Match Reports – 24th September 2022










Men’s 1s

Following a solid pre season, Old Cranleighans headed into the first game of the season with high hopes against a strong and experienced Sevenoaks side. With a deeper squad than previous years, Old Cranleighans had almost full availability for the fixture at Thames Ditton despite unfortunately loosing Boote late on to illness.

Coach Marshall delivered a clear and positive team talk utilising a rogue newspaper cutting to spur on the lads. However, the new look Old Cranleighans decided to do the opposite of everything he said in the first quarter and in doing so made life very hard for themselves against a well drilled and compact Sevenoaks. Numerous turnovers in the wrong areas of the field provided plenty of opportunities for the away side to dominate proceedings and enter the Old Cranleighan circle. After 13 minutes, Sevenoaks won the first corner of the season which was cleared of the line but re-awarded following an OC foul. The resulting corner saw Sevenoaks take the lead with a neat deflection into the netting.
OCs started the second quarter marginally better than the first but were still off the pace and unable to trouble the Sevenoaks defence. After 28 minutes, Sevenoaks doubled their lead after a full pitch counter attack left Doble exposed and helpless against two forwards. The scoreline remained unchanged at 0-2 as the whistle went for half time.
A deserved hairdryer from Marshall at half time, saw a much improved OC side start to gain a foothold in the game. However, a structured Sevenoaks side kept the home side to limited chances, helped by a couple of good saves from their keeper. OCs were unable to convert any of the three penalty corners they won and despite keeper Doble not touching the ball in the second half, the game petered out without much drama. Sevenoaks will have been pleased to take three points back round the M25 to Kent with the home side disappointed with the performance and result.
OCs head to newly promoted Old Loughtonians for a late pushback on Saturday night as they look to secure their first points of the season. 
MOM: Charlie Thompson 
DOD: Ollie Davies 
Ladies 1s 
The keenly anticipated start to the ladies 1s league season began away at Richmond. Molly was on hand to provide helpful annotated satellite images of the meeting point (resulting in being possibly the only player ever to be awarded DOD status without actually playing).

The game was evenly balanced at first, with Richmond making some concerted entries into our D and looking dangerous at times. GK Amy pulled off a remarkable one on one save to keep us in the game. We responded with some driving play down the right hand side and a near miss off the left post close to the end of the first half.

We needed a rethink at half time as we’d begun to lose our shape and were finding ourselves in need of inspiration. Coach Ben provided just that, with a reshuffle and the help of his whiteboard. We did our jobs brilliantly in the second half, Richmond failed to get the ball into our 25 and we peppered them with decent attempts on goal. Laura and Sam linked beautifully, and Poppy and Ellie ran rings around their tiring defence. But it was Moz who drove the play forward relentlessly, rightfully earning her girl of the game title. It’s amazing what a bit of marathon training does for ones fitness! Ultimately it wasn’t a scoring day, which is a pity particularly given how we dominated the second half. But a solid start, and plenty of promise for a successful season in our new league.

Dame of the Game – Sarah Morris

DOD – Molly Hanson

Men’s 2s

24/09/22 – Brombeck 3s (A)

Saturday ushered in the start of the season for OC’s 2nd XI. The campaign begins during one of the most turbulent times in British history – a time where milk in the fridges of many households has not only seen personnel changes at no.10 Downing Street and Buckingham palace, but also, more significantly, the overthrowing of the bloody and violent Roberts dictatorship at Portsmouth Road (that’s the home pitch address by the way Dash). The incumbent tyrant is replaced by the more liberal Sam Biccarino who forcibly displaced Roberts from the captains group just moments after breaching its perimeter. There are also rumours that Tom Stratford, Roberts’ right hand man and trusted confident, has fled the area to avoid potential war crime charges for his role within the regime.

Such regime changes and political uncertainty have ravaged markets causing British investors and indeed sterling itself to capitulate. Even our own Donny (derivatives trader and OC’s Chief Markets Analyst), has turned away from the oil indexes and towards marriage in order to lock in some stability during the current economic whirlwind – an investment strategy that has exponentially grown in popularity over the summer months at OCs.

Spiralling speculation was however put to bed on Saturday as Biccarino’s new outfit put stick to ball. The first ten minutes were slow but the team began to build into the game, slowly knitting together the team chemistry that is always a little frayed in the season opener. As the engine warmed up, it wasn’t long before a passage of open play presented the ball to new recruit Danger Dash near the outskirts of the D. Having only arrived at the pitch 120 seconds before the start of the game and still unaware of what day it was, whether he was holding a hockey club or golf stick, if playing home or away or whether it was all just a dream, reflexes kicked in and Dash dispatched the ball into the top right corner of the net giving the OCs the lead.

More hockey was played with Oli Clift showing some serious flair on the left sideline, Simmo commanding the defence, Teo showing how age is just a number and Liam letting the opposition score just before the close of the half. 1-1.

