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Men's 2nd XI - Match centre

Newbury & Thatcham 2
Sonning 2
Sat 29 Nov TBC - MBBO - Middx, Berks, Bucks & Oxon Division 2 Full time


Match report this week via Colm. So excuse the biased.

Today’s game was a tale of 2 half’s, but I shall begin my report with the bad start to the day. The team had several drop outs this week after being selected. This was simply not good enough to conform to Mac’s military operation (as he likes to see it). So Hugh (yes that is how you spell his name) was brought back in to the squad from the 1’s making Mac’s army a total of 12.

We set off to Newbury in a positive frame of mind; after several of the team politely declined Ned’s offer off a lift in what cannot really be described as a road legal car. Instead 4 of us crammed into Matt ‘Do you know how much I earn’ Poultons’ deluxe vehicle, which was lacking in after eight mints this week (other after meal confectionery are available). We all arrived safely in one piece, yet with half the car park empty Matt ‘Do you know how much I earn’ Poulton decided to park on grass verge outside the club. So he didn’t have to walk too far!

With all the team then crammed into the smallest changing rooms in the world. Mac gave his heart felt team talk on the finer points of his new kit and how it will help his game. Needless to say the laughter followed. Mac proceeded to give the starting line-up, with the drop outs and make shift team. The starting up was effectively picked by pulling straws. In case anyone didn’t know Mac’s new keeper kit is bright orange, with control padding (what does that even mean?).

Sonning were about to undertake a full warm up with excellent passing and shooting drills. This did not happen due to Poults and the captain forgetting the ball bags. So with 4 balls hastily found from the players’ bags we proceeded to warm up. After the warm up with Sonning rearing and ready to go we found out that Newbury forgot a hockey essential; 2 umpires. With one umpire ready the Newbury captain stepped up the game was under way.

Sonning started strong with Luke ‘The Gaffer’ shouting encouragement from the side-line, in his special jacket. Sonning ‘played good’ attacking hockey to start with and Hugh and Colm were doing lots of running. JP and Squire were creating a lot of space and attacking the Newbury ‘D’ with purpose, to no avail. Newbury dispersed the Sonning pressure on several occasions by passing straight to their forward, straight through the middle of Sonnings midfield. This happened on numerous occasions with Ned being turned so much he is still dizzy now. Ned did however manage to get round the attacker to stop Newbury. Newbury had several shots which brought Mac in to the game, with his new kit. He made some good saves, yes you have read that right, he made some good saves and kept Sonning in the game.

The back three of Grimmer, Neil and Ned contained Newbury to only a couple of ‘D’ penetrations. Radar and Poults, decided with Newbury putting Sonning under pressure, to have a lovers tiff. Poults was informing Radar on positional play for a defensive midfield (which poults knows all about). After 5 minutes of petty school yard squabbling, the argument was finished with the biggest put down of all time. “Well you’re just S***”. Poultsyou have been done or, as the kids say these days ‘parred’. Newbury won a few short corners despite the defences valiant efforts. Newbury scored with a loopy drag flick, Mac did get a hand to the ball but the ball still went in. Mac went onto pick the ball out of the back of his net and at the same time looked for a receipt for his new kit! This set of pads must be broken too, with holes in them. The first half finished 1-0 to Newbury.

Half time brought in a change of formation, again the straws came out. Justin moved to left back, Neil moved DM and Sharpy (tackling is not his thing) moved into attacking midfield. Also with new team rules being broken, no sweets at half time from last week’s DoD. (NOT good enough). Mac also told us about his new kit again. Mac we know you have new kit !!!
Sonning decided to turn up in the second half, putting the oppo under pressure setting a high press and getting shots off in the ‘D, Hugh with a reverse, JP with a few. Squire putting the keeper under pressure, off rebounds and break downs. Around this time Poults beat several players with luck and anti-skill and had a one on one with the keeper (don’t know if their keeper has new kit to, I didn’t care to ask). He beat the keeper and the player on the line, the ball proceeded to roll along parallel to the goal line and was cleared by the oppo. (Radar parallel means ‘extending in the same direction, equidistant at all points, and never converging or diverging’ I can explain next time if you like? After Poults previous weeks fluke-ing goals he decided not to score this week, so god did not have to applaud him and could get on with doing Godly things!

Sonning failed to take advantage of the sustained pressure that they put Newbury under. So with Newbury seeing Sonning not scoring decided to go up the other end and put a scrappy goal in. 2-0 Newbury. With Newbury being 2 goals to the good their players started to intently look at the Sonning players, one was very clever (maybe he should work for the police) and noticed that Poults and Justin both had the same number on the back of their shirts. The number was 11 if anyone cares. The very clever oppo player was very pleased with himself; he did however fail to notice that both Colm and Ned have the same number on the back of their shirts. That number is 34 if anyone cares. Some cards were handed out around this time Poults got a green and Hugh got a yellow for complaining about a decision. Sonning Finished the game strong winning 4 or 5 short corners, all off which we fluffed (maybe we should do them at training, just a thought!).
The game finished with Sonning coming second.

In other news Grimmer brought his wife to game, she’s called Mrs Grimmer. After watching us play badly I bet she wished she didn’t. Radar failed to shower again. Ned is still single; any interested ladies please form an orderly queue. Poults also got hit in the Moob and rolled around like a footballer.

Sonning did show some good phases of hockey, but need to be better from now on to push top of the league.

MoM – Colm, general all round play lots of running (best of a bad bunch!)
DoD – Radar, discussed above but I shall reiterate. Not showering, tantrums, no shin pads, lack of rapid speed. DON’T FORGET THE SWEETS!

Team selection

McCarthy, Adam McCarthy, Adam
Richardson, Callum Richardson, Callum
Squire, Edward Squire, Edward
Grimmer, Andrew Grimmer, Andrew
Dobbie, Mark Dobbie, Mark
Thomson, Neil Thomson, Neil
O'Hagan, Christopher O'Hagan, Christopher
Sharp, Jonathan Sharp, Jonathan
Hanlon, Colm Hanlon, Colm
Poulton, Matt Poulton, Matt
Squire, Michael Squire, Michael

League round up

Other Middx, Berks, Bucks & Oxon Division 2 results

Abingdon 1
Tring 1
Staines 3
West Hampstead 4
Oxford 4
Wallingford 2
Milton Keynes 3

League table

# Team Pl Pts
1. Tring 1 20 56
2. Sonning 2 22 50
3. Newbury & Thatcham 2 21 38
4. Wallingford 2 22 35
5. Henley 2 21 34
6. Abingdon 1 20 32
7. Sonning 3 22 30


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