Men's 2s 3 - 1 Hampstead & Westminster 2s (H)
By Lars Hansen
Scorers: Ben Hanson (FG), Scott Jones (2 x PC)
POM: Scott Jones
DOD: Lars Hansen
As one of the younger members of the team, I was helpless when rumours started circulating about my Friday night antics. Being ganged up on by the older members of the team after the game was certainly not how I envisioned my Saturday evening but nevertheless I will take DOD on the chin. Especially as it meant Scott J could avoid three match reports in a row (would have really helped his CV however). But on the bright side, it means we submit three match reports in a row. What a novelty. Still waiting on those write ups from last season Nihal!
Moving onto the game itself, it was a highly anticipated return home to Sugden Road for the 2s. Finally a good astro to play on. With the W1s on beforehand, the boys made sure to get there early to take in a Dave Beckett masterclass. 3-1 was to become quite a familiar score line by the end of the day. Up the Seals!
The team assembled in the changing room, with returning personnel in the form of Charlie Harrison and Connor Tinker, both looking to continue their fine form in the Conference in their second game for the 2s. We made our way out to the pitch after an invigorating talk from Rhys and Frankie’s replacement for the day - Doidge. He claimed he was only there to give tactical input, but in reality it was to keep an eye on the flicking hierarchy. Scott’s coming for you Doidge.
During the warm-up, Jack Hobkirk returned from his loan spell with the 1s (and unfortunately Covid). Jack’s return gave us a boost during our warm up, thus we made it a good one. The only downside was certain men in the team refusing to go skins during the mini game, forcing some U18s to do so. In future, safeguarding suggests we should really utilise the bibs kindly provided at the start of the season by Mr Hanson - and the unseasonably warm weather is no excuse.
We started the game strong, spurred on by the remnants of the W1s’ crowd, and a suspicious shadowy figure, who turned out to be a grinning Will Haspel. Glad to see you’re now staying away from the rugby pitches, Will. Unlike our usual starts, we went 1-0 up early with a third minute sliding deflection from Ben Hanson, eager to prove he could score against a keeper (hope the arm is ok Ben). Scoring against no keeper, well that’s another story.
Having suspected the game may turn 'feisty', the umpire proved that to be the case and a few cards were handed out. Scotty Evans surprisingly not getting one, but actually getting one for the other team after running in circles with the same Hampstead junior for five minutes, and drawing some stick tackles that strongly resembled his own. Beanhead clearly feeling bad for the junior, decided to get one for himself. Drawing near to the end of half we looked in a good position until H&W equalised a minute before the whistle.
The second half was dominated by Scott Jones, who converted two penalty corners and successfully put Doidge’s flicking spot in jeopardy. Clearly frustrated at the success of his teammate, our purely ‘tactical’ coach began giving chat to the umpire about consistency of decisions and whatever else the chiropractor had forced out of his joints into his mouth. With Scott off the pitch, Ben Hanson looked to replicate the PC success, and took on the difficult task of flicking against no keeper after Hampstead took off their GK at 3-1 down with five minutes to play. It ended up working for the opposition as Ben decided he would tamely flick it at their player, who pretty easily cleared it off the line (according to Ben it was a sensational save). Having scored two goals from penalty corners, it was clear the team knew the right types of shots to be taking. None of this alcohol business like some of you clearly think!
The game duly ended 3-1, replicating the scoreline of the game before, and making it a great afternoon in the sun at Sugden Road. However, the adults were clearly so jubilant about the result, they spent the good part of an hour in the changing rooms, forgetting about the rest of the team who were patiently waiting for food. Or in Teddy’s case not so patiently as he left soon after we ate to go and party. Not before having a beer, under the jurisdiction of his parents of course. Now this seems like a good time to stress the dangers of underage drinking, thus I do not condone it in anyway way shape or form. Especially the night before a game….
Next week, we're at home again, this time with an afternoon push back as the M2 play London Wayfarers as third plays fourth in East Conference. Then it'll be a 'quick' shower and tea in time to watch the M1s vs Wimbledon.