After an adrenalin fuelled morning watching the rugby, this weekend saw possibly our toughest opposition yet in the form of the 3rd team. After our formidable start to the season some would argue we had little to fear, however we all know how these ‘home’ affairs can upset the form book.
After the usual head levelling team talk from Si ‘The Skipper’ Barrett we set about playing our own game. The day was filthy, and some would argue the first 15 minutes of the game was too. As passions ran high both teams started off with intensity, stick tackles a plenty and players flying left, right and centre (but mainly both centre backs!!) with some dubious challenges from both sides. Things eventually settled down and the first breakthrough came when Joe John set Tester up for yet another opener to get the 2’s on the score sheet. That settled the nerves a little and we started playing more of the hockey we are used to. Kris ‘Knowler’ Knowlson was in imperious form in the middle of the pitch with his Stretch Armstrong reach constantly picking of balls from all directions, and Si Barrett gliding around the pitch like a 70’s porn star (thanks Ed Faulkner for that analogy) controlling the midfield.
The second breakthrough came after some sustained pressure on the 3’s D. The first short corner attempt was saved by their keeper parrying a shot into the air where Patch chose to deftly bring it down onto a foot rather than go for a baseball swing at goal. That gave us another short that was quickly dispatched, too high, fast and wide for the keeper: Lusmore the scorer, drag flick the method, score 2 - 0.
The third came not too long after, an intercept by Patch in the middle of the park and a pass to Joe John saw him driving towards the oppo’s D slipping a sweet pass to Lusmore for a clean strike and his second of the day, 3 – 0.
The 3’s however didn’t stop coming at us. They pressed our D running some great lines but we soaked up the pressure, RJ closing them down quickly (any excuse for a sliding kick!!), Charlie using his long reach to good effect and Josh and Platty remaining solid in the centre to keep the sheet clean, but they weren’t done yet. After earning a couple of short corners in close succession the 3’s had their tails up. They shot wide on one but then Hobbs stepped up to put a very good drag flick high and right, only to be stopped at the last minute by the outstretched paw of RJ….phew. The half time whistle was approaching as I threw a questionable aerial into the carpark (sorry Smurf!!), although I do blame it on the fact my gyroscope was a little off having moments before been taken out by a sliding Curt. There was however time to add another to the tally with Tester this time driving to the baseline and pulling back a ball to Varney who was waiting in his customary position on the P spot for yet another tap in, 4 – 0. Half time.
The second half was a much tighter affair. Opportunities created and missed at both ends, the only blot on the 3’s copy book being a tenacious run from Joe John skipping through about 4 challenges before sliding the ball to Knowler who was waiting top D for a big slap that saw the ball travel goalwards, 5 – 0.
It’s safe to say that the score line flattered the 2’s with the 3’s proving one of our toughest opponents yet, that being said, our roll continues…….bring on Penarth.
MOM – Joe John
DOD – Simon Florio
Match Report Author: Simon "Furio" Florio