Monsoon conditions dampen spirits, but not the hockey
By Stephen Tabb
Very sociable final run-around before the Christmas break
In appalling conditions, both sides should be commended for their commitment to what proved to be a very entertaining, and competitive affair. Umpires Andrew Scott and Jon Cloke should also be thanked for a superb performance despite the very poor visibility.
The Veterans side started strongly, and took a 2-0 lead with firstly Nick Oppenheimer finishing off a nice move involving Caroline Frye showing good skills down the right flank, before the ball was crossed to the far post for "Nobby" to deftly lob the ball home. The second came shortly after with Andre Tchakhotine making the most of the space afforded to him in the middle of the pitch to fire home after a pass from Gary Perkins.
The Club XI, thanks to the tireless running of Harry Peachey and Luke Kent upfront, were always likely to get back into the game though, and came out the much stronger side in the second half. Their first goal came from Matthew Fell stepping into the D, and picking his spot. Whilst the Veterans re-established their 2 goal cushion, once again following good work from Caroline Frye, with John Rice slotting home, the younger side made the most of their extra player to dominate the remainder of the game with Jake Tyler pulling the strings from the midfield.
James Clapham scored one, but it was then fitting that Luke Kent scored the third and fourth goals to secure the victory for the youngsters. Veterans' Captain Gary Perkins reflected afterwards that substituting his usual inspirational half-time team talk for a bottle of port to be consumed by the team, may not have been the wisest of moves!
As always with this fixture though, the highlight is always the time spent in the bar afterwards - the Lyons' pies were excellent (as usual), the clothing from the Veterans was less so (as usual), with a strange mix of Christmas jumpers and checked shirts demonstrating the older generation's sartorial elegance.
Well done to all for playing the game in the right manner, even given the weather, and Happy Christmas to all.