Match Reports – 11th-12th March 2023

A tremendous win for the Men’s 1st XI after coming back from behind plus promotion for the Ladies 1st XI … this and a round-up of all the weekend’s action

Men’s 1st XI 3-1 Canterbury
Set to redeem themselves after a disappointing loss in the first half of the season, OCs faced off against Canterbury at TD. With the lower end of the table being tight on points, a lot was on the line with every game offering an opportunity to solidify their safety. OCs started well with a number of circle entries in the first quarter but Canterbury’s solid defence stifled each attack resulting in no shots on target. An enthusiastic tackle from captain OD resulted in a Canterbury short corner but fortunately no goal was conceeded. The Canterbury flicker also injured himself reducing Canterbury’s numbers to 13. An unfortunate series of events for the Canterbury side.

The second quarter started off with an early second penalty corner for Canterbury but Josh Doble was on hand to boot the ball 45 yards to Jack Jamieson on the half way line and launch a counter attack. Unfortunately OCs were unable to capitalise on the overload as the ball was lost over the base line. An impressive pass from the Canterbury centre back left their centre forward 1 on 1 at the top of OC’s D and Josh Doble was forced to make a dynamic save to keep the ball out of the net.

The third quarter featured some distinctly average hockey with neither side looking particularly threatening and the score line remained at 0-0 for the majority. Tensions between the teams heightened and some generous shoulder contact from Charlie Thompson resulted in a textbook display of Newton’s first law but unfortunately cost a green card and two mins on the bench. At the end of the quarter, a penalty corner for Canterbury saw the first goal scored and OCs trailed 1-0 going into the final quarter.

A three-quarter-time hair dryer from coach Will Marshall sparked some much needed urgency into the OCs team and they came out with a vengeance. An early penalty corner was just the chance OCs needed to get back into the fight. A meticulously rehearsed 3mph drag flick from Jack Jamieson stumped Canterbury’s defence and gave Captain OD just enough time to jump inside and deflect the ball over the keeper. 1-1. With OCs now feeling rejuvenated, they went on the attack. Canterbury had some disciplinary issues that resulted in two cards leaving them exposed and OCs ready to capitalise on this. A fantastic interception from Matt Boote on Canterbury’s 25 yard line and a 45° rocket to Will Heywood on the near post for a deflection saw OCs take the score to 2-1. With Canterbury now getting desperate, an attempted crash ball saw an interception by Jack Jamieson on the half way line leading to a counter attack. Some fantastic link up play between Dan Rhodes and Will Heywood led to a well worked team goal by Jack Jamieson. 3-1 OCs FT.

A huge thank you to the ball patrol for their help and to all those who supported on Sunday and created such a great atmosphere.
MoM: Ollie Davies
DoD: Charlie Thompson

Ladies 1st XI 1-2 East London2s
Due to lack of availability and injuries, we stepped out with a rather depleted squad and knew it would be a tough day in the office. We weren’t wrong. Despite a very strong start by OCs, we were unable to get the ball over the line. Notable chances include a fantastic one on one by MOM Ellie Hauck. Against the grain of play, East London won a short corner and were able to convert off a rebound. OCs battled on and were rewarded with our own short corner before half time which Lauren Burgess expertly struck to Gabriella McErlain who deflected it home off the right post. 1-1 half time and we were feeling pretty positive.

However, it wasn’t to be. East London managed to score again from a very skillful reverse shot after a counter attack making it 2-1. Despite having the majority of the attack, OCs just could not get the ball over the line this time. We came close when a shot hit the post with 5 minutes to go and we won multiple short corners but were unable to convert. We even managed to win a short corner in the final seconds of the game and the whole team excitedly approached the D to try to even the score…but were unable to convert it meaning we ended the game with a very disappointing loss….HOWEVER!!!!

It was not all bad news….due to other results going our way further down the league table we found out after the game that the teams in 3rd place were now unable to catch us and therefore, with three games still to go, we had definitely secured a top 2 finish and, more importantly, promotion for next season! Well done Ladies 1s – fantastic achievement! London Premier here we come….!

MOM was Ellie Hauck and DOD was the whole team for getting a silly loss.

Kings Alleyns 2s 2-2 Men’s 2nd XI
Thursday – After the team sheet being dropped, many were excited to see ”#smartback”, although it’s “sad to see Liam dropped” and some “bad luck will Copley. Dropped after a decent performance on the weekend” we were looking forward to what we hoped would be a big weekend.

