Cambridge South Mens 1
4 - 2
Berkhamsted Mens 1

Threepeat

After a stodgy start to the season Cambridge South Men’s 1st team have found their rhythm and put in another convincing display against a decent opposition, including periods of possession hockey as good as the team have produced in years. One such period came right at the start of the game as South kept the ball with great patience for minutes at a time, probing one side then the other. Despite not leading to a goal, keeping the ball so well from the start had the knock-on benefit of allowing each player to find their feet early and play with confidence throughout the game; this was the foundation for a very convincing win.

Throughout the first half, chances came and went but unfortunately South couldn’t pinch a goal; the post was hit a couple of times, short corners were won and there were a good few situations where a slightly longer stick would have broken the deadlock. As is sometimes the case when you don’t take your chances, South went behind to a very good drag flick with five minutes left in the half. South were annoyed and set about getting level before the half time whistle was blown. Oli Lamming chased down a lost cause and forced an error that led to a short corner. Joel pulled the strings at the top of the D and his fine ball was deflected in by Harry - so simple, so effective, I’m not sure why we didn’t try the same move again later in the game?

Anyway, one-one was how the half ended. During the chat Harry remembered all three of his key points, Stu dribbled on his own shoe, everyone in the team decided to win the game and Jim announced he was going to score a hat-trick - he was spot on!

Pearson set the tone right from the whistle, harrying defenders, running with the ball and generally causing havoc. The poor fella didn’t score but he won plenty of free hits that kept the pressure on and from one such set piece the ball found its way to Paresh who tonked it into the D, Jim got a sneaky touch and South were on their way. Two minutes later his prophesy looked like it could be on as he grabbed his second, this time from either a Pearson or Joel pass…possibly someone else, I don’t know, but it was a good ball and a tidy finish. Then with ten minutes left and with Berko pushing on, Jim found himself on the halfway line with nothing but green astro between him and the goal. Off he went at full speed with two defenders in hot pursuit. Jim won the race and as the keeper closed down the angle, he deliberately struck the ball wide of the goal into the feet of one of the retreating defenders who obligingly volleyed it into the goal like Paolo Di Canio. South closed out the game in rock solid fashion and never looked likely to concede again.

Special mention to the defenders, who were up against a decent front line and stood up to the challenge with distinction. There was a great moment towards the end that summed up the way the boys played when three Berko players tried to knock Mariano off the ball - he bulldozed all three out of the way and set up another counter attack - too big, too strong, too good!

Three points, three wins in a row, up to third in the league (for a few hours!)


Sidenote: Berko actually scored their second to take the lead again straight after half time but mentioning it would have spoilt the flow, also it was exactly the same as their first…[yawn]!

Berkhamsted's take on the game can be found here. It's almost like they are reporting on exactly the same seventy minutes…

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Cambridge South Mens 2
1 - 1
Cambridge South Mens 3

Unbreakable

Friday 17th November. The new and very useful clock in my kitchen is taunting me. It seems to think that it is past my bedtime. I don't feel tired. A little queazy. Light headed. Occassional palpitations. Not tired though. Take charge. You're a partner now, remember. What would a partner do? I stride over to my cocktail bar, flip open the northern hemisphere and pound myself another mojito. Loosening the button on my smoking jacket, I recline into my armchair and drink deeply. Better. I just need a plan.

6.50am. My phone vibrates me back into consciousness as the team banter starts to flood into my WhatsApp. Ow, my neck hurts. I click on the first message and the phone speaker springs into life; Stallone singing Eye of the Tiger. I need paracetamol. And a plan. I look down. I didn't crush my lucky shamrock in my sleep so there is hope.

11am. My phone vibrates me back into consciousness. 'Sake, it's that 2s reject pestering me to bring the shirts again; give it a rest, mate. Still I guess I should probably make a start. There are meticulous preparations to be made. Oven is after some important input too. I'll say one thing about him: as a manager he knows how to handle a muffin tin. I think chocolate chip today and fire off a message to that effect before stepping into the shower.

