“Yellow socks, yellow shirts, nothing else yellow.” Stu Rimmer, 23rd November
Following a feisty encounter the previous week, captain Stu’s message was straightforward. Or so we thought. After overcoming a last minute yellow sock and shirt crisis, the M1s headed up the A14 to Kettering equipped with fourteen calm players, twenty-six yellow socks and thirteen yellow shirts. With the absent skipper's words in mind, the pre-match buzzwords were ‘temper’ (restrain the animal within), along with ‘tempo’ (control the speed of the game).
After edging the opening exchanges against a well-organised Kettering, we were rewarded with a prime opportunity to take the lead. Woe betide, the ball fell to the ever-clinical Harry C five yards out. Unbelievably, the keeper pulled off the impossible save from a shot which was straight down the middle with little to no power or lift.
Fortunately, not long after this we took the lead through a well worked short routine, which Sam kindly allowed James to bundle in. With the tempo looking good, Joel swiftly forgot about his temper and the inner beast started to take hold, resulting in some handbags and verbals. The animal now in the driving seat, Joel allowed the opposition striker to run through on goal unopposed, assuming the whistle would go for a possible Kettering foot moments earlier. No whistle came and the team looked on as George saved the day. Although this earned him Lemon, the animal was not seen for the rest of the afternoon.
An aerial bombardment rained in the second half, Tom Rosselli demonstrating a regular way of dealing with the high ball. Mikey, equally effective, took a more unorthodox approach with a series of mind bogglingly uncoordinated but sensational reverse stick takes.
Some controlled build up let James double his goal tally with another reverse hit, firing in under the keeper to give us a two goal cushion. With twenty to go, Kettering worked up some strong momentum for five or so minutes. Tempo in mind, we slowed the match down, took the sting out the game and largely controlled the last ten-to-fifteen minutes.
All round, it was a real team performance with no clear stand out performers. Notable mentions must go to:-
George for some fine saves to keep a clean sheet on his return to the 1s.
James who, after two weeks away on a mindfulness boot camp, restrained the inner beast for an entire seventy minutes.
Sam for picking up MoM after a good shift in midfield.
Match 10 v Long Sutton. We have played each other for decades and this match was quite like that. We knew who their best players were, they knew who our better players were! Naah, not really, they didn't!
Our warm up was good, sun was good, weather was good, no rain in November was good and the first ten minutes were better than our last nine matches!
We controlled the midfield, Puddefoot, Coops, Walsh and Menzies doubling up to stop their Number 15! Captain Coops was shouting, "Don't dive! Just channel!" Sometimes it's good to listen to him, so this time we did! Our defenders, Anns, Asbo, Artaman, Catley and Bhav were calm with the ball. The back and around passes worked well.
Left and right flanks worked brilliantly. Passes from Catley to Tom/Jon & Bhav to Jimmy/Shin down the flanks allowed us to get into Long Sutton's D. Slowly and steadily we built on our movement from the middle too. In one such move Shin got the ball and dodged three or four defenders to pass the ball to Puddefoot. Simple slot into the back of the goal! One-nil in the first twenty-five minutes.
In another move, Shin and Jon combined well. They worked on "pass and move", and kept going past three or four defenders together. Through on the keeper, they went, "You score." "Naah, you score." "Naah, you score"! The Sutton defender stole the ball and cleared!
Another move - I could copy and paste, replacing Shin with Menzies. Jon now had a crack at the goal and it whizzed pass the right post! Bhav did something "not so easy" and got the LoM! That was the first half!
Half time talk - lets keep doing what we have been doing!
Copied and pasted from the M1s' report >> An aerial bombardment rained in the second half, Tom Anns demonstrating a regular way of dealing with the high ball. Artaman, equally effective, took a more unorthodox approach with series of mindbogglingly uncoordinated but sensational reverse stick takes (and sometimes kicking the ball too).
