Saturday 12 March – Mens 1s
Posted on 20/03/2016
There was once a fine day in early spring in South-West London when the mighty Gamblers 1st XI faced the formidable Spencer 4th(?) XI. That day was Saturday 12th March 2016 at 10.30am GMT. That’s 11.30am French time or 7.37am for all other countries.
The game started at a good pace, with the Gamblers playing some slick, fast-moving hockey. However, the Spencer centre midfield player proved a force to be reckoned with, giving the away side a hard time through the middle with some tidy stick skills. He wore a grey playing shirt which is quite a boring colour. Doug Courbishley gave this hockey maestro a run for his money with some jinking stick movements and some solid, yet clean, niggling tackles.
Gamblers XI scored via a Jack Moody goal following a hard-earned short corner. This is also sometimes known as a penalty corner. It is unknown who scored 1st, but the score line at half-time was most likely 1-1. This is also still yet to be confirmed. Like the rumoured sighting of a yeti in the Himalayan foothills in 1982.
The end of the first half saw a tired and under-manned Gamblers side, offering the Spencer side a chance to find spaces and run at the opposition defence. Benjamin Gower and his backline hareem were more than up the task, putting in some strong rugby-esque tackles and some silly deece aerial picks, sometimes one-handed, from Charles Garnett. These celestial interceptions earned this chap a well-earned Man of the Match – ‘MoM’ – vote.
A stirring half-time talk from Gamblers captain Robert Hill roused the side, which came out looking very much on top in the early stages of the second half, the ball being confidently knocked around with aplomb. Patient build up play from the back and midfield lines was a pleasure to watch, though little gain came from this sustained possession; the home side parked the bus and sat behind the ball. They didn’t not actually sit down as this would have been a foul.
Some hard running up top from Adam James Banks (his middle name has had to be changed for sexual reasons) resulted in a reverse stick lifted push from the Gamblers skipper, but this was parried away tidily by the home side goal keeper. The Gamblers continued to push with a determined zeal to see out the game. Alas, no. Just 2 minutes from full time, the Spencer side scored another boring tap in and celebrated unnecessarily hard. Hats off to the home side though, as their aerial game clearly paid off. “Why stop a winning formula?” one of the Spencer full backs mumbled to Gower after the match was over.
Credit to Max Kramer, the Gamblers shot-stopper, who kept his side in the game in the second half with a fantastic stick save to his left from a Spencer short corner. To be sure, his focussed play on game day can be credited to a quiet night in with his parents and warm cup of Ribena. However, he was dismayed when denied any goodnight kiss, having been told to just ‘stick it in’. N.B. These events may have been confused with brutal, unfeeling sex with a female. However, it’s all true. Andy ‘Patches’ Houlihan was voted DoD due to oddness, general lateness, and being a quim.
Final result: 2-1 to Spencer, putting this team in 2nd place in this highly contested Surrey league. Gamblers remain 3rd with two games left to play. It’s all very tense and everyone’s a bit moist to see how this one pans out.
Man of the Match: Charles Garnett
Dick of the Day: Andy ‘Patches’ Houlihan