Report by Matt Watt
Bristol & West Men's 5s had the most successful season for years finishing 3rd in the new Bridge 2 league. We established a new team spirit and resilience that bodes well for next year, with a strong core to the team assisted by a range of additional players who have turned up when they can to give us extra skills and legs.
We had a shaky start to the season with our first game scratched due to lack of a team, followed by a couple of games that we lost after we leaked several goals in periods where we lacked concentration, but we otherwise went toe to toe with our opponents. We fought back with a strong series of games before and after Christmas. Our high point came with a 7-0 home victory where it all clicked and we played some great hockey - would be great if you could bottle that. At the back end of the season we suffered from a bit of inconsistency in the team and didn’t push on from there, with a couple of losses towards the end against teams in the top half of the league. But overall we were delighted with a 3rd place finish.
Special thanks and kudos to the 6’s who donated players when we fell short due to injuries, to James who scored and made goals, Joe for his killer formations and organisation in the middle, Andrew McC, Matt B and Paul for solid games at the back, a wide range of keepers for standing between the posts and deflecting the rain of shots inbound (Chris, Darren, RJ, Mike and Joe!!), a range of centre midfielders for terrorising the defence and tackling back in equal measure (Ollie Smith, Elliot Smith, Simon Homer), to guest stars who came and played when they could in between injuries, new arrivals and other milestones (Andy, Dave M, Rhodri, Ollie C, Rob, Dave S, Don, Ryan, Matt G - and four-goals on his return Alex!). Special thanks to co-captain Steve for sharing the load on everything and helping to make the season a memorable one.