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Weekend Round Up - 20th & 21st January 2024

Weekend Round Up - 20th & 21st January 2024

Victoria Boulton22 Jan - 21:40
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Mens 1s & Mens 2s extend their lead at the top of Div 1S and 3SW and the Ladies 2s & 3s get their revenge on Saffron Walden, top of their tables.

Saturday 20th January

Home Fixtures

Mens 3s vs Welwyn Garden City 2 - P
Postponed due to frozen pitch.

Ladies 5s vs Saffron Walden 5 - P
Postponed due to frozen pitch.

Mens 1s vs Old Loughtonians 3 - C (5-0 win)
Conceded by Old Loughtonians.

Ladies 2s vs Saffron Walden 1 - 2-2 draw

The day started with many of the 2s out on the pitch with brooms, some buckets and a hose, desperately trying to thaw the ice in time for the match. This was a fairly successful battle as they managed to clear the frost away, except a few small patches (which some of the 2s would find the hard… slippery way).

The rest of the team began to arrive for the well-rehearsed, well-delivered (I’m assuming) team talk, led by our returning captain Millie with small interjections and helpful quotes like “when we attack we attack and when we defend we attack” from forward Kel. Tensions began to rise as the team moved out to the ground to find no keeper. After a very calm call to this missing keeper from Ells, it was confirmed that she was actually on her way, having chosen to come later after freezing to death during the team’s run and warm up the previous week - a decision she still stands by!!

Having been thrashed 6-0 by the top of the table side their last meeting, the 2s were pleased to have their favourite goalie back after injury. She knows this because she was awarded donkey for her good efforts. From the off, everyone was on full alert and we threw everything we had at them… including Baz’s temper (typically the calmest player on the pitch!). Despite a great push and a lot of time in the opposition’s D, we were unable to convert our shorts. Sadly, a breakthrough from Saffron Walden saw a goal fly into our backboard after the keeper forgot she could move her feet… oops? This left the scoreline as 1-0 at half time, with our classic second-half comeback well within our grasp. Saffron Walden were quick off the mark storming into the D several times in the second half. However, a great defensive team effort (plus some spectacular keeping skills) kept the score line as it was. Unfortunately for the badgerettes, this was short lived as a penalty corner was slotted in just behind the defence and past the diving(ish) keeper. 2-0 SWHC.

The badgerettes did not let their heads drop and instead used this as ammunition. They stormed the pitch, playing superb passes around the opposition and a cross from Meg to Beth on the P Spot saw her fantastic shot go into the bottom corner. 2-1! High on this glory, the team pushed hard once more earning a short which was easily scored with Vic’s signature hit. Absolutely smashed it, 2-2!! With everything up for grabs, both teams ferociously flew into action. The badgerettes final chance at clenching a win was a few centimetres to the right when Ells hit the post in a 1 on 1 with their keeper.

The final few minutes of the match saw the much loved Brox keeper debut her “log”, a defensive technique of laying across the goal line, wildly screaming “DON'T LET IT IN!” at her defenders. The whistle blew and the badgerettes celebrated what felt like the biggest win of the season with hugs and cheers all round.

Player of the match was awarded to Emily for purely excellent play and a stunning comeback after being smashed in the throat with a hockey ball. It must be noted she refused an ice pack for this sustained injury due to the already freezing temperatures. A truly noble act. Although some votes went to Millie for foul language (in front of our youngest spectators) and Kelly for going to pick up the ball and missing it, Donkey this week - as you can tell from the magnificent writing - went to their beloved keeper Lily for holding back from vomiting while wearing her helmet and continuing to play on. Personally, I think this is also a truly noble act and shows dedication to her team, hardly worthy of a donkey hat and a match report expectation.

A huge shout out to our wonderful supporters who braved the cold weather and came down to the Badgerfield to cheer us on! It helped keep the team motivated and in great spirits. The Badgerettes are very excited to get back on the pitch next week to continue to rise up the table - 10 points in 4 games!

Ladies 3s vs Saffron Walden 3 - 0-0 draw

Luck of the draw.

This week, the Ladies 3s hosted Saffron Walden at home. Despite the morning games having to unfortunately be cancelled, both the Ladies 2s and the Ladies 3s were able to play their matches against the Essex club, and hoped to improve on the scores from the away fixtures earlier in the season.

Now we all know that match reports are often full of twisted truths, but the honest feeling amongst the team was that they were not looking forward to a possible repeat of the first encounter against this team, where they suffered a heavy defeat, and with Saffron Walden being top of the league, they knew it was going to be a challenging game. With the unfavourable 4pm slot, the temperature was continuing to drop and many of the players did not want to leave the comfort of their warm homes.

With some motivational gifs from Laura and close monitoring of the weather in the group chat, all players arrived and undertook the task at hand.

