How did those keys magically appear out of thin air?
A lively and competitive match ended with the M4s confirming the pecking order with a convincing victory, but it was never a pushover, as the M5s fought well throughout and never gave up. The local media, in the form of the Cambridge News, turned up to see the champions at play…or was the photographer just ninety minutes early for the proper M1s hockey on afterwards?
The magnificent seven were:
1-0…Man of the Match (again) Oli Anderson doing his silky dribling, juggling, shimmying thing culminating in an unstoppable shot.
2-0…him again, this time from a team move with Tim Clapp passing in to keyless Greaves, who's sharp shot came back off the excellent M5 keeper, Shahzad Ali, to Oli to accept gracefully and bury it.
3-0…short corner. JJ to Clapp to Paul South. Shot. Goal.
4-0…Clapp again, up the right wing, cross to Greaves, who shot first time across goal giving Shahzad no chance.
5-0…Paul South, driving into the D and pushing the ball over the keeper from seven yards out.
6-0…him again, from another JJ short corner. A bit of variation, with some surprising spin to confuse the keeper before finding the net.
7-0…JJ short corner. Clapp stop and a shot (or was it a cunning pass?) to JJ, lurking by the post to push the ball into the goal.
There were almost as many injuries, with Stu Creed coming off worst courtesy of Oli Anderson's shoulder being accidentally keen to share the same space as Creed's ribs. Ouch. John Greaves, when not prompting attacks with his typical calm and usually accurate passes (I write this history, so rose-tinted glasses outweigh the facts every time) showed off his diving/collapsing/agonised scream routine a couple of times, with no more than a bruised ankle and knee to show for it. This wasn't enough to prevent his "supportive" teammates from awarding the Lemon for blindness in the pre-match game of hunt-the-shed-key.
As for the hockey, the M4s played well, building on a new and assured defensive combo of Druett/Williamson/JJ/Piper; the cool PSouth/DocMarshman/TClapp gang in midfield making the most of the space, passing early and wide; Oli A bossing things in the centre, which all resulted in numerous chances. Lightning Wood was always a danger, not just to the perimeter fencing on this occasion, with many a dash up the wing and cross into the D, and Oli A's new apprentice, Oli W(eston), got in on the act with his own terrier-like moves.
I think George Toynton was playing. I heard him a few times shouting "encouragement", anyway. As it happens, he was called upon to make three or four stops, which he did confidently and effectively.
All good fun; the M5s were sporting and gracious in defeat, having played a full role in proceedings.
Next stop: the champions' curry.