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Men’s 2s 0 - 3 Spencer 1s (H)

15th November 2022

By Tom Beaumont

Following a trip to Indian Gymkhana’s changing room last week, the 2s were back on home turf (proper drainage and all) and raring to go against a Spencer side lying second in the league. The 5pm start meant the crowd were well oiled and the home team, visitors and umpires could all be sure of some helpful feedback from the hill.

With Jamma busy at Paddington Rec, we were fortunate that our new assistant coach 'Deaks' was available to bark orders. During a team talk which ticked off most of the teaching standards, we established that Bean and Rhys only play hockey to be able to have beers with the lads, Birdie plays because he doesn’t know what else he would do on a Saturday afternoon and the end of Movember and a full shave can’t come quick enough for Dan and Billy.

The opening quarter offered 19 minutes of tight hockey, the fact that 70 minutes split into four even quarters doesn’t give you 19 minutes didn’t deter the men in green one bit. The game restarted after 19/72 time and the game picked up pace, unfortunately the quickest man in our team, Goughy, ran too fast for his own hamstrings. Up until this point Goughy was providing the energy and creativity in our midfield and we all wish him a speedy recovery.

Unfortunately Spencer’s consistent pressure eventually paid off and they scored halfway through the second quarter. Despite two corners we were unable to level it up before half time. We all hope Doidge enjoyed the wedding and the first team give Mattie back soon. This time the whistle was blown exactly on 17 minutes 30 seconds.

The third quarter should have been the turning point in the game. We don’t like blaming umpires but occasionally we all have to do things we don’t like; Billy Winter rode a rugby tackle to deflect the ball into their goal only for umpire stood 70 yards away looking through 17 players to decide it had hit the back of his stick. We then conceded a dubious corner which they stuck in the top left of the goal before Beanhead finished a lovely team move only for the umpire to decide the ball crossed the line at 17:31 and the goal therefore didn’t stand. 2-0 to Spencer at 54/72 time.

We kept pushing forward but were clearly starting to tire, despite Beanhead telling us we should keep shooting at their keeper as he wasn’t very good, he kept repelling our shots. The jury is hung on whether Beanhead is a poor judge of a goalkeeper or our shooting is crap. Spencer's No7 capitalised on our high press to score a third with a cracking solo counter attack, outpacing Dylan and a sending in a superb reverse stick finish.

Having spent three years thumping teams to get into the national league, it is a strange feeling for this group to not win every game, but we are glad to be playing competitive games every week against quality opposition. Various antics after the game meant some had more successful Saturday evenings than others; James Evans was at the bottom end of the spectrum wrestling with a Belgian man, Dodders only slightly higher up stealing food from an engagement party in Niku and Ore leading the pack.