Early on, it was apparent that it was going to be a game of considerable intensity. Despite this, Broxbourne did find themselves able to match Walden and challenge them for possession. Ella, having rested her back last week, came out flying this week and showed a determined approach to the midfield. This was supported by Sharon, Kirsty, Freya and Lois who, with some great linked play, were able to cut through and take opportunities troubling the Saffron Walden goal.

Similarly at the defending end, Tara stood firm at central defence, and was well supported by Lauren, Rachel and Tors. The defensive team worked well to get the ball out of defence, both with some solid smash balls, as well as changing the channels. With Kate stepping in to help the team in goal this week, it was clear the defence were a formidable team, and the well rehearsed defensive short corners were able to be executed to perfection, with the opposition unable to find their much desired goal.

As the whistle blew for half time, a team talk with lots of positives took place and the team were prepared for Walden to respond (as the team wanted to remain top of the league).

Again, some great play in the mid was able to provide Hannah, Laura and Fixy with the opportunities to get in the opposition’s defensive D. However Broxbourne were unable to get the ball across the line, even after being gifted an open goal, with the Walden keeper displaying some outstanding skills.

During the second half, Walden did put more pressure on the Broxbourne defence. However collectively as a team, the ball was worked out to relieve the pressure. A number of short corners were awarded to both teams and the most notable one this game came after a fantastic shot stop from Kate, which then resulted in a high rebound shot, soaring towards the top corner of the netting. Saffron Walden were almost certain that this was was going in BUT Rachel had other ideas and created the champagne moment of the game, holding her stick high above her head, like some sort of avenger protecting the goal and diverting the ball over the top.

Despite the temperatures continuing to drop, the fire to achieve an unexpected result fuelled the team and at the final whistle, a large cheer was heard across the pitch from both players and the supporters who had braved the conditions.

The team celebrated with a drink in the bar, which doubled as a temporary farewell for Lois, who is taking time away to focus on her A-levels but has assured us she will be returning for the summer league and where possible, will be attending team socials.

A fixture that started off with a rather reluctant approach from the team, became one of the more memorable results this season. It is wonderful to see the development of the team as a whole and as individual players and we hope to continue this as we visit Blueharts next week before the much anticipated club quiz.

Player of the match went to both Tara for her solid defence and Lois for generally having a fantastic game.

Donkey of the match went to Sharon for her first half pass off the sideline despite having multiple players eagerly calling for the pass!

Away Fixtures

Ladies 4s vs Saffron Walden 4 - 4-0 loss

As for all teams, Saturday morning started for the Broxbourne 4s wondering if the match would go ahead or not. By 10am, we knew the match was going ahead, kit was thrown on and we headed to Saffron Walden. It was a close game last time, so we knew we would have to be on our game to secure a win. Due to diversions, a lot of the team were sent very rural routes to get to the pitch but at least most of us arrived on time for the pre-match team talk!! Team talk was longer than normal, obviously nothing to do with the freezing temperatures outside and captain Lisa finished by warning the team that we could be on the slow pitch.

Unfortunately, we got the short straw and we were playing on the terrible sandy carpet-like slow pitch, it was freezing and everyone was despondent. A quick warm up, we then started, it went well for a good two minutes and then we completely flunked :( and then they scored four minutes in - the mood was set low but Sam didn’t let this get to her head. With good play from her driving into the D and creating chances with getting a couple of short corners, we still couldn’t equalise. Saffron Walden had good attacking play, putting the Broxbourne defence under pressure, which ultimately resulted in two further goals. It got to half time and we were 3-0 down.

The half time talk was inspirational by Lisa, and we started well in the second half. We had a couple of chances with Elinor driving into the D and trying to create chances around the D. We were in the last 10 minutes of the match, with Roisin and Alice making quick one two passes down the wing. Subs and supporters watched from the sideline, holding their breath, could Broxbourne get a goal? Alice drives it in and crosses a fantastic ball into the D, with an unfortunate miss by Elinor. Disappointment all round. But the adrenaline kicked in, by this amazing play, however we still couldn’t manage to get the goal past their goalkeeper and then they scored just before the end of the game. A 4-0 lost to Broxbourne, disappointing but the team definitely had a better second half. Player to Sam for her great play & seeming to be everywhere on the pitch and donkey was shared between Hannah & Roisin.

Mens 2s vs Vauxhall 1 - 8-0 win

We won 8-0. 3 people scored 2, 2 scored 1. Mom was browny, Dod was mullet, Kav and jack. Good day had by all.

This match report was penned by verbose Stu Kopsis.

Mens 4s vs Rickmansworth 3 - 0-0 draw

The score line didn’t reflect the game, with the home side failing to register a shot in the whole game. Despite this, Simon White still managed to get a share of the DOTD vote, by leaving the keepers kit behind.

