Cobras Unbeaten After First Two Games
By Jeremy Duffy
SHC Cobras start their season with a win and a draw...
Game 1: Bank of England M3 1 – 1 SHC Cobras
POM: James Hamper
Game 2: SHC Cobras 2 – 0 Teddington Men’s 6s
POM: Ollie Neal
Guess who’s back, back again….
“Who is this?”
“It’s Jimmy – hockey has reached DEFCON1 and we’re putting the band back together for a crack at the big time… well, SOHL Division 3 at any rate!”
“Bring it on – have we got all the guys back: RoC, Alex, Gregor, William, Jules, the Ollies?”
“Yeah they’re all good to go, except we’ve lost Mr King…”
“WTF!……….What about Grazing Rhino?”
“He’s been shielding in the Raj for a few months. The doctors believe that his commitment to Cobras and prawn biryanis has now meant he is immune to the Virus… We’ve got some new faces too and the youngsters have started to grow a bit of stubble so we’re expecting big things!”
“Great let’s get it on! What’s the first game?”
“Bank of England.”
“Hmm, bankers… never liked them – slippery bunch!”
And so the Cobras opened their season last week. The pitch was so sticky it was more suited to catching flies than playing hockey. Cobras started brightly and clearly dominated the first half creating countless opportunities. Sadly a lot of us had been social distancing from our hockey sticks over the summer and we struggled to put the opportunities away, until one decent move around the back and a cross from the Rhino saw Alex dive and deflect the ball through the keepers legs to put us ahead. Surely more was to come?
The second half saw us continue to batter the bankers with all the aggression of an angry socialist mob but we couldn’t shake the rustiness. The sneaky bankers had one break all game and made it count. One all final result.
The season was up and running but (not uncommon) we left Roehampton Lane wondering if these lost points will cost us later on.
This week saw local rivals Teddington arrive at Surbiton and with the M1s and L1s away this weekend, it was up to the Cobras to perform for the main match on the water. With the tunes blasting out from the stands, the atmosphere was pumping and the Cobras were keen to put on a show. It was clear from the off that there was more of a sharpness about the team this week and the extra commitment was clearly in evidence. Sadly, on one occasion, this lead to some blue on blue action when new recruit Robbie Trimble, keen to impose himself as the Vinnie Jones of the Cobras, decided to pile through our own Gregor Falck, just back from an off-season of extensive work with the physio! You had to admire the commitment at any rate! Even our substitutes were pumped, so much so that Alex burst onto the pitch for his first run and promptly pulled his hamstring!
There was a lot of industry and the ‘new structure’ (don’t ask me what it was) outlined by the skip on the whiteboard before the game seemed to be working. After creating a few opportunities in the D Mr Schulz opened his account for the season with a deft little flick past the keeper.
All of this energy boiled over into frustration as the team only took a 1-0 lead into the break. Stern words were had and keen to avoid a repeat of last week the Cobras took a hold of the game in the second half with a strong performance in the midfield from Ollie Neal, picking up MoTM. The short corners started to come, but their keeper on fire and we weren’t getting any return from some power shots. Finally, ROC decided not to try and pile drive through the keeper and a slick move saw Mr Schulz double his tally with the simplest of tap ins at the post. The cushion was there, the Cobras could start to relax into the game and it showed. Although the third never came, the game was never out of control. A solid performance and great to be playing back in front of our fan(s)!