There are some games where you just have to put your hands up & say we were beaten by the better team, this was one of those occasions, Welwyn Garden City 3s were the better team.
Firstly, big thanks to Hannah for going to the pitch and facetiming me to show the conditions, 10am completely white, 10:15 the sun came out & the pitch started to clear, 10:30 the groundsmen started salting the shaded part of the pitch, still unsure & with time getting on it was decided to give it a go. When we arrived at 11:30 most of the pitch was playable, so a quick warm-up across the harder part of the pitch meant the umpires & captains were happy that we were good to go ahead, though there was a lot of moaning about having to actually do more of a warm up than just rubbing their hands together!
The game started quite evenly, for about 15 minutes it was nip & tuck, but then WGC upped the pace & within a few minutes we were a couple of goals behind. Terry Wintle had to make some good saves, but even their miss-hits were going in. We turned round at half-time 5-0 down.
Unbowed, we made a few adjustments in an attempt to negate their threats, which was initially successful, we put together some smart moves and started to play further up the pitch even creating a couple of chances. But they also continued to press & got another couple of goals. We kept on playing our hockey and got the ball forward as often as possible, from one of those moves the ball found its way into the D, Jackson Stuart played a neat 1-2 with debutant Ben Howell which created space for Jackson to strike confidently past the keeper. They scored another couple, but we saved the best to last, Ben drew a foot on the half-way line, Andy Prentice took the hit quickly & stroked the ball 40 yards diagonally to the on-rushing Brian De Mattos who carried his run on into the D and cleverly put the ball past the keeper who was quickly closing him down, easily the goal of the game. Though not given much to trouble them (apart from trying to keep count of the goals), Mike Whitaker and Richard Peachey umpired very well.
So, 2-9 it ended, man of the match was a close call, but age won out & Pete Kuipers took it. Special mention to Ben Howell who will be a great addition to the club.
Team : Terry Wintle, John Baxter, Alex Winwright, Ian O’Dell, Pete Kuipers, Dave Gardener, Andy Prentice, Rhys Hanling, Ben Howell, Alex Gilmore, Simon Barron, Brian De Mattos, Jackson Stuart, Alfie Gardener, John King, Colin Izzard.