In a move, the Sutton strikers went past our goalie and then slotted it in. One-one. Did the ball bounce off the Sutton players body? Was it a back stick? Not sure, but the goal stood!
We all put in a big effort in the last ten minutes to get our second goal. In other circumstances, one would say that we got one fewer penalty corner than we expected in the last ten minutes. Steedy was shouting in my ear till it bled about this. One brave man tried to stop Jimmy's run down the left flank, literally by body checking him (had he not seen the size of Jimmy's body?) and then Jimmy was subbed off by "Hot Head Steedy".
Seventy minutes - final whistle. It's the best we have played this season! Intensity was high, passing was precise, strength of the ball was brilliant, when we found space we took that space, we marked well! Just didn't get our second goal. Unfortunate.
MoM went to Tom Anns - for being a good defender! Let's stop giving him MoMs now and we must keep a check on our love for him!
LoM went to Bhav - description below:
So a simple side line ball on the left side of the pitch, about three meters from the substitutes. Menzies is the sub, giving simple instructions.
Menzies says: Easy
Bhav's brain: Ok
Menzies says: Easy
Bhav's brain: Ok (2nd time)
Menzies says: Easy
Bhav's brain: Ok (3rd time)
Bhav hits the ball like he's teeing off on the 18th hole! The ball flies and hits the Sutton player on his bottom! He is on the floor and Bhav's embarrassed!
Menzies: It was the easiest ball and you hit it in the most complicated way! Wow!
Alex Pashley tells defamation trial post-match voting made him look like a ‘criminal’
Player-of-the-season-winning CSHC player says outcome of vote left him feeling “Sick… A total stitch-up.”
The Cambridge South Men’s Third XI player, Alex Pashley, has told a defamation trial that he was made to look like a “criminal” by the outcome of a post-match vote following the team’s defeat to Bourne Deeping Threes on Saturday, 24 November.
Pashley appeared on the first day of his seven-day court case against Cambridge’s Men’s Third XI, saying the accusations had sent him into a “tumultuous spiral of despair.”
“It’s been the worst fourteen and a half hours of my life,” he said.
“This [voting] was unjustified and baseless. It’s impossible to understand what their motives were. It’s incredible what an accusation like this can do you, as a person… It really has done irreparable damage.”
The former player-of-the-season holder for the Men’s Fourth XI is perhaps the eighth best-known player of the current Men’s Third XI. He is presently suing the Third XI over a series of votes made at the end of their meeting with the Bourne Deeping Men’s Third XI where, in a hotly contested Lemon-of-the-Match award, it was claimed that Pashley had made “prolonged and malicious eye contact…with Nevin Warren’s genitalia and buttocks,” alleged to have taken place post-match in the changing area.
Pashley claims the votes defamed him, portraying him as a “pervert” and a “predator”.
For some observers, the original charges moved the spotlight away from the disappointing performance of the Men’s Third XI against Bourne Deeping, which ended 2-1 to the home team. Whilst lively to begin with and with promising moves which pulled South back from a one-goal deficit, an early second-half goal by Bourne Deeping proved crucial in sealing the three points, leaving South adrift in the league and the team in a fractious state.
In his opening statement, Pashley’s barrister, Neil Sneade, said, “I don’t know what I’m doing here. I’m an intellectual property lawyer.”
The crucial Lemon vote that spawned the defamation trial was mired in controversy, with no clear outcome until the critical final vote was cast. Before this point, the vote had been deadlocked between Ashvin Dookun, Nevin Warren, and Pashley, for charges of hangover, hotboxing and leering, respectively. The Man-of-the-Match vote was more decisive for Mike Gillingham, whose excellent performance in goal was duly rewarded.
Joe Whittaker, one of the scorers on the day, commented, “Enough about my amazing drag-flicked worldie [sic]… You could see it in his eyes. [Pashley] was practically licking his lips. We shouldn’t stand for it, and [the vote] has shown that.”
