MENS 3RD XI - 16/02/2019 VS BOURNE DEEPING 2 (H)
TEAM: Mens 3rd XI
FIXTURE: Mens 3rd XI VS 16/02/2019
HEADLINE: A hard fought win..... at last
LEAGUE: EAST DIVISION 2 NORTH
RESULT: 6-4 win!
With availability good this week and a goalkeeper, City hosted Bourne Deeping 2s at Taverham. Narrowly losing 4-3 in an earlier fixture, City knew this was a game that they could win.
City started well and put a lot of pressure on Bourne and it wasn't long before they took the lead. Seeing as the writer of this match report plays at the back, and due to the abundance of goals in this game for City (something not that common this season), memory is shaky of who scored which goal. Suffice to say, it was a cracker and City were lifted. However, as has been common this season, City like a challenge, and so decided to let Bourne respond by scoring two goals, taking the score to 2-1 to Bourne at half time.
The second half started and City soon found themselves 3-1 down, but then City emerged like a phoenix from the flames, and started their biggest comeback this season. Lloyd Sayer and Ben Chapman commanded the middle of the pitch and this lead to City scoring more goals! Again, this lowly writer can not remember who scored all the goals in a certain order, but goals came twice for Rees Leonard from short corner drags, one from Dan Cheeseman, one from Jack Luther, another for Toby Pallister, and a cracker of a goal from Henry Baker, who deftly touched deflected the ball in from a Rees aerial.
City didn't make it easy for themselves as poor passes and lack of marking, led Bourne to get another goal, and pressure on City resulted in a number of short corners against them. A goal line save from Skipper Adam Sayer, and another goal line save from Rees Leonard, kept City in it. The dying moments of the game did add a few grey hairs to skipper Sayer, but after City went two goals into the lead in the last 3 minutes, it was clear City would win.
At last a win for City this season. An outstanding team performance by all, who battled from two goals down to win two goals in front! Special mention to the younger players of the team who all played brilliantly.
MOM: Rees Leonard - Goal line save and shot corner maestro.
MENS 4TH XI - 16/02/2019 VS NEWMARKET 2 (A)
TEAM: Mens 4th XI
FIXTURE: Mens 4th XI VS 16/02/2019
HEADLINE: The Chris Perry Show
LEAGUE: EAST DIVISION 4 NORTH EAST
VENUE: Newmarket Leisure Centre
RESULT: 7 -1 WIN
Still on the high of last week's match report, Norwich travelled to the home of the sport of kings with a squad a full 33.3% larger and approximately 47% younger. Some of the squad this week not having to pay for bus fares because they are too young! Now, few realise that the earliest references to "the sport of kings" were in reference to war, and war this was not, with lowly Newmarket buoyant despite their league position. The following report is based on a true story. Names, characters, hockey clubs, places, events, goals, and incidents are either the products of the author's imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental
Norwich started brightly with debutant Louis "Bambi" Hart and the returning Beake working the flanks and the inside forward paring of Tomkinson and Land providing thrust, energy and some other third thing. It wasn't long before Perry placed a reverse stick shot beyond the reach of the diminutive Newmarket keeper. And for clarification, this time not so far beyond his reach that it missed the goal completely. One nil to Norwich. Before long it was two to the visiting side with Perry nutmegging (code for putting it straight at the keeper) the Newmarket stopper from a short corner somebody had won? And when I say won, I mean mysteriously granted by an umpire seemingly watching a different game to the rest of us.
The brothers Iccarino into the mix. Captain Ingam "observing". Still Norwich dominated. Rocco and Saverio adding further flair. Ingham adding further "observations".
Newmarket refuse to let this setback darken their spirits. Unfortunately, despite their plucky demeanour and optimism, they offered little attacking threat and still struggled to contain the Norwich forward line. True to form, it was Norwich who struck again. This time his name was Rio and he danced on the sand (based astro) just like a river twisting through a dusty land and when he shines he really shows you all he can do, Rio danced across the D and his goal was rather grand.
