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Back 2 Hockey: The Buzzards vs The Geese

11th October 2021

By Roger Hitch

Buzzards 5 – 1 Geese

Team Buzzards: Tom, Daman, Apur, Simon, Gavin, Matt, Oli, Roger, Kieran, Leigh, Lewis

Team Geese: Murray, Rashied, Ian, Denis, Denis, Jeremy, Bruce, Jerry, Sean, Dave.

Saturday 09/10/2021: I woke up to a misty morning with the dampness creeping around, blown via the gentle wind as it rustled the leaves at the bottom of the garden. I thought, "Do I really want to push my way through all this mist just to play a game today?". I can remember back in 1971 when in my last year at Reed's School playing a 1st XI competition match where you could literally, and I do mean literally, only see half of the pitch. 

Arriving just ahead of Jerry on his electric scooter with lights ablaze, I found the one space left in the car park at 8:50 in the morning! I stumbled upon the mini tournament of Girls U14 KGS vs Feltonfleet using both pitches. I was warmed to see such great use of the pitches at such an ungodly hour of the morning on a Saturday. I should really have still been tucked up asleep at home as usual.

I had been designated the 'Flight Commander' of the Buzzards for this game against the Geese, based on the Mongoose team (or should it be Mongeese team?). As our players arrived, they were sorted into positions that would fit our team plan for the day. All very technical. 

With no goalies and umpires only for the first 20 minutes I wasn't sure how play was going to progress. We were grateful to the umps as usual, as normally the game could not happen without them. Ta-da… not for the B2H crew as we self umpired for a while until B2H manager Sean stepped up with a whistle and practiced blowing it randomly throughout the rest of the game. As players we did what we should have done and "played along". I jest of course – we were very grateful to Sean for stepping into the breach with the courage of a lion and directing operations from the sideline, occasionally with advice from the players.

The play was surprising good for a bunch of beginners (classified as under two years of experience), an old timer like me, and a couple of young ones Lewis and Kieran showing great promise. There were many very good moves on both sides starting from the back and ending up via the wings with a great cross to the centre forward. The quality of play has certainly improved in the B2H camp, so well done to all.

There is not much else to say about the gameplay itself apart from the dynamic efforts of Daman in the second half acting as sweeper at the back for the Buzzards, time and time again clearing the attack attempts at goal almost 'right out of the park', but not literally. I make him our ‘Man of the Match'. We had one brave lady in the game on our side, Leigh, who, like last week in the opposition, was dynamic in positioning, running, tackling and shooting and becomes my 'Woman of the Match' – with great talent.

We did have a "Mediiiiic – Soldier down" when Tom limped off with a leg injury (self inflicted) so we wish him a full recovery soon.

Finally my team (Buzzards) won 5-1 (last week we lost 2-10) even though the Geese had the awesome Chris Ralphs (Capt) who continued to hold on strongly to the centre of the field with fine distribution 

The morning’s experience did not finish on the final whistle but after the great sausage/bacon/scrambled egg butties with coffee, served up from the tea hut by Anne and Rhys. They were wonderful and we thank the 'tea crew' for preparing them for us. It was nice to see most of the players mingling and chatting during 'breakfast' rather than going home straight away. Shows what good food can do to the soul.

Another report brought to you by the Flight Commander (Roger Hitch)

News just in from the Geese publicity manager (Sean)

  • Daman appears to have solved the Keeper crisis and gets the Bigfoot award
  • Leigh, the Buzzards’ secret weapon and evidently on loan from Ladies 1s was not so secret after scoring a goal before we’d even wiped the sleep from our eyes
  • Bruce and (do as I say not as I do) Sean share the Chianti award for disobeying instructions the night before and having to seek refuge as a very bad umpire
  • Player of Match nominees – Denis and Gavin (despite trying to take me out)
  • Big thanks to you all for making the sunrise session and to Ann and Rhys for superb teas