pa), bettered only by our player of the match, Katie G. Whilst this was likely due to her tenacity and perseverance on the pitch, it could also have been for bringing along her lovely sister, who quite literally froze her fingers off to cheer us on. Hooray for family support!
Note: there were more LoM and PoM nominees who will remain a mystery unless my memory is jogged, sorry!