Match Reports – March 26th 2022

Men’s 1st XI 2-4 Sevenoaks
The lads started their Saturday in the blistering heat watching the ladies 1s have a comfortable win over Surbiton . After this, with pride to carry on the win streak and stomachs filled with Maurten (RIP) we headed out to the pitch. A hot breeze swept across the picturesque OC blue Astro for a 5pm pushback, it was a great day for hockey and a great opportunity for the lads to bag some goals and 3 points. The team line-up was looking strong although a hobbling Matt Cornwell after a twisted ankle in the warm up and no Irfan due to an intercostal muscle strain made for a tough start.

After a “never negative” team chat from head coach, William Marshall, followed by a solid warm up on the pitch with a mix of nerf ball and stick-n-ball. With the crowd gathering and drums playing we were ready to start. The Mens 1s started confidently but after a few minutes we had conceded our first short corner. Some great work from Josh Doble and Dan Rhodes off the line kept the score at 0-0 through what seemed like a never ending first quarter. The start of the second quarter seemed like a decent spell for Sevenoaks with some play down the right hand side resulting in a quick goal. With a short green card for captain Will Phillips, for some chat given on the side towards the umpire #thankspies. OCs 0-1 at half time.

Through a very energetic half time team talk which riled up the team. We came out fighting, winning an early short corner, resulting in a P-flick. This was slotted away nicely by Willy Marshall into the bottom left. After a few more good saves from our very own goalkeeper, club man and generally alright bloke, Joshua Doble. It was shaping up to be a very interesting game of hockey. With end-to-end play in the 3rd quarter with a few chances, OCs just let one slip past. OCS 1-2 Sevenoaks. We moved into the 4th quarter.

The 4th quarter was a strong start for OCs with good pressing and a few chances that went narrowly past the post. This was followed by a few quick counterattacks by Sevenoaks who then settled their third and fourth goal through a tired OCs side. Two yellow cards for Sevenoaks (great blokes…) resulted in a thrilling last 5 minutes with a short corner buried by Ben Roe in the dying minutes of the game. The final whistle was blown, and the lads came away with a tough loss with one game left of the Season.

With their place set in the league the boys can hold their heads high, but more hard work will be needed this week in order to secure 3 points in Brighton at the weekend. A special mention to Tom Roberts who put in the hard yards on Saturday, but man of the match went to Josh Doble who kept us in the game.

Men’s 2nd XI 3-2 Spencer
With the season coming to a close, OC’s have promotion within their grasp. Needing to claim the win the lads took to the pitch. The first 25 minutes went by without incident. Then the game was giving a much needed injection of life through the defence. The team defence was exceptional and soaked up much pressure. OC’s soon took the lead. Without remembering who scored where when or how. It was a great game for the neutrals with the action going all the way to the end, with the good lads coming out on top. I believe there were two yellow cards but can’t be sure who they went to but they were definitely undeserved.

MOM Dan Ladd, fantastic game all round
DOD Tom Stratford
CM Callum Tickner, what a player

Purley Walcountians-Men’s 3rd XI
The much anticipated rematch sadly fell victim to Eds Copleston spreading Covid around the side

Ladies 1st XI 2-0 Surbiton
In aid of the latest on goings in the news, in true fashion the OCs pulled together and helped raise funds for DEC Ukraine Fundraising Appeal, where by all those who play for the club contributed towards the cause and wore blue and yellow socks. The day was amazing with the sun shining, blue and yellow balloons as you entered the pitch, the annual club lunch for the older vets hosted by Tony Rogers (OCHC Club President) and the double header, the Ladies 1s and Men’s 1s played there final home games of the season. It was great to see so many club members out and about supporting. To kick things off the ladies were invited into the lunch to do a walk through, a warm welcome and standing ovation. What a way to kick off, the ladies were ready to go!

With the warm weather it was key to let the ball do the work, and save the legs as much as possible. The team as ever, worked hard for each other needless to say it was tough work. The OC’s were persistent and fought hard, resulting in a 1-0 score line at half time. This goal came from some lovely play throughout the team, working from the back into the forward line where Ella received the ball from a 1-2 with Syms, they broke down Surbiton’s defence for Ella to cross it to Flo who scored the goal. Half time was well received, topping up on water and some vitamin C to give us all energy for the final half.

Both sides had moments of excellence and opportunities along the way. The OC’s took to one of their opportunities to take another goal. This second and final goal came from a short corner, team leader – Richie slotted the ball into goal.