Then came Biccarino’s inaugural half time talk where he described the first ten minutes as a ‘3/10 performance’, sparking flashbacks of his search for the g spot the night before. Unscathed by the disappointed glare of his mrs and fuelled by the uplifting naïveté of his new office, Biccarino brought about a more positive tone of encouragement to the team in order to rally everyone for the second half.

The second half was started well with OCs widening the gap between their counterparts as Ajay secured a second goal. Astonished that he had managed to steer the ball into the narrow opening between the keepers hand pad and the left post, all whilst fending off two defenders, the young striker was reminded of Freddie freshers week motto; ‘it’s amazing what you can do with a couple of inches and an opportunity’. 2-1.

The remainder of the match was plagued by umpiring decisions that finally allowed Dash to realise he was definitely playing away. After converting an unjust PC, Brombecks tied the game 2-2 and despite the unrelenting OCs counterattacking efforts of the final 5 minutes, the game finished with a point each.

Ladies 2s 

The Ladies 2s played Cheam 1s at Thames Ditton in the first league match of the season on a warm September afternoon.  Cheam came second in the league last season so it was always going to be a tough game to kick off with.

OCs came out strongly in the first quarter and made several pushes on goal but sadly were not able to convert any of their chances into a goal.  Cheam defended well and throughout the first half made moves into the OC circle which were rebuffed.  Just before half time on one of these breaks, a mis-hit from one of the Cheam players looped high into the goal and squeezed over the top of the keeper to leave the score-line 0-1 at the break.

Cheam came back with even more energy after half time and continued to push OCs hard.  Both sides had chances on goal and several short corner opportunities but the scoreline stayed unchanged until the last five minutes when one of the Cheam breaks was converted into a second goal to leave the final scoreline at 0-2.

Whilst this was a disappointing scoreline, OCs played lots of good hockey against an impressive opposition. The performance at offensive penalty corners sadly continued on from last season as a weak spot and leaves the team’s conversion rate on a parr with the England Ladies team.  The team as a whole are gelling well though, and there were some good chances created from accurate passing and good running.  The new Junior players look to be settling in well and there were several displays of blistering pace from them which created some exciting chances.

If the team can find their goal scoring mojo then they look set to have an exciting season ahead.

PoM was Ele Lunn for her sterling defence…..DoD was the Georgie Sangster for only bothering to turn up as the match was about to start.

Final Score 0-2


The Stormers’ title defence started with a tricky opening fixture against Spencer, one of the toughest opponents from last season. After an impressive fixture negotiation, our 21/22 captain’s player award winner announcing that his ‘legs are not made for hockey’, and a pep talk from new skipper Goalie, we were ready to start our season.

Now I was told to ‘forget the first half’ however there were some rumours it included a stray pass to ensure Goalie didn’t start with a clean sheet, a failed diving challenge resulting in a green, and our sweeper tackling himself – ending up on the floor with no player anywhere nearby. While the DotD result was all but decided, the game was far from over with a goal from JJ taking the half-time score to 1-1. The second half saw the evenly matched game continue with Spencer creating chances, but unable to beat Goalie securing him the MotM vote. At the other end, Stormers were clinical with goals from CB (never shoot from there), Will’s deflection and another for JJ.

4-1 doesn’t really show how close this game was against a strong side, but another W for Stormers who welcome newly promoted Tulse Hill & Dulwich Artillery to Fortress TD next week.

Ladies 4s

Ladies 4th XI 1 – 2 Wimbeldon 7s
Perfect weather and a lively team were a great combination to start the league.
Wimbledon were the first to get a score on the board with a goal awarded from a penalty corner.
The first half presented a few fantastic goal scoring opportunities, unfortunately only one of those, a pass to a perfectly placed Ailsa, at the top of the D, resulted in a goal and brought the score to 1-1 at half time.
After some half time tactical talk we dominated the second half unfortunately, Wimbledon managed to slip another goal through.
We fought hard and battered their defence but they held on and at full time the score was 1-2. We played really well and came away with a few ideas of what we need to focus on.
Thank you Nadia for agreeing to borrow kit and stand in goal for us. You were fantastic!
Well played ladies and congratulations to Charlotte Adair for the Player of the match award.
All in all a great day of hockey and looking forward to the result being in our favour for our rematch with Wimbledon.
Ladies 6s
What a beautiful sunny afternoon to kick off our 1st match of the season, away against Surbiton Sirens. The excitement and anticipation of the game meant we started a bit off pace and not as focused which led to us dropping a goal very early on in the match, but by half way through the first half we switched on a gear and equalised. With a strong presence across the pitch and some amazing play by our colts we managed to secure another 2 goals by half time. Eager to keep the lead we came out strong knowing the 2nd half is always our strongest, after numerous short corners on both sides we managed to add to the score line by another 2 goals giving us an amazing 5-1 win. POM was a hard choice as so many deserved it, but it goes to Niamh Hepburn on her debut ladies game who was brilliant. Some great champagne hockey played by all and massive team effort for our first game – well done ladies 6s a great start!!
September 28, 2022