1st XI, 3rd XI, Barnstormers and both ladies teams won but the 2nd XI lost a tight encounter at home and the Hamstrings were heavily defeated on the road at Richmond.
Paddy Harman, who has been fighting off accusations his brother is the more effective penetrator, reports mainly on his winning goal at Milton Keynes….
The 1st XI continued their solid start to the season with a slightly squeaky 2-1 victory over Milton Keynes. The OCs started the better of the two switching the ball effectively whilst locking out the opposition’s attack with some robust defending. The breakthrough came after 15 minutes when the ever effervescent Harry gathered up a counter attack and threaded a pass onto Dave who took a characteristically heavy touch before aiming a wild reverse cross into the D – fortunately the ball bobbled through onto Gilo who tapped in at the far post for an unmissable finish. The second goal however was an absolute belter. Paddy started and finished the move; stealing the ball with a lovely turnover before offloading receiving the return pass bulldozing through a tackle and slotting home into the bottom corner. It was as if McCaw, Bill Williams, Savea and Milner-Skudder had morphed into one super player. We had two more first half chances to add to our tally. The first was a short corner, but Jimmy decided not the test the barn door. The second fell to Paddy but the MK keeper pulled off the save of the season diving nimbly down to the very bottom of bottom corners.
Although we perhaps should have gone for the jugular in the second half and were probably guilty of sitting back a bit too much, we remained untroubled until an against the run of play short corner was deflected onto our back board. All in all, a very satisfactory performance. We are starting to gel as a team and it is great to see several players now hitting some real form (in fact everyone player well today). Well done lads!
Sam Carne texted the website with a brief statement on the 2ndXI 2-1 loss to Woking….
“I don’t discuss defeats with the press. Leave me alone. It’s like asking Hitler for a debrief on World War 2.”
Chris Brewer reports on the 3rdXI win in Croydon….
I’m not sure a game this early in the season can be described as a 6 pointer, but that was the message from the errant Eds this week as he directed proceedings from sunnier climes no doubt trying to get some batting tips from the current England captain. A bare 12 made the trek to south Croydon to take on 2nd placed (on goal difference) Croydon & Old Whitgiftians with the usual traffic nightmare detaining a few until the last minute.
We started calmly and put pressure on the opposition quicker to the 50-50s, keeping possession and moving the ball well. However C&OW looked dangerous on the counter with the crash ball almost coming off for them a few times. Mike made a couple of good saves to keep us locked at nil all. A turnover in midfield and attack at pace with a great one two and pass around the keeper for Charlie opened our account and we saw out the half without too much further bother.
The usual half time chat ensued – making use of space and pace, keep the ball, pressure the opposition and the proverbial next goal is important. And that’s pretty much how it happened with everyone committed to each other and putting their bodies on the line in the case of Bentsy who probably wishes his shin pads were an inch taller. The second goal eventually came from a short corner as CB finally took his chance from a number of corners.
There could have been 12 MotM with everyone doing exactly what was asked from them but a couple stood out. Grimer must have run close to a half marathon during the game. Ollie the pick of a solid back 5, Charlie P calm in midfield but it was Coops upfront who caused mischief all afternoon that took the honours. Next up Teddington to resume old battles from last season. Maybe that will be the six pointer. A final thanks to the C&OW umpires who did an excellent job and kept the game flowing.
Beth Thayne Reports on the Ladies 2-1 victory over Guildford….
With OC Ladies sitting in the middle of the league, and Guildford firmly at the bottom, we thought this was set to be an easy match. An invigorating warm up and inspirational pep talk from coach Dan saw us off to a good start for the first ten minutes of the game, pressing the Guildford ladies right back from the start. Despite this strong start, some good pressure from Guildford and a weak pass straight to their stick lead to a drive from Guildford into our D, and after several strong saves from Caz, they eventually rolled it slowly over the line, giving them a one goal lead.
However, after the goal, things became more organised and we got back on top of the game. After some strong runs from quick midfielder May Brennard, and great work at the front from Georgie and Amy, quick passes up the pitch sent the ball straight to their D, and Kara Wiseman took the opportunity to slip it straight past the keeper, giving OCs a much needed boost with an equaliser with two minutes to go until the break. Our spirits lifted, we worked hard straight from their pushback and 40 seconds later a great drive from the midfield and forwards saw the ball dangerously lifted off a Guildford stick in their D, but wonderfully control and skillful stick-angling by Kara sent it straight in to the net to take the lead.
After half-time, OCs controlled the game for the best part of 20 minutes, but tiring towards the end, the defence were put under serious pressure as Guildford tried to rally themselves to try and scrape a draw to no avail. We fought hard for the last ten minutes and managed to keep them out, ending the game on a well deserved 2-1. Man of the match was awarded to Kara for her two goals and great control of the ball up front, although special mention must also go to Liz for her persistent efforts in the middle, and to Caz for keeping the score line in check! The win saw OC Ladies 1s take 3 points and move up a place in the league, taking us to 4th place – a strong position to be in after 3 games.
Sarah Fitzherbert reports on the OC Vamps 8-0 thrashing of OKs….
OC Vamps took about 10 minutes to get the measure of OKs before Kathy Davis scored from a cross from Jane Taylor. A second goal from Jane quickly followed and then 3 more before half time. The opposition were a player down after 25minutes when one of their forwards caught a finger between two sticks. Fortunately a couple of the OC Vamps with nursing qualifications managed to keep the blood off the pitch. OKs improved in the second half thanks to the rallying cheers of their Dads, but the Vamps came back to finish strongly with another couple of goals. Final score 8-0, Jane (4), Kathy (2), Sally (1), Katherine (1).
Mike Newton reports on a memorable win for the Barmy Barnstormers…. The whole team burst out laughing when the new man, GP, asked when we train. Almost enough said. We took the game to Sunbury and after 10 mins Poen scored a rather weak goal on his birthday ( more to come on that ). Finnegan kept shouting at his defence and we managed to end the first half 1 up. The 2nd half – Rich kept trying to educate the umpire on rules but it was Howie that ended up with a green card. Barry scored a top goal through the fog of a Friday night session and the passing moves started to click. A nine-passing routine ended with a narrow miss from Howie. At the other end, after Sunbury had resorted to some of Evo’s jelly babies, the flying Irishman made some magnificent saves, kept shouting “it’s not going in” … Blind faith in a Greater Being we think …during a period of sustained attack and repeated short corners. They didn’t score !! Then, the birthday boy came good with a strong goal and so we were 3 – 0 up. And that’s where it ended. Energy and passion ruled the day and the beer tasted good. Everyone played a part. It’s was a new dawn …for the barnstormers. Post match we voted Poen dick of the day for keeping quiet till after the game about his big day. So he got the Jesters hat … We all think Shelley (his beautiful wife) smiled when he was awarded the honour. Might it come in useful later ?? Man of the match was a tie between Poen and Michael Finnegan. And a casting vote gave it to Mick.