Matt Kern, another witness, was more pragmatic but similarly damning in his response. “Fair enough, he’s sat at eye-level, but we all know where we should be looking when Nevvie [sic] drops his shorts. I expected better from [Pashley].” When asked about his vote, Kern dissembled. “Doesn’t matter what I think, does it? It’s all down to the vote. He’s peered through the looking glass and now he’s got to write that match report.”
Ali Edge, also in attendance, took a different view of the day. “To be honest I think it’s a non-issue; this [vote] should have gone another way.” In a perhaps telling hint as to his own voting preference, Edge added, “This was nothing compared to my experience on the journey: trapped with two chain-smoking reprobates in a car travelling at a mere 46 miles an hour… The journey was only meant to take an hour.” Edge coughed, adding, “I’ve probably got emphysema now. They’ll be hearing from my lawyer shortly.”
An anonymous commenter known to be familiar with the matter said, “Sounds drummed up to me… I’m surprised [Pashley] could even see anything.” When pushed to clarify whether they were referring to poor visibility due to steam, the commenter replied, “Oh. Yeah. The steam. Sure, that’s what I meant.”
Earlier the court heard that the relationship between Pashley and Warren, known to be the subject of the accusations, was “professional” and “cordial”. WhatsApp conversations disclosed after the incident revealed Warren’s feelings: “You’re only human, Pash.”
Following the first day of the hearing an angry woman with an unclear connection to the incident, who refused to give her name, remarked, “This trial’s a distraction. The real issue’s that Sneade fella,” reciting an oft-mentioned theory in conspiracist circles. “Hockey socks and team dugouts? Why are they focusing on this? They should be following the money!” The visibly agitated woman left hurriedly before further details could be elaborated. Her identity remains unclear.
Despite the clear split opinion surrounding the circumstances of the vote and within the wider club, Pashley affirmed his desire to clear his name. “I maintain I’ve done nothing wrong. The whole thing was motivated out of malice and frustration, that we lost to a team we could have beat [sic]. It’s just gossip, pure and simple. They’ll see”.
“To add insult to injury, they didn’t even serve chicken goujons at the teas.”
The trial continues.
19:30 – I’m calm, I’m good, I’m at peace. I’ve had a couple of London Prides, backed up by an Erdinger. Life’s good. No thinking about the day just past.
13:12 – James shouts “Owen! Get up you lazy b@stard, get on the pitch.” I leap; shouldn’t have been on the floor, it was a quick two minutes. Harsh - but he is Neymar, and I was only complimenting the ump.
05:50 - Early start. YES!!……Hockey day, so keen, as mustard!! Going to be tough; City at home, big club, home advantage. It’s in Cambs, that’s a home game, for both teams? Was JJ sending drunk texts last night? Was I? Can’t send drunk texts if you don’t drink; irrelevant; we now have fourteen players and man that has played in goal before! & NBM – who’s that?
13:13 – Last minute of the game, red socks squeeze into the purple D, ping a shot off, the Moncks/Monks big left flipper gets in the way, screams into the top left… Oooo that’s that goal… Bugger. Undeserved.
20:00 – Second Erdinger down. Need to book that trip to Cologne (or is it Klön?). I miss Dietmar, Benny and Daniel-san. Feeling fuzzy now, how was the hockey – lots of goals scored, but I am not happy. Hang on - was that in my game? I was on the pitch though, confusing. Must ask Matty about the wee wee peeoples
13:10 - K nicks it again. How does he do that? Cracking to have him back, it’s good. James charges down a pass again, and again!! M.o.M. in the making that lad. And again!!! Don’t tell Kerny about it. Shhh
12:00 – Game kicks off. Where’s Big Dave and Big Dave’s feet? Can’t be important, won’t be important.
15:40 – Calmer now; have witnessed the L2s smash in nine, which I am sure they will let you know about. On reflection, maybe I didn’t need to point out, the ump had given a hit our way - who’d ump anyway, can’t play a game without them. But it is frustrating, sometimes.
