Men’s 6s have a day out for the Dads and Lads
Published on 14th Nov, 2022
A glorious afternoon greeted the 6’s as they made their way to Dr Challoner’s Grammar (not to be confused with Dr Challoner’s High School – an easy mistake to make!)
The opposition…Amersham and Chalfont awaited, what turned out to be, the classic ‘Dads and Lads’ team. From the start i.e., the warm up, the skipper demanded the highest standards from everyone.
Anyone not ‘opening and closing the gate’ or ‘feeding the chickens’ correctly was told so by the skipper. The pre-match team contained the usual blah, keep it simple, play round them, work hard off the ball, stretch the play… blah blah blah…actually, on this occasion it seemed to work!
From the whistle it became clear that the opposition were well organised, would play hard and indeed were comfortable on the ball. The 6’s were going need to have their wits about them. For starters not give the ball away cheaply. Unfortunately, this was not to be case as six or seven passes went astray gifting the opposition – Christmas had come early. However, there was only one culprit; ‘Never mind Jules it can only get better’– SUBTEXT – The 7’s were short today…perhaps next week!
Thankfully the defence were imperious with Cookey, Hutts, Rogues and Muzza resisting the Amersham forwards. Then from nowhere, a counter attack opportunity, a slip up in the Amersham defence and Gillo pounced, coolly stroking the ball into the back of the goal from a tricky angle(1-0). The oppo came again but the 6’s resisted with Gillers and the skipper staring to hit their stride in midfield. They were now finding Cuthers who was enjoying some freedom at the top of the diamond. Indeed, a lovely interchange down the left from the skipper, Gillo and Finners provided Cuthers with the opportunity from the top of D and the ball was slotted home (2-0) no one could quite believe it – somewhat against the run of play. The opposition sensing the game slipping away from them bounced back taking full advantage of Hutts being impeded on the 25 to claw one back.
The game started to open up with some end-to-end hockey. The 6’s produced some good pace and quality alongside some outstanding goalkeeping by Herrings who made some sublime saves and frustrated the opposing forwards. In the final 10 minutes of the half there were three eventful short corners. At this point one of the umpires was somewhat over-zealous on one particular rule:
If any attacker breaks early at a short corner, the injector (not the early-breaking attacker) has to go to the halfway for the re-take. Imagine if you were a disgruntled attacker who wanted to inject…
Anyway, at least the 6’s could feel reassured that some of the rule book had been read – although not the section on 16-yard hits.
Anyway, back to the action, a slip left was calmly put away by Finners (3-1). The next was a successful one for the oppo (3-2) and in the dying minutes a short corner for the 6’s – a one two exchange at the top of the D – hits a foot in front of goal – going in? Stroke? Nope going wide – another short corner. This time a scuffed strike towards goal which bounced before going in. Lengthy discussion between the umpires – goal not given! At half time the 6’s led 3-2.
The team talk was about how the team had played so well and how individuals had stuck to the task and perhaps some more BLAH!!
Anything could happen…and it did; and what transpired was that the 6’s conceded 4 unanswered goals. A mixture of error and interesting umpire decisions. Chances came and went with Finners terrorising their right back who in the end resorted to some ‘non hockey’ tactics. Note: the Rugby League World Cup is on! Smithers was a revelation on the left, both in defence and in midfield – and now the 6’s had Muzza on the right and Smithers on the left. The only way through for the opposition was to take advantage of some extraordinary interpretation of what constitutes a ’16 yard’ hit!!...and admittedly a few errors!
The ‘Lads’ continued to excel throughout and tried to secure a well-deserved goal in the second half. At the final whistle the 6’s had forced a short corner, bringing out a couple of sharp saves from their keeper but to no avail.
The 3 points quite rightly went to an impressive Amersham side but the 6’s made them earn each and every one! Thank you to travelling support and watch out Yateley!