We had a cracking time today on and off the pitch, with a big turn out of spectators of ex AHC players, current Junior players and parents. The weather was kind to us and the three AA's Virgins were making their debuts, namely Nicky Davis, Lenka Petrakova and former YTS player Kim Downs. This year our opponents were our friends from Staines HC, and they brought a strong squad with two Internations, top level umpire and ex AHC player Dave Howell as umpire. They all joined in the spirit of the event by turning up in Christmas hats.
The opening exchanges were fairly even, but the AA's were combining well and when Jackie Parsons, got the ball on the edge of the circle, she stepped forward and hit a screamer of a shot to put the AA's one up. The AA's then went from strength to strength and after a few chances going near, we secured a second goal when debutant Nicky Davis was able to nudge the ball home from close range. Despite Staines rallying efforts, the AA's went further ahead when a good through ball set speedy Kim Downs up with a one on one with the keeper and Kim calmly slotted home to nodge her first AA's goal and put us 3-0 up. Staines had their chances and secured several short corners, with top player Ruth Hine doing a couple of her trademark flicks, with one hitting the crossbar. Jo Lawton in the AA's goal was well in command though and helped to keep the score at 3-0 until half time.
After the turn round the AA's continued to combine well and attacking when they could, and scored a fourth goal when defender Claire Brant dashed up to the the left side of the circle and hit a thunderbolt of a shot in the right hand corner to further increase the AA's lead. The visitors prompted well by Sue O'Connell amongst others continued to press, but AA's keeper Jo Lawton kept their attacks at bay, whilst other shots went close. A further AA's attack down the right saw a good cross from Kim Downs, which Gillian Clegg slotted home to make it 5-0 to the AA's. No more goals were scored and both sides retired to enjoy a splendid David Hanks buffet and a visit from Santa on his sleigh. Hockey was definitely the winner on the day though and the following awards were made:
AA's player of the match: Kim Downs
Staines player of the match: their goalkeeper
Spectator of the Day: Carolyn Dale ex AHC player
Ex Meadhurst mixed player of the Day: Tracy Walsh - Staines Captain.
A few photos from the day are enclosed, but more from the splendid camera of Steve McCarthy will soon be available on his website Www.flickr.com/people/ahcpics and then click on album tab.
Have a good Christmas all and a successful 2019, on and off the pitch.
Updated 01:09 - 23 Dec 2018 by Lynne Morgan