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Sunday, 31 January 2010

Match reports January 30 2010

A last-minute goal from David Knapp helped the 1st XI draw 4-4 at third-placed Southampton, a result which leaves us in second with a game in hand on leaders Yateley. The Ladies also maintained their promotion push with a 1-1 draw at home to Purley Walcountians, but it was another disappointing day for the 2nd XI who went down 1-4 to leaders HAC. The 3rd XI game at Leatherhead was called off minutes before the start because of frost, while the 4th XI beat Old Georgians 1-0, their first goal in seven weeks. The Vets drew 2-2 at Cheam.

Southampton 1st XI 4-4 1st XI
Another tight game against Southampton but a result that is more use to us than for our hosts. Once again we could have come away with all three points, but so could Southampton.

Missing Rippers, DP played in the mid field role. We controlled the first 15 minutes without reward only to go one down against the run of play and having not made the most out of six short corners we had won before their first goal. For some reason our heads dropped a little and Southampton had their best spell of the first half in the ten minutes after they scored. We did however pull level when Johnny Hunter with his best drag-flick of the season scored.

We missed a couple of good chances in the second half and gave away a careless short corner which Southampton fortuitously squeezed home. At this point the game was going from end to end but we equalised with Danny's goal of the season and then took the lead when Cookiey slapped home a loose ball from the short from a tight angle which was an excellent finish. We then had a guilt edged chance to wrap up the game with 10 minutes to go but Knapp inexplicably put the ball wide when it was easier to score. Two more careless defensive errors gave Southhampton two more short corners that they converted, with the second of these and their fourth goal coming four minutes from the end.

We upped our game and with 30 seconds left, Knapp deflected home a short corner strike to give us a share of the points. Perhaps we were too anxious as we didn't play with the same control as last week but by not losing our destiny is still in our own hands. David Knapp

Ladies XI 1-1 Purley Walcountians
With snow on the ground on waking up, I thought it might be back to a boring Saturday with no hockey but luckily we got the go-ahead to play on the incredibly hard, concrete-style, astro. Good thing we had the skill to control the bouncing balls.

The game started with some argie bargie and protestations on umpire decisions from the opposition, which Martin dealt with in true form and nipped in the bud early. We came out hard, having been pysched up by Goalie. We pressurised Purley and kept pushing up. They had a couple of breakthroughs in the first half which Julia dealt with like a pro. Our constant high work rate paid off near the end of the first half when Gadget caught Nicki's eye and made a sweet pass from just outside the D which Nicki picked up and cleanly executed to put us 1-0 up.

Unfortunately a slight lapse in concentration in the first minute of the second half meant they quickly equalised with a slickly-taken goal. Though we had a large measure of play and there were several opportunities, including a cracking shot from Snoops, we couldn't capitalise on our strong hold. The game finished 1-1.

...oh and we musn't forget that during this battle Gadget took a green card not just for our team but for the oppo too when Martin finally got fed up of everyone ignoring the 5 yard rule...Cheers Gadget!! Sarah Tucker

2nd XI 1-4 HAC
Report to follow.

4th XI 1-0 Old Georgians
The now-traditional post-match cakes failed to materialise (Nick Aston’s spluttering excuses failed to convince anyone) and although the game was played in glorious sunshine, the rock-hard surface made controlling the ball hard and neither side came to terms with the conditions. There were only three shots all match, all from us. One midway through the first half was well saved by the OG keeper, but the second prouced the only goal when a short-corner strike was only half saved and Atsushi was the quickest to the rebound. We defended solidly, Steve Harmer, in an unfamiliar position up front failed to make his usual impact, but in the end it didn’t matter as we took the points. The goal was our first since December 12, but since then we haven’t conceded one either. An interesting stat until you remember the cold snap meant this was only our second game since then.

Cheam 2-2 Veterans
Report to follow.

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Saturday, 23 January 2010

Match reports January 23 2010

The 1st XI returned from the extended Christmas break with a 3-0 win over Wanderers to maintain the promotion chase, and the Ladies did likewise, a goal from Jax Waite 23 seconds from time helping them to a 3-2 win over Epsom. The 3rd XI went down 1-2 to Oxted in a tight game, while the 4th XI ground out a 0-0 draw at NPL.

1st XI 3-0 Wanderers
Without doubt our best all round performance of this and many years in a crucial game at the top. Wanderers have had the wood on us for three or so years but today we laid the ghost. We welcomed back Wobble and Mini C made his home debut in goal.

