Jokers Beat Youthful OGs Fire
By James Burns
SHC Jokers 3 – 2 Old Georgians Fire
The Jokers continued their form in their post lockdown friendly fixtures with a well-deserved win against a very competitive Old Georgians side on a beautiful afternoon at Sugden Road HQ.
During the warm-up the observation was made that OGs were fielding a considerably more youthful looking side than ours. It led me to share a quote Ravvers made many years ago that ‘age and experience will always beat youth and a bad haircut’. Although times have moved on for us, the sentiment was still apt and we set about to prove this point. More relevant to modern times was that several players from both teams were sporting slightly tender arms having received their first Covid jabs that morning. With our usual stalwart captain JJ not feeling great due to the Astrazeneca vaccine coursing through his veins, we noted that one substitute in the relatively warm weather could be an issue for us.
The opening ten minutes did look as if this might be a long afternoon for the Jokers as OGs moved the ball around well. However we eventually hit our stride and soon began creating some decent chances, primarily down the right as Jim’s distribution from right half played havoc with their defence.
The deadlock was broken midway through the half with Jabba latching on to a broken ball in the D to push past the OG’s keeper. Not long after, our deadly route one option at short corners worked again with Stoner smashing the ball into the backboards. It was, in all honesty, a slightly surprising 2-0 lead. Things got even better before half time as Jabba scored again to make it 3-0.
It was no surprise that in the second half our lack of bench began to takes its toll and our play became more tired as the game really opened up. However we were indebted to man of the match Frosty for a string of great saves in each half to keep OGs at bay. They did eventually manage to break their duck with a fine flick from the top of the D at a corner. This certainly put some wind in their sails but we had several chances to put the game to bed, most notably Jabba who managed to hit the post at an almost open goal opportunity that led him after the game to be accused of jug avoidance and be given the honour of writing this report.
Despite the sprit of the game being played in true friendly fashion (note Jim Hay not available for selection), things got a bit more exciting in the last 15 minutes with Luke managing to entice their sweeper into a ‘handbags at dawn’ confrontation before Calvin, now on umpiring duty, had a quick spirited chat with the same player. In the dying minutes OGs scored a second but never really looked like pushing for the equaliser and the Jokers happily retreated to the tables for a well deserved victory pint.
With our next game in two weeks, most of the team’s aching bodies should be just about right again as we look to continue our summer run.