13:15 – Gutted…? We didn’t deserve that. But they scored one, we scored two…Hhang on…really? Which end? Jelley wasn’t playing was he?
10:00 – Sri Lanka are 173-1, well on top. TalkSport2 is a poor substitute for TMS – doesn’t cut it. Plus, fewer pigeons in Colombo. Ah…Blowers…
12:10 – Big Dave turns up; two mins later so do his feet.
12:55 – Ooooohhh, John Gourd hits the post, falls to Big South (Big Height South, not Big Weight South), slams it across, just misses the back post. Anguish all round.
15:40 – Half time 9-0 …ouch. That was unexpected, or was it? Ten wins from ten.
11:15 – “Which is pitch three?” “That’ll be the one with the massive number three on it…” Those City boys are sharp. #pitchenvy #hockeyshopenvy #notpregamechangingroomenvy
13:40 - Rub of the green, roll of the dice, 50-50s, bounce of the ball. Could have gone either way…we’ll have ‘em at LR
12:25 – We’ve done really well. They’re more ‘experienced’ but K is a machine in the middle. He’s running again… Hope he knows where he is going, I don’t.
20:30 – Brother sends a joke over WhatsApp. It’s not mathematically correct therefore have to point it out. Can’t trust him – he did geography.
12:20 – Oh Nelson, that is sublime. Triple save from nowhere. Direct hit: bosch, then whilst on the floor: bosch, then scrabbling up and beating away: triple bosch, German Engineering standards. Did it cross the line? The umps say not… eyebrows raised.
14:50 – Livid; have allowed myself to relive the game in my head. Never a good thing.
12:23 - Ball flies into the the South D…cleared. Unbelievably NBM (the man dropped two teams in one week – impressive) offers that it hit his foot. What???? Short to the big red club. Bang 1-0.
10:55 – from 173-1 to 230 all out. Calypso massive-o, are they Eng circa 1990s in disguise?
12:25 – Big Dave and his feet (more of them later) make it up to the top of the pitch for a South short. (correctly given – can I say, “Finally”? Actually no; “Green card says so?) – BAANG. Roofed it. Ahhhh, but was deflected. We’re good; HT 1-1. Keep it the same, we’re playing well and the game is ours for the taking.
13:10 – I point out that the umpire has made a good and accurate call; he takes exception. It’s not my birthday and a bit early for Christmas – no need for a card, but thanks. Rub of green, remember…… home for someone. We’ll have ‘em at LR.
21:34 – Time for bed I think.
15:21 – JJ: “I can’t fault anyone, honestly, great day out on the park with my mates!
In some cultures '3' is considered a lucky number. In the world of the M5s it means, "Oh s*&@t we've just lost three-something again"!
On paper this was a fixture we should have had a reasonable chance of winning, despite losing most of our midfield and defensive 'big-guns' to prop up the injury-ridden M4s.
The home team made our characteristic strong start, putting the St Ives defence under immediate pressure. It wasn't long however before the ball was in the back of the net… Unfortunately our net…courtesy of an instinctive wannabe-centre-forward deflection from the South captain, which had stand-in keeper, Sean G, beaten. Luckily the gods and the hockey rule book were on our side and the shot was deemed to have been struck from outside the D. No goal. The balance of luck was soon to be restored however when a St Ives shot taken right on the edge of the D caught the South defence and keeper off-guard.
The home team continued to press hard but once again we found ourselves in the all-too-familiar position of being one-nil down at half-time. Surely our luck had to change?
The half time talk definitely helped us re-group and focus on keeping our shape, but a brief lapse in concentration allowed the away team to get a man in on the far post, unmarked and perfectly positioned to bury a cross blasted in from the left wing. This was followed shortly afterwards by another. Another three-something defeat faced us!