Three to the good and Norwich should have been sailing, but it looked a little more like they were three sheets to the wind. Confusion at the top of the box and the previously rock solid pair of Jagdev Singh and Harris conspired to give Newmarket their regulation goal per game. A wild airshot and a sniff turned in to a full-blown whiff and Newmarket couldn't fail to smell their chance. The ball slammed past the helpless (and probably somewhat bored until that point) Nkrumah in the Norwich goal. 3 -1.
But this was just a minor blip. The Norwich defence solidified and the dazzling intercepts and thunderous tackles returned. Resident wordsmith Roy doing his talking on the pitch. Not literally talking, obviously, he was too out of breath. Unfortunately as much as it looked unlikely that Newmarket would score again, Norwich appeared to have taken their foot off the peddle somewhat. But somehow, second gear was still enough. Perry, who's second gear is admittedly much the same as his other gears, stepped up again. A penalty corner routine hitting the post and Perry swooping like a Peregrine, except slower, to put away the rebound. Anyway, a first half hatrick and bottle of bubbly to Chris "I was going to dance nimbly around him, honest" Perry.
Half time. 4-1. And a stern talking to from Ingham, who had doubled his days step count getting from the dug out to the goal. I'll not bore you with the details but a fair summary would be "You've all gone a bit rubbish. Play better". And so the second half began. Would Newmarket launch a spirited comeback? Would Perry score a second half hat trick? Oooohhh more on that later.
And sure enough, the chances came and went. City dominant, but not rampant. Slicker, but when it counted, imprecise. Garry Owens finding touch, but not the intended target. Corden exuberantly probing, Dale probing less exuberantly. That is until Perry stepped up again. "A fourth goal"? I hear you gasp? "But how????". A dazzling run at lightning pace, a deft step, a subtle feint, a zig, a zag. But that was Rio, not Perry. But what was his was a finish to the top corner so sublime you would think it have been made up (description provided by Chris Perry LLP, see disclaimer).
And so city went on. Chances came and chances went. Domination but not annihilation. Newmaket still pushed on, but struggled under the press from the city front five, and when they did break, they found the City back five impenetrable and so well rested that Jag won a foot race. But just when the game looked to be heading for a bromidic conclusion, the man of the moment pounced again. Iccarino Snr picked out on the top of the circle and his strike heading wide was diverted deftly by the gentle caress of a big man and five it was now for the Lionel Messi of NCHC 4s, and the second half hat trick was on. City, boosted by the performance of their enigmatic talisman in front of goal, upped their performance and a tiring Newmarket found it increasingly difficult to contain their young stars.
The inescapable conclusion? A penalty corner. The anticipation was palpable. Up steps Chris "5 Star" Perry. Injection. Trap. Flick. But wait!!! A save? The plucky Nemarket keeper plucking the ball out of the sky, the defender on the line assisting and the flight of the ball arrested. But rather naively, Newmarket had failed to install either VAR or goal line technology in time for this titanic clash and like Hurst in 1966, Norwich's Perry was left agasp wondering if he had indeed secured a second hat trick. Luckily, 50+ years of debate were avoided when the ball dropped to the ground and Hooper, entirely absent from this report so far, finished from precisely zero - insert literally any unit of measurement here - . A lucky 7 for Norwich, but 7 Up is refreshing, and refreshed Norwich pushed for number 8.
Another corner. Perry again to strike. The trauma of seeing his glory evaporate at the hands of Newmarket's technological deficiency last time around playing in his mind on a loop, a wobble of confidence, and he opted to use the options. The ball back the injector. But Hooper fluffed his lines, finding the relatively small proportion of the goal occupied by the Newmarket keeper. Not so on the second attempt. A lighting pounce when the ball emerged from under the keeper and a finish from, this time, some measurable distance. But could City celebrate eight? No. The umpires hands aloft and a corner already awarded.
