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Jokers 1 - 1 Richmond Griffins (A)

19th September 2023

By Tony 'Big T' Haycroft

Scorer: Balbirnie

Team: Tony Haycroft GK (Capt), Dan Barnicoat, JJ Draper, Jason Foster, Jon Bowen, Martin Ravvers, Jonny Milsted, Calvin Cox, Julian Jones, Wabisuke O’Brien

Umpires: Theirs, and a great job they did too.

Second and last warm up game before we take on our first league match against probably the strongest side, Teddington 4s next week.

The Captain thought we needed some discipline to ensure a cohesive game. To that end he suggested arrival at the ground 45 minutes early as it is a trek to the pitches at Chiswick. Oh dear. Mortlake was dug up and traffic was at 1-2mph. Thankfully the game before did not end for 15 minutes after our start time. We agreed four quarters of 15 given the scorching heat. After a five minute warm up we started – with nine. Richmond played 11 (had 14) but lent us one. The first quarter ended 0-0 and Wabi arrived after the start and of course had to take ten minutes to put socks and shin guards on (very important) and do a warm up. JJ arrived to enter the fray with five seconds left in the quarter and then took a well earned break to recover.

The second quarter saw Phil hit the post and another shot just past and Dan came very close - “I nearly scored,” he said at half time. A for effort but the scoresheet will not record a “nearly” Dan.

Richmond pressed us hard using their three subs well and forced three PCs. Still 0-0 at the half time break.

The third quarter saw Richmond gain another PC and a good shot which the keeper (moi) “deflected” past the left post. Somewhat against the run of play and due to an uncharacteristic mistake by one of our stalwarts in defence Richmond had an overload and scored. 1-0.

At the break Phil galvanised the troops and told us to up the pace in the last quarter (11 tired vs 14 youngsters remember.) But it worked – we forced corner after corner and “nearly” scored a few times until five from the end when Phil ripped a PC flick into the top of the goal. 1-1.

A well contested game with nothing untoward save a green for each side for a lazy stick tackle. Wabi’s green happened just before the end of the third quarter. He remonstrated vociferously with the umpire as he no doubt had never watched Monty Python’s, “I’m a lumbar jack,” to realise ‘chopping down trees’ was a breach of Rule 9.3. Once put right he wisely used his time off pitch to study his mobile. At the restart he resumed the field of play. “Wabi how long on your card?” – a minute remained – off he went again.

Everyone left everything on the pitch and so no real MOM or DOD – well done one and all. Special mention though should go to Jonny’s WCP stick which he wielded with aplomb like Thor’s Mighty Hammer (Mjölnir). It was good preparation and we have tried out twice now the press we intend to play next week – lets hope it works!