Damn, I'm running late already. Five minutes down the road I have to turn the car around to go back and pick up the shirts. I contemplated briefly making the 3s play in skins but I know Kaptain Korn would only use it as an excuse when they lose. I'm starting to feel a lot happier about the game though. The insecurities of last night have been washed away. We've won five in a row against better oppo than our own 3s. We're in our rightful place above them in the division. The season is going well. The 2s season that starts in mid-October if not the "official" "league" season.

Arriving at Long Road I smooze pitchside. My team are here and ready. Or at least they will be ready once they're out of their vintage stone washed jeans and in their kit. I do hope none of them get injured today. They are like Samuel L. Jackson in that Unbreakable movie only without the great hair and lines. I smile politely and shake hands with the Kernel. I mention in passing that he's doing well to have four of his lads here already; only nine more to arrive and still twenty minutes until pushback.

The atmosphere is tense as the first whistle approaches. Spectators are starting to gather on the sidelines for the "big one" as the 3s propaganda machine would have it. Business as usual for the 2s.

The smoothly oiled machine glides into motion. Possession. Territory. Short corners. The Mann-Menzies machine chews up another defence and spits out a goal! I thought the 3s would have been wise to that one. It's the only one we have after all. We've even practised it against them in training. Still, I'm not complaining. I start whistling, "When You Wish Upon a Star".

I'm not entirely sure the 3s have got the memo though. Every time we give the ball back to them they insist on shifting it back down our end in double quick time. It is all our robust and speedy defence can do to squash these upstarts back into place. Okay, so there are a few slip-ups here and there: the odd back pass, the big defensive air shot, a little friendly physicality.

Still, we reassert ourselves. Darren pulls off a couple of great saves. Anns and I keep our noses clean. Barney, Walshy and Douglas are looking strong. Menzies, Mann, Owen, Max and Pawson are making the passes and moving up the field. Steed Jr is using his youth to stretch the play if not their keeper. Even Angry Dom is keeping his green monster in check. Unfortunately NBM choses this game to express his mischievous side and does a bit of astro rolling in the oppo D.

The crowd is building now, with thirty plus people standing pitchside cheering along. I can't help noticing that they are mostly cheering for the underdog. What's wrong with a bit of well placed and well deserved support for the overdog?!

It is with the greatest shock that suddenly the 3s are swarming upfield towards our D. They use their centre forward's pace and guile to break through, pass, and then put the ball in the back of our net. One-one with the clock counting down and the crowd cheering.

Efforts redoubled, we win short after short but inexplicably slip the ball to their defenders or keeper.

Game over. A draw. With the aftertaste of a loss. All that remains is to retreat to the ladies' changing room and listen to the cheering through the wall. Barney bursts into tears. You mustn't judge though until you've walked a mile in another man's T-shirt.

Now the real hard work begins. How am I going to persuade the 2s to go to the club social tonight?

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Cambridge South Mens 3
1 - 1
Cambridge South Mens 2

Come On, Everybody! Let's Go and Meet the Pansies!

Saturday the 18th November. 6.50am. Chris Rea blares out of my alarm clock. Finally, after three months of waiting, it is time.

I spring out of the hay, cast off my King Julian PJs and jump in the passion wagon. LET'S DO IT!

If we were to prove victorious, I was going to need to use every trick in the book. I'd already employed Jan and his army of fake-news bots to control the media, and took the additional step of planting a covert Rossellini (an unfortunately casualty, later in proceedings) in the crowd.

I arrive at Long Road at approximately 7.15am. With the game scheduled to start at 1.30pm, this gives me plenty of time to hang up the yellow shirts on pegs in the 'Away' (Men's) dressing room. Or at least I would have done that if my nemesis, M2s' creepy overseer, Captain Coops, hadn't confiscated the yellow shirts and not brought them up to the venue until much, much later. They are aliens! Savage aliens from the savage future!

I settle down to scribble down some whiteboard tactics and laminate my teamsheet.

As lunchtime approaches, there is still little sign of my teammates. Were they still too busy assiduously following links that Toby had shared via Whatsapp? I must warn them again about this.

