Scorers – Jatin Patel x4, Ravi Chana, Laurence Taylor, Randall Hyer x2
Pool of Players to choose from:- 25 (Players accepted: 9 – Players declined: 16)
Brian Cade returning from injury failed his late fitness test despite showing signs of recovery in his One Man warm up, but the Captains decision was final. Clearly the warm weather was too much for most of the squad as injuries and unavailability mounted up against H&W in the 2nd Series of games planned.
So with the dwindling in numbers which was also the case for H&W as some of their players decided that a jolly at Lords watching England v NZ was a better option resulted in playing 9 a side hockey game sticking with the same rules (and pitch size) but reduced to 30 mins each way aided with a quarter break in each half for a much needed H20.
The Umpires blew for the start of the game and we engaged into battle, within 5 mins the 1st goal was recorded for the home team with a slick one-two with Arnie and the El Capitano. This was the theme that followed for the rest of the afternoon as Titans extended their lead through another short corner courtesy of El Capitano.
Wiz learns the Zag – The 3rd goal scored via a SC was a result of the tried and tested Zig-Zag that has been effective over the years. Wiz finally masters the art of passing the ball back square to the P Spot for the El Capitano to score his 3rd of the day (Bang-Bang).
At this point you should read the sentence again starting with “Wiz finally masters the……) He wanted it mentioned explicitly in the match report!
It was looking like a stroll in the park but we were not finished there. We started to create chance after chance and we used the space quite well culminating in more attempts on goal. With Nick Hollett’s pairing up on the left-hand side with Ali Priestly, they had a field day using the left channel to attack and it was from this side the goal of the game was created. A simple pass round the back to the left and down the channel and a strong pass into the D saw Ravi taking a sublime touch to score another one for the day.
At this stage I need to introduce our debutant, Randall who stepped up to the Titans for his 1st game and produced a grand display culminating in 2 goals. His first was a go-go-gadget trademark one handed flick which the opposition keeper was too slow to react to. His persistence and energy helped us gain a P Flick deep in the 1st half and never have I seen the team shy away so quickly (maybe something to do with the How-not-to-take-a-flick the week before in the cup game was etched in their memory).
As Arnie was the closest to the P spot, he was automatically pressured into taking it and the body language said it all but fair play, he stepped up and despite all efforts his flick was saved – Maybe an upgrade to the “Blue” stick brand might help.
Who says defenders can’t score? There was a tug of war for our final goal. Another Wiz assisted goal came from a SC and Laurence who injected the SC was the end goal scorer to the annoyance of Ali who was begging for a goal which eluded him again.
It is worth also mentioning a consolation goal that H&W mustered up in the second half despite missing an easy chance earlier. Dickie in goal was more of a spectator for most of the game, just dread to think how hot it must have been in the kit.
A good game that could have been double figures but can’t fault the efforts of the magnificent 9.
The cold beers followed shortly after and everyone drank happily after!