The changed squad, due to injury and availability, meant a centre back partnership of Andy Bourke (first game since mid Nov) and Jason Moorhouse (injury prone), but they dealt with the occasional home team advances.

The midfield and forwards dominated the game and possession, and had the home team chasing the ball all game.

The only thing that kept the M4 from scoring, was some inspired keeping throughout.
M4 forced a season high double digit penalty corners, and Noah was unlucky not to score, from several of these.

A late break saw Ethan cross for Kieron P to fall over in front of an empty goal, (which gave him a share of the DOTD vote) and that was that.

A tremendous display from the 4s, best away performance of the season, by far, and continued their impressive 2nd half of the season.

Harrison Moorhouse was rightfully MOTM, for a faultless display, but the vote could have gone to the whole squad.

Sunday 21st January

Home Fixtures

Mens 1s vs Havering 1 - 3-0 win

The mens first team take to the badger field on a Sunday, looking to extend their lead at the top to 9 points. The last time the badgers participated in a Sunday game, they dismantled Chelmsford 13-1, on the final day of last season. With an impressive 2-1 win away at St Albans last time out, the team look to carry on their unbeaten run against Havering.

The first team, without a game yesterday, were well rested and definitely not singing wonderwall in the House's kitchen at 2 in the morning.

After a purposefully loud Broxbourne warm up, the team were ready to take to the Badgerfield. Brox started strong, pressing high and winning the ball on numerous occasions. ‘Fire Blanket’ Josh Chapman won the ball back in Havering's third of the pitch and drove into the D. His shot come pass found it’s way to brother Mitch, who deflected the ball past the helpless Havering keeper, putting Broxbourne 1-0 up. The consistent pressure by Brox led to more chances, with Mitch again showing his expert dribbling skills, putting Havering defenders on their backside and cutting it back to Hoppo senior who drilled the ball goal bound. With Hoppo destined to put brox 2-0 up, the Havering keeper pulled out a miraculous save to keep his side in it. Down the other end, Brox keeper Ryan pulled out his best save ever despite the whistle going seconds before with the rest of the team hoping he would’ve saved it for when desperately needed.

Half time arrived and Phil and Panners enlightened the team with their inspirational words, indicating that Brox needed to carry on moving the ball at pace and stretching the pitch, with the aim of tiring the Havering side, who had had a game the day before.

With those words in mind, Brox started the second half reapplying the pressure. Reggie was using his pace to torment the Havering defenders. Much to the disagreement of the Havering players, he won a short which was effortlessly dispatched by Mitch to add to his tally and to put Brox 2-0 up and comfortable in the game. More shorts were to follow and Brox with their tails up, had the confidence to let new centre back and ‘baby blanket’ Stan Mason attempt a shot from the top of the D. This idea resulted in Stan completely missing the ball and having an ‘air shot’ which resulted in him deservedly claiming the coveted ‘dick of the day’.

Looking to finish the game and capitalise on Havering’s ill discipline, Brox continued to pile the pressure on. A well structured move developed with Toby finding himself at the top of the D, with the ball surprisingly on his reverse side. His clean connection, deceived the Havering keeper and put Brox 3 to the good and providing clear daylight between Brox and their opponents.

With Brox looking to see out the game, Havering started to apply a little bit of pressure. This was nothing for Brox left back Henry House, who stopped the ball on line, keeping Ryan’s clean sheet in tact. With the adrenaline flowing through keeper Ryan and the thought of him keeping two clean sheets in two days, he displayed some uncharacteristic actions and almost entered into an altercation with a flock of Havering players. Once everyone was calm, Brox professionally saw out the game and continued their unbeaten season, stretching their lead at the top to 9 points. Another good performance from the side with Mitch claiming a brace and man of the match. The mens first team, have the graveyard shift of Harpenden away at 4:30 next Saturday looking to further extend their lead at the top.

Mens 3s vs Potters Bar 3 - 5-0 loss

Match report pending.

Coming up next weekend...

Saturday 27th January

Home Fixtures
10am - Ladies 4s vs Blueharts 5
11:30am - Mens 4s vs Potters Bar 4
1pm - Ladies 1s vs Blueharts 1
2.30pm - Mens 2s vs Harpenden 2

Away Fixtures
11.30am - Ladies 2s vs Blueharts 2
11.30am - Ladies 5s vs Blueharts 6
1pm - Mens 3s vs Shefford & Sandy 2
3pm - Ladies 3s vs Blueharts 4
4:30pm - Mens 1s vs Harpenden

Badger Quiz
Join us in the club room from 7pm for the annual Bagder Quiz hosted by the Ladies 1s. This year we are fundraising for Asthma & Lung UK. £3 per person, teams of 6.

Sunday 28th January

Home Fixtures
1pm - Ladies 1s vs Harleston Magpies 2

Further reading