Before the game we were faced with the prospect of a different squad structure, a number of the regular players citing domestic challenges as the reason for non appearance - we couldn't find any Welsh rugby matches clashing with this fixture...
Moreover plan D for a goalie involved using one of the Junior 3's goalies for half a game, after their earlier game on the water base had finished.
So as we watched our Juniors (average age 17) start to play a Goan side (average age 50+), a saga unfolded when a rather obnoxious foul mouthed Goan defender crossed swords with a zero tolerance Jeremy, and the result was an abandoned match, leaving the pitch free for the Gondoliers complete with two goalies. There is something about an ill wind.....
Apologies to Walter Scott:
"Nane were keener against it than the Welsh, Goans and IBM folk, wi' their rabblings and their risings, and their mobs, as they ca' them now-a-days. But it's an ill wind blaws naebody gude" Except for in this case it was the Goans who presented the Gondoliers with good luck.
So there we were - now on the water base - able to start earlier with two goalies and feeling more positive about winning against a Haslemere side who often were the winners in this local derby.
Regarding our goalies: each played a half, each were a welcome addition and proved to be good assets. Many thanks to Alex and Henry for helping us out.
The game turned out to be a scrappy affair, with some of the squad rusty from the lack of match practice, which soon receded as they got used to playing the ball around. There was some good hockey with Nigel stealing a number of goals and HP/Toby and Nick making sure the middle of the pitch was safe. Tim, like Steve has developed a good reliable overhead ball out of defence, which proved to be a springboard for some of our attacks. We now seem to have a track record of successfully moving the ball quickly between ourselves and alternating an attack down the right with hard hits into the circle which Nigel seems adept at deflecting into the goal. Nick was relatively well behaved having witnessed in the earlier game the results of an out of control mouth.
Johnny Bigos as usual claimed several assists (which as usual fell on deaf ears) and voiced his incisive match analysis of the second half when he was off the pitch.
Won 5-3 (Sturgess 3, Mullins (PF), +1)