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Saturday, 27 September 2008

Match reports - September 27, 2008

Sanderstead 1-0 3rd XI
We had already been extremely chuffed when we had found out that we would be playing our favourite team (Sanderstead) away for our first league match of the season. Our weekend was made complete when we found out that not only was our favourite forward playing for them but also they had brought our favourite umpire with them.

Due to a great moment of organisation from myself, we managed to start the match initially with only ten men on the field, when I realised that Bruce had not yet turned up. Thankfully Chaz was alert to this and filled the gap up front. Bruce later joined us having attempted to break the Bike world speed record having realised he had got the wrong match start time.

The match started with Sanderstead pushing hard and pressurising all our possession. This continued through the majority of the first half with the defence of Adam, Stuey, Heardy, Tim and Ewan holding steady and being rock solid as usual.

The tide was starting to turn a little when towards the end of the first half Sanderstead were awarded, what is possibly one of the most dubious short corners in history. We are still puzzled as to why Ewan would want to deliberately lift the ball at Adam from a 16 hit out. Nevertheless we are sure our friendly opposition umpire had his reasons for awarding a short corner (even if he did later admit that he didn’t really think that it was deliberate). The fact that he was heard to tell our opposition to ensure that they smashed us in the second half may give some indication.

Anyway from this short corner we did unfortunately concede a goal from a straight hit thus making the score 1 -0 to Sanderstead. This was how things stayed until half time. With a good re-jig at half time which changed our line up to strengthen midfield we started the second half looking a lot more organised side. We also swapped umpires with Heardy taking over from Ollie. Thanks goes to both these two for covering a half in what wasn’t the easiest of matches to umpire.

Throughout the second half we had a great deal more chances with Rich, Chris, Louis and Bruce all having opportunities but not being able to finish them. With us playing a lot better the opposition seemed to be resorting to type with a lot of dodgy chat being had from in particular our friendly forward (a big hello goes to him as we know he likes to read our reports). In addition to the chat they seemed to want to play through us rather than around us at all times.

Anyway despite playing a lot better in the second half we were unable to obtain that elusive goal. With us not conceding in the second half the match ended with a disappointing 1-0 defeat. Thanks to everyone who played.
Nigel Hawes

Ladies XI 1-1 Cheam 1st XI
This weekend saw the Ladies start the new season against Cheam 1s, who having been relegated last season would be definitely up for a good start to their hopes to get back up to the premier league ... but we have ambitions too!

With the luxury of a 15-lady squad of Rewah, Ros, Tux, Mez, Laura, Daisy, Muriel, Manny, Steph, Gayle, May, Smithy M2, Poacher (Caz), Ems and Snoopy we set about taking on the ladies of Cheam. Cheam started hard from the outset, probably as a result of a 30-minute (no joke!) whiteboard briefing session before the start of the game. I had tried desperately to replicate this with the aid of Jax’s notes (in the absence of Dunx of who is swaning around in Singapore!), with a team talk in the stand but with a number of great new players joining this season, we were still trying to gel as a team!

In the first half we spent much of the time defending, putting in some strong tackles and our stand-in keeper Rewah making some blinding one-on-one saves. When we did get the break we got ‘stuck in traffic’ as our confidence to distribute around the pitch was lacking which meant we drove straight into Cheam’s defensive line. Cheam eventually got the upper hand through a well worked short corner which slipped in by the left-hand post.

Half time came as an opportunity to re-group, get our structure sorted and rehydrate from the late summer sun! What ever we had said to each other seemed to work as we came out far more aggressive, taking the game to Cheam and working together as a team. From the off we moved the ball round the pitch giving the mid fielders and forwards the opportunity to find space, driving the ball, at ‘May pace’, to create a number of more opportunities on goal and giving their keeper something to think about.

With depth in our squad we were able to use the extra players to keep the pace of the game high. As Cheam became more frustrated, especially from at not scoring from their five successive short corners, which were sterling defended (if I do say so) we capitalised on this with an equaliser at the other end. Our goal came with five minutes of play left as we pressed forward one final time. Manny took the free hit from just outside the D, rebounding off Muriel’s stick onto the keeper which after a quick scrabble Dora lifted the ball over the keeper and into the goal!!!

We spent the remainder of the game defending strongly, having worked this hard for the point we weren’t going to let Cheam take it away. Eventually the final whistle came and we walked off proud that we had started the league on a good note and gelled as a team with an opportunity to great things this season.

Thanks to Stuart Ripley and Nick Lewis for umpiring … sorry I forgot to get you a beer at the end! And also to girls, including Rewah for stepping into the keeping pads which is never an enviable task!
Helen Hawes

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Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Club Day a roaring success

The Club Day on September 13 saw about 50 members and recent school leavers turn out at Thames Ditton to play hockey and to socialise. With a bouncy castle to keep younger family members occupied, a BBQ and pizza man serving food all day, the bar open, and a good dose of sunshine, the scene was set for a day to be enjoyed by all.

On the pitch, an all star over-25 side beat an energetic Under-25 side 5-1 and a six-a-side tournament was one by a team including Rozzy P, Armo, Nick Rippley, Adam Mcilroy and Nick Lewis. But the day will be remembered most for the fact that teams from across the club were able to integrate and to socialise together, something that bodes well for future socials. Reports indicate that all managed to stumble back to their homes without serious incident, a sure sign of a good day out.

Our thanks go to all those who helped to organise the day, including Alison Breton for making the Club house available and for organising the bouncy castle, the food and the beer; Eds Copleston and Rob Merry for organising the over-25 and under-25 sides respectively; Helen Hawes for organising the six- a-side tournament; and all those who came along and took part.

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Monday, 15 September 2008

Eds Copleston gets engaged

We are delighted to announce the engagement of Eds Copleston and Sophie Cook in Mombassa at the weekend.

Eds, who succeeded Will Stephens as 1st XI captain three years ago, actually got engaged at the same venue used by his predecessor to pop the question to Katie back in 2001. The delightful Sophie runs the OC Ladies Netball club.

The rather alarming OC link doesn’t end there. The Serena Mombassa, the location of the engagements, is one of many hotels run by Abeed Janmoahmed’s father.
Janmohamed now becomes the bookies’ favourite to be the next high-profile OC to get engaged.

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Friday, 12 September 2008

'I'm no muppet' says Don Williams after serious fall

Former GB hockey Olympian and OC superstar Don Williams is recovering at home after a serious fall while walking on the island of Sark.

Don was following a footpath on August 20 when he fell more than 30 feet down a cliff. He was rescued by the emergency services and rushed to hospital where he spent time in intensive care.

Asked by the local newspaper about the wisdom of walking on the clifftop, Don said: “I’m not a complete muppet tourist, I was following a guide. I don’t recommend anybody else follows it unless it has a rewrite first.”

Recovering his composure, he added: “People have been just brilliant, from the guy who first got there to the doctors here: their willingness to give up their time and their speed, dedication and care have filled me with gratitude and admiration. You don’t see them at work very often until you need them, but these are extraordinary people.”

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Summer League results

With almost all the results from the three summer leagues now filed, we can report that Teddington triumphed in the Ladies and Mixed leagues, while OCs won the Men's league.

Many thanks to all who organised the various sides as well as umpires and players, and those within the OCs who took time out to help get the three leagues up and running. We will be repeating what were - hopefully - enjoyable competitions in 2009.

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