Four mini-reports to cover the latest games the 3’s have played. A mixed bag of results but 3 out of 4 performances were very encouraging. We have also played the teams that will contest the top 3 positions this year and our play and performances against them show we have come a fair way from last year where there were frequent backs-to-the-wall efforts!
Abingdon are struggling and they were more ‘half-termed’ than we were. Mark Bell drove the team forward and we were 3 up at half time through 2 goals from Ding Dong and Shane. Second half we added one more from Harry and Shane attacked some guys’ stick with his knee (and all his fault!) and rolled around a lot.
Next were Leighton Buzzard 2’s who were top – a team of adults and the best team we have played. Most of them were old enough to be the dads of most of our team (not me or Bubbles). They were very well organised, the best defensive ring/formation I have seen for a long time but we worked very hard, got to half time 0-0 and the second half we had more play without looking very dangerous. They were getting very frustrated but we were very disappointed to concede a soft goal with 7 minutes to go and it was quite amusing (well eventually) as they scored their 2nd with less than a minute to go and the guy celebrated like he’d won the Olympic Gold. We made, I would venture, the probable champions really work for their win, very happy with the team, Jimbo was stalking the midfield like a bad-tempered wildebeest.
Next up, Oxford 3’s who were equal 2nd and were a decent team but we did not help ourselves with a mediocre display. Worked hard as ever but ineffective and a goal in each half did for us.
Finally, we come to Witney 3’s who had gone 2nd coming into this game and were a good bunch. They were also a good team, a little open at the back but a real handful coming forward. I know they had a few out but they also had at least 1 if not 2 young lads from Holloway who were playing below their level. Because of Witney being a little more open, we got into the game and grew in confidence and looked more dangerous. We could have had 2 goals before we got our first through Wild Man but thereafter Witney asserted themselves and deserved the equaliser if not the goal just before the break, which was a bit soft collectively to concede.
We had played well and there wasn’t much to say really at half time, heads up and keep it up! Well, second 35 was a really good half of hockey, keenly contested, a good standard and a bit of testosterone chucked in (particularly from their no 17 who was keen to promote his umpiring credentials! Not better than my 1A I expect).
BigJohn, Joseph M, Wild Man and Shane had their best games of the season and we hung in there to then equalise from a shortie by young Sam 4 minutes to go. Our best game of the season against a top 2 team I would expect