Unbowed, the home team continued to press forward with 'Team Ta' (aka Simon and younger brother, Kevin) creating plenty of opportunities, but it was runaway goal king contender Rob B who eventually broke through with an unconventional (for him!) open-stick blast that whistled past the stranded St Ives keeper. Spirits were lifted. Simon T was cruelly denied goal-glory by the metalwork. Once again lady luck intervened, when a beautifully struck short corner from Mr T ricocheted off the keeper's pads to the South captain, positioned to bury the ball in the back of the net with a totally uncharacteristic air of calm!
The momentum was there to break our run of 'three-something' defeats with a draw at the very least but alas our share of luck and time ran out!
MoM was a three way tie between stand-in keeper Sean G, Howard S and Steve B, with the latter securing the opposition's casting vote for some dogged defending.
LoM was between disoriented goalscorer Steed and John Greaves's ankle, with the former securing a narrow victory!
Plan for the rest of the season:
Score three goals; and
Don't let the opposition score three goals.
After a disappointing result against Alford & District the weekend before, South were determined to show why we were fourth in the table and a side to be reckoned with.
With a slightly different set up to normal, the girls started out strong with nice stick to stick balls through defence and midfield up to the forwards, who were making good leads trying to get in the heads of the St Ives defenders. Holding the middle of the pitch and making St Ives play in their own half; ball pace; movement; shots on target, meant that the South girls were controlling the game.
Half time it was four-one.
Throughout both halves, South looked the stronger team with nice interlinking play. Goals were coming from open play and short corners! Something to be proud off!
After a hard-fought second half with only one ball finding the back of the net, it finished five-one to South. A fantastic display of good quality hockey which the girls will want to take into next week's game against top of the table CoP.
Harriet brought a Mum speaker to the game; yes, Mum speaker, because it was embarrassingly big and actually probably a guitar amp. But this possibly made for the best warm up!
Harley is the best mascot and supports every game. If you see a dog on the side line at the upcoming games, go and give him a stroke.
Izzy opened the scoring in the first two minutes by picking up a rebound off a lovely shot on goal by Dani A.
There was lots of speedy running from every member of the team.
Goals were flowing throughout the whole game. We racked up nine goals in the first half collectively by Amalia, Annie, Jess, Dani A, Izzy and Eimear.
Lydia practised her cartwheels in the goal as she waited for St Neots to put their attacking heads on.
Every South player was an attacker throughout the whole game, even our defensive line of Ellie, H and Aoife.
South’s speedy legs spread the man of the match votes across a number of players. Lauren, Annie and Sarah all got votes, but it was Lauren who took the overall award with lots of running and awesome passing throughout the whole game.
Izzy was a great ball target and bruises like a peach. Jess discovered this by hitting Izzy a number of times and gaining lemon of the match.
The Ladies 2s won 12-0 with their dream team. WHICH MEANS WE’VE WON 10/10 games, making the Ladies 2s a 10/10 team.
We all knew going into this match that we faced tough opponents, as Sudbury sit third in the league. But we’ve faced tougher and we are not a team to shy away from a challenge.
Right out of the gate, the L3s took the game to them in a display of deliciousness that we call hockey. Some hard-fought attempts in their D to gain the lead came to nothing and Sudbury were demonic in their return attack. Their demonstration of force, which one can only assume was meant to demoralise and dishearten, did little to dampen the L3s’ will to strive for dominance.
Alas, today was not meant to be our day but this underdog did show determination, diligence and doggedness in that Sudbury may have been the team to covert into goals, but they by no means dominated the pitch. The L3s’ defence derailed many of their attacks with some delightful clearances to the midfield, who then drove headlong towards our attackers. One of these drives saw Rhi taking a dramatic dive to the ground, due to some stick-hook-ankle action (no fault of her own) with a follow through of a boot to the head (hope you’re doing better. Rhi). This theme seemed to carry through the rest of the match but in the opposite direction… Oops!
