Slazenger had been monitoring the snow situation on the Rotherham pitch on the Friday and it looked like the game was going to be cancelled. Despite the Rotherham website confirming the cancellation on the Saturday the match went ahead. Slazenger unfortunately had several of their key players missing due to injury (Smithy and Rudgey), availability (Hayles) and unforseen circumstances (Hobbsie) – this seemed to upset the team dynamics and Rotherham were allowed to start quite strongly and settle into their formation, playing some very attacking hockey. The Slaz defence managed to prevent Rotherham from scoring until midway through the first half but it was only a matter of time. A further Rotherham goal followed to see the half time score as 2-0 and to be honest could have been higher. It was clear that Slaz also missed the settling influence of Steve Wood and struggled to see what to do in order to change things for the better.
The second half fared no better for Slaz who continued to be affected by several of the Umpires’ decisions and allowed Rotherham to continue to score goals. An unfortunate incident with joint player of the match Kelly Whittam clashing heads with a Rotherham player saw Sarah Cooper also having to depart the game with 20 minutes to go in order to take her to A&E. The team were clearly a bit shaken by this and continued to conceed more goals, bleeding away our positive goal difference to zero. Despite complaints about the Umpires ruining the game (and us thinking it was only 6-0) there is no getting away from the fact that this was not a good Slaz team performance with individuals not playing as well as normal for whatever reason. On a positive note, only one of the Rotherham goals came from a short corner, despite the fact that they had so many. Finally, our thanks go to Lisa Minchella and Charlotte Gunn from the Second team who stepped up admirably and both put in good solid performances.