Friday – On game day eve the dreaded news of “cold weather tomorrow and the possibility of the match being called off” had finally reached our screens. DRs first thoughts went straight In to the chat: “they are running scared”. The classic question “anyone driving from Battersea/Clapham?” Would be asked, to then get the response “if the game is on mate, you’re in for a lift” on the morning the next day.

Saturday – Eleven hours after our breaking news we all saw what we were hoping to see “the match is ON”. DR yet again identifying the “early mind games”. After the confirmation the “go well chaps” and “do a win men” messages came pouring in. Three hours before PB “Can someone please bring me a spare white shirt if they have one”, although politely asking, our captain’s response “Bring a white t shirt you slag” seemed to work. Two hours before PB “Simmo has forgotten where he parked his car” but it really was “a glorious day for some stick and ball”. A message we don’t see often “Bicci car be there for 10 past” but we were in safe hands in the mean time with lankfer remotely directing “Get the boys going for a good warm up please”.


“Men’s 2s 2-2 early in second half. Have come back from being 2-0 down”

“2-2 ft”

A few quoted key moments: DR- “Jack – conceding two goals” “J Ferg – reverse stick goal” Tickner- “Jack Smart- 2 cards” Teo- “EV- great support” Biccy- “Ladd- overhead pick at the end was filthy” “Simmo- really good at hockey”

Mom- ⁨DR – “real landslide victory with 50% of the votes.”
Dod- “As Smarty’s jumped ship and Coops wasn’t there I look forward to a match report [Jack]”
Champagne- “almost as much as I look forward to the 7-way pint off for 🍾 moment” (Ferg, Ev, Westy, Donny, Simmo, Dr, Ladd)

Men’s 4th XI 5-1 Epsom Mustangs
The dream lives on. Five games to go and still top on goal difference as the three teams below us all won.

After a very tight and spirited game in the first half of the season that saw Epsom snatch a 3-3 draw with two goals in the last three minutes we knew we were in for a touch afternoon. Bolstered by the return of the newbie dads, for the second time, of Scarney and Hemmers, watched on by the third musketeer, Lewi we were also weakened by the release of others to the Barnies and Stormers. 15 years time and masters Carne, Emery and Lewis will be sporting their own OC shirts as they make their way in the club. Who from the current crop of 4s will still be sporting theirs?

An even steven first 35 minutes produced good hockey from both sides with the Epsom younger players using their super skills to good advantage until it came to the linking up with their fellow players that was seriously lacking. Ultimately this cost them the game as they performed 80% of their game plan by absorbing our pressure, clearing to their forwards who dribbled too much instead of passing the ball around us as we over committed. Jake scored the first with a very decent finish only for the goal to be pulled back a few minutes later. Crucially Hemmers nicked a second towards the end of the first half to the loud acclaim of the Hemmers clan.

The second half saw us playing some blistering hockey culminating in a very cool finish by Toby who, having listened at half time to the call that their keeper went down early, waited until the keeper committed before rolling round and putting the ball into an empty goal. Sam D added two from the last two short corners of the game to cap a fine 5-1 win.

Cheam on Thursday at home and then Surbiton Cobras at Sugden Road on Saturday with Sparticans, 2nd v 3rd, playing their 5s at a similar time thus giving a good indication as to the destination of the end of season promotion spots. (David Knapp)

Surbiton 6s 1-1 Ladies 2nd XI
Saturday’s game between the Ladies 2s and Surbiton 6s was a big one between two teams that are trying to avoid the drop. Three(!) teams get relegated from our league and so it will be a hard slog to the end as we battle it out not to be that team. They knew it and we knew it. Surbiton had 16 and we had 15, even with a 4.40pm push back. But we had God (as Ben Roe shall now forever be known due to a typo) on our bench and he duly gathered his disciples and imparted his teachings.