Perry, renewed by the failure of his nemesis, took the strike duties upon himself again. Should have used the options. Chance gone. On the bench the cogs whirring. Decision made. Ingham into the fray. Could this be difference? Well, it was a difference of a kind. Opting to play right wing (presumably choosing the position closest to the dug out to keep the step count down), Ingham soon saw the ball. Or at least its approximate position, spilling it off the side of the pitch. Time to play a bit more central John.
But not even the injection of "fresh" legs could bring on goal number eight, not even with city so dominant that Nkrumah was reduced to providing moral support, and shortly after the umpire added a ghost sideline to go with the ghost goal, the game concluded with a robust and generous cheer from a well beaten but high spirited Newmarket side in a display of true sportsmanship.
A highly enjoyable, if not completely factually accurate, match, thanks largely to the attitude of Newmarket. As dignified in defeat as is possible, we wish them every luck in their remaining fixtures.
And no report is complete without a review of the match teas. A sit down meal of the hottest sausages known to man. Bravo, a good day for those City travellers who were actually willing to leave the county.
BOYS U18S - 17/02/2019 VS BEESTON (A)
TEAM: Boys U18s
FIXTURE: Boys U18s VS 17/02/2019
HEADLINE: City’s Valiant u18 Boys Fall Short against Top Quality Beeston
LEAGUE: EH U18 Boys Tier 1 Cup
VENUE: Nottingham Hockey Centre
RESULT: Lost 5-1
City’s u18 side fought valiantly in an exciting quarter-final match but ultimately came up short against a Beeston HC side which included several junior internationals.
City’s u18 Boys team travelled to the Nottingham Hockey Centre for their Quarter-Final match in the England Hockey u18 Tier 1 Competition. Despite being the underdogs, City felt confident, started well and, in the first 10 minutes, had the better chances with Ben Chapman finding himself one on one with the keeper, but being thwarted with a good save.
However, Beeston were technically very strong, picking up any loose passes and gradually cranking up the pressure on City’s defensive unit. A couple of City mistakes were pounced on and punished, giving Beeston a 2-0 lead which was not in any way reflective of the balance of play. City fought back, winning a short corner; Cameron Cooke’s shot was parried by the keeper but the ball only reached Ross Butler, who dispatched it with venom into the goal.
The next goal was likely to determine the shape of the match, but City were dealt a blow when skipper Harry Paterson was harshly yellow carded after slipping on the water pitch as he closed in for a tackle. Beeston made their extra man count with a good move resulting in the ball being brutally smashed from a tight angle into the roof of the net, giving keeper Ben Nkrumah no chance.
At 3-1 down going into half time, the coaches encouraged City to fight their way back. Whilst the boys did their best, they could not withstand the relentless Beeston pressure who got themselves 5-1 ahead with 20 minutes still to go. Many teams would have folded at this point, but the last quarter of the match was City’s finest, with the Norwich Boys having several chances to make the score more respectable and somehow being denied by the post or the keeper on every occasion. Meanwhile at the other end, Ben Nkrumah kept Beeston’s tally down, amazingly saving two penalty flicks in two minutes, much to the astonishment of all watching.
So, the game ended at 5-1, which felt a little unjust to a City team who had given Beeston a good run for their money. However, the boys should feel proud of their performance both in this match and in the Cup as a whole.
Thanks are due to all the parents who have ferried the boys all over the country, and to Paul Roy for helping out on the sidelines. Special thanks is also due to the three u16s (Rio Iaccario, Joseph Roy and Jonty Black) who stepped up to cover absences and who were really impressive.
Man of the match was a tough call, with votes awarded to flick hero Ben Nkrumah and the ever-strong duo of Daniel Phillips and Cameron Cooke in midfield, but the award this week goes to Harry Paterson who was combative throughout, gave the Beeston midfield a good run for their money and picked out some excellent passes to open up the attack.