2-1 Whites beat Reds
by Alastair Whatley
A complete cross section from mens and ladies came together for a superb afternoon of hockey and post match cake consumption.
Formed from a rump of online club quizzers and aided by some back to hockey enthusiasts Jo Price led the white team with Alastair Whatley leading the red shirts in this inaugural mixed up Sunday game on the water pitch.
The reds got off to a good start but soon lost Duncan Trathen to the lure of the bar with a hamstring niggle. Neil Commons having not touched the ball for the entire game the previous day was itching for some action in goal for the whites and he faced down a series of charges from Milly BC and centre MF Deb James. Brian Cade and Jon Huddleston’s collective talents could not stop a short corner mid way through the first quarter which was pinned into the to corner by a superb drag flag from Deb.
Jenny Hammond who played superbly began feeding the ball expertly through the white midfield to Meghan Lam and Olivia Richardson who began really asserting pressure onto the red defence. Michelle Joubert up front for the whites and Freya Moody had a couple of close chances with the first of a series of outstanding saves from man of the match Justin Edwards. One of these Michelle was a fantastic reverse into the bottom left that just shaved the post.
A few thrusting counter attacks from the reds kept the game in balance as we headed to the half time whistle with reds noses just in front at 1-0.
The whites dominated the third quarter with Sum Sze, Will Hargrove and Giles Weblin soaking up sustained pressure. Simon Holmes played a fine game throughout in the midfield for whites and kept the ball moving through the middle of the field feeding his attackers who managed to coax the ball over to Karen Lam who threaded a razor accurate ball through the red defence back to Simon who duly converted past Justin- a rare moment when he did not manage to stymy the attack. 1-1. A lovely well worked move and a super finish.
By this point the reds had lost yet another man to the bar in the form of demon right back Tony Mastroddi nursing his hamstrings which led to a team change as Jez Lavy crossed the rubicon from white to red and showed off his fine one handed ball-not-quite-in-control charge down field to mixed results.
Milly B-C had stepped back into midfield for the second half and together with Eva Spithout and Anna Richardson combined nicely down the right channel to deliver a singing ball onto the p-spot for Alastair Whatley’s eager outreached stick which soared past Neil in goal and hard against the backboard. Yet before celebrations could get under way umpire Pinakeen ruled it or someone had met the foot of Lynn Bryden. VAR saw the jury still out on the goal but ‘rules is rules’ to quote Jon Huddleston trying to end a 203 day losing streak.
The white defence distributed beautifully throughout the game feeding well to their midfield and Jo Price worked tirelessly down the left channel finding Chris Rouse on the wing and Olivia Richardson who seemed to be everywhere put the reds under real pressure in the closing moments. Kathy Hammond was a menace to the red attack in the white defensive lines and repelled all further efforts as just minutes before the end a counter attack led to yet another well worked move down the centre by Brian and out to the right to Freya driving left to Karen Lam before being slipped back to Freya into the D and Simon Holmes again clinically sealing the game for the whites who won it by a whisker 2-1.
Huge thanks to Mark Langley and Pinakeen Patel who umpired the game and to Jo Price who organised it all (and provided some great cake from Muswell Hill to boot).
Jenny Hammond and Justin Edwards won player of the game closely fighting off lots of nominations for Meghan Lam and Simon Holmes.
We will be looking for a re-match in the next few weeks- so watch this space for more info.