We started comfortably controlling the game with strong distribution across the back with a combination of Olivia, Bea, Candela, Helen and Amy and spurred on by the amazing support from the L1s, Meersy’s gang, parents and anyone who had resisted the lure of watching England get mauled at Twickenham. Our game was far more thrilling. OCs settled for an early lead when super sub Grace stormed up the left, did some whizzy stuff, shot and Charlotte picked up the rebound somehow squeezing the ball between post and keeper. OCs kept pressing as Nikki commanded the midfield alongside Laura, Jo and Charlotte in support. Drives up both sides were possible as the ‘switch plays’ in training paid off. Jacqs, Hattie, Miggs and Tabby all added to the mix with forward line leads and solid shots on goal but they were cleared allowing Surbiton counter attacks. Surbiton had a few near misses but Amy in goal made some cracking saves alongside some neat deflection from the defence off Surbiton’s short corners. 1-0 it stayed up until half time.

Such is our need to get points Jacqs needs a special mention. She left at half-time to catch a 9pm flight to Brazil. Play hockey Saturday afternoon or play with your children before you head off for a week’s work to Brazil? Play hockey of course. Thank you Jacqs. The second half played out much like the first. It got colder and wetter mind. The supporters got louder after refuelling at half-time and realising they were better off shouting at us and not the TV. Both sides had ample chances in the second half with end-to-end attacking plays. Surbiton got lucky with 10 minutes to go and a free shot, well executed, just inside the D saw them equalise. And that’s how it remained until full-time! Turns out God couldn’t perform miracles on request but we are always grateful for his support. And for once he didn’t leave praying to not manager us ever again. (You’ll never leave the chat Ben!)
Goal Scorer: Charlotte Heap
POM: Helen Hawes

Richmond 1-3 Ladies 3rd XI
Rugby at Twickenham, our game by Barnes Bridge, 13 players and three turning up at the PB so not much to worry about. Anyway, all turned up before the start so all good. We started ok but it has to be said Richmond were really very slow so we tried to play our game, moving the ball and letting the young legs do the work. Our first goal was worked up the right and into the D, with a bit of ping pong with the keeper Yasmine was finally able to poke it in. We continued to have most of the play and did fire the ball across the D a number of times but just didn’t get anyone
on the end.

Early in the second half Richmond won a short corner (their only one) and a shot through left post pinged off the stick onto a leg and in, which was a bit frustrating as they really didn’t deserve a goal. But we have been here before and do not let it gets to us so off we went and scored two more goals. Megan ran the ball up the right and passed to Holly in the D who reverse hit a peach of a nutmeg through the keeper’s legs. Jess’s goal was a short corner struck by Manny, redounded to Charlie passed to Jess who scored. Some strange marking by one of the oppo who thought it would be a good idea to face mark one of our players, luckily she picked Manny ! Another good win
Goals: Jess 1, Yasmine 1, Holly 1
POM Charlie

Ladies 4th XI 0-2 Spencer 8s
We met on time, as per usual, at the entrance of the pitch. We warmed up together, then took to cheering on the ladies 1s. We had a great time and it was a tight game. Afterwards, we got onto the pitch and listened to some tunes, which got us into the spirit and started our short corner practice, and getting ready for the match ahead. Game on. We put the pressure on from the 1st minute, although they had very good defensive skills (transfers) which kept us running and working hard. In the first half we had good ball pace, Paula, Roz and Carolina had some great 16s to the wing players (Selma or Charlie) who then fired the ball up or ran with it to the D when we had the chance. We kept the pressure on until the half time whistle blew keeping us at 0-0.

Second Half, two minutes in it we were hit with icy rain. We had some very nice passes in the middle between Amy, Ailsa and me to the forwards who then took the ball up to the D – but the Spencer defenders pressure was on. Spencer fought hard and we gave a way a few short corners as the forwards, failing to get through defence, found a couple of feet. Our goalie pulled through as well – and only let two goals pass during the second half. The goals were flicked both times into the D by the Spencer forwards. With 21 minutes left we kept on fighting and putting on pressure in order to win a goal back.

Shout out to our umpires who were very good in keeping control of the game. We won’t forget Paula’s winning line “Go to ball” when we needed to pick up the pace. The sweets were all gratefully enjoyed as well – none were left – and we had great selection today! A fantastic team effort! And see everyone at training on Tuesday. Player of the match was shared by Charlotte Reed (aka Charlie) and Selma Lee. (Sophie Miles)

Indian Gymkhana 5s 2-0 Ladies 5th XI
Our penultimate game of what’s been a pretty great season so far, we headed off to the wilds of Isleworth for an evening game (navigating hoards of rugby traffic on the way…). We knew we had a
tough oppo to face as this young team have been getting better as the season goes on but we like a challenge! Starting strong with good pressure on the goal, it seemed however we’d taken the forcefield around the net with us from last weeks game as the shots would not go home. There was also rather a lot of foot action not being picked up on despite some very yellow socks. Oppo were also strong on their attacks, driving down to the D and receiving a number of shorts awarded for their efforts; all repelled by our excellent goalie and defence. It was all very even and although I think our oppo thought they’d have more of it their way, tenacious and quality play specially from Niamh, Phoebe, Poppy, Klara and Rachel made sure that was not the case.

