The eternal optimists of the Mighty COWHC Ladies 1s will reflect and say this was a successful season. Any external naysayers may beg to differ, given our imminent relegation from Surrey Division 2, but we have never wasted our energy listening to those doom-laden pessimists anyhow. For what, I hear you ask, do they know about team spirit, camaraderie and glittery balls?
Whilst the naked stats (played 18, won 3, drawn 3, lost 12, goals for 18, goals against 51) suggest a miserable season, any of the Warriors who have pulled on the legendary red and blue shirt will tell you a completely different story.
Here are some of the strange truths and mysteries of our season:
· Even if the highest goal scorer is on 5 goals going into the final match of the season, with the nearest contender on 4, the competition for that trophy will be as intense as if the tallies were 55 and 54.
· The good thing about only scoring 18 league goals in a season is that we can all remember each and every one of them.
· In the race to the title, a goal is still a goal if it fractionally skims one’s foot before going across the line.
· In the midst of a tough season, you will celebrate a 0-0 result as if you have won the Champions’ League.
· Even though Kate has been slapping her pads for a number of weeks now, it still makes us all jump out of our skin every time.
· The opposition are magnetically drawn to Lena’s flat stick.
· Santy is very brave.
· When it rains solidly for an entire game, (a) we will fall over far more than our opposition, (b) our shoelaces will all come undone and (c) Hoops will get very wet if he is not wearing anything waterproof.
· Dicko has the uncanny genetic ability to (a) pass the ball straight to an opposition shirt, wherever she is on the pitch and (b) drink gin & tonic, whatever the hour.
· Appearing on the team sheet this year have been a Shetland pony, a high-end beautician, a hyena and a United Nations Human Rights Lawyer.
· Becky is never happier than either (a) jab jab jab tackling or (b) at an Elvis tribute evening.
· Andrea will never run in a straight line, nor will Amelia.
· Alex remains the most under-carded player in the history of the game.
· Between Nicky’s watch and ‘the Book’, we have a record of absolutely everything that has happened this season.
· Christmas is actually in February.
· It is acceptable to eat ketchup with rice.
· If a takeaway for 15 people arrives without labels, no one will be able to recognise the kung-po prawns.
· Don’t ever ask Kat to drive a minibus over any speed bumps.
· Prosecco will never again be called by its official name; drinking process makes LBell very sleeeeeepy.
· We had no penalty flicks in our favour this season. We had one given against us (didn’t we, Rachel.)
· There is an age gap of 33 years between our oldest and youngest player in the team.
· The ‘Ladies 1s Tactical Circle’ is very inappropriately named; WhatsApp allows one to access a parallel universe where nothing makes sense, nor matters. Having read 75 messages, one is none the wiser about anything.
· The truth has never been known to get in the way of a good match report.
· If your name is Hannah, your season will be very short and will either consist of (a) Ouch! There goes my knee again or (b) I’m back post-baby … Ouch! Ball in mouth.
This season we have twirled and jabbed and hacked and hoofed our way past the brigands and buccaneers who populate Surrey Division 2; we have laughed (a lot) and cried (a little), and what really matters is that the Mighty COWS Ladies 1s remain a force to be reckoned with. OK, maybe not in terms of skill or results, but in terms of team spirit and an attitude packed with ‘up and at ‘em, never say never, do or die, livin’ on a prayer’ mentality that makes every Saturday such a joy.
Thank you to our loyal supporters and everyone who has umpired, and to Hoops for his words of wisdom. A huge thank-you also to Lena for the endless hours she has devoted to us. I only hope the residents of Surrey Division 3 know what is going to hit them in September.
And, with that, all that remains to be said is la de da, la de da, la de da de da de daaaaaaaaaaa.