BU16 Coyotes 12 - 0 Blackheath & Elthamians BU16 (H)
By Will Hayes
Normal service was resumed at Sugden Road as the BU16 Coyotes put on a free-flowing hockey display defeating a spirited Blackheath side.
Pre-game, there was a shift in parental movement as a number chose to catch up on the Cricket World Cup final. With cricket nerds/tragics glued to the TV, other parents engaged in the November custom of producing their own (not their children's) Christmas wish-list/long list. Instagram pages/Pinterest mood boards were swapped, but one parent knew that Insta stories meant little to their partner whose yearly choice in yuletide gifts was the equivalent to a life-time subscription of tangerine and walnut stocking fillers.
To the hockey. Again, the first ten minutes seemed a little stand-offish from the hosts. That said, the Blackheath keeper was on fine form making a number of full length diving saves, but he and the pad-side post-man could do little to repel a James A howitzer lifted drag flick. A couple more goals followed as Surbiton began to press higher up the pitch and with greater intent.
The second half continued in the same vein - Sam A using his pace to great effect. Fordy, as is his wont, was using his footballing brain to find pockets of space in the "Number 10 position" and using the deft touch that he has developed controlling mangoes on the mean streets of Cobham in playing well weighted one-time passes.
Surbiton scored a number of good team goals with the ball transferred across the pitch and players unselfishly picking a team mate out for an easy tap in rather than trying to score themselves from an acute angle. Cowling scored from a very slick short corner route; as it appeared that the Surbiton stick stopper's concrete hands showed a bit more give, and a hard all along the carpet drag flick saw Cowling late cut the ball past the post-man. Cowling then appeared to turn himself not into Banquo's ghost, but Bennett's ghost - Bennett now appearing more regularly on Twitter scoring worldies in the Men's Premier Division than in the flesh at Sugden Road. With the ball bouncing around at the top of the D, rather than take a touch/nurdle one to mid-wicket, Cowling went the full Happy Gilmour and smashed it in the rigging.
So a strong victory sees Surbiton going into next week with a decent chance of securing the second spot in the league - and a place in the Supra League in the new year; a solid victory in the last game looks likely to be good enough. That said, rather than worry about regulations/goal difference, best just get to the right venue on time, with the right kit and play good passing hockey and things should probably take care of themselves.