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Surbiton Jokers 5 - 2 Surbiton M5s (A)

2nd October 2023

By Stephen 'Noaksy' Hardy

Team: Haycroft GK, Barnicoat, Draper, Foster, Bloxham, Hardy, Bowen, Stone, Carlisle, Balbarnie, Hey (Capt), Hodges, Cox. Dye, Sayer, Milsted

Scorers: Carlisle, Sayer, Stone, Foster, Milsted

Umpires: Nat, Ryan (thank you)

I'm honoured on my first game back, to be delivering the Surbiton 5s v Jokers inter-club league match report (or put another way, I’m back on the ‘naughty step’). 

The game started brightly with the 5s young side passing the ball fluently. On another day they may have grabbed a goal in the opening few minutes. After about ten minutes, the Jokers strung together a nice move. Ravvers and Phil stretched the 5s leading to a nice finish from Andy.

Towards the end of the first quarter, Jim started and finished a sweeping move down the right. A great goal by Jim S. An encouraging 2-0 lead for the Jokers.

The scoreline didn’t stop the 5s continuing some fluent passing hockey. The 5s defence patiently moved the ball around the back looking for openings. A couple of well strung attacks down their left led to a couple of half chances. Foster and Dye, at the back, minimised clear opportunities for the 5s with their solid marshalling in defence.

The well-mannered game was briefly interrupted, after about 15 minutes, with a disagreement between myself and the 5s captain. The confrontation led to what Bill McLaren may describe as a ‘wee bit of argy-bargy’. I apologise to the the 5s captain for my behaviour. Sorry! Thankfully there were no more rugby tactics deployed by either side for the rest of the game.

The remainder of the first half was well battled in midfield without many clear opportunities arising.

The second half started in a similar pattern to the first. Some tidy passing moves by the 5s but the stout defence and keeping, by Tony, didn’t result in any breaches. On a few occasions, though, the Jokers managed to put together some champagne hockey moves. The Jokers midfield also started to win more of the 50/50s through the Jons, Jim (captain), Stoner and Calvin. The results of the pressure were a few short corners won by the Jokers. Unsurprisingly Stoner sweetly struck one of the short corners ‘arrow like’ into the goal. 3-0.

The 5s maintained their rhythm and poise although now a few goals behind. The Jokers shuffled the pack positions a little and the aged brains seemed to forget their defensive duties. Tony was left 1-on-1 on a few occasions. One of these led to a crisp reverse strike.

The remainder of the game became a little stretched. A few chances at both ends. Jon and Foster got back on the score sheet again. The 5s managed another goal right in the corner. End scoreline of 5-2.

In conclusion, both teams could take a few positives from the game. From a Jokers perspective, a decent game but a few more champagne moments would have been nice.