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Vintage Win Opener Against Chelmsford Evergreens

25th October 2021

By Paddy Tripp

Vintage 2 – 1 Chelmsford Evergreens

TEAM: (all Surbiton Vintage unless detailed) – Frost (Magnets), Silverleaf (Nomad), Dunn, Desai, Bishop (OCs), Kumar (Magnets), Beaney (Magnets), Powdrell (Magnets), Green (Magnets), Sharpe (Magnets), Tripp, Sanders (OCs), Wright D (OCs), Hitch

Away game. Umpires: Chelmsford

Scorers: Beaney, Bishop

So another season for the imaginary Vintage team of old people starts again. A lot similar – 14 players! Alas only 28.5% Surbiton Vintage – no change! But hopefully that may improve... although I don’t have great faith.

SatNav took me from Cranbrook via Dartford (£2.50 each way) and said it would be 1 hour 20 minutes each way but that turned out to be 4 hours 30 minutes in total. A decent friendly bunch were introduced to each other. Trying to work out who should play where was difficult but luckily everyone understood the dilemma and helped out without complaint.

It was a good game with there never being more than one goal difference to the scoreline. Luckily we scored first and kept the same routine. The umpires did a very good job and were fair with an understanding sense of humour. Our team all worked hard for each other and deserved the result. It was really good to watch the squad playing as a team for a lot of the game – passing to our own team was great to see!

We looked the better team and deserved a well-worked first goal by Beaney from a perfect pass from Green. Half time was 1 – 1 but following quality Kumar instruction, we got back in charge in the second half. Then came the VAR moment. Ball struck at goal, strikes defender’s stick and maybe his shin; umpire blows; player (well known for honesty) denies shin contact – VAR INTO ACTION – in this case it is the other umpire judging from 60 yard distance. He voted in our favour and stroke was awarded! Suddenly there is Bishop waiting to take it – he’s not taken one before and not scored a goal either but we just have to hold our breath. He scored!

Then the last 12 minutes were hard work – nine short corners but Frosty was not giving way and we held on.

It was actually a decent visit – a game played in the true “sport” way, umpired sensibly, decent hospitality – that is what CLUB hockey is about. Be good if someone told that to England Hockey who can’t even issue a sensible fixture card. Thank goodness we have Fixture Secretaries who make so much effort on our behalf.