Ladies End of Season 2019/20

Posted by Clare Cartwright on 15 April 2020

It is that time of year where everyone in the hockey club should be celebrating with their teammates, building up for summer league and buying their presentation night outfit. How were we to know what circumstances lie ahead?

The COVID-19 crisis meant none of our ladies teams got a chance to complete their final league games of the season, for reasons out of their control. England Hockey announced the ceasation of all domestic hockey activity until the 30th June, with the safety and wellbeing of our community being the main focus at the moment. The season came to a quick halt and players did not have an opportunity to say their thank you’s or come together at the annual ladies celebration at Debdale. It certainly is very strange for the whole club, but we can still take this moment to show our appreciation to the executive and ladies committee, our teams, coaches, umpires and wider volunteers who support our teams.

Our first thank you goes to the ladies captains; Laura (and Amy Butler for standing in), Bella, Sara, Marie and Wendy. They have all done a brilliant job in getting a team out every week, communicating together and ultimately motivating their teams to perform in the league. We would also like to thank Trish, our ladies fixtures secretary, who helped communicate with oppositions, and support with rearranged fixtures. Also supporting Trish, is our fabulous club secretary, Samantha Palmer, who has supported our ladies captains with booking the pitch, communicating with Debdale and generally just being there for us! Our ladies committee have shown their commitment to our new three-year ladies development plan, which we are excited to get underway next season.

The coaches; Matt, Gregg, Ant and Andy, have worked incredibly hard to plan sessions and train our teams every week, and their efforts certainly have not gone unmissed. A special thank you and mention to Gail, Gregg, Sam, Griff, Adrian, and Andy who have umpired the vast majority of times for our teams. We know there has been more volunteer umpires who have dropped in last minute, or have been there for us when needed, and we have all appreciated your support.  Another thank you to the long list of volunteers and supporters who, without them, matches and the ‘hockey admin’ simply would not happen. It is so important to have that twelfth person on the sideline cheering for us, and we hope to see even more of that next season.

Below is a quick round up of how the teams have performed this season;

Ladies 1s – finished 6th in the Midlands Premier League, ending with five draws in a row! A stand-out match being the 2-2 home draw with KL Ladies who were sat comfortably in second place all season. Even though the ladies achieved the same points as last season, their goal difference has gone from -21 to -7, which allowed them to finish one place up from last season. If they had the chance to play Loughborough Students 2s, they could have finished 5th…  Another consistent performance for the ladies in a high level of regional hockey.

Ladies 2s – had a slightly rocky start to the season, particularly in the build up to Christmas, but they finished much stronger, and topped last season’s finishing position by gaining 4th place, with a game in hand. The ladies have focussed on getting a consistent team out each week and supporting those players who have stepped up from the 3rds. Their aim is to finish further up the league table next season, with the ultimate aim of gaining promotion back into the Nottinghamshire Premier League.

Ladies 3s – well, what can we say about this fantastic group of ladies! They have battled every week to stay in this league, and what a tough league it was. They had to face two Beeston teams, two West Bridgford teams and a tough Nottingham Trent University team. Sara maintained the team’s strong spirit and teamwork, even when the odds might have been against them. The ladies did not give up, and they finished on a high gaining seven points out of nine, which fingers crossed will keep them in this league (we are still awaiting confirmation!).

Ladies 4s – Wendy and Marie have lead this team to the highest position in the Nottinghamshire Division 3 since the ladies fourth team was developed. Their team spirit has been exceptional and they achieved a strong 6th place, with two games in hand, and an improved goal difference on last season. This team has seen some new and returning faces, but their work ethic and support for each other has been fantastic all season.  

The teams have had so many highs and lows, as like any other season, but we have to mention the very sad passing of Clair Brooks, who has been a part of the North Notts family since 2011. Clair, along with many others, joined North Notts after a long spell with Dukeries Hockey Club, and before that she played for Edwinstowe. She had played hockey for 30 years and her children; Curtis, Kieran and Charlotte soon joined our club as well.

Clair in her glory days with the ladies at Duckeries.

Clair, known as ‘Jarv’ to many people, was a fearless striker and an asset to have in any team. A committed ladies 3s player, Clair achieved the league’s top goal scorer in the 2012/13 season when the ladies achieved promotion into the Nottinghamshire Division 2. Clair claimed another success with a Nottinghamshire Shield winner’s medal, as she helped her team beat Beeston 2-0 in the final in March 2016 at the Nottingham Hockey Centre.

When the club received the terrible news, current players and ex-teammates were flooding the post with loving comments, funny memories and some wicked throwbacks! She touched the lives of many players within the club, some of which she was friends with for over 20 years. Her infectious laugh, caring nature and sense of humour are just some of her qualities that shone through week in week out. Clair was always happy to help and support the younger players…. mainly teaching them to not get in the way of her rocket shots….or how to shoot at goal! She certainly had an eye for the goal and it is clear she will incredibly missed by all.  

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Brooks family, especially during these tough times.

NNHC Ladies 3s - Nottinghamshire Sheild Winners 2015/16

Stay safe everyone and we hope to be back to playing hockey very soon.

Best wishes,

Ann and Clare

Ladies Chairpersons

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