Andy Thomas's navy blue 04 plated Laguna was first spotted travelling west-bound on Houghton Road, St Ives at 1033 hours. Unexpectedly, the Laguna was sent off-course and careering into a nearby housing estate by its driver (presumed but not confirmed to be Andy T) at the traffic-light controlled crossroads with Ramsey Road. The vehicle re-emerged on the correct route at 1036 hours, where it was sighted heading north up Hill Rise before making a slow but certain nearside turn (without indication, I hasten to add) on to California Road. The Laguna was then followed at a discreet distance until its arrival at the expected destination of the 'One Leisure' (interesting/simple name for a sports ground that comprises multiple football pitches, tennis courts, an athletics track and an astro pitch etc. etc.)
The Laguna came to a halt perfectly within the lines of a parking bay in the car park, and after five to ten seconds there was activity seen within the vehicle followed by a confirmed sighting of Andy T alighting from the driver's door. Andy T was promptly 'set upon' and the car keys taken into safe keeping to prevent any repeat of last season's 'Car Lock In/Out' Incident.
A good start!
South arrived with a six man + six lady squad (following a 24 hour period that saw five members of the team drop out due to unexpected issues which included lost dogs, broken fingers, forgotten flights and exams) and got on with a casual warm up whilst waiting for the umpires to arrive. Lou G/W managed to have a suitable warm up to ensure she was in 'A Game' mode. A lack of natural defenders meant Amalia was put in at right back (which I sold to her by calling it 'wing-back', which is a simpler way of saying, 'Feel free to leg it up the wing into their half, but you had better be there defending when they attack to stop their left winger, or I will be angry!!!') Rebecca and Emily had their names swapped for the duration of the day through no fault of their own, I'm just bad with names.
The game got started with some strong attacks and good passing from both teams on a great playing surface (the astro had been rained on). St Ives opened the scoring from a short corner strike but this was quickly replied to by a persistent Wizard getting the ball over the line following some good passing and work down the left wing. St Ives scored just before half time through a freaky ricocheting of the ball off a number of sticks.
The half time didn't feature any Haribo (sorry I forgot this, I had intended to grab some on the way to the ground but I had sighted Andy T's Laguna which diverted my attention to more important matters) but it did feature the Graveling Family (Chris, Becca and their two offspring, one of which once said I was, 'A little bit fat'), who popped down to support us for about five minutes before the freezing wind sent them off to do something better for the afternoon. My prediction was we were going to turn the game around and win three-two.
It's a good job I'm not a betting man and not trying to make a living out of half time team talks, as St Ives deployed 'Slim Shady' (that's on the back of his shirt - the good one who decimates all teams at our Summer Tournament) who scored a couple of quick goals that not even our star goalie, Lou G/W, could stop.
The game stayed at four-one to St Ives all the way to the final whistle, which was a shame as South had some sustained attacking periods in the latter parts of the game. I managed to fall over, which earned me many votes for Lemon of the Match (a bit harsh really???)
The match teas comprised sausages, chips and beans and a lot of tea. St Ives are really good hosts and we look forward to the return fixture in the new year (date yet to be fixed - let's get this side of Christmas out of the way first).
Our next game is Round One of the England Hockey Mixed National Tournament at home against Watton on Sunday 26th November, pushback at 12.15. Hopefully we will get a good crowd to come and support us!