The most difficult decision of the day was the choice of Man of the Match with a number of candidates, Rippers eventually squeezing out good performances from Gavind, Danny and Cookiey, the latter showing what we missed against Andover before the break. My dick of the day award was decided on an off the pitch incident of some three weeks old but clearly now changes the voting criteria. Happy though to win 3-0 each week and win d of the d.

This result could however have been so different had Wanderers taken their chance in the fourth minute when it seemed easier to score than miss following a superb interchange of passes that cut us open. Indeed, we hardly touched the ball in the first five minutes but other than the one scare our defence was resolute and played with greater confidence than for a number of seasons. The games between us are always tight and hard fought and this was no exception with our two umpires blowing excellently throughout ensuring that a good game of hockey ensued. We began to dominate as the half went on and took the lead when Knapp was set up by Adair but we could not add to the one goal, not making the most of our corners. Wanderers pressed for the last five minutes of the half and won their one corner in the dying seconds but this was taken off the line.

The game was killed off by the 50th minute with two Hunter goals, the first from a powerful flick, well called by Eds and a tap in having again been set up by the impressive Adair. From our point of view it was crucial not to concede and this we did but should perhaps have added a fourth but we did squander a few chances. Cookiey was a thorn in the Wanderers side with his pace and Danny had his best game of the season so far. Wobble provided us with a get out at left half that we used well on a number of occasions.

Southampton next week so three more vital points at stake. David Knapp

Epsom 2-3 Ladies XI
As coach Andy Howell said afterwards, you need a bit of luck to go your way if you are to get promoted. That we won a hard-fought match with a goal from Jackie Waite in the final half minute might be vital at the end of the season, and it was certainly hard on a battling Epsom side who looked much better than bottom place. For the first quarter they were all over us, and deservedly went ahead, only for Vikki Mottram to level within 70 seconds. In the second half we gradually took more control and appeared to have broken Epsom's resistance when Katie put us ahead on 50 minutes, but within a minute Epsom were level, punishing some dreadful defending as we went to sleep. The draw appeared likely - we had chances, and on another day could have had two flicks - before Jackie's strike gave us the win.

3rd XI 1-2 Oxted
A well-fought match against a good Oxted side well worth their second place in the table. For the first 25 minutes we were under the cosh, struggling against slick and quick passing. It was not overly surprising when we went a goal down on a quarter of an hour, but DOug MacKenzie levelled, against the run of play and after a run through a pourous defence, two minutes before the break. The second half was much more even, and we survived a yellow carding for the goalkeeper who inexplicably kicked the ball five yards outside his D - the sight of a helmeted Jock Vickers as kicking back was enough to persuade Oxted to keep away. Oxted regained the lead ten minutes from time and held on with few alarms, helped by our inability to get any shorts on target. A fair result but a decent performance.

NPL 0-0 4th XI
Finally the snow has cleared and the second half of the season commenced for the 4th XI. A cold and damp morning was matched by equally drab surroundings for the game in Hounslow. Someone was even overheard referring to the grey concrete building next to the pitch as something that would not have looked out of place in Prisoner Cell Block H.

The seasonal festivities seeming long ago as we pushed back against a well-disciplined NPL side. A change to our formation created plenty of space, however this was utilised by both sides. Neither side really challenged the goalkeepers in the first half, a few short corners went begging and one strike on goal was neatly swept away by their keeper led us in to half time with no score on the board.

The second half brought strong displays from Robin “The Wall” Crumby at centre back ably assisted by Nick Aston and Kevin Smith presenting a strong back line preventing many of the NPL Bees counter attacks. Then a sprawling Steve Harmer got unlucky in his positioning on the back of a short corner giving away a penalty flick! Nigel Smith chose the right way to dive and once the ball finally dribbled up to him he cleared it away (fortunately not the sharpest of P-Flicks ever taken).

The final minutes saw wave after wave of attacks fizzling out in the oppo’s D and many counter attacks being shut out by our strong defence. An short corner nearly broke the deadlock with Nick Jocelyn’s bullet-like strike hitting the post and rebounding, with the follow up from Jamal also hitting the same post and bouncing away.

So a 0-0 draw was probably a fair reflection on the game, with either side having looked capable of sneaking a goal - but neither actually managing to do so…

Post-match cakes were provided courtesy of Jamal – (Death by Chocolate) – and as this was as close as the team got to warming-down it may even prove to be the case!

Room for improvement all round for next week. Grant Archer

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Saturday, 16 January 2010

TD cancellations explained

The pitch at Thames Ditton on Thursday afternoon

In the light of some abusive comments sent as feedback in relation to the decision to call off this weekend’s matches – typically, anonymously - I thought I would explain the background to it.