Man of match was awarded to Molly Warner for several terrific saves on goal. What a way to end her final game of the season on. Nearing the end of the season, it has been great to see how far we have come as a team and the improvements made individually but as a whole. The squad has been terrific and shown true spirit throughout, bring on the final game!

Spencer 4s 2-0 Ladies 2nd XI
We arrived at Spencer at 2:15 with the sun out and blue skies all around- with the high temperatures and only 12 players we knew we were going to have to fight hard. Today was also the first time we got to wear our new Ukraine socks to show our support which gave us an extra sense of pride on the pitch.

We had a cracking first half- Spencer seemed stronger than last time we played them but we were fighting just as hard. We had a couple of corners and some very close good chances too. The closest being an excellent cross from Laura to Tabby on the post, however a very slight touch from the goalkeeper became crucial. Megs was quick on the rebound but unfortunately just missed the goal by less than an inch. Another included a reserve flick from Tabby, however, the umpire already blew the whistle for a short corner and didn’t play advantage. There were also some lovely balls in from Georgie, Ali and Laura, however we just couldn’t quite get a stick to it. Although we had more threatening chances than Spencer, a lucky pick from the top of the circle just before half time meant an awesome hit went into top bins and the score was 1-0 to Spencer.

After a serious and in depth talk at half term we were roaring to go and determined to turn the game over. However, we soon started to tire due to the intense heat and lack of subs and Spencer seamed to be even faster. Luckily we were able to keep the score line for a while thanks to some amazing defence and great saves by Evie. One to mention was an amazing save from Evie when faced with a one-on-one with a forward (almost identical to a shuffle) . The forward moved the ball around Evie when she came to ground, however quick thinking meant Evie slid her stick out and did one of the best tackles of the match! Our back line definitely were not going to give Spencer an easy game!As time went on our legs tired even more and, due to a fast turn over by Spencer, they were just able to break through and past the ball to a player on the post to score around Evie. Later on in the game, Spencer hit the ball towards the umpire and as he was trying to run away he ended up doing a backwards roll which gave all of us, including his mates watching, a big laugh! Soon after the whistle went and, as a result of the sun and lack of legs, the end score was 2-0 to Spencer. A disappointing lose however still some very good hockey played.

MOM nominations included Alisa, Evie, Amy and Ali- with Ailsa getting the most. DOD, once again, went to Sangster for just being her usual self and flirting with the boys on the sideline! Today was also captain Jo’s last match of the season so we all decided to give her some flowers as a thank you for her amazing hard work this season!

Surbiton 8s 4-0 Ladies 4th XI
On Saturday the Ladies 4X found themselves playing the Surbiton 8s once again. The beautiful, sunny weather got us in good spirits pre-match despite the hard match to come. A couple of changes to the usual match kit: Jenny forgot her skirt and everyone in the team wore blue and yellow socks to show our support for the people of Ukraine.

The match started off really well and we dominated the first half: our shape was good and the passing was accurate and strong. We all played off each other doing little one-twos around defenders and linking through the midfield. Colleen and Jenny did a lovely one two in their 23 which resulted in the first of five short corners. After the first short corner, we managed to get another 5 in a row!! Suki did some powerful hits with a couple of slips thrown in to switch it up but despite putting huge pressure on the Surbiton defence unfortunately we weren’t able to find the back board. We should have known it wasn’t to be our day when another shot went through the Surbiton keeper’s legs only to be saved on the line. When the Surbiton team did break away Kate and Kim at the back put in strong, well-timed tackles and were able to stop them. Surbiton were always dangerous however and right before the break had a goal disallowed from a short corner as they didn’t stop it outside the D. We ‘won’ the first half in terms of possession and pressure but unfortunately did not have the goal to show for it.

In the second half Surbiton came out fighting: they were more organised, passed the ball around very quickly and put us under pressure throughout the half. This resulted in them scoring 4 well-worked and well-finished goals. We still managed to get some chances at goal, however there were a lot fewer than in the previous half. Colleen, Holly, Jenny, Alisa and Kirsten all had opportunities but these chances either ended with a great save from the Surbiton goalie (who had a very strong second half) or just missed the post. Colleen showed great determination when she got hit in the mouth but brushed it off quickly and carried on playing. A very harsh decision from an overly strict referee gained Kate a green card though we all agreed that this was not deserved and not in the spirit of the game.

Overall, although the weather was excellent and OC’s battled hard it just wasn’t our day despite everyone working hard right until the end. The final score was 4-0 to Surbiton but in no way did this reflect the performance of the team. Well done everyone for playing excellently.