Finally, they start to appear on the horizon. Simon Ta, Dom Nelson, Nev. I had a front line, but what of my rear gunners? With Ash A away and Mariano having leapfrogged the M2s and landed straight in the M1s (nice having you, Mariano!), Matson and Sneade then ghost in, solving that problem. As my most experienced defender, I decide to give the Sneademeister General the most important job of all. If my own experiences with the M2s had taught me one thing - and they probably had only taught me one thing - it was that James Menzies is an absolute grand master of the right post short corner routine. If we could stop that, we would stand a good chance of success.

I fix Neil with my gaze. I explain it to him at length. We have a couple of demonstrations. He signs a form to say he'd understood fully and didn't need any seven day cooling off period. I can't do any more.

The game begins and it goes well. Steve and Kev blow their whistles with authority and skill. Coops is looking worried. 'Are they new grey hairs?' I wonder, in absent-minded fashion.

I need to get my head in the game.

We concede a short corner and it is time to focus.

Jogging back to take my place in the defensive ranks, I overhear the M2s' short corner battery.

MENZIES: What are we going to do?

COOPS: What do you think we are going to do?

It was going to the right post.

I have no fear. Sneadey has this covered. You should see that guy send an e-mail, create a spreadsheet or brand a gilet. And that is all in office hours. He is a capable pair of hands. I have no fear.

Menzies scores.

The first half plays itself out in a disjointed battle for midfield supremacy which both teams lose.

I need to get the boys fired up. The underlayer gets tucked in. I quote Chris de Burgh, as Belgian Al's eyes glaze over in lyrical ecstasy. A hairdryer is thrown at Ed Boggis, which looking back seems a bit harsh.

GAME ON!

'Topple the captain and the rest will follow,' I whisper in Nelson's ear as we get underway. Little did I know that he'd take it so literally. There is an audible wince from the sizable crowd as he barrels into the M2s' skipper.

Nelson is clearly pumped up by this physical encounter, like Gerard Butler in '300', and shortly afterwards takes off on a mazy run that combines the best and worst of Sumo and Kamizake. He picks out a rampaging Mathews, freed momentarily from his pirate-marking duties, who shovels the ball across to Ash Dookun. IT IS IN! IT IS IN!

Lines blur. Colours shift. Time loses all meaning. Being is feeling.

Any experience can only be observed from your present point of reference.

I may need a sit down.

Have I been paintballing?

I've got a bigger crown! It's got a gecko on it. Look at him shake! Go, Stevie, go.

Neil, my arm is tired. Wave it for me. Faster, you naughty little monkey!


See you on the 3rd March.

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Cambridge South Mens 4
1 - 1
Ely City Mens 2

Stalemate But Still Unbeaten

A mere sixteen hours after England Ladies played out their opening encounter against Germany in the Sentinel Homes Hockey World League Finals (now showing on BT Sports), it was South M4s' turn to grace the turf.

In a first half of limited incidents, South did have the ball in the net courtesy of a solid strike from Paul South. Unfortunately, the umpires deemed that the ball was struck outside the D. It turns out that decision was spot on. At the other end South were lucky not to concede a short when a strong save by George rebounded the ball into an Ely forward's face. Ely inadvertently returned the favour shortly afterwards when a strong tackle down the wing resulted in the ball ricocheting into Ben's head. But he's made of tough stuff and bounced straight back up. The only other noteworthy point of the half was a tactical change at the back which saw sweeper Pip switch positions with right back Jan - a move generally thought to have had a negative impact later on in a clubhouse poll.

The game's opening goal came early in the second half when the promising Southern midfield play broke down and a flood of opposition forwards found themselves outnumbering South defenders in the D. Things were looking desperate and the home side relied on a heroic George preventing further deficit with a vital save when faced with three on one. Despite the loss of an arm protector the keeper kept brave and put his body on the line. South slowly regained authority and came close when a few short corners went begging, including an incredible save from the keeper to deny Toby's flick nestling in the corner. The deserved equaliser eventually came following one such short. The ball wasn't properly cleared and injected back in from Sev. Rob trapped but his mis-hit shot fell to Paul to touch on, for Simon to volley home at the back post. South were dominating as the game concluded but there wasn't time to find the winner.

A point earned or two dropped? Probably more the latter, though Ely would certainly have been disappointed with a loss. Fortunately, the other crunch game in the division saw Nomads M3s and Kettering M3s split the honours in a similar draw. George and Jimmy (US sitcom characters?) shared the MoM award for exploits at either end; and LoM went equally to Ben and Jelley (ice cream anyone?) for warm-up avoidance.

