2nd XI Won 7-1 (Clarke 4, Austin 2, Tang; C Pacey) Embarking on the first league match of the season is always source of nervousness for a captain. Starting the campaign playing against opposition from your own club in a new league turns it into a bit of a nightmare. How is the team going to play? Can we take the successes from pre-season into the league? Will we be able to continue the progress made last season? How strong will the opposition be? These were just some of the quandaries, so last Saturday’s fixture with the Mids 3rd XI was a chance to test all of those and get some answers.
For the 2nd XI this season, having been demoted last April, a top half of the table ambition should be within the team’s sights if not aiming directly for promotion. So it was imperative that the initial streak of losses from last year wasn’t repeated although with depleted numbers throughout the club, due to mostly morning matches coinciding with Trinity Open Morning and Eid, both teams had been thrown a challenge to put out fully representative sides. But such was the captain’s worry, a strong team sheet was selected and emphasis on winning well with a good performance was made clear.
With the team talk ringing in the player’s ears, the 2s started the match aggressively only to be halted in their progress by a well organised and solid opposition. For the first few periods of the game, we found ourselves defending and chasing the ball. It took some good work tracking in back in midfield to keep their attacks under control and patience from the side without the ball. As we began to gel and understand the opposition style, we began to get some success.
Phases of play that had been cultivated in training began to show through, with the ball being spread across the pitch and stretching the opposition. With a man advantage, we began to find holes and started to capitalise on some good phases of play by finding the right players in the D at the right time. With Beaker, Chris Austin and Chris Tang(?) managing to score 7 goals between them, with good defending and support play from the rest of the team, the scoreline became unrepresentative of the skill and hard work that the 3s had shown throughout the match and it was pleasing that they managed to get on the scoresheet from a short corner as it was the least they deserved. Champagne moment was awarded to Messrs. Carr and Mims for a comical level of confusion and spectacular collision as they both ran for the same ball ending in both being wiped out with the ball nowhere to be seen.
Scoreline aside, as is wasn’t fully reflective, it was incredibly pleasing as a member of the club to see a game with exciting and entertaining play from both sides and all players enjoying their hockey. I’m sure that this is a good sign of things to come for both teams this season. From the 2nd XI perspective, a first win on the board makes a good foundation for the upcoming matches where we can use the momentum and confidence to trouble our opponents and hopefully continue winning ways. 2nd XI CM: Mims & Carr, 3rd XI MoM: Sg Sritharan