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Veterans - Match centre

Old Silhillians Hockey Club
Hampton
Wed 2 Aug 20:00 - Friendly Full time

The Old Boys end the season strongly

Narrow defeat to Hampton yoof

Well the sojourn has ended. The Vets summer campaign has at times resembled Napoleon's retreat from Moscow in 1812, and there have been casualties - both with physical and mental scars that may take years to heal (Steve Aylin perhaps? - Ed). Captain Perkins had lots of boxes to tick in selection and therefore a diverse 'oldies' side assembled. The aged and infirm were well represented - but we also had members from the youth (a hirsute looking Henry Scott), Worcester HC (no guesses there Tog), The Master Race (a very Aryan looking Jamie Clapham guesting), the Lord of the Rings universe (Gimli - that's you) and the colonies )Mr Jackman). We were worried after the royal rogering we had received early in the Summer - and Hampton looked their normal mercy-lacking selves. They remind me of those vets who roam race courses with green screens and shotguns looking for horses who have pulled a fetlock.
It was a fast and furious start. Hampton attacked with pace and gusto, and it was a pleasure to see the All Seeing Eye and the towering Cready performing well in the heart of the defence. As the rain swept in, it was like a tableau from Paul Nash waterscape of the Western Front, and it felt like attrition at times. We had defended gamely for 10 minutes before Hampton slipped one in at the back post (oh Matron - Ed), and it was like deja vu - all over again. However, we struck back gamely and Mr Messy was like a dynamo in the midfield, It also helps having Adrian Brindly up front. He may dress like someone who has lived in Woolworth's front door, and his kit is 'mixed' but he is a genuine menace up front. We equalised after a flowing move and it was a genuine pleasure to watch the play. Tog was sound as usual, and all the old boys put in a shift. Hampton scored a second - but so did we through Brindley again. 2-2 and the rain eased. It was like the calm that appeared in the Wolfgang Petersen classic 'The Perfect Storm' - just before the Andrea Gail was overturned by a huge wave and all the crew were lost.
However - we were optimistic at half time. The team talk was optimistic and the last chance for Perkins to inspire worked. It was either his inspiring words or the illegal drugs that were used to boost performance that allowed us to maintain our levels. Hampton were clearly frustrated as defence and goal keeper played well, and everyone worked hard. Jackman retired hurt with a bad toe, and there was a significant amount of sweat in evidence. Hampton were like a white tide assaulting the Sils defences. It reminded me of Gordon being besieged at Khartoum. After 20 minutes, Hampton went ahead again. 'Curses' said the crowd - both of them. With renewed vigour they attacked again and scored to make it 4-2. Sils were not down-hearted. Brindley, Right Said Fred and Perkins attacked well. Stephens was magnificent and there was time for Gimli to make a tackle that was either heroic or idiotic depending on your view. Sils attacked with the desperation of a drunk attacking the bar during last orders. Another fine Sils goal was scored by Stephen to make it 4-3, and we finished strongly (like Dirk Diggler in 'Boogie Nights? -Ed). As the final whistle blew it was a tired team who retired to the bar for teas, chat and beer. Man of the Match was a tie between Jim and Henry = but as Henry's kit was older than the rest of the team put together he deservedly won. So a difficult campaign ends - but the good news is that we start again in September with the Winter veterans fixtures. Ah what pleasures await. Til then - Anon

Team selection

Goldstraw, Jim Goldstraw, Jim
Dovey, Mark Dovey, Mark
Oppenheimer, Nick Oppenheimer, Nick
Perkins, Gary Perkins, Gary
Stephen, Sam Stephen, Sam
Thurman, Richard Thurman, Richard
Clapham, James Clapham, James
Brindley, Adrian Brindley, Adrian
Ready, Chris Ready, Chris
Jackman, Andrew Jackman, Andrew
Tabb, Stephen Tabb, Stephen

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