The new and improved pizzas ordered from Perfect Pizza went down a treat.

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Cambridge South Mens 5
1 - 1
St Ives Mens 5

South M5s Draw at St Ives

Having beaten St Ives 5ths five-one in a friendly earlier this year, we were confident of another win.

Thinking that this might be a good time to try a new formation, captain Pete Dreuitt suggested a strategy that concentrated on attacking, which relied on his fitness and running abilities to help in defence as required. We chewed on the idea of a 3-4-3, but finally settled on a 2-4-4, due to more straightforward substitutions.

Unfortunately, illness took hold of the poor chap leaving him unable to play, and winning him Lemon of the match in good jest. We hope you feel better soon, Pete! Howard Steed kindly took up the mantle in his place.

The theory was brilliant. Unfortunately, even though we gelled well towards the end of the first half, it did not pan out so well in practice as it proved rather difficult to run back to defend against the young legs of St Ives. At half time, we decided to go back to our usual 4-4-2.

For the prestigious Man of the Match award, volunteer goalkeeper James Piper was crowned king by an overwhelming seven votes, and rightly so as he played like a pro, stopping numerous shots on goal, kicking balls with might across the pitch and ensuring that the game was not lost.

Other Lemon runners-up include:

  • Alex West for having and then unfortunately missing two great opportunities on goal due to bad luck, and then hiding with his co-conspirator away from the team during teas.

  • Shahzad Ali, for suggesting that perhaps Lemons of the Match could write match reports as with some other teams (and so he did).

  • The floodlights, which went out eleven minutes before the game finished, forcing the game to stop and then only continue after the umpires barred aerials (the down-time was well spent; the author got acquainted with his mark - a friendly St Ives player for thirty years and proud father, who told of his daughter who was captain of the Ladies' 1s and now works with England Hockey).

  • Stuart Creed, for being our glorious paladin martyr, courageously deflecting a fast aerial ball to the face with his sword, receiving a ball from a full swing that resulted in the formation of a third knee, and then almost being knocked out; all in defence of home goal which housed King James Piper in full Crown Armour (actually, Stu was also runner up MoM for the exact same reasons… Hmmm…)

Some other great memories include:

  • Injured warrior Adrian Granger Brown scoring a goal even with a seemingly broken finger. The opposition D was so chaotic that although we know he scored the goal, we are collectively unsure as to exactly how.

  • Andi Caddy, Andy Thomas, Alex West, and Peter Creed also all had fantastic shots on goal. Unfortunately, they were missed by short distances.

  • Chevaliers Garth Wells and Ky Ho, while out-manned, out-paced, and out-gunned, shutting down the opposition attack all by themselves during the first half.

  • Luke Bevan, who was playing only his second game of hockey, hassling opposition players constantly and finding space for ball reception.

  • Wilco Dijkstra tag-teaming with Stuart Creed to ensure South's midfield was formidable throughout the game.

We were also awarded a number of short corners. One which springs to mind involved a glorious artillery push-out by Sebastian Dias, who used all his might. It was so good in fact that it missed our players and ended up on the other side of the pitch. No-one was by any means disappointed of course; the sheer spectacle of the move was worth it.

Although St Ives played competitively, South had more possession of the ball and far more great chances at goal than the opposition throughout the game, which were unfortunately foiled due mostly to bad luck time and again. Simply put, everyone played great. Indeed, another time and another day, things could have easily been very different.

For our next game however, Ky, with a wide grin, suggests that perhaps we might try 1-1-8?

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Cambridge South Ladies 1
0 - 1
City of Peterborough Ladies 2

New Week, New Us

Breakfast at the Farm

The L1s started off the day in the best way possible, breakfast at the farm.

Dog playing: 10/10 (Burt is a hero)
Tea (flowing): 9/10
Sausages: 8/10
Bacon: 7/10 (could have been crispier)
Sausage innuendos: 10/10

Pre-match ritual

Following extensive negotiations for spaces in the cars, the L1s made their way to Peterborough for the game.

