The first game of the New Year was a cracker and a reminder why we all get together and continue to play the game.
For a change, the Gondoliers were allowed a run out on the new blue pitch and the enormous crowds lining the balconies must have felt blessed watching quality hockey in the sunshine. (Sadly, no Kuhle who would have loved the attention.).
Back to reality, our one supporter (John A) was there and it was good to see him back to health again and hopefully returning to hockey in the future.
It was the Trojans first visit to Guildford since joining the league and they bought a strong team including several internationals, although they had few years on the more youthful Gondos.
The Gondos played a 3/4/3 structure and the game started at a fast pace with three goals scored in the first quarter, two for the Gondos from open play and one for the Trojans from a short corner. The second quarter saw the Gondos pick up a third from a short corner when Howells slipped it back to Mullins who first time drove the bouncing ball into the back of the net for a well taken goal. Half Time 3-1 up.
The second half saw continued pressure from both sides with the Gondos probably having more chances. The front three Gordon, Gartland and Sturgess, supported by Howells and Mullins, were creating several chances, two of which were converted against one from the Trojans. (Gartland deftly flicking the ball over the prostrate keeper. )
Final score: Gondoliers 5 (Sturgess x 3, Mullins, Gartland); Trojans 3 (Mike Watts x 3 Scotland over 60’s Captain).
It was good to see that the Gondo’s are improving their 3D skills and are now very adept delivering the ball overhead from the defence to the forwards, and many sides are finding this difficult to cope with. And so, in this game many of the goals resulted from this tactic to a forward line who were the difference between the sides with their mobility, speed and constant harassing of the Trojan defence and occasionally poaching the loose ball.