Friday 1 June saw the Ladies Hockey For Heroes squad descend on the Guildford HC Broadwater pitches as part of their marathon tour across the UK playing 28 games in 8 days...
Colgate Fitness Challenge
The afternoon started with an Army PT fitness session which was enjoyed by staff from Guildford-based Colgate, the sponsors of the Hockey For Heroes Team, plus a number of our young junior players.
Game 1: Heroes v England Masters Lionesses
The first game of the afternoon was the HfH team against the England Masters Lionesses, coached by our Ladies 1’s coach, Shay O'Connell. The teams lined up for a moment's reflection to the accompaniment of the Last Post playing and then the game got under way. Youthfulness did get the better of the day and a well fought game ended in a win for the Heroes team.
Game 2: Heroes v Wimbledon
The second game of the day was featured a Wimbledon XI. The Wibledone Ladies had a representative from each of their Ladies' teams and this again was a close game with the Heroes running out winners.
Game 3: Heroes v Guildford
The third game, the feature game of Day 7 of Operation Endure was against Guildford Ladies 1’s. The evening was absolutely glorious and a large crowd, including Godalming’s Mayor, had appeared all creating a fantastic atmosphere ahead of the game. We were fortunate to be fielding the majority of the 1st Team and the Heroes saw this as a real challenge. We went out with the determination to put on a good display and to stop the Heroes winning run!!
We took the game to The Heroes from the start and dominated the first quarter. We created a good number of opportunities that we could not quite finish. Heroes found their feet in the second quarter and it was much more evenly matched.
The second half continued in the same way with both teams enjoying opportunities but neither team being able to score. The final quarter saw the Heroes take the lead with a break that found the back of the net. Guildford continued to fight and won a short corner. We had talked about playing an un-orthodox corner routine if the opportunity arose. We tried it—it worked and Hannah Wyllie successfully put the ball in the net to bring the game level. This was indeed the final score 1-1. Great game, great fun and enjoyed by everyone.
Heroes Men v Guildford Men
The evening was not over as there was a one off men’s game with a Heroes Men’s team that had a couple of high pedigree players with GB and England keeper George Pinner and the Commonwealth games top scorer Sam Ward both in the team. Guildford’s team was also an invitational team with a number of premiership players joining Tylo, Ross, Craig and co. Whilst is was fair to say the result was never in doubt, it was not all one way traffic!
Sam Ward scored some spectacular goals, but Guildford had opportunities of their own. The excitement of the game was added to by Simon Mason commentating with expertise and the freedom of not having to be politically correct with the microphone and with hilarity laid into former team mates!! Heroes knocked up 7 goals, but Ross Fergusson did challenge George Pinner on a number of occasions and did finally put one past him. The final score was 7-1.
During the half time break there was a charity auction together with some speeches and the Heroes presented the club with a framed shirt as a memento of the day. Over £1500.00 was raised on the day and whilst the Heroes ladies had departed for their final day in Canterbury, the men and the players from the earlier games stayed in the bar long into the night!!!