Visit to the castle: 10/10
Reception at Peterborough: 0/10
Heating in the changing room: 0/10
Wait time before the game: 1/10

First Half

After an extensive wait time before getting on the pitch, we got going.

Kim's new formation: 7/10 (L1s dominated the first half with fast paced exciting hockey, the new formation working wonders)
Cambridge South press: 10/10 (they had nowhere to go)
We were great, little to report on: 8/10

Half-time Talk

Jelly Babies at half time: 0/10 (non-existent)

Second half

The lack of jelly babies led to a weaker second half performance: the sausages had worn off.

Muzza's egg head: 9/10
Last minute subs during short corners: 1/10
Blythe's rugby tackle on a five year old: 10/10 (spectacular)
Taking a seat instead of scoring deflections: 10/10
Last five minutes of the game: 0/10 (Peterborough goal from a short corner)
Appreciation of Peterborough's post match celebration: 0/10

Post-match

Biscuit selection: 7/10 (could have done with a chocolate covered Hobnob)
Ability to take home 10+ biscuits ninja style: 11/10
MOM: Alice Wright - superstar striker
LOM: Blythe Murphy - took out a child
      : Izzy MacDonald-Parry - missing an open goal

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Cambridge South Ladies 2
1 - 3
St Ives Ladies 3

The day our privilege showed

It was 10:54am. We had made it to St Ives. One of us had broken a vending machine, another had visited the Indoor Centre first, just to be thorough. But all players were accounted for and ready to go (if not all that spritely). Where was our umpire? Naomi, would you umpire? Never fear, Jan is here! Our hero in yellow came dashing on, and without much further ado, the game was afoot.

Except we didn't turn up. Physically yes, but with the normal L2s style, sadly not. One might blame the fact that we have grown too accustomed to a fast playing surface. Indeed, the St Ives sandy carpet was a challenge for those of us who expected the ball to travel at greater speeds than a snail's sprint, or who had temporarily confused Cambridge South's kit for that fashionable green affair that our guided busway cousins sport. Our privilege showed when we repeatedly failed to go meet the ball. Normally, it comes to us.

Really, there were some stand out moments. Or sit down moments, if you're Kendra Seed and you've just received a short corner injection to the top of the D. Why strike when you could become even more grounded? A sentiment that several players on both sides took to heart, with quite a few falling foul to the slippy sandiness of St Ives over the course of the game.

Early chance gone, and St Ives were quick to the ball (literally, every time) and quick to net two goals to place us firmly on the back foot (or bumcheek, multiple times) fairly early on.

This isn't our normal pattern, you note. Well, personally I blame Mr Brynjolfssen's outlandish pre-match report for the lack of match-winning early goals from Dr Lee. If she'd wanted such critical acclaim, she could have pursued her early dreams of being a Rose instead of letting her sister take the Galway crown.

The half-time talk was tense. MISSING: the L2s A game - last seen during last week's match, if found please do return to Long Road College, preferably in time for Dave to not notice a thing.

Soon into the second half, and Loopy (I hasten to add here that we hugely appreciate her outstanding effort this weekend to rack up some travelling miles for the end of season awards, thank you!) added to the hilarity with a nonchalant kicking save, so nonchalant in fact that St Ives lead was extended once more, and we could not come back from being 3-0 down.

However, we weren't finished yet. No no. Captain Warburton had a trick up her sleeve, one she's been practising for a while. Give that woman a free hit outside the 23 (outside, not inside) and watch her step up. One solid hit straight into the D, a glancing kiss off Kendra's stick, a sweet deflection past the Ives goalie, and bang, the backboard was met. It was a moment of true beauty. None of these scrappy goals, it's all or none for the L2s. And for the last 15 minutes, it was all indeed. That's the L2s we know, fighting tooth and nail for every ball, no matter who we take out. Connecting passes. Genuine spirit in the game. It's a shame it was all too little too late.

Never mind, there were sausages, chips and beans for teas.

Lemon votes were duly awarded to Jan for being exactly on time to umpire (thanks for travelling!), Naomi for playing in a hat (it was cold!) and Kendra for her sit-down short corner (that's a novel take), but even this was pipped to the citrus post by Jess for making the classic Ives mistake and detouring to the Indoor Centre (someone has to).

