Ladies 2s 4 – 1 Wimbledon 6s
OCHC Ladies 2s started off the match with high hopes as we played the bottom of the league but we still knew we would have to play our best to win. The last few weeks had seen the team drop points in frustrating winnable games.
The first half OCs had much more possession, D-entry’s, and overall better plays, with great transitions and full use of the pitch. We also acquired a lot of short corners, however just couldn’t convert into goals, and Wimbledon always threatened a counterattack goal. So as the half time whistle went it was still a nerve wracking 0-0.
After a quick half time boost from DM, consuming of Haribo and the all important orange slices we started again with determination to get some goals. Our first goal came from Jess Q with a low bottom corner strike past the keeper, having received the ball on the left and snashed it as she entered the D. Despite our best effort Wimbledon delivered a successful counterattack and levelled the score at 1-1. We didn’t let our heads go down and soon after this Pricey scored from a short with a well timed, strong delivery from the right side of the D into the back of the goal. As the game wore on more space opened up and our passes became fluid and dangerous as we put pressure on their defence constantly. This resulted in an another goal from Jess Q with a push at close range into the backboard. 3-1 and we were very much in control of the game with the ball rarely troubling our consistently solid and composed defence. A hatrick goal from Jess Q with a lifted strike into the back of the net left the score 4-1 at the final whistle. This was our best overall team performance for many matches. We played with high intensity, great passing from defence all the way through to the front, and good shape which was supported by Pricey who bossed her role as centre mid and her distribution was great. Everyone had a smashing game!
Well played everyone, thanks to Michelle and David for helping on the sideline.
Goals from: Laura Price (1) Jess Quinton (3)
POM: Jess Quinton
Men’s 2s 5 – 0 Surbiton 3As
In a highly anticipated match following a thrilling 3-2 win in their previous fixture, OC’s aimed to maintain their momentum and continue their winning streak. The encounter unfolded at Surbiton, and it was an action-packed affair from the very beginning.
The game kicked off with both teams showcasing determination and energy, but it wasn’t long before the first major incident occurred. James Lamb, a new signing for the OCs and still trying to make an impact, found himself in the umpire’s book just 12 minutes into the game. A mistimed and reckless challenge off his feet warranted a 10 minute yellow card, setting the tone for a feisty encounter.
As the match progressed, the defensive prowess of OCs was put to the test. Tom Lawson emerged as the hero of the day when, with the score still level at 0-0, he executed a crucial goal-line clearance to deny the opposition a certain goal. Lawson’s heroics injected a renewed sense of confidence into the team.
The breakthrough came at the 1-0 mark, thanks to a penalty flick questionably converted by Charlie Lamb. His somewhat clinical finish from the spot gave OCs the lead, providing the much-needed advantage.
At the 40th minute mark, DR made a significant impact by finding the back of the net, doubling the lead for OCs. The momentum carried into the second half, with Rhodes extending the lead further with a goal at the 47th minute.
Not content with a comfortable lead, Charlie Lamb once again announced himself as a serious contender for golden stick at the 58th minute, further solidifying OC’s dominance. The relentless offensive display continued, and Wilson added his name to the scoresheet at the 68th minute, making CLEAR connection with the ball and putting the game well beyond the reach of the opposition.
In the end, OCs emerged victorious with an emphatic 5-0 win. The players displayed exceptional teamwork, resilience, and skill throughout the match, marking another impressive performance in their season campaign.
The win not only extends OC’s winning streak but also serves as a testament to their ability to overcome challenges and maintain momentum. As the team looks ahead, the confidence gained from this commanding victory will undoubtedly propel them forward in their quest for success in the upcoming fixtures.
Ladies 3s 3 – 1. Spencer Sapphire
Saturday saw Ladies 3 versus Spencer sapphire. An older but experienced team, we knew we were in for a tough game. We started frantically and caught off guard with an early break, managed to give away a short which they scored from. This did not deter us as we knew our skill and determination would come through. We dominated possession for the rest of the first half. Some incredible runs from Alethea down the wing. We won several shorts and a powerful strike from Jess, was deflected into the net by Ailsa, the first of two of her goals. The second goal was almost identical won off another short. Sangster spent all of the match hustling and giving the opposition a difficult time and this led to our third goal of the game. We will just ignore her baseball skills after that.