The first half saw three of Sudbury’s goals, two coming from short corners and one from a destructive strike from the top of the D to the top right corner of the net. Shout out to Maria for defying all rational thought and trying to defend the death shot. The second half, as the skies darkened into dusk, saw one goal from a short, taken from the other side…(not confused by this what so ever) and one from a shot at the top of the D.
All in all, a hard fought game but a good display of team effort as shown by the votes for MoM. Out rightful winner this week is Lauren E for some amazing ball-stealing right off their sticks, much to their displeasure and our delight. Followed up by the doggedly determined Charlotte, dignified and distinguished Grace, dainty and diligent Ani and……Maria and Janette (there are no words for these two except delinquents!)
LoM goes to…drum roll please…me! Apparently I don’t know my left from right; this may be why I got LoM a few weeks back for my poor driving skills… Oh, and that I’m loud… Who knew?
The L4s are going from strength to strength and today was no exception.
It was our darkest and chilliest game to date - but that wasn’t going dampen the enthusiasm, particularly with a social to look forward to afterwards!
With Zara B’s enthusiastic ‘countdown to curry’:
3 hours to curry…
Laura sets the ball rolling ‘literally’ straight onto the pitch for a well-intentioned warm up. It was just a shame that the L2s’ game hadn’t quite finished! With swift action from the subs, an altercation with the umpires was narrowly avoided.
2.5 hours to curry…
Both sides were looking fairly evenly matched, but South broke through the Huntingdon defence and Catriona scored the first goal of the evening. The opposition were having none of it and equalised shortly after, keeping us on our toes.
2 hours to curry…
After a feisty half time talk and sugar boost, we went back on fighting. South took control with a number of shots on goal resulting in another two scored, one from Zara and another from Catriona.
1.5hrs to curry…
Cassie and her defence continued to keep the Huntingdon attackers off and the final whistle was blown securing our 3-1 win, leaving us nestled nicely in the middle of the league. Hurrah!
For her super saves Cassie topped the MoM vote, with two nominations for Zara M and a nomination for both Catriona and Cath. LOM was awarded jointly to Harriet (for her undivided attention to the L2s’ game resulting in her walking directly into a fellow spectator) and Laura for supplying the L2s’ league game with an extra few balls mid-match!
Time for the Curry Queen!
Hi, my name is Harriet and I have an addiction to hockey.
The week was a struggle to find a match but Jan pulled through for us and found us a game against the Hitchin Blueharts.
The game started with only ten players on the pitch as Sammy and Eloise’s dad unfortunately managed to put in the wrong post code (giving him at least one or two LoM votes) but despite this we started with lots of energy and surprised the Blueharts with our strong communication and defence.
In the first half we had at least five chances to score, including an epic shot from Pauline that we watched almost in slow motion as it just missed the goal.
The defence worked extremely hard to keep the Blueharts from scoring and Katie proved to be the star of the match with some absolutely amazing tackles and clearances, giving her man of the match!
At some point during the match (clearly my mind had drifted to thinking about going for the team curry that night) the Blueharts manged to get the ball past Lou, giving them the lead. Although might I add that Lou, a natural goal keeper, had a fantastic game with some great stick saves!
Although the score says we were defeated it certainly didn’t feel like it. We gave the Blueharts (second in their league) a good run for their money - yes, pun intended - and the game really showed how we’re working well as a team and applying Bhav’s training tactics to the match.
The LoM vote goes to Sam for subbing on in the second half without the stick and not realising until Katie asked where her stick was.
Thank you section:
Thanks to Jan for organising the match. We would’ve had twelve very sad players without a game this week!
Another thank you to Andi C for volunteering to umpire the game. Again, without him we wouldn’t have been able to play!
Lastly thank you to Mrs Stanley for saving the day and buying our hockey teas after being horrified to find out that Blueharts couldn’t offer teas as they are having their clubhouse rebuilt at the moment. MoM vote for best mum ever?!