Men’s 6s Stay Top with Epsom Win
By Nick Sait
Men’s 6s 3 – 1 Epsom 3s
Another week and another high spirited 6s squad met on an afternoon where apart from the hockey there was rugby on the horizon, with the lone Scottish voice of Jabba chipping away to anyone who cared to listen about the proposition of a win.
The most upset person during the warm up was Saity in the realisation that he had forgotten the balls and first aid kit entrusted to him which led to various members of the squad pre-registering their DOD vote in a bid to deflect the likelihood of them getting the majority vote and having to write the match report (one would think such a minor misdemeanour wouldn’t attract such a harsh punishment but that’s democracy for you…).
After a brief warm up (our ever-resourceful skipper managed to find some balls to use) which Tommy survived and Saity avoided being tackled by the blue piping, the mighty 6s started well, pressing high and not letter Epsom get out of their half, which resulted in numerous turnovers. However, we weren’t able to convert multiple chances, some of which sometimes seemed harder to miss than put away. Trevor kept plugging away but wasn’t able to convert continued good build up play, along with shots from Jimmy and Stoner that went agonisingly close.
It remained 0-0 for sometime before Jabba finally received a ball into the D, pirouetted majestically and slotted calmly through the keeper’s legs to finally put us in the lead, with a jubilant celebration to follow (that was matched later in the bar when England were slayed at Murrayfield).
Whilst the 6s continued to maintain the majority of possession, Epsom kept probing with long balls to their forwards which for the majority of the time the defence stepped in front of their men well and cleared the lines, however one crash ball into the D managed to find an outstretched stick of their forward who deflected it through Barney’s legs to bring them level.
The half time talk reflected on the missed opportunities and the second half started well with Jabba running some fine lines, getting good service down the channels and being a constant threat to their defence, where a short corner was put away neatly by Jason popping up on the far post to get the lead back and calm the nerves.
With his usual finesse diving around JJ managed to tackle himself and, in the process, had to sub himself off for a short breather to overcome a knock on his knee meaning a subtle change in defence with TBW stepping in (not quite as kamikaze!). With the game still in the balance good build up play saw Saity find himself in the D (roaming up from his left back position) unmarked, but with a perfectly weighted ball from Harry could only deflect his effort wide.
We kept plugging away to be thwarted time and time again by their keeper along with a number of near misses including Stoner again hitting the post from a short corner. A change in the corner routine saw Jimmy’s first attempt get cleared off the line by the keeper into his post man, with the next corner a laser guided flick into the bottom corner to give a well-deserved gap and put the game to bed with ten minutes to go.
The last ten minutes however saw firstly Jabba pull up and hobble off, and then a minute later his replacement Wingers also limped off, meaning Saity as the remaining sub had to come on for a cameo role up front where he even managed to come close to scoring had it not been for a decent save from the keeper, much to his annoyance (and surprise of the rest of the team...).
The clock ran down and another three points in what was a good game all round with other notable mentions to Ravvers for continued running as ever at the heart of midfield and young Toby having another strong game at right back. This keeps us top of the league, albeit with Teddington in second place with games in hand, including the crunch game in a few weeks’ time with our good selves.