Going into the second half still nil-nil, both sides stepped it up and surprised each other at the pace. More defensive shorts were awarded until a strike, remarkable for its height, got past us to put the home side 1-0 up. Not willing to give up we continued to press but the luck was not our way, and a second shot also went in the home sides favour to end 2-0. When you can’t decide a POM as you are spoilt for choices then you know it’s a game to be proud of, with excellent performances all round. Deciding vote went to Poppy for her consistency and quality.

Barnstormers 5-0 Woking Masters
They say hindsight is a wonderful thing, and in this case, getting the game started despite early morning concerns over a frozen pitch, was a great decision. After a rousing team talk from Yongey (not sure we needed reminding about our last run out), the Barnies set to work against a pumped up Woking side. Unusually (given recent weeks) for the Barnies we were on our game from the opening whistle with crucial early momentum won courtesy of high intensity slips / tackles in midfield and at the back. Early short corner goals from Ritchie and Cuzza settled the Barnies nicely into their stride and as the first half wore on there was a clear pattern developing with Dazza orchestrating from the back using the full width of the pitch to great effect. It was only a matter of time before the Barnies bagged a third, brilliantly worked down the right, and converted from the top of the D by Ritchie for his 2nd. Half time 3-0.

The captain’s half time team talk was one of maintaining the momentum and keeping the ball. With the skipper having ruled himself unavailable through injury, perhaps hindsight again playing its part, another great decision?! The second half was a bit more of a scrappy affair but in truth the Barnies were rarely troubled. The tireless running from Poen, Quints & Searsey upfront kept the oppo penned back for much of the half as the game threatened to become a bit more stretched. Cue, two contenders for goal of the month (who needs Lineker & MOTD?). From the back, with the ball shifted across field to the right and several neatly passed triangles down the touchline, the cross was met with a lifted finish from Cookie past a helpless keeper, we surely had our goal of the month winner wrapped up … 4-0 However, a few minutes later and not far from the final whistle, this time nice work down the left from Ed, Cuzza and then finally Nick, saw an eye of the needle pass to the far post for Cookie to superbly first time finish for his brace. 5-0, and that’s where it ended.

Special mention must be made to those who stepped in late to help out, Howie, Mark, Nick, & Eastie…and to CJ and Malcom for ref duties (always very much appreciated). Thanks all.
MOTM goes to Ritchie for a great midfield shift and 2 well taken goals. Although it speaks volumes to have had so many nominated over a well earned post match beer. A 5-0 win, 2 contenders for goal of the month, and a game that would merit first up on any Saturday pm highlights show!

Teddington 6s 2-3 Warriors
The build up to this match was bigger than Gary Lineker’s Twitter post fall-out, with OCs playing a Teddington team, 4th in the table, and who had beaten both of our closest rivals, Barnes and Wimbledon, at home earlier in the season. The early game time was not only a shock to the system for the team used to playing under lights, but also eliminated some of the younger players with school commitments. Luckily for us the weather played a blinder – the early frost cancelling Max’s school match, but the quick local thaw meant he could take his place for Warriors.

The game itself was a great advert for this level of hockey with both teams made up of a good mix of youth and experience, played with positivity and in good spirit. Both teams wanted and needed to win the game, and in showed in a fast paced first half that produced all of the goals. Warriors defence this season has been one of the strongest in the league, with the majority of goals conceded mainly coming from short corners. Teddington’s first goal was however one of the few conceded from open play. All players were marked, but a bullet of a shot from the right of the D narrowly evaded Tim in goal to give them the lead against the run of play.

