Back 2 Hockey: Dark Destroyers vs Lazer Lights
By Roger Hitch
Dark Destroyers 3 - 3 Lazer Lights
Saturday 15/01/2022: Once again I woke up to a misty morning with the temperature just above freezing. Fortunately the match was deemed playable. One player had had a positive Covid test but we ended up with 12 aside on the water pitch, which was a real treat. We welcomed our two new young umpires of Helen and Dawn who did a marvellous job despite me having a vocal relapse back to the 1980s – apologies. We can never have good games without the dedication of the umpires who put themselves out so we the players can enjoy ourselves – thank you.
We were delighted to welcome back Ali Hitch as a guest to make up the numbers. Ali started the B2H group quite a number of years ago and laid a good foundation, which has got us where we are today, welcoming so many new members back to hockey under the watchful eye of managers Tracey and Sean.
The mist had cleared by 10am and after a few minutes, Ali's short midfield pass to Roger in the circle resulted in a goal after a twist and near full length push shot from just off the ground. A great start for the Destroyers in a son to father movement. I have to say at this point that neither side had keepers.
Next to score was Apurva for the Destroyers again with a nice sweep shot that rattled the backboard. Throughout the game he showed great energy and covered a lot of ground. The game swung back and forth for a while amidst umpire Helen's calls of "White ball" or "Black ball". The Lazer Lights did manage to work their way well into the circle and score but the Destroyers were just too much for them during the first half with the half time score remaining at 2-1. The standard of play was good for our group (Premiership maybe a few years away yet!) but there were still quite a few passes which I would describe as, ‘I don't want it, you have it’.
At the restart for the second half, Jeremy (the fastest man in town) kindly passed forward to an opposition player (like we do in friendlies at this point) and followed it. Somehow, none of the defenders challenged his run so he walked the ball right into the net! I thought it was a genuine goal but such a sportsman as Jeremy is, he asked for the goal to be struck off the register.
Chris (Lazer Captain) was body pummelled at least three times by Roger's raised hits (not deliberate I might add, just clumsy) but around these happenings, Ali made a nice through pass from just inside the 25 to Roger out to the left which was then placed one foot off the goal line just out of reach of the defender for a Destroyer to tap it in (I think it was Dan but will no doubt be corrected if wrong). Now the Destroyers were starting to pull away at 3-1. I thought, ‘It's in the bag’. But you can never tell in these B2H games as Tracey's selection was quite even and the Lazer Lights pulled back another two goals to make it 3-3 at the end.
As you can tell, my memory recall was more around my experiences than those of others and I am sure that there were a great deal more skills demonstrated from the players that should be mentioned, if only I could remember them. I do, however, recall that Rashied at the back continued to show his dominance in their defence and was instrumental in cutting out a great deal of cross passes (for the Destroyers - how annoying!). I have just been messaged by Jerry, as I write this, who has awarded me the DOD for missing two pretty much open goals (but he did say my first goal was a "Worldie", so thanks for that).
From the WhatsApp messages I have viewed, I can say that everyone had a great time in a great game that was well matched for each team. Big thanks to you all for making the sunrise session.
Afterwards in the clubhouse we had a lovely Brunch that Anne and her team provided. We are so lucky to have such a great kitchen staff. Thanks to you all.
My Player of Match nominees: Whites – Zak; Darks: Apurva
Dark Destroyers: Kirst, Bruce, Jerry, Sels, Oli, Ali, Apuva, Chris C. (Capt), Roger, Liz, Dan, Sid
Lazer Lights: Andrew, Rashied, Muriels, Simon, Matt, Chris R. (Capt), Zak, Daman, Tom J., Rosie, Jeremy, Thais
On a final note: I dedicate this report to my wife Christine, from New Zealand, who always supported the hockey careers of her family, regularly standing in the rain at club senior and colts, school, county and divisional matches cheering on her side. She used to come and watch me play every match she could, make the sandwiches for the SHC teas back in the 1980s and was a helper at the Ladies Euros. She supported me fully when I ran the SHC Colts Section, Surrey County Juniors, and Surrey Youth Games hockey. When I asked her to marry me in the centre of the SHC 1st XI grass pitch in a foot of snow I said that I was asking her to marry my hockey as well as me. She replied, "Of course I will". We will never forget her commitment to Surbiton Hockey Club. Rest in peace now after an eight year battle with cancer.