South West Womens League – Tournament 1
30th September 2018
Final place 7th
The first tournament is always difficult for Bath, the University teams tend to miss this one as they are involved in recruiting at the Freshers fayres and new player training sessions. Likewise, the students from Bath University are unavailable. The tournament opposition is all the bigger experienced clubs that do not rely on students to fill their rosters.
This season is a milestone for the club in more ways than one, firstly, Bath’s small handful of junior girls “come of age” which in real terms gives the club seven “new” eligible players to pick from and secondly, Westonbirt School are happy for some of their girls playing for Bath.
Couple this with a few new “senior” recruits this season, and the Bath’s future looks bright.
Bath entered the day in lesson mode, for the youth players this is a big step up, offside, pitch markings (the fan), competitive opposition, Umpires; all new and needing instruction. Luckily with a starting squad of 16 the club were able to give managed pitch time to all.
The day went better than expected, the girls worked their socks off, and learned quickly; although against strong opposition, the team competed at all levels, the experienced players helping the youth players develop as the day wore on.
Despite starting against current SW champions Bristol Bombers, the team’s morale was very high and by the fourth game, against Cheltenham the gap between the two sides was certainly a lot closer, proved by losing by only one goal to Cheltenham, a top three team last season. The improvement through the day was capped by an impressive 4:4 draw with Birmingham, a game in which Bath had the lead a couple of times.
Captain Irene Moynihan was rightly proud of the squad and come the next tournament will have a dilemma for selection, as the regular students and new freshers start to come on line. Maybe two teams.
There are several players that vied for MVP on the day; In Defence Harriet Gosden kept good position and played on despite a big hit on the forearm. At Draw Tora Joicey, who ran a marathon and scored a couple, Izzy Dudley for the biggest smile while running with the ball and Victoria Westwood for adding calm and organisation.
Big congratulations to the new players and youth players for doing a great job. And a big thanks to Mark Lane, who volunteered to run the table for the tournament.