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Sloths Reach 2024 Cup Final

17th April 2024

By Charlotte Gallagher

Sloths: Semi-Final Sunday

The semi-final day finally rolled around, much to Charlotte’s relief. She’d been nervously plotting this win in her head for weeks. After the quarter-final’s closely contested game, which went down to P-ficks, no one could be blamed if they had packed high blood pressure medication, heartburn tablets, and rescue remedy.

The Sloths huddled together for the pre-game pep talk, and Charlotte jokingly added that if we could go 5-0 up in the first ten minutes, then the game would probably be less stressful. We didn’t quite do it in 10, but the fifth goal came on the stroke of 30 minutes.

It all started in the first minute, with a backhand rocket from Sian that careened into the back of the net, giving the opposition the fright of their lives and calming the Sloths down hugely. The second goal came courtesy of some incredible midfield distribution and linking, which resulted in an excellent assist from Jo and a clean strike from Lisa just after the 10th minute. Emily ran the opposition ragged down the side at every opportunity and soon became clear that they simply couldn’t keep up with her.

When the first short corner rolled around, we quickly realised that every dedicated short corner striker and injector was on the bench, definitely something to avoid in the final. Luckily, Spuggie arrived to take the helm of the tactical aspects of management, as Laura spent most of the match trying to muddle her way through Charlotte's Excel spreadsheet of subbing timings. Sian scored her second goal in the 24th minute, and her hattrick shot came in the 27th. Not satisfied with her glut of goals, she had to squeeze in another on the stroke of 30 mins.

After the fifth goal celebration, Jane clearly went soft and decided to pass straight to their center forward at top D from our own free hit. Silke was on hand to make the save and the ever-impressive combination of Fee, Sunny, and Ceci cleared out the rare attack and Jane didn’t have to rue her kindness. Sinead, on the sideline, was simply gleeful about the fact that someone else was going to get DoD for once. Val was on hand to tap in our sixth and final goal of the first half on the 34th minute. By this stage, a voice from the opposing bench piped up, “When will this torture end?”

Half-time was a quick art class from Spuggie, with lots of squiggles on the whiteboard and some tactical tidbits, especially about complacency. In one ear and out the other seemed to be the theme, and the Sloths took about 26 minutes to realise they were back on the field. The opposition had a lot of possession during this time, with Silke making some great saves. There were some standout moments, with Sian’s ferocious shot on goal taking the keeper’s glove clean off and Courtney attempting a rare reverse shot (for her), which the keeper parried away, and Val managed to get a green card, which was an obvious shock to us all... ...

We finished the half strong, however, with Jen tapping one in after Sian’s shot came off the keeper in the 68th minute and Sunny scoring a decidedly dodgy goal off of her arm in a short corner in the 69th. We were told we had the advantage, so the goal was given.

That took us to 8-0 and into the Final at Lee Valley.

A special mention for Helen, who we were thrilled to have back in the team after tearing her calf muscle six weeks ago, and Silke for stepping in the absence of Marlijn. And, of course, to the amazing supporters who turned up with musical instruments, loud voices, and good cheer. You’re always hugely appreciated.

The Sloths go marching on. Slowly.