Roses 2014Roses 2014 - HockeyOn Friday our University of York hockey squads set off for the best weekend of hockey of the year, the weekend that we train for, the weekend where we hope to display and draw upon everything that we have learnt during our hockey careers. The weekend where we unite as a club and group more than ever, and ride the emotional roller-coaster as one.
Friday was the day for indoor. Indoor is the game we moan about having to train for, however two weeks before the Roses match we end up falling in love with the sport. Even as captain through-out the year I am one of the people who moans the most about having the train for indoor, the laborious setting out of the boards and goals which is the bi-weekly arm workout. Indoor is a totally different game to outdoor, it is faster, intense and almost every decision has to be made in split second. At Roses, the indoor hockey match is incredible, it tests you as an individual, as a team and especially your mental strength. The side of the pitch was lined with people from both Universities, the black and gold of York cheering from one half, whilst Lancaster rallied for their teams at the along the other half;whilst attempting to make best use of some of the interesting signs they made. The men's 2's kicked off the proceedings with York dominating as our goalkeeper had an absolute stormer, and we won convincingly. Next up was the Ladies 2's, our York team was quite inexperienced and very nervous; understandably as for many it was their first indoor game and the first time the squad had played a competitive match together. Unfortunately, Lancaster were just too well drilled and experienced as a team and York were defeated. Credit must go to the team though who fought through uncertainty for the entire game and gave it their absolute best effort.
Following this was the Ladies 1's game. We had a very strong squad, who were all hyped up and focused on the game in hand. In the two weeks before the game we had really come together as a team, perfected our formations and got to grips with the indoor rules. The indoor rules had changed this year, from having 6 people on a team to now 5, and for the past week I had been slightly nervous about having picked a 9 man squad, in the fear that people would not get enough pitch-time. This is because there was essentially 4 subs for 4 positions. Luckily, it was one of the best decisions I have made; and I especially realised this when I had to sub myself off after 2 minutes and 20 seconds into the second half, due to exhaustion. It was so physically and mentally exhausting I think everyone was happy about the squad size on the day. Unfortunately in a very well matched game we lost 4-2, but I couldn't be any happier with my team who gave it their absolute all and played for each other for the entire 40 minutes supporting one another on and off the pitch.
As per usual, the highlight of the indoor fixtures was the men's 1's game where Phil Ratliff led his team out with determination and flair, and our York team left the spectators watching in awe. As with the men's 2's, the York goalkeeper played out of his skin, as well as Hugo Christie and Leo Watton scoring some cracking goals with the final score being 8-4 to York. Overall the indoor fixtures were a fantastic spectacle and helped unite the club and get us all firmly in the Roses spirit for the 6 outdoor games the following day.
The Friday evening consisted of eating Italian food and sleeping.Finally the Saturday was upon us, the day we had all been waiting for since last year. A 7:35am alarm got us up early into the fresh Lancashire air for what became a feature of the weekend; trying the figure out the pay and display machine. And on the last day we realised you did not even have to pay on Bank Holidays; however this led to further confusion as to whether the whole bank holiday weekend was a bank holiday, or just the Monday. It seems evident in the name that it must be the whole weekend, but we still have no definite answer. Following our morning walk, Heleen and I made porridge with bananas, nuts and raisins hoping that these would provide energy for the day ahead; and then with our fellow room mates 'The Emily's' set out to Lancaster's hockey pitch for the 9:30am Men's 3's push back.
By the time we arrived, Lancaster supports had already set up their base and were vocal on their megaphone; informing the majority of us girls that we were 'definite no's' (I don't even want to put time into a comeback, there are far too many.) Anyway, the men got us off to a storming start; using their strengths of speed and the fact they are such a strong team unit and very familiar with one another to get the result they deserved: a 6-3 win.
Next up was the Ladies 3's. The debut for the team, an exciting time for the club who are introducing a 3rd Ladies team into BUCS for next season. Our Ladies knew that they were in for a tough game, as their opposition had played competitively as a team all season; but York rose to the challenge. The team led by Olivia Newport gave their all, they game together as a team warming up well and supporting each other on the pitch. It was a game that could have gone either way, and the score at half time was 0-0. Unfortunately the team went 1-0 down due to a dubious goal , however with great heart, determination and perseverance York played with character seeking an equaliser for the remainder of the game. And it came. Arguably one of the best moments of the entire Roses weekend, in the last 2 minutes York striker Joss, scored from a smashing shot. The team and crowds went wild and the equaliser was thoroughly deserved.
The Ladies 2's and Men's 2's also performed fantastically with both teams winning comfortably; 3-0 and 3-1 respectively. The Ladies played their own game throughout, and because of their squad having great strength in depth every player contributed to the success of the team. And the Men (well I actually went to warm up during their game), but from what I have heard they did themselves proud; and this is reflected in the scoreline.
Then it was time for our match, the Ladies 1's. As a team we could not have been better prepared. Our captain Hutch had provided us with great inspiration throughout the weeks leading up to the game, along with fitness and high-intensity training sessions. As a team I do not think we could have possibly been in a much better place. We attacked the game with determination, courage and spirit with all of us carrying out our roles to the best of our abilities.Unfortunately however when the score was level at 1-1 despite our best efforts we conceded a penalty flick in the second half. Goalkeeper Liz Furber who had played solidly throughout the game, stood no chance at saving an expertly taken flick by the Lancaster player, which made the score 2-1 to them. We fought as hard as we could to get a goal back, but it just was not happening for us. When the whistle blew for full time, hearts sunk, sticks fell and heads dropped. It was absolutely gutting.
The last game was the Men's 1's. The crowds were at their highest capacity; songs were being sung, words were being hurled and people were getting rowdy. Little did we all know just how good this game would be; as it bounced from end to end, with many goals being awarded along the way. Callum Chaundy in goal continued his top class performance following on from indoor the day before.However sadly the men suffered the same fate as the Ladies conceding a penalty flick when the score was level, but this was very late in the game. The Lancaster played slotted it into the goal, which resulted in the game ending 5-4 to Lancaster. Once again, a very painful result.
Overall the weekend was amazing. I am not a very good loser at all, but this weekend has really changed my perspective. I have always thought the phrase 'it's the taking part that counts' was absolute nonsense and false. And I have actually strongly argued against it. However over the weekend in the games I played there was a possible 6 points available for us to win, however we got 0 points. Despite being gutted, exhausted and disappointed I had the best time and thoroughly enjoyed the games. I think so long as you feel you have tried the best you can do, and played to the best of your ability then it is the taking part the counts. Obviously we all would prefer to win; but the necessity of this should not detract from the will and enjoyment of taking part.