Shaken, but not stirred, Warriors hit back in style. Grant took the ball off one of their midfielders and played the perfect pass to Jonty who was quickly one on one with the keep. A quick dummy had the keeper on the ground, and Jonty deftly rounded him and put the ball in the net. Grant then went for assist No.2 with another effort that found Molin, as usual, at the far post to knock it in and make it 2-1. Before anyone had time to breathe, Molin was at the post again to make it 3-1. But just as we were becoming comfortable, Teddington won a short corner for a foot outside of the D “?” and scored with another bullet just inside the post. Half time 3-2.

Despite at times being a little rushed we had played some good hockey and we added more composure in the second half and dominated possession without being able to find another goal to kill the game. Defensively a couple of short corners were well managed and whilst Teddington were always a threat, we managed to play out the game with a degree of confidence for a well deserved win. The OC win effectively eliminates Teddington from the promotion race, leaving ourselves Barnes and Wimbledon in the fight for two places with three games to go.
Goals: Jonty White, Molin Navamani 2
MotM: Shared between Jonty White and Alan Kane

Old Kingstonians 3-2 Hamstrings
After a long Saturday of hockey there is often a feeling of being in a parallel universe and this Saturday was no exception. Being an avid cricket fan I had missed that France were playing their first T20 cricket match against England and had to rub my eyes on seeing the outcome of their 43-run win. The last league game of the Hamstring’s season with the possibility of sneaking into second place if Richmond drew or won against Guildford. As it was we were absolute pants in the first 20 minutes and could have been buried by the time we woke up.

However, OKs were in a benevolent mood and having conceded one goal after about 10 minutes we equalized against the run of play when Baz deflected home a well worked short corner. OKs probably watched our pre game practice of corners and decided that there was zero to worry about. From this point on, with us waking up, OKs decided to pay deference to their new sponsor Black & Decker following the sponsors jingle of “Black & Decker here to chop yer” whilst using axe like hockey sticks to chop anything in sight. Rather than allow ourselves to be pussy cats and roll over a la England at Twickenham we made a match of the game especially in the second half that we dominated as much as they had dominated the first.

Against the run of play we went 1-2 down but equalized with an overhead smash by Justin reminiscent of an angry Andy Murray. A second short corner looking to replicate our first was met once again by Baz whose deflection made a very fleshy sound as it was stopped on the line by the defence whilst a third was squandered as the direct strike nearly found its way to the corner flag. With just about the last touch of the game a bouncing looping ball found its way into our D and the OK forward half volleyed an exocet into the rigging for a quite spectacular goal to give the points to OKs, the third time we have conceded in the last minute costing us 4 points. Those 4 points would have secured second place but as it is we finished 5th.

The season’s conclusion has to be that we competed in every game we played and could have taken something from each of the five games we lost. Looking good for next season. (David Knapp)

Ashford 3s 1-1 Ladies 6th XI
After a week of rain, the sun was shining. There was a slight chill in the air but perfect weather conditions to play some hockey with our mates. During warm up, Isa was checking out the opposition and was confident we were the stronger team despite only having a colt fieldplayer. Her confidence spreaded throughout the team, and we had first pushback. Our mindset was set with positive vibes and goals.

During the first half, we pushed hard with dominance and had the majority of the possession. There were numerous shots into the D but Ashford’s defence was strong with good marking and direction from their 57. There was a scramble in front of the goal and eventually Jeanette pushed the ball into the goal. Unfortunately the goal was disallowed. The score remained 0-0 at the end of half time.

We knew we were due a goal very soon with so much possession. In the second half, everyone did not give up. Lucy was absolutely determined to place at least a ball into the goal. Her relentless efforts were not in vain. The rebound from the short corner gave us our first goal from a lovely controlled assist by Jeanette. Several more short corners came our way. We lined the D as taught by John on our last Monday night training and we were ready to do our job but just couldn’t turn them into goals. Other chances were created by Evie who drove the ball up the right and along the baseline. Our high presses forced Ashford to make errors and we took those chances. Again we just couldn’t get the ball into the goal. There were brilliant attacks from our left half and feeding the ball into the D. There was a strong presence outside the D to mop up the balls that escaped the D but Ashford got through. They charged to the goal and scored. We got back on it. Our defence and midfielders were in control again and distributing the ball and feeding into the D nicely. Again we just couldn’t capitalise on the many many chances. At the end of the game, Isa was still confused with the draw as the final result. Maybe it was meant to be.

Our final league game against Berrylands is next Saturday. Perhaps this is the one.
POMs: Lucy G and Hels L
Goal: Lucy G