South 5s made an epic trip to local rivals St Ives, hoping to get one over on them as the corresponding fixture earlier in the season had resulted in a disappointing two-two draw. There was a typical warm-up, followed by some set piece practice carried out under the watchful eye of Coach Caddy whilst the team waited for our expert goalkeeper to turn up. Shahzad kept true to form by choosing to do a full tour of South Cambridgeshire in his souped-up Peugeot rather than turn up early at the pitch to pad up: some excuse about road closures and County Council jobsworths was offered (but not accepted); memories of Shahzad’s dodgy driving down one way systems in Ely are still fresh!
After a quick team huddle with some wise words from JG and encouragement from captain of the day, Seb Dias, Andi C made the fatal error of stupidly predicting an eleven-nil thrashing for South if we didn’t start right. This highly accurate prediction subsequently earned him the Lemon of the Match vote, probably revenge on him for being super cunning and avoiding the 5s' captaincy three times!
The match itself was a blur. South were slow to start. St Ives instead capitalised on the ten-man purple outfit by playing some fast one and two-touch hockey which left the South defence collectively searching for the oxygen masks after about five minutes! Some twenty minutes in, and five goals down, Ben Thompson arrived; looking eager to get in on the action after being summoned for goalkeeper duty for a team that had already secured promotion (not that I am at all bitter about this!) His silky skills and intelligent running up front were a much-needed outlet and resulted in a phase of South dominance. This did, however, coincide with St Ives introduction of their version of Road Runner, who proceeded to single handedly destroy Andi C’s legs, Garth Well’s lungs, and leave Assassin Steed in a completely different time zone altogether with his sprint-athon, which continued until the end of the match!
After a short interlude, and more encouragement from captain Dias and his trusty sidekick John "JG" Gourd, South came out of the blocks hard in the second half. A short period of dominance ensued with a couple of penalty corners awarded South’s way, which were well worked but unfortunately did not result in a much-needed goal. This provoked St Ives into action and they subsequently scored another five goals, despite South’s much improved display.
JG winning the MoM award for generally being general-like in the middle of the park.
JG performing a beautiful block tackle in South’s D, not only deflecting the ball away from danger but flipping the ball carrier into the air, whereupon he performed an incredible landing, WWE-style.
Garth Vader attempting his Jedi mind tricks on both umpires regularly throughout the game.
A St Ives player who demonstrated such commitment that, not only was he involved in a sailing race in the morning, but somehow managed to play a game of hockey as well. All on the same day (take note, Simon K)!
Some quality saves from Shahzad, who was so caught up in the moment that he forgot that he had left his glasses…on his head!
And some brilliant ball chasing from the legend himself, Andy Thomas: "I've got it!" [ball runs off pitch] "…I've not got it."
It’s been a brilliant season guys, let’s make the next one even better. Big, big thank you to everyone involved, not just the players but captains, secretaries and umpires!