Final score 3-1. WOM Alethea Jones
Goals Ailsa Pack (2) Georgina Sangster (1)
Stormers 4 – 2 Epsom
Match report. Apologies for the delay chaps – these snacks don’t sell themselves you know.
It was an auspicious start to proceedings away at Epsom when we had half the squad with 10 minutes to go before pushback. The signs of class over form showed, however, and despite missing the usual rigours of GB Stu’s warmup, old heads soon switched on to the task in hand. Epsom away had banana skin written all
over it and it was important to assert control early on.
We soon realised Epsom are no mugs and a pretty decent side that could move the ball around well. Were it not for missing a couple of incisive forwards they could have produced a goal in the first 10 mins.
Fortunately, we produced some very nice hockey, passing the ball around confidently and getting in some good areas, hitting our forwards early and high up the pitch. A pattern was emerging with acres of space in high wide positions which we mostly obliged and amply filled.
It wasn’t long before we produced a few corners and although not converting initially you could sense the pressure was on Epsom. Corner number three finally dropped in (let’s call the first ones our actual warm up!) from a Grant drag special – bottom left – leaving a wandering keeper to ask himself tough questions, like “where is the middle of the goal lads?”.
A handful of close chances and near deflections came from a five min period of sustained pressure and a second goal did eventually drop courtesy of our own Chris “goal bags” Brewer.
There was some talk about a ‘dive’ in the penalty circle from one of our forwards but it’s all a blur of sweat, fight and tears. I’m sure he meant well.
After a few nerve rattling moments in the second half, including a well drilled PC goal from Epsom, the OCs machine kicked in with two beautifully crafted goals. It was a joy to watch (panting and wheezing on the bench) as our midfield caressed the ball from stick to stick, ending in Millsy lap for a sitter. It was a coordinated dance of hockey that the Seoul team of 88 would have been proud of.
4-2. Job done. The juggernaut rolls on.
This match report was not written by Chat GPT and rushed whilst balancing 10 boxes of Biltong on the underground.
Ladies 4s 1 – 2 Epsom L5s
Going into this match we knew that it was going to be a tough one against top of the league Epsom. Epsom started of strongly winning a short corner in the first minute, but they were not able to convert, due to our strong defense.
After that we quickly settled into the game winning a penalty corner, which was converted by Charlie. This goal gave us the energy we needed and we held on to our lead until half time, missing opportunities to double the score.
Epsom came out of half time determined and equalised with a controversial penalty flick. Despite our effort of keeping them out of the D they managed to score a second goal and we were 2:1 down.
Knowing that we had what it takes to equalise, we put in a brave fight. Poppy had great runs down the right hand side, but Epsom managed to stop us before the ball reached the net.
Despite our effort and probably the best team performance yet, we did not manage to equalise.
Everyone, defenders, mids and forwards played amazingly this weekend.
A lot of positives to take away from this match and ready for next weekend’s opponents.
Player of the match Poppy Protasiuk
Written by Klara Muthreich
Men’s Samurais 0 – 2 Wimbledon 6s
The Samurai arrived for their match against Wimbledon with a mixture of trepidation and confidence. Wimbledon, at the top of the league was a daunting prospect for the Samurai sitting precariously close to the bottom. Our team sheet showed one of our subs only arriving at half time and, unusually, no experienced guest star players from the rest of the club. This team was pure Samurai…(though I did bump into Barry in the car park and persuaded him to bring his stick for a brief runaround). We were also cautiously confident having drawn against them in our first leg and having learned a number of short corner routines at training two days previously.
The first half started well with the Samurai competing well in every aspect. We were starting to get comfortable going toe to toe with the league leaders. After a good portion of the match, Wimbledon suddenly flooded our defence and managed to get the ball to trickle over our goal line. The Samurai have been in this position often enough so we weren’t put out and played on fearlessly. Ed made a searing run up the pitch, passed numerous players and had only the keeper left in front of him but was brought down just before he had a chance to score. The resulting short corner brought excitement as we gathered in our huddle to decide which of our new routines we would use to flummox our opponents. In the end, we decided to go for route one and save our other routines for the next short. In the event, we didn’t score….and didn’t get any more shorts.
