B2H Internal Match:
'Light Team' Match Report
By Sean Peche
Team Light take a 1-0 win in Saturday social match
It was the evening before the first B2H internal social match, the first match for some in 30 years. Tension was building and there was a sense of excitement on the WhatsApp channel. Tracey (as usual) had everything organised down to the very last detail, Ann was doing her normal (above and beyond) in organising a “breakfast of champions” or did she mean “champignons“ which were already marinating gently in some delicious magic potion, the recipe of which is yet to be revealed.
And then Flight commander Hitch of the Dark Knights with a hockey CV the thickness of an A380 flight manual, uploaded his electronic flight plan. Nerves twitched in “Team Light” with Katie reaching for another G&T (possibly confusing it for the energy drink TNT). Graciously Cleo tried to calm the Lights down noting her lack of hockey experience but then they remembered she is Dutch and hockey is in the genes. Denis nervously downed another Amstel – maybe a Dutch beer will help.
As the match got underway, Light-ningly fast Tom made countless blistering attacks up the right hand channel. But GK Matt, son of Will, made some sweeping saves to the few balls that managed to get past defenders: Will, Daman and Liam – who was thankfully “Not Just Travelling” this half term. The Flight Commander was brought down in a crushing tackle in the D that had the crowd gasping, but thankfully he recovered instantly upon the award of the penalty corner by Umpire Wendy. At the end of the first quarter the score was 0-0.
Q2 saw some fast counter attacks in both directions with Gavin from the Darks and Monica from the Lights constantly involved. Helen I-haven’t-played-hockey-in-a-long-time (yeah right!) showed off such stick skills that some of her oppo may need to see an osteopath to straighten themselves out after all that twisting.
At half time Haribos the score was still 0-0 and the pressure was rising. The ball travelled end to end with no team getting the upper hand. Oli raced around relentlessly and some impressive defending from Denis kept the Darks at bay – that Amstel was helping. Then a counter attack ensued with the ball sent high to yours truly loitering alone in the D. Now when coach Tarek talks of playing with your head up, I’m sure he doesn’t mean lifting it just at the very moment it is approaching your stick so it sailed past, over the goal line behind for a turned over 16 - thank goodness Jon Neal wasn’t watching...
The lights seized on the opportunity and attacked with ferocious tenacity. Dan Fox played a stormer, saving endless attacks from the Lights – no wonder his son, Tom, was only hours away from playing in his debut match for the Men’s 1s. A flurry in the D and a desperate save from Steve wasn’t enough. With the ball still in play, Maya appeared out of nowhere to pop it over the keeper and into the goal.
1-0 to the lights but the clock was running down. A few more valiant attacks up the left from Rashied but to no avail, the Lights emerged victorious.
A fantastic experience for many and what a pleasure to share in the special moments that is the Hockey Family – father and son, Will and Matt playing together for the first time. Lena following ably in Mum Silke’s keeper-padded footsteps, brothers Rhys and Jack playing together, partners, children, B2H alumni and dogs all braving the windy weather to support. All rounded off with a delicious breakfast – thanks Ann! Thanks umpires, Wendy and Giles, thanks Tracey for organising everything, thanks captains and all who played. Roll on the next social match in December. I really hope those mushrooms are on the menu...