We took one team formed from a mixture of our B & C team players to play against 2 teams from Epsom and 2 teams from Reigate Polecats. The weather forecast was appalling so I was checking email convinced it would be cancelled. We arrived to find standing water on the pitch but the rain was easing and stopped before the first game when the sun came out and kindly obliged us for the rest of the morning (perfect hockey weather in the end)...
Squad: Joey, Archie, Barnaby, Ben Gibson, James Mundy, Liam, Robert Mawdsley, Ted, Toby
v Reigate Polecats A team. 3-2 Win (Barney x 2, Ben)
This was to be one of our toughest matches and unfortunately we got off to a really slow start (seems to be a trait). Our marking was non existent, our passing was poor and our positional play left a lot to be desired. Having said that Barney scored the first goal shortly followed by an equaliser from Reigate. Barney then slotted our second goal before Reigate again equalised. Luckily whilst our basic play was poor in this match the boys determination was still very strong and Ben scored the decider off an excellent pass from Barney. Good grit and determination won us the match.
v Epsom Green. 4-0 Win (Toby x 3, Archie)
This was a significant improvement on the first match with the boys beginning to settle back into a rhythm passing was going better. The first goal came from an excellent shot from Ben which hit a defenders foot therefore setting up a short corner. Ben pushed out to Toby who drew the ball across his body and executed a great reverse stick hit. The second goal came as a result of Toby running down the right wing and crossing firmly to Archie who was perfectly positioned to score. The 3rd goal was more of a goal keeping error from a soft shot from Toby which the keeper just watched slowly deflect off the post into the goal. The final goal came from an excellent pass from Robert to Toby who firmly scored. As the score line shows we were much better in defence as well with better passing out from the back and better marking. Liam often making great jabs.
v Reigate Polecats B, 6-1 Win (Robert x 2, Ted x 2, Ben, Toby)
The boys were now fully tuned into the matches and were playing some very fluid hockey. The first goal came from an excellent clearance from Ben up to Robert in the D who had a one on one with the keeper and scored. Second goal came after a great dribble from Ben into the D and then a shot on target. Third goal came after an excellent run by Ted down the right wing into the D and after some pressure Ted finished off by scoring as well. Fourth goal came off a short corner routine with a pass to Toby who scored. At this point the opposition managed to squeeze a goal in when we had been caught with players behind our last line of defence. The fifth goal was after another great run by Ted down the right wing followed by a firm pass into the D for Robert to shoot and score. The final goal came from more good hockey from the boys with a final pass from Barney to Ted who finished off nicely. The boys were now in full stride making excellent use of the right wing and joining up some really good passes.
v Epsom, 5-1 Win (Ted x 2, Robert, James, Archie)
This was our best game of all round hockey and a credit to every single team member who made a significant contribution in each position played.
First goal came from pressure in the D with Ben taking a shot which was saved by the keeper, Ted was in exactly the right position to get the rebound off the pads. Second goal came after a set of brilliantly executed passes involving Ben, Archie, Ted and Toby with Ted eventually scoring. Third goal came off Robert with a well placed shot followed by a satisfied fist shake! Fourth goal came after another great run down the right wing from Toby who continued to dribble along the back line and then slipped it back to James on the P spot who tapped it in. The fifth goal came from another run by Toby down the wing and across the back line before slipping to Archie to finish off. Somewhere in the above Epsom managed to score one goal. I cant end this without saying the James scored a cracking goal but sadly 1 second after the final whistle had been blown.
In summary the boys got better and better with every game we played and by the final game were playing some beautiful team hockey, passing fast and accurate, getting the ball out wide, marking the defenders on the goal side, taking free hits really early, executing great short corner routines - a joy to watch for coaches and spectators. Really well done to everyone you all played brilliantly in the final game.