Men’s 6s Win 5-2 in OCs Derby
By James Hey
Men’s 6s 5 - 2 Old Cranleighans 4s
After a very hard fought draw last week against a strong Richmond side, what would this week hold in our very local derby?! We had an “away” fixture at Surbiton High School versus our closest rivals (well in terms of distance) – Old Cranleighans 4s. With the rugby autumn internationals on, this time of year can often prove challenging to get a competitive squad on the pitch, however we turned up on time, with only a few niggles and with what we hoped would be enough quality to get the job done. We also had our star colt, Toby, who at 13 is more than holding his own in the league.
Surbs got off to a positive start and moved the ball crisply and accurately, using the whole pitch to their advantage. Having a back line including Foster, Fishpool and Mayer will always help our cause and this is where we launched many attacks, waiting patiently until the opportunity presented itself. We initially kept the passing short, Stone and Dye often finding themselves picking up the ball in very dangerous attacking positions and linking well with Bloxham, Newton and Mallinson up front. It wasn’t long before the pressure began to build and we were presented with our first opportunity – a penalty flick as a result of the ball striking the oppos head on the way towards goal (sounds more dramatic than it was!). With Dye being demoted due to his previous missed stroke, up stepped Stone who also failed to score. Was this to be one of those days...
Well it looked like it might be when Hey, who was given a delightful ball by Mallinson right in front of goal, failed to convert. However Bloxham had other ideas; our very own Gary Lineker (he also never scores anything outside of three yards) was on fire and was on hand to score a tap in at the end of a delightful move. This seemed to give the 6s the confidence they needed and we stepped up our game. The pace remained high, the passing mostly forward and to a Surbiton player or into space for us to run onto. Our second came from a sweet strike by Stone from a penalty corner, the back board definitely coming off second best, then the third another Bloxy special, a wee tap-in thanks to a lovely pull back from Toby. We had wave after wave of attacks that could have ended up with us scoring six or seven by half time.
Then for the excitement and something we’d not seen before in Bloxham’s armoury – a reverse sweep to make it 4-0 and a hat trick for the main man (he kept that quiet in the bar afterwards!). OCs started to get back into the game in the second half with some of the 6s getting tired from all the exertions of trying to get on the scoresheet. They were finally rewarded with a neat goal, however Newton, who ran and ran and ran all game, scored from a well worked PC to make it 5-1 with 10 minutes remaining… game done surely. However then for the goal of the game from the oppo, a hit from the right and a very impressive deflection/sweep into the top of the goal…..Big T didn’t flinch but he assures us he did see go past him. The last ten minutes were a little scrappy with the 6s going longer and longer as they got more fatigued, but that wouldn’t take away from the strong performance and some impressive hockey in parts.
Also some impressive misses from the 6’s – special mention should go to Fish for missing a sitter from a PC switch routine. And also a special shout out to our very own Rich Gale, who somehow managed to dislocate his shoulder... all by himself! Get better soon my friend.