Magnets Draw With Strong Indian Gymkhana Side
By Mark Waller
Magnets 2 – 2 Indian Gymkhana Tigers
London Hockey League M050s Trophy
Scorers: Waller, Beaney R.
MoM: Richard Beaney
A match against one of the country’s best sides at this level was perhaps not what was wanted after the all-round embarrassment of the previous week (about which the less said the better). However, as we have seen previously this season, pit us against a decent side and we will compete. Of course, it helps when the majority of your players are available, but even here we had just 11 (plus Suresh who came along to cheer from the sidelines).
Early on it became apparent that IG defence would be slow to pick up their men, leaving lots of space for the hard-working front runners to work with. A succession of marauding attacks promised much and the deserved breakthrough eventually came from a PC rebound, fired home by Waldo. IG had their chances, but the defence worked hard to keep their most threatening players at bay, and any shots were kept out by Frosty who had an excellent game in goal.
In the second half, IG pressed higher, creating more chances and leaving us to rely on breakaways. The pressure eventually told and IG equalised with a scrappy goal. Despite this setback, our heads didn’t drop and we quickly restored our lead, Richard Beaney firing home a precise through ball from his brother Chris after some patient build-up play through the midfield. Unfortunately, with minutes remaining IG scored another scrappy equaliser, this time from a PC. Despite protestations that the initial shot was dangerously lifted, the umpire ruled that the goal should stand. Despite a valiant effort in the dying seconds we were unable to force the winner that our team performance merited.
Overall, a satisfying day at the office. Everyone worked hard and stuck to the game-plan. And, we might have won this if some of the half-chances had been taken. But, to come away from Osterley feeling that we had played well in a close-contested game was reward in itself and made the post-match curry even more enjoyable.
Many thanks to Ray for travelling with us and umpiring so well. He must have been relieved that there was no need to brandish his cards in a fixture that had always previously been combative.