I appreciate the pitches today are playable. However, we had to make an inspection on Thursday afternoon as there was nobody available on the Friday, and then make a decision based on conditions then and what was expected. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

The pitch at 3pm on Thursday was completely covered in snow, with patches underneath still frozen (see photo). The car park and approach road were also very icy and the area next the club was dangerously so.

We consulted with the club management, and based on the situation allied to the forecast, we took the call to cancel all matches. We were fully aware this was a risk, but the only alternative was to inspect again on Friday night by which time it would have been too late to call games off. Ideally, we would have checked again on Friday but that was not an option as nobody was available.

All of us want to play hockey, so such decisions were not taken lightly. It might be worth noting that City of Portsmouth called our 1st XI match off on Thursday night and the Ladies game against Tulse Hill & Dulwich at Cranleigh was also called off the same day. I would hazard a guess those pitches were also playable today.

Everyone involved in the club does so in their own time. While disappointment is an understandable reaction to another blank weekend, anger and email comments such as “thanks for ruining my weekend you ****ing prick” are not. I only hope that was from an opposition player.

In future, when we again have a full-time presence at the club, this kind of decision will be taken out of our hands and will rest with the OC Club manager.

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Thursday, 14 January 2010

Another blank weekend at TD

For the second week running all matches at Thames Ditton on Saturday have been called off because of the weather.

Heavy snow on Wednesday fell on top of that lying there from Sunday, and although rain on Thursday helped to reduce the covering , it was not nearly enough to allow us to proceed with the games. The 1st XI’s match at City of Portsmouth was called off late on Thursday, as was the Ladies game at Cranleigh against Tulse Hill. The 3rd XI away at Merton is all that survives.

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Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Helen Merry runs for Help for Heroes

Helen Merry is taking part in the Bath Half Marathon on March 7 to raise money for Help for Heroes and she would really appreciate your support.

It's easy to donate online with a credit or debit card as she has set up a JustGiving page:

JustGiving sends your donation straight to Help for Heroes and automatically reclaims Gift Aid if you're a UK taxpayer, so your donation is worth even more.

“I’m really looking forward to raising money for this worthy cause,” She said. “I hope you'll join me in supporting Help for Heroes.”


Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Mel Williamson to chair OC Dinner

For the second year running the OC Society Annual Dinner will be hosted by a member of the Old Cranleighan Hockey Club.

Following on from David Knapp, the 2010 chairman will be Melanie Williamson, the founder of the OCHC Ladies section and its first full-time captain. Mel, who is now a governor of Cranleigh School, will take charge of the dinner which will be held at BAFTA (195 Piccadilly) on Saturday, November 6, 2010.

It is hoped that the capacity of 180 will easily be reached on what will be the first occasion since the inaugural event in 1882 a lady has taken the chair.

Full details to follow.

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Sunday, 3 January 2010

Loveland Bowl snowed off

Unfortunately the second staging of the Loveland Bowl match between the OCHC and the School was cancelled after snow which fell earlier in the week failed to clear in freezing temperatures.

The news was a particular disappointment to the spectators who braved the weather to support the side. "Eds Copleston decided on a lie-in and forgot to let anyone other than the players know," said one unnamed OC who went home after an aborted snowball fight. "We'll make sure he pays in full at the OCCC Dinner this Friday."

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Friday, 1 January 2010

Tim Evans

A group of us have got together to bring to your attention that your friend, Tim Evans, who played several seasons for both the hockey and cricket clubs earlier in the decade, is suffering from Multiple Sclerosis. This disease is progressing at an alarming rate and we are trying to do everything within our power to improve your friend Tim’s quality of life.

Spending time with Tim you realise how amazing and determined he is to beat this disease; he has done a research MA and is currently working towards a PHD both on understanding MS and how he can improve his quality of life.

However it is alarming to see that even his basic needs are not being fulfilled, he needs funds for more care hours, better quality of diet, basic necessities like hand rails installed into his flat to aid him in mobility and much more.

We have set up the Friends of Tim Trust to aid Tim both financially and in kind and we are looking to all Tim’s friends to help him in his hour of need.

We invite you to take up a Standing Order (click here to download); anything you can give per month will transform Tim’s quality of life.

You can also donate via cheque made payable to ‘Friends of Tim’, and send to c/o Caroline Jackman, Tilthams Farm, Tilthams Corner Road, Godalming, Surrey, GU7 3DE.

If you would like to be kept up to date with Tim’s progress please complete the contact form below and return to Caroline Jackman at the address above or email

Many thanks for your support.

Best wishes

Friends of Tim Trust

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