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Saturday, 21 November 2009

Match reports November 21 2009

The 1st XI remained top of Surrey/Hants 2 with a stop-start 4-3 win over Southampton Uni, but the 2nd XI went down 1-4 at Merton. The 3rd XI romped to an 11-0 win over Surrey Old Boys and the 4th XI won at Addiscombe by the only goal of the day. Despite the 3rd XI’s goalfest, the performance of the week came from the Ladies who played some sublime hockey in a 3-0 win over Reigate. The Vets went down 1-4 at Oxted.Chris Valentine fires the 1st XI into the lead against the students
Click here for this week's match photos

1st XI 4-3 Southampton Uni
A cracking game and all credit to Southampton Uni for making it such an entertaining match.

We knew it was going to be a tough one and that the league table did not prove to be an accurate indication of the University's ability.

The early exchanges went in our favour even though we did not create as many chances as we should have with our failing to capitalise on the territorial advantage that we had. However we did take the lead following a good save by the Uni keeper saw the ball come out to CV who just squeezed the ball home for us to take the initiative. The advantage lasted two minutes when the Uni countered and caught us on the break with sloppy marking allowing an unchallenged run into the circle with the resultant cross deflected home on the near post.

Cookiey restored our advantage clipping home the ball after a good move set him up and so it remained until half time following Trickster making a number of good saves.

At this point we should have made our experience count but instead we played ping pong with the vibrant Uni side and were pulled back conceding a well worked short corner 10 minutes into the second half. As the half progressed we did put the oppo's defence under pressure but were thwarted by a super performance by the Uni keeper and our not making the most of the chances we created. Hunter restored our lead with a flicked short but a minute later we were undone by a carbon copy of the second goal with 10 minutes to go. Our short corners were dire in comparison with the Unis that was well drilled.

Marshalled by their skipper at centre half who was outstanding and certainly the man of ther match Southampton looked dangerous each time they broke and at that point the game could have gone either way but as it was a liong aerial from Wobble enabled Rory to dart into the D and finish well with five to go. We held on to run out winners and gain three valuable points in what may prove to be a vital win.

As with all Uni sides they will improve as the season goes on so the next match in March is eagerly awaited. David Knapp

Ladies XI 3-0 Reigate
The Ladies will win games by bigger margins but rarely will they play better. The result against a side level with us in the table was pleasing and the victory was never really in doubt, but the slick passing play, rock-solid defence and two sublime goals will take some bettering.

We were one up in five minutes with a quite superb goal, starting in our own 23 and finishing second later with a cracking strike from May after some lightning-fast one-touch passing. We continued to press hard but the second didn’t come until six minutes into the second half when May tucked home a poorly-defended short corner, and Anna notched a third midway through the half which was almost as good as the first.

It’s almost invidious to single out individuals from such a great display, but Rosie Marriott was quite outstanding, her tackling and distribution almost faultless. Vikki Mottram, who has had a new lease of life since the arrival of Diesel, was also tireless in her running at the opposition, causing no end of panic even if her tackling remains interesting.

The parenting award goes to Helen Hawes who set a fine example to young Zac with a bout of toddler-tantrum stick lobbing when green carded and followed with an “oh f*** there’s no-one there” when she swept a pass from the halfway line towards her own defence only to find nobody keeping Julia company in her own half. In between she was as solid as ever.

Merton 4-1 2nd XI
Report to follow

The 3rd XI after their romp

3rd XI 11-0 Surrey OBs
There are some weeks when the match report pretty much writes itself even though the events were too many for me to be able to remember the sequence I at least have a record. The day started with confusion all over the place with regard to umpires - we had had three potentials laid on the night before but as SOB had stated that they had an umpire we had stood down our two spares. Unfortunately then SOB’s day did not start well as they actually turned up with 10 players and no umpire. Thankfully the umpire for the next match was good enough to stand in for them and they at least didn’t play with nine.

This was not to say that their day was going to improve at any time soon. We were looking to extend a five-match unbeaten run and had recently played so well but without our just desserts and were hungry to grab the advantage and make hay whilst the sun was shining (yes it did appear for five minutes!!). The game started at an unusually frenetic pace and there was some brilliant passing hockey being played with good runs off the ball being made all over the park.

Very soon we were 1-0 up and this was the way that the 1st half was going to progress. During the course of one of the best 1st half displays that I have ever had the pleasure to witness ( being in goal I had plenty of time to watch, especially seeing as I did not touch the ball in the whole half). After an extreme pummelling of SOB we went into halftime at 8-0 up. As you can imagine our halftime talk was mainly about just keep up the good work and let’s not let them score etc, etc. all I asked was that I wanted my team to ensure that I didn’t touch the ball in the 2nd half either. SOB’s halftime talk seemed to be a touch different as I don’t think I have ever heard quite so much grunting, growling and hyping up from an opposition goal in my life.

With us providing SOB’s umpire for the 2nd half we didn’t seem to get anywhere for the first 20 minutes of the 2nd half maybe all of the grunting had worked at half time. It must have been this as it definitely wasn’t because we were missing Armo who was umpiring for 15 minutes. SOB’s did seem to be attacking better and I have to say I was very disappointed in my defence in that I had to touch the ball once in the 2nd half during SOB’s only short corner of the match. Nevertheless we finally got going and managed to put another three goal past them before the end.

The goalscorers during the match (as I said I have no idea what order??) Preston 4 (a great return to prolific goalscoring), Doug 2 (a nifty display from centre Mid), Andy (a great first half and supplier of a number of assists), Ross (solid solo effort with a sweet strike just inside the D), Ed (This is becoming a habit from the new boy), Chris (OMG we can’t believe that he has finally scored – the time taken must attract fines of some sort at the next team drinks) and finally Armo (who now owes Chris drinks and also how do I keep scoring when I should be in defence?).

As I have already covered the goalscorers may I also commend the others who played their part in our epic pummelling Stuey, Tim, CD and Rich (our rocks in defence i.e. a defence which has pretty much stopped conceding goals ); Tissy (with this type of trouncing I can’t believe he didn’t score or get carded) This now put us up to third in the league and only one point off second. With the top two playing each other next Saturday … watch this space! Nigel Hawes

Addiscombe 0-1 4th XI
There were a few team members (esp. Crumby),who were worried about interacting with the Croydon population, so it seemed a poor omen when during our warm up Steve (bless him) asked one of the Addiscombe players to “flash us your top”, then proceeded to carry out some dynamic stretching that didn’t help our manly image (“ponsy” was a comment I heard!).

This aside the match started well, with us forcing five short corners. Nick J managed to convert one of these which was fortunate as this was the only score in the match.

The rest of the time, although there was good build up work, we couldn’t get the final shot lined up or on target. I think Dom was stunned when an Addiscombe 16 hit went across their goal to his stick. His shot on goal was stifled by the onrushing keeper. Dom’s excuse .. “He was so big!”

Addiscombe didn’t put us under sustained pressure, but always looked able to snatch a late opportunist score. So all in all a deserved win but hard fought – we must get the free hit rule clear as many good positions were lost through technical infringements.

Cakes were an issue for me as after dismissing my wife’s help, I made brownies without eggs!! – Flat and sticky. So, ever resourceful, it was down to Waitrose for additional backup. Strangely the team seemed to tuck in to the lot without a care. Anyway after an increasingly high set bar for the cakes there has to be a downturn at sometime.

To Crumby’s and others relief we managed to finish before it got dark and it was back onto the tram (?) before the vampires rose. Kevin Smith

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