England vs Italy (The Hockey Version)

Italy W 3-2

It is perhaps an unfortunate scoreline to record given the results on penalties that were to follow later in the evening- yet ss had become tradition in the weeks leading up to the game the club hosted a mixed game between an England squad led by Milly Berndes Clarke and an Italy squad led unusually perhaps by Harry Haynes.

It’s been great to see a complete spectrum of players, ladies, men, juniors from every team in the club gathering for these closely fought games warming people up nicely for the football that followed in the club house.

This weeks game saw Harry Haynes drag flick impress the crowd to take Italy 1-0 up. Yet England rallied and netted one past the outstretched glove of keeper Veysil Demir before drama at the other end of the pitch when keeper Justin Edwards kept out Alastair Whatley’s penalty flick much to the delight of the English fans and it seemed players on all sides.

The second half went down to the wire, Ella Duthie came close to scoring on the back post a few times before Mitch Read put England ahead with a smashing reverse into Justin Edwards goal before another Italy surge from one end of the pitch to the other in a rather nicely worked team goal with Whatley eventually finding the backboard. Yet England fought on and won a tightly contested goal forcing the ball in by sheer will power. Lewis Hollett and Rob Gill continued to push hard and vigorously with returning SHC player Steve Williams combining with Milly and Rhi Hart continually forcing the turnovers and putting pressure on Englands defensive lines led manfully by Charlie Harwood, Jo Berndes, and Brian Cade.

Great work from some of our younger players on both sides including Fergus Comrie battling in midfield with David James a stalwart at right back and Sajiv Saha having a cracking game upfront for England. Megan Lam for Italy was a scourge through Italy’s midfield combining well with Lucca Bilyard to release some of the England pressure.

Eventually it came down to a last gasp penalty corner which Italy just kept out thanks to the dexterous Veysel.

Huge thanks to RBL, Paul Creeley our umpires and to our match official Chris James and big thanks to Liz and the centre for accommodating us.

We then retired to the club house to watch football come home…