Saturday 7th August – Match rep – Sabres vs East London
report by Will Hargrove
HT – (1 – 0) Lucca Bilyard
FT – (3 – 0) Guy Garner, Dave Richardson
MOM: Guy Garner
We arrived at the back pitch at the Olympic Hockey and Tennis centre on Saturday with a sense of anticipation and expectation – a win and by a decent margin might seal the Big Blue title. By the time this report goes out we will know. Our line up was strong if a little unbalanced with 8 of the 13 out field players being most at home in midfield! The pitch whilst better that the main Olympic one is still very slow and we had to adapt to this. Despite dominating large parts of the first half it was only after an error in clearing that we scored. That goal was well taken by Lucca Bilyard – a composed rounding of the keeper and slotting home. Veysal has been good in goal in the first half too. We chatted half time and doubled down on the idea of ball pace and tighter marking. We also swapped captain Hargrove from the front bank to the back with Samir Ahmed going the other way – this made sense and worked well.
The team talk seemed to work as we got into the ascendancy again and not long into the second half Guy Garner sent a dam busters like bouncing bomb into their goal. At 2-0 up we played better still and managed a third through Dave Richardson. It was job done rather than superb hockey but sometimes that is called for.
The team – Veysal Demir as mentioned had a good game with little to do in the second half, James Rushton was as steady as ever and even survived a hospital pass from Will Hargrove that would have left many in trouble. Hargrove’s performance was sublime and ridiculous in equal measure. Also at the back Jon “Hud-dog” Huddleston was strong and Matt Mitchell had a composed game and was one of the few to generate the required ball pace, Ben Millson was energetic and ever present as an attacking defender always available out wide and slapping in good crosses. Moving to mid field Vivek Dongha and Noah Lavy shared the middle and left to good effect with Guy Garner, our MOM on the right, Guy had a composed game, diving well, drawing fouls and generally being a threat whilst making less mistakes than the rest of us. Oscar Prior completed the midfield and after a slightly wayward first half he knuckled down and played well in the second half. Samir Ahmed used his skills down the left of the attack very well once ewe had moved him forward, holding the ball well, Lucca Bilyard had a steady game, a slightly clumsy tackle making him see green but otherwise posing a good threat, Dave Richardson and Alastair Whatley both ran tirelessly and dragged their defence to the corners as well as threatening the goal.
The game was well umpired and thank you to Mark Langley for making the trip as ever! Thanks once again to Alastair Whatley and Neil Prior for their work in this tournament.