We ended the first half just 2-0 down. An unexpected flurry of injuries meant our dugout became a mini-field hospital with players helping their injured teammates dress their war wounds.
As a result of this, I missed the half time talk but it was helpfully summarised as “Just keep it up!”
Whatever was actually said seemed to work because what followed was, perhaps, the Samurai’s finest (half) hour. The team played magnificently and, whereas, ordinarily we might have run out of steam, this time everyone of us kept working hard until the final whistle. The midfield ran up and down the field but our attacks were unable to find that elusive goal. At the other end, despite numerous oppo attacks our defense remained solid. Harry and Harrison (notably commended for today’s performance) were reliable as ever at the back. Goalkeeper Ian’s new kickers got plenty of action and his multiple saves ensured that we finished the second half with a clean sheet.
A promising performance by a promising team. Next week we have a bye and a chance to recuperate before we gather once more.
Final Score 2-0
MoM – Ian Kerridge
Match Report Molin Navamani
Ladies 7s 0 – 2 Indian Gymkhana
After a week of to-ing and fro-ing over their insistence on providing not just two umpires at their home match and also one to our home match which resulted in me having to ring Manny at 8am Saturday morning to say I was going to behave, the stage was set for a tense match. None of us had enjoyed the first match, especially Kim who was sent off for dissent. An umpire who brings the advantage back after over a minute just because a team doesn’t score doesn’t understand the word advantage, in my book. Well, the probably do, but not in the same way I do…
So after my talking-to, I told everyone to behave and gave myself a stern talking to about back-chatting the umpire.
Unfortunately there was a medical emergency in the match before ours. Thanks to Sarah and Jane for their quick thinking and Sarah for knowing where the defibrillator was.
When we did get underway, the tension was not there. Everyone was on their toes, and with a large support section consisting of Rae, Kate, Kim and Lesley, with Kim running the subs, we felt very positive.
And we played very positively. They have two or three good players, and age on their side. The defence were superb. Pam played in a way that totally belied her years, no doubt bouyed by the thought she would be at Abba Voyage the next day. Leigh and I managed to combine to deny them the ball several times, with some great clearances by her. Annie played very well at the back and also when she managed to escape upfield to play at the front, putting everything into a shot that we all thought was going in. Inge is just an unstoppable force, really, intervening to block the player, block the shot, and take charge.
Nadia came back frequently and well, as did Fi – so much so that her feet deserve a special mention for being in the D when hit. Or just outside the D. There also pushed up well and we had an amazing group of chances, pushing the opposition right back. Rachel and Darcie ran their legs off getting the ball up to Liz, Jane and Emma and Claire beautifully did what I asked and controlled the centre very well, sending ball after ball forward and fighting the opposition as valiantly as the rest of the team.
Unfortunately, in the first half it was Nadia’s foot just inside front of goal that gave IG the chance to really go ahead after we had denied them several times. The good news is that their penalty taker has a tell, I dived the right way and she was flustered and missed the goal completely.
Sarah started the game in her preferred position at the front, after I spent half a season playing at the back. Not saying she likes playing at the back. Not saying she doesn’t. But I was jolly glad to have her as one of my rotating back four in the second half. We seemed to lose the cohesiveness that we started with, and after about 15 minutes, once Annie went off, IG seemed to take heart and start pressing forwards.
I am not saying it wasn’t coincidence that we defended about three or four short corners in the first half and where our umpire was based and it felt like 20 in the second half when their umpire was at our defensive end, but they are very good at getting it onto your feet – aren’t they, Fi!
Anyway, it was what it was and it was very clear very quickly they send it to one person, and she learned that we realised this very quickly. She moved around the D and so did the ball. We had loads of defensive work to do and everyone can back beautifully. Unfortunately, there was a huge barrage of shots, quite a few rebounds off me and eventually one snuck past my glove into the bottom left corner and we went one down.
