9 – 14
Cambridge began the match with much anticipation, knowing that Birmingham were just ahead of them in the League so this was a real opportunity for our team. We got off to a strong start, with successive goals from Thellusson, Holden, and Shaw putting us in a winning position. We were able to capitalise on this, trying out some new moves which we’d been working on in training. A skilful reverse stick catch and quick goal from Tamblyn along with an impressive pop pass from Withers to Burkhart in the fan further extended Cambridge’s lead. In the defence, we had to shut down many drives on goal, but thanks to saves from James and the unit’s tight defence, particularly from Melvin, Birmingham never looked too threatening. The versatility of our players was demonstrated by defender Fleming’s fantastic midfield transitions, and a play in attack between defenders Caplan and Tamblyn which led to another goal! At half time, the score was 6-4, and Cambridge were confident, but aware that Birmingham would come back fighting.
A positive start to the second half by Cambridge, with great midfield defence by Russell, led to another few goals: Holden working off Thellusson’s pick was a stylish piece of attacking play, and a successful cut and goal by Shea raised our spirits further. However, Birmingham had relentless determination and would not give in. Winning centre draw after centre draw, and thanks to quick fast breaks by their one star player, they quickly gained momentum. Despite another goal from Holden, Cambridge lost their lead at 10-9 to Birmingham and with 4 minutes to go, we called a time out. A pep talk from Withers encouraged us to stay strong and keep fighting back, but tired and lacking tight stick skills, our defence were unable to stop the fast breaks from the draws. Although the win was slipping from us quickly, the attack unit retained their composure, with Smith tirelessly chasing down the ball and keeping our spirits up. Marsh, in goal, was in a difficult position as the Birmingham players ran straight through our defence, shooting very close to the crease line, but she managed to make some great saves and impressive clears under pressure. The score ended at 14-9 to Birmingham. Despite a disappointing score line, Cambridge should be proud of a fierce and successful first 50 minutes. We have learned not to let the pressure affect our playing skills in the last section of the game and will face our next game with this in mind.