Penguin womens 2nd team travelled to Liverpool for their third National League weekend (5th and 6th December). With two of our players away at the LEN Trophy in Croatia, we were down to nine players so this weekend threatened to be a difficult one.
The first match was against Coventry; we hadn’t played them before so weren’t sure what to expect. Sergio, the team’s coach for the weekend, instructed us to focus on strong defence. The tactic paid off and we were leading from the first quarter. Excellent communication across the team (a great improvement!), strong defensive play from our most junior player Rachel Bull, and amazing work in pit from our international players Bonnie Marcello and Hayley McGuiness, brought us a 10-6 win.
Next up, Hucknall. Although feeling a bit tired from the first match we were still eager to win. Hucknall had a stronger pit player so we changed tactic to adopt a left-side drop defence. Defensive skills from Alice Harling and go-go-gadget-arms Alex Andrews made sure no balls reached the pit, but this had its toll when Alex was elbowed in the face and this put her out for the rest of the match. However, excellent counters and hooking from fast swimmers Fiona Greer and Marta Tufet helped us to win again, 7-4.
On the Sunday we were up against a full bench from Leeds. We fought hard but, despite several amazing saves by our goalie Katie Collins (probably the best keeper in the second division) and some inspiring ball work from the experienced Pamela Campbell, we fell victim to the tiredness of our adrenaline-driven Saturday and lost 5-8.
All in all a very successful weekend that took Penguin seconds from 6th place to 3rd place. Girls, you are back in the League!