Despite the bitterness in this match report, there was actually some good play involved, and notable mentions go to Harriet, Emily and Dani (cheered on by her ma and pa), bettered only by our player of the match, Katie G. Whilst this was likely due to her tenacity and perseverance on the pitch, it could also have been for bringing along her lovely sister, who quite literally froze her fingers off to cheer us on. Hooray for family support!

Note: there were more LoM and PoM nominees who will remain a mystery unless my memory is jogged, sorry!

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Cambridge South Ladies 3
8 - 0
Huntingdon Ladies 2

Pizza Should Take Priority Over Personal Hygiene - Apparently…

After all-round high expectations of upholding our recent run of form, the team were briefed to expect a slightly tougher game today against the pre-season favourites to win our division. Huntingdon undoubtedly came prepared, with a strong, solid defence regularly breaking down our fast-flowing attacking play. Jan's preview ringing in our ears, the team's objectives were to keep a clean sheet and try to replicate as much of our goalscoring glory as was possible.

At the point we started to warm up (more accurately, the opposition - some time before us), there was some very bright, low level glaring sunshine dazzling the players. I suspect this led to us being gifted first pushback despite losing the toss. Yet to truly be able to claim we can replicate the L2s' Eimear-early-scoring-factor, we started building up our passing play, dominating early possession, but were met with some strong, successful tackles from Huntingdon's defensive line. Much to the relief of the captain, a ball eventually found its way through to Tuffers inside the D for the goal pie magic to begin. Short range firepower fully operational! #phew! (We tend to chill out and start playing our own game once we've got one in!) Very shortly after, following one of Huntingdon's fast breaks which ran straight into South's eagerly awaiting back line, a free hit taken quickly by Laurie headed up the pitch via Lauren and Rebecca to go out wide to Dani, to drive into the D to pass from the base line across for Kath to finish off into the back of the net. Beautiful hockey, ladies!

Another sequence of fast play resulted in Tuffers getting an open play shot at goal, deftly saved by the keeper into the air, for Dani, right up in her kickers/pads, to attempt to aerial the ball into the goal, but thwarted AGAIN! But third time's the charm, as the second aerial ball Dani directs firmly into the backboards! Fantastic hand-eye co-ordination! On a roll not long after, she pops in a classic crossed-to-the-post goal.

Tireless work from our midfield (evident throughout the game, not just at this moment in time) brought about our fifth, as Jess (of the Langford variety this week) fed Tuffers a lovely ball, to sink firmly into the goal. Resilient play by Huntingdon kept the score to this up until the half time whistle. Five-nil! Not a bad halftime score…

After what can only be described as a rather lacklustre half time talk - along the lines of, "That's great, more of the same please" - play resumed. Can't score quickly at the start of the game, but can from the start of the second half, it would seem; at a mere two minutes into it Tuffers took her third slice of goal pie for the day.

Acclimatising to our playing style, Huntingdon started closing us down quicker, successfully breaking down our fast, flowing hockey by engaging us in tackles before we could release the ball. At this point we resorted to trying to dribble our way through by beating players with skills. Really not our best hockey! Fortunately it seemed to dawn on us that this was not producing the same number of opportunities on goal, so we resorted back to the previous Thursday's training focus of switching it around the back, utilising the able support of the ever eager Hannah, to give us the fast break up to Dani, allowing her to complete her hat-trick.

About halfway through the second half, disaster struck! Throughout the game there had been increasing incidents of Huntingdon's sticks missing the ball only to make contact with South's feet/ankles mid-tackle, thus far largely uninfluential. Unfortunately one such stick managed to find the fatal spot between the bottom of Tuffer's shin pad and the top of her astro, right on the bone! It downed her for a good while before she was able to hobble off the pitch, unfit to return to the game, or make it to the evening's social, and MOST tragically missing paintballing on Sunday as a result! Poor Olivia had barely been subbed off for thirty seconds, having been running around like a madman in midfield, before she was pulled back on to play centre forward to replace Tuffers! She had had an extended stint in the first half too, thanks to Lauren's injury addiction (more on this later). Quite how she managed to continue with such speed and tenacity given these circumstances is beyond me! But it was a sterling effort!

