I think I’ve got “match reporters block”. I don’t know what to write.
The usual evening of doom and gloom which follows the Mens fours matches and precedes the Sunday morning ritual of relaying hockey facts, was all too different last night. ...
The after game smiles, were not the usual wry and knowing, along with the “Roger Moore-esque” cocked eyebrows,and tilted heads, the smiles were of joy and happiness, quite extraordinary, for we live in unusual times. Our recent “hexit” from the 6SW league has meant, for us, a more user friendly 7SW league....so a life after “hexit” may not be too bad. If only our politicians could behave like us hockey players!!
A good compliment of players this week saw the lower teams of the club filled to capacity. A couple of last year’s defensive regulars were unavailable, so we had to adopt a new formation, as we were top heavy with midfielders and attackers....some more top heavy than others.
So off we head to home of the tangerine army, St. Albans. Although the sat-nav informs us its a thirty minute drive, it doesn’t account for the slow puncture that needs inflating, nor the forgotten mouth guard that requires a quick about turn, nor the numerous road closures that seem to be in place.
We line up three, one, four, two,one, with a side order of three on the bench. The last one being Colin Izzard, our reluctant and humorous keeper, the next two being Oskar and Jim, the conversation and play between the three could have been written by the chuckle brothers, its best not to dummy your own players and the shout of “leave it” means leave the ball to go off the back line, not kick it back to their centre forward...”oh, you mean leave it?” “Yes, the other leave it!”......”Jim, we need to communicate better” suggested Oskar ...”does that mean you’ll reply to my emails then?”.....to me..to you..to me...etc..etc..
I guess the main focus of this report should be the hockey, the four across the middle, Jonners, Ben, Andy and Alfie, together with Simon Royal playing his fist game of fourths hockey, produced some of the best passing play that we have seen for a couple of years from this team. The first twenty minutes could not have been better, and duly resulted with a strong attempt on goal by Robbo, who was dislodged by the keeper, presenting us with a penalty flick, which was duly slotted by Andy.
Play continued nicely, the subs rolling was seamless and didn’t produce any disasters, although our pre-match practice of the expert Rik injecting the penalty corners, was soon exposed as we realised we had secured a penalty corner with him on the side. All was not lost as Jim stepped up to the job,
Only to be sent back to the halfway line by way of an attacking infringement, it mattered not as the ball was sent out and converted into our second goal, Robbo’s first I think. Alastair Mounsey played his first game for the club, his first game for some years, his first touch of the ball was a cheeky pass to Robbo, and resulted in the aforementioned flick. His presence and skill did not go un-noticed. Its difficult to remember the order of goals, I know they got one in the first half and we were three-one up at half time, Robbo bagged another, Simon Royal got a cracker from a penalty corner, Rik was on the score sheet, a successful move up to the front line from the back, he looked quite at home there, but the one I remember most was by Tom Irwin, a cheeky poacher’s goal that snicked the shot that the keeper was saving and directed around the pads to the back board. His diving out-stretched stick was reminicent of a young Tupper!
Speaking of youngsters, Jonners had another cracking game, switching from left to right as a matter of course, taking on his man with slinky dribbling skill, and successfully tackling blokes twice his size, much to his team-mates delight. The engine-room of the team was once again the Howell duo, with Ben and Andy linking up beautifully. Alfie’s hockey has improved from last year, his speed and passing combining well to disect the St.Albans defence.
So its a big pat on the back for all the players, its no surprise that ten were nominated for man of the match, with the newby Alastair getting two votes but the winner once again with the most was Jonners.
Next we are hosts to MBDA 1, not sure if they are a boyband or hospital disease, we’ll find out and let you know.
Our winning line up consisted of:
Robbo, Rik, Doobi, Tom, Simon B, Simon R, Ben, Andy, Alfie, Jonners, Ally, Oskar, Colin and Jim