Sparticans Come Close Against Wimbledon 5s
By Simon Fitch
SHC Sparticans 2 – 3 Wimbledon Mens 5s
Scorers: Creaser, C & Grant, K
After last week’s Easter Festival, the Sparticans hosted Wimbledon back at Sugden Road on Saturday. A good number of the team were quizzical regarding Fitchy’s decision to accept this fixture when it became available given the difference in league levels between the sides, but the home team gave an excellent account of themselves and on another day could have sneaked a victory in an enjoyable friendly.
With just the 20 available this week, Team Lewis played for the 6s and Matt and Adam kindly umpired our game and played for the Jokers afterwards. The potential substitution shambles never materialised as, somewhat surprisingly, a plan was unveiled shortly before push back, and taped to the dug out. Even we could understand that.
And so we started, and fairly quickly Ciaran scored an excellent goal at the far post. We took the game to Wimbledon, for whom it was the first game back, and an even first half finished with no further score. As expected, the younger team ramped things up in the second half, and scored two goals, through open play and a stroke – it was a shame our FIH umpire wasn’t there for the second one, though we felt it was a fair interpretation of the lifting at goal rule.
We fought back and Kev equalised with a rocket short corner. They unfortunately took advantage of some tiring legs and scored a third. The game was marked with good sportsmanship all round (even Fitchy was heard to suggest that one of our short corners might be overturned, these are strange times for us all) but, in hindsight, we probably took this too far by managing to kick two shots into their goal from the goal line. Still we pressed, leaving ourselves open and allowing Save It Lee to live up to his name. At the end we still had chances, and in the last minute hit the post, but it wasn’t to be.
The post-match debrief was a triumph, with the whole squad coping with the lack of our hospitality – back soon – and decamping again to Giggs Hill Green where, in our groups of 6, we took in some cricket whilst demolishing the Dough Shack’s finest and chips and enjoying Steve’s San Miguels. Fortunately the Gaffer, Mr Thames Ditton, was there to clear up. Moment of The Match unusually went to our caterers (the Surbiton kitchen are safe in their jobs though) and Spartican of The Day was deservedly won by Jimmer, not Gary, who beat off fierce opposition from Mike V.
It got colder, we were glad we had heeded the advice to wrap up, and eventually we went our various ways after a happy day’s work. Apparently the league starts next week, we’re just looking forward to beers served by someone else…