Wereys Report - May 2016

Redland UWE Wereys – Report from National Finals
England Hockey had organised a weekend of Finals at the Olympic Park in London over the May Bank Holiday weekend. Our O45 Plate Final against Canterbury was scheduled for 3pm on Saturday 30th April so twelve of our party of fourteen travelled up to Lee Valley on Friday 29th in the team coach, courtesy of Ness Mawford who borrowed her school minibus. After a very painful five and a half hour drive to London we eventually found our Premier Inn and managed to park the minibus. We piled, very late, into Strada for our carb loading evening meal and our thirteenth member of the group joined us later Friday evening for drinks.
We started the Finals Day on Saturday with a team breakfast in the Westfield Centre to calm our nerves and then made our way over to the pitches at Lee Valley where we were very happy to be joined by our fourteenth member of the squad, Heidi. We were all a bit tentative and slightly in awe of the occasion but were greeted by some lovely hockey makers who managed to keep us calm with their great organisation.
We watched a little bit of hockey on the main pitch before going off to ready ourselves for our epic match on Pitch 2. There was a little hiccup before we got out of the Pavillion when Heidi’s stick wouldn’t fit through the ring during the stick check. The official was very kind and let us go to get warmed up despite the stick not really being legal. As we were getting warmed up our coach load of spectators arrived and promptly filled almost the entire spectator area armed with the banner, courtesy of our sponsor, Mich Perren, and big voices in tow.
We started the first half well and Sally Coleman finished off a chance at a penalty corner to make it 1-0. The game was then even until a slight change in our personnel disrupted the team and we conceded two goals to be 1-2 down. We fought back strongly and again from a short corner we pulled level when Elaine Basterfield scooped a chance into the goal to make the half time score 2-2.
We started the second half strongly and pushed up the right with Lucy Joy and Claire Price dominating. It was from one of these attacks that a cross came into the circle and Sarah Thomson found herself on her own in front of goal to slot the ball home unchallenged to make the score 3-2. We then seemed to settle into our rhythm and played some expansive hockey with Heidi Bray and Petra Jacobs making some great runs on the left. Our defence was solid and we weren’t really threatened in this half. We were awarded a few short corners which we had failed to score from but with three minutes to go Elaine and Cath did the old one two routine(right slip, back to p spot) and Cath finished off the move with the ball hitting the backboard hard to make the score 4-2. We played the last three minutes with total domination knowing that we had the game in the bag. At the final whistle the crowd went wild making their day trip to London worth every minute.
So Redland UWE Wereys are now National O45 Plate winners.
I would like to thank the squad for being an amazing bunch of people, Jeanette for being a great manager and organiser, Mich for sponsoring us with new shirts and a great banner, the ‘Green Army’ for their unwavering support throughout the season and lastly I’d like to dedicate our win to Chris Bradley, ex Club President and Wereys creator who passed away in March. She would have been so proud of our achievement.