In contrast to our game against Newmarket 4s a couple of weeks back, which was nothing but attacking short after attacking short, this game, short corners had been very thin on the ground. Winning one after the loss of Lucy to strike them caused much confusion. However we chose to go for Dani trapping, for Rebecca to push left, for Kath to sweep into the back of the goal from left slip. This could not have been a more textbook demonstration of one of our short corner routines - a satisfyingly polished final goal of the match!

We continued to pressure the opposition D for the duration of the game. However I think injuries and our lack of subs for the right part of the pitch started to take their toll and we couldn't find the magic to take us into the double figures of our previous three games. Plus credit where credit is due, Huntingdon's defence prosed a real challenge for us, having a much better second half as a team, producing the odd break of their own – safely mopped up by Maria at centre back.

Other highlights included:

  • The welcome return to the pitch of Janette, supposedly playing in our defensive back line. However she was definitely sighted at some point during the first half, after coming up to support a long corner, taking the ball on a scintillating run from the twenty-three to the base line inside the attacking D, only to be denied a shot on goal by a dogged Huntingdon defender.

  • A mere five minutes into the game, Lauren, who was clearly concerned that (despite her weekly contributions) her shares in the club's ice pack supplier were under threat, so amid a fraught scuffle with the opposition, felt obliged to take a lifted ball square to the top of her right temple. Subbing, ice pack and shiner of an egg-shaped welt followed shortly after. Stoic as ever, she returned to the pitch in time to play the majority of the half, demonstrating her ever-reliant relentless running around in our midfield.

  • Diva antics from our youngest player; Olivia, in a moment of intense frustration, threw her stick across the pitch, narrowly missing an opposition player during the second half (the facts of this incident may have altered for dramatic effect)! An action which would have been worthy of winning her Lemon of the Match if it wasn't for the teas conspiracy…

  • Apparently Dani also managed to execute an excellent swan dive!

  • During the first half Huntingdon made a great break to take an open play shot on goal – it was a cracking arching ball intended for the top right-hand corner near the cross bar. In any other game it probably would have been a goal but with Lou, giving up her usual outfield forward position to don the keeper's pads for this weekend (with the injured Louise Roberson on the side lines in support), jumping to causally swat the ball down with her hand pad, Huntingdon were denied. This was to be her only touch of the ball, but a spectacular save nonetheless!

The game finished eight-nil. Objectives achieved; three points, a clean sheet; and enough goals to make us the highest scoring team out of all the Men's and Ladies' teams playing in any of the East Hockey League divisions so far this season (sixty goals – but who's counting, eh?) Post match, all bar one of the team headed straight over to Cantabs, eager to sample the new Perfect Pizzas! I learnt today that showering post-match is not approved of by my team… I should be dashing straight over to salivate over them eating the glutinous, dairy-drenched treachery I can't touch, least I come twenty minutes late to discover every single LoM vote has been amended to my name for choosing to shower rather go straight to teas. Upon closer inspection, people's original pre-coup votes would have crowned Olivia LoM for the aforementioned incident.

MoM however was far from the same repetitive tale; with single votes for Lucy (Tuffers), Dani, Kath, Rebecca, Lauren, Olivia, Hannah, Janette and Lou; but Jess took the title with three votes for her great supportive role in midfield.

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Cambridge South Ladies 4
2 - 4
Royston Ladies 3

A Rainy Day in Royston

Sorry, what was that? Short? And again? And again? Aaaaand again? Really? Great. Cheers! Oh WHAT! It's started raining shorts? And NOT in favour of South.

Well it didn't affect the outstanding play by Cambridge L4s vs Royston L3s this week. With two new U16 players on the pitch and half the team made up of semi-new players, it was a cracking game. The Ladies’ 4s took the lead in the first half and were up two-one thanks to some on-point goals by Emily Stevenson. The second half started well, but sadly Royston pipped in a couple of cheeky goals in the final fifteen minutes, finishing with a four-two win.

Lemon of the Match to Laura Edge… Where were you, mate?! Man of the Match was awarded to Cassie Woodfin for amazing keeping… Watch out Loopy…

(Is that long enough, Jan?!)

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