We didn’t let it dishearten us and continued to fight. But they had the pressure, and as I say, we lost our shape a bit. We allowed their good player to dance around the top of the D to their right; she shot and got a lucky deflection into goal. They tried that again but the defence was further forward for that shot and it was deflected off.
All in all it was a fantastic fighting performance and we played a stormer. A true team performance. There are things we could do better – hiding at hit outs is never a good look, but we are getting better and better and more competitive and I am really proud of the performance we put in this week. Bring on Surbiton Sirens next match!
Also, we kissed and made up over the umpire issues. The result is I get teas as I am umpiring the 6s game at IG in a few weeks. A long trek but worth it for the tea…
Hamstrings 1 – 3 Wimbledon Levellers
Hockey – a fast moving, spectator friendly sport played by teams of 11 fit, skilful players all of whom keep themselves fit over extended periods away (like the Xmas period) and with reserves who are able to slot seamlessly into the team, rolling on and off the pitch in carefully orchestrated substitutions.
Unfortunately, the Hamstrings 1-3 loss to 3rd placed Wimbledon on Saturday was a long way removed from the above description! Lots of running and endeavour, even some good instances of the triangles and left foot passing that those of us who coach the Juniors spend so long talking to them about and stressing. But also a lot of evidence that a gap of 6 weeks between matches means there’s a lot of rustiness, the fitness has definitely taken a battering and we needed the runout to get back into the swing of things.
We’re definitely a much better team than our current 8th league place would suggest but our Achilles Heel is certainly our goal scoring (or lack thereof). We probably had just as many circle entries and scoring opportunities as the oppo, but we turned round at half time 3-0 down. Two of the goals we conceded were well taken but the third was an own goal by your truly…a looping deflection going over my head (standing at right post on a short corner). Was it going to go in or was it going to miss/ strike the post? We’ll never know because I managed to get my stick to it, the ball dropped to the ground and before I could get my stick to it, the backspin I had applied saw the ball roll across the line. I don’t score many goals – best I try to revert to that position !
Our solitary goal was a thing of beauty. Inspired by CJ’s half time talk, the ball must have been touched by all 11 members of the team on its way to the Wimbledon goal. Started by Nige in goal with a deft, Trent Alexander-Arnold pass from within our D, the ball was moved mesmerically back and forth across the pitch, the oppo caught like rabbits in the headlights as OCs morphed into a hockey version of the Harlem Globetrotters. 3D skills everywhere, body feints, aerials, nutmegs – you name it…. The killer blow was struck by Howie to give the team real belief for the second half.
Sadly, no more goals in the second half but a lot of verbal hand bagging as frustrations grew over some of the umpiring decisions. We won the second half 1-0 but that was of scant consolation. Fortunately a number of us had a 50th birthday party to go to in the evening – some of the dance floor moves displayed showed that perhaps we move more freely with alcohol coursing through our veins. Just a thought…
Wimbledon 3 – Hamstrings 1
Goal scorer – Howie Cruther
MOM – no votes cast.
Puritans 2 – 0 Amersham – abandoned at half time
A day and match that was distressing and unsettling for all present at Oaken Lane but one which showed the extraordinary camaraderie of everyone in the hockey family.
Having taken a 2 – 0 lead in the first half with goals from Knappy and Rob Leach the game was abandoned at half time following Ravi collapsing during the half time team talk with a suspected heart attack. The remarkable presence of mind of Robin Sansom and Rob Leach and one of the Amersham players who applied their knowledge and first aid skills ensured that Ravi was able to immediately respond to the treatment of the 4 paramedics who arrived very quickly after the 999 call.
The evening WhatsApp messages to and from Ravi showed he had made a good recovery following his emergency operation.
Thank you also to our ladies who were following us on the Oaken Lane pitch for their patience, blankets and offer of assistance.
A positive end to a sobering experience that none of us want to experience again.
Hopefully we will be able to replay the game in April.
Ladies O45s 2 – 1. Teddington
Super 2-1 win today ladies. 2 cheeky goals from George off the back of some lovely assists via Jen, Amanda, Nicola, Jo, Tash to name a few. Great team performance
Little report from our Lo45 game today v Teddington, nice win in the sun and happy smiles.