We kicked started 2019 with our best scores on the board so far this season; 11 games, 10 wins and 1 draw. The Men’s 1st XI had a fantastic game as they saw in double figures, our new team, the Men’s 3As started with a win and our Ladies 3rd XI also had a great start their season with a 6-1 win at home.
Men’s 1st XI 10-0 Milton Keynes
First up in 2019 for the OCHC M1s were Milton Keynes, who despite sitting second from bottom have often proved to be banana skins for many of the league’s top teams.
Not so today.
Buoyed by a full complement of players for only the second time this year, the OCs started fast – Jay Harman entering the D after a quick free hit, finding league top scorer Matt Murphy for a neat reverse stick finish into the bottom corner.
The floodgates opened. Before the break the OCs added four more: a brace of back post finishes from all-weather midfielder Alex ‘CZ’ Czerniewski and ageing striker Jay Harman; a short corner conversion from Hugh ‘You Can’t See Me’ Robinson; and a really quite dirty poached deflection from Ben Wilson off another Matt Murphy strike heading straight down the middle of an unoccupied goal.
To their credit, Milton Keynes did find the back of the net before half time, all too softly, making it 5-1 at the break.
After a stirring halftime team-talk from Nick ‘The Stick’ Ripley, during which we were ambitiously told to go out and win 10-nil, the scoring continued. Matt Murphy added two more for yet another OCs hat-trick – one a well-disguised drag flick, the other a demon-burying penalty stroke. Jay Harman topped up for his hat-trick, too, and CZ added another to round off a statement performance from the Durham Cartel.
10-1 the final score and a strong message sent to a league that is increasingly failing to reply. Second in the league and only one point back, promotion and top honours are well within our grasp.
MOM: Matt Murphy
DOD: Jay Harman
Men’s 2nd XI 4-2 Aldershot & Farnham
Match report to follow.
Men’s 3rd XI 2-1 Cheam
A new year, a new regime mais plus ca change.
The reign of King Arthur following the abdication of King Eds saw Lewie late for the first time this year and Grimer having allegedly had his first holiday of the year sporting his tan courtesy of Costa Del Chiswick purchased via www.thetanningshop.co.uk/chiswick/ a must for all who live in W4.
During the week we had some psycho babble from the newly anointed with a sharp comment along the lines of “not much happened in the friendly on the 5th as evidenced by a lack of match report from Knappy”. I have taken note of the acerbic barb.
We welcomed our own Chuckle brother in Charlie R and a regal namesake, a second Max A, released by the two’s and new face Dan. The expected royal flush of Don’s was eventually limited to just one, Alex. Average age of the squad down by 10 years.
Security was tight at Nonsuch School and the David Lloyd tennis centre that resembled the “Schutzstaffel,” with only the chosen few allowed to use their facilities for morning ablutions along with the now well known and recognisable gilets jaunes patrolling the car park. Pre match preparations for some suffered.
We had walloped Cheam first time around but as the first half of the season progressed their results picked up any complacency would be punished and so nearly it was. Thankfully Cheam decided to play half court in the first half and isolating their number 24 up front. We were not under any pressure and took a two goal lead into half time which could have been more. Eds feathered a long ball from Hunts past their excellent keeper but were the same to happen in July 10 minutes into his first innings at OC cricket week there would be a massive case of denial as the keeper pouched the ball, ” I never hit it, clear daylight”. A good poachers goal. Clarkey nicked the second from a short corner to give us the excellent conversion rate of 10% on the day.
Late in the half as the ball broke into our half there was a unanimous verdict that the number on Herdie’s shirt, 23, should be prefixed and suffixed with the words “this machine has an absolute max speed of 23 kilometres per 24 hours”.
Sensibly the oppo changed tactics in the second half and brought 24 into the midfield and played a much more pressing game. They deservedly scored from one of their shorts, frequently brought Rosko into play and won many 40/60 balls while we dawdled. Knappy showed everyone how much he had practiced his revers stick hitting over the break with a reverse balloon that landed in the same spot from which it had left.
We just about hung on to claim the 3 points with all of the top 4 winning. OGs v L. Eds this Saturday with us having a rare home game v Spencer. Quite simply we have to win.
Dick of the day has to go to Ports for leaving his stick pitch side after the game with M o M in my view going to Hunts.
Men’s 3A XI 5-3 Spencer Hurricanes
Match report to follow.
Men’s 4th XI 5-0 Purley
A solid though unspectacular 5-0 win against an under-strength Purley team playing with ten men. A win that sees us climb into the top four behind Guildford, Leatherhead and OKs. In all, a frustrating first half ended 1-0 despite our dominating possession and successive attacks with us squandering several golden chances to kill the game early. But the second half was an altogether different affair as Purley began to tire and our forwards found space and time in the circle, including a brace from Neil and debut goals from Benji and Ado.
This week sees the rematch against Surbiton who beat us 4-1 earlier in the season, so we’re going to need a strong team.
Men’s Barnstormers 0-0 East Grinstead
Barnstormers kicked off the New Year with a goalless draw away at East Grinstead. We can feel hard done by based on all relevant metrics especially penalty corners won (we really must practice these one day!). Definitely enough chances and half-chances went begging over the course of a game which we controlled for long periods and another day would have seen a very different scoreline.
We could in large part blame rustiness from the Christmas break as first touches were off and passes went astray and in all it was a frustrating afternoon with little to take away from a long trip down to Sussex.
On the plus side, despite not having much to do for most of the game, Nigel kept another clean sheet and we gained another point to stay in the hunt. In fact the defence was solid all day, defending a few penalty corners but not much by way of constructed attacks on open play.
The game, whilst generally played in good spirit, took an unexpected turn when the skipper was manhandled by a disgruntled EG midfielder. Nigel was too far away to react as one might expect and the rather startled umpire adopted an old school resolution of ‘shall we just all calm down’. Cards are so overrated….
So we march onwards and upwards to Wimbledon undefeated in 2019. We might even treat this website to a team photo when we bag a win!
Men’s Hamstrings – No Match
Ladies 1st XI – No Match
Ladies 2nd XI 2-0 Leatherhead 1s Friendly
Match report to follow.
Ladies Vamps 3-0 Leatherhead 2s Friendly
Vamps with a healthy 15 started well going on the attack, narrowly missing the goal. Leatherhead 2’s counter-attacked, but the Vamps defence managed to keep the goals out of the “D”. Excellent work especially from our three rising stars, Hannah, Georgina and Alina. Some nifty stick work enabled Pam L to put one past the keeper and Katharine scored after a crafted hit out from Sara on a penalty corner. Kim match managed efficiently with some carefully coordinated subbing and this kept the flow of the game going. Pam L had to retire second half with a calf injury and a third goal, off a cross hit, rounded off a very good game and win. Final score 3-0 to Vamps. Goal scorers Pam L x 1, Katharine x 2.
Ladies 3rd XI 6-1 Camberley & Farnborough 3s
Match report to follow.