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Jokers 2 - 0 SHC Men’s 5s (H)

21st January 2024

By Tony 'Big T' Haycroft

Scorer: Phil ‘the Power’ Balbirnie

Team: Tony Haycroft GK, Nick Sait, Ollie Treherne, Jon Bowen, Martin Ravvers, Jim Hey (Capt), Stephen Hardy, Jim Sayer, Rob Stone, Scott Walbran, Harry Hodges, Phil Balbirnie, Jonny Milsted and guest Andrew ‘Wingers’ Wingfield.

Umpires: Oliver Fitch and Richard Eley (Great job as always - thank you)

It is not just what you do on the pitch that merits the vote to write this report. It was a close run thing with Saity and Scott each getting one vote less than yours truly for pitch antics. No, Big T did not put a foot wrong in the game, but the red mist descended post match. The details are not relevant now as the matter resolved in the bar. Upon enquiring about the game on our Whatsapp group the goalscorer informed those not present “Let’s just say I saw a helmet go flying…” True, and a fine drop kick it was.

The author’s last report was akin to an episode of Thunderbirds which I hope made sense to a few of our readers (including the new generation with evergreen Greeno’s help in the remake). So what is the sequel to Thunderbirds? I suppose Captain Scarlett and the Mysterons. Suffice to say the above “incident” was entirely due to Captain Black Stoner himself.

Anyway, onto the hockey: Spectrum vs Mysterons. The game started apace with the Mysterons trying to bend our minds to their will with attack after attack down each flank. We welcomed back Ollie at left back so a new centre back/sweeper combo of Ravvers and Saity was rolled out and within 15 rolled back… Captain Jim with his “blond” locks was commanding as Colonel White.

The red mist makes me a candidate for Captain Scarlett himself but that indomitable and immortal character was played out by Jon Bowen who was clearly Player of the Match, pipping imperious Ravvers to the accolade. His overall brilliant play was summed up by a Ravversesque move when a ball drilled at him was turned onto his reverse, eliminating two players as he strode into their half.

As if driving SPVs (Spectrum Pursuit Vehicles) Jim Sayer and Phil the Power ran the oppo ragged with piercing runs but the first half was mainly dominated by the Mysterons who pierced the defence a few times but were unable to convert. Big T made a couple of saves and then Saity found Ravvers’ foot in the D with pin point accuracy as there was no one else there hence four match report votes. A good drag flick was deflected by Big T and Spectrum made it to half time with honours even.

The team retreated to Cloudbase to hear a stirring talk by Colonel White directing us to keep out of the clutches of the Mysterons and so go round and wide of them. This was met with resolve by Spectrum who amassed seven penalty corners which ultimately tipped the balance. As is well known the Mysterons are vulnerable to electricity and Spectrum deployed Phil the Power effectively twice. The first was a Captain Black switch left shot deflected past the excellent Dharren who made a series of great saves. Within five minutes another corner but no Captain Black. Phil was left slip and feinted to play the same shot but”eyes tell lies” and slipped it in near post. 2-0 and that is how it finished.

Spectrum was now in the ascendency and could afford some non finishing with the “best” from Scott (Captain Blue as a result) missing a sitter on the post.

It was a great team effort and mention should be made of Harry, Wingers, Noaksy and Jonny, all of whom flew about the pitch and so l identify as our “Angels”, Melody, Destiny, Symphony and Rhapsody.

The game was well fought with no quarter given and well controlled by our brilliant umpires. The game was cardless.