Women's Swifts - Wednesday 1st November 2017 - Birmingham Home

The sun was shining high in the sky as Birmingham rocked up to interrupt the Swifts' Oxlove decoding picnic. As the team passed around Tici's grapes, it became evident that OULC had once again made a deep impression on one rower's heart, but unfortunately he wasn't floating anyone's boat.

Grapes turned to balls, and after a quick warm up and a visit from Miss Record, the first whistle went. Oxford dominated from the start, with Hannah McLintock tearing up Bham's centre, and goal after goal was whipped in as Birmingham's defenders could do nothing but hope to cover the fast-paced draw and dumps. Strong double teams all over the field meant that Birmingham had only a couple of chances to reduce Oxford's 4 goal lead, and the first half ended with Oxford 5-3 ahead. Coach Sally gave an inspiring team talk despite wishing she could sit and eat the Jelly Babies passing her by instead, and soon Oxford were raring to go again.

Birmingham got a few quick goals, one of which was deflected by Hannah Callaghan's head, but the Swifts were still even stevens until I took a beautiful shot at the crossbar - disappointingly, at my own goal - which gave Birmingham the lead for the first time in the game, and well and truly sealed my fate as Dick of the Day. Luckily, special guest Heidi de Sousa made it onto the score sheet and Oxford were back in the game. Patience around the fan was eventually rewarded by another beautiful goal for Oxford. To the Swifts' disbelief, however, Birmingham managed one last goal just before the whistle went, and the game finished 10-10.

The Swifts kept their heads held high in honour of Cally's injured one, confident that they would smash Birmingham in the return game.

MOM Dani Ball
DOD Bertina Ho