Match Report by Bill Anderson
Captain’s (mono)Log was clear: enough is enough. Time to deliver results and start our resurgence. It was time for the banished gods to return to the upper world. Enough Iliad, let’s play hockey. And so we did; with focus and retention, high energy off the ball and accuracy with it. We dominated the first quarter. A brace of short corners was just rewards for Ali Priestley driving into the D to the T. The first was a warm-up. The second went in. Robin White received the injection, with a shimmy of hips and shoulders, he disguised a slip left to Julian Barker who flicked high into the net. 1 – 0.
With a full bench, changes were made and new legs led to our second. Brian Cade went foraging down the right wing, returning the ball to Howie Wilson who slipped it into the D for Duncan, who whipped it home. 2 – 0. The opposition had become static, as we buzzed about them. Their only route out of defence was a crash ball to their trickiest player, No.106. He received the ball just inside our half and decided to take us on; a 2 on 6. We had to be confident in our defence with these odds, but alas no; 106 skipped round one, then two, then three, drove into the D, scoring with a reverse chop, to bring them back into the game. Their game plan was now based on argument and influence, challenging every call their umpire made in their attacking half. Panic set in and the Titans wobbled for the last 10 of the first half.
At half time we needed more stern words from the Captain, Greg Wildisen. And a call for calm and positive vibes from Biff Robinson. In the second half Laurence Taylor was all over 106 and with the roaring of Justin Edwards in
goal, we neutralised their only real threat. The Titans found new energy off the ball, better ball speed, and wise heads to protect the ball high up the pitch. Benjamin Turner was now charging down the left, Randall Hyer down the right; both being patient until the midfield could support. And then up stepped Will Hargrove. A second half hat-trick is impressive by any standards, but scoring three goals without using your own stick to get the ball across the line is another level. Assists came from Duncan Trathen, Tony Wizbeck and Bill Anderson, and the last touch – some say heavy deflection – came from their keeper twice and a centre back for the last. But you can’t take the match ball away from Will.
We ran out 5 – 1 winners. Captain Greg likened our play to Man City. Titans resurrected? Only if we maintain the intensity and continue prizing possession next week and beyond.