On 24th and 25th of September, the Penguin Emperors opened their First Division season with a double win in Sheffield’s Ponds Forge against Leeds and Coventry. This was the first appearance of new coach Matteo Ciappina, assisted by Nori Benko.
The first game against Leeds was a smashing 11-0! Three goals came from El Thomson, back in the water after a break, and elected as team captain for the season. We also welcomed back Katie Collins, who kept a clean sheet for the whole game and Claire Martin who was the author of two goals, one of them a beautiful back-hand from the pit.
Other scorers were Nuci, Chiara and Jos, netting two goals each. And playing in her first match for Penguin, Des Prendergast, showed great skills as a pit defender.
As our first match with a very different line-up from last season (five of the starting seven from last year were missing), this win was a good morale boost. We showed good team spirit from the start, and we only received a single kick-out in the game – a first for us!
Next day we faced an unexpectedly hard game against newcomers to the First Division, Coventry. The Coventry girls evened up early goals by Chiara and El to close the first quarter 2-2. Their organized game continued to trouble us through the next quarter which ended 4-3. However, from the third quarter onwards Penguin took control despite losing centre back Des (sent out for three majors). Our lead widened thanks to an astounding six goals by El, and Nuci closed the deal with our final goal in the last minute of game. Score: 9-5.
This was strong start for the renewed Penguin Emperors. But we’ll have to prepare well for our next weekend in Corby where we face challenging games against Liverpool and our local rivals, Otter.