K Sports (Cobdown) HC Men’s 2s

Match date: 08/02/20
Opposition: K Sports (Cobdown) HC Men's 2s
Home or away: Away
Result: 2-2
Scorers: Chris Jeffs (1) Chris Baker (1)
Man/ Woman of the Match Rob Byrne and Clare George
Match Reporter Steve Lipscombe

We'll get to the hockey shortly. This report is based on my observations from my vantage point on the bench next to the opposition dugout and on the side of the pitch patrolled by the opposition umpire. My comments on the game take account of inputs from our rolling subs. These are facts that I am happy to go on record with:

1. The opposition wanted to supply two umpires becuase they said Clare 'always spoils the game'.

2. There were continual comments from the opposition bench, including from their club captian, which were both insulting towards Clare and sexist, possibly mysoginistic.

3. Their umpire overuled Clare's decisions on a number of occasions and was audibly criticising her. Ed challenged him on this.

4. I challenged player 143 on whether he had played for the K Sports 1st team earlier. He did not deny this; in fact he chose not to respond at all. He had turned up about 10 to 15 minutes after the game had started and went on to score and assist.

5. Adrian Darley heard one of the opposition youngsters asking his dad why first team players were in the side.

6. Rob Byrne heard their number 43 say during the game, ‘there is no place for a woman refereeing a men’s hockey game, who doesn’t even know the rules’. Rob told him politely but forcefully not to criticise the umpire again, 'we don’t need that attitude on the field and you are shaming yourself.'

7. They couldn't beat us.

8. If they win the league it is not because of their achievements, it is because of our lack of availability against Marden and home fixture vs K Sports, when we had to field a weakened side.

I believe we should complain about their treatment of Clare.

So, the hockey. The first twenty minutes was a barrage from K Sports and New Beccs' defensive display was magnificent, preventing K Sports making inroads. Chris Jeffs deflected the ball beautifully into the net for the first goal and went close with a second similar effort. At half time, there was just praise from Chris B for the efforts of the back line in particular. BUT....

New Beccs had given the ball away far too often in midfield, inviting unecessary pressure. We also failed to capitlise on the space left by the opposition defence, especially on their right where the defender was audibly puffing and blowing after 10 minutes.

In the second half, K Sports went ahead (courtesy of 143) but Chris Baker equalised with a slightly bobbly hit from a short corner just before the final whistle. However, if it hadn't been for Rob Byrne's absolute heroics and the intervention of the woodwork, it would have been a different story. K Sports were the better side in the second period and whilst they continued to mount effective attacks, New Beccs couldn't make an impression on the opposition goal; too many misplaced (or unmade) passes, too much running into trouble and too few attempts on target. Beccs' short corners also misfired; Chris was often under too much pressure from the run out to get a clean shot away and there was no plan B.

So, much relief with the result, great goal keeping and defending, but we can play better going forward. And let's practice some short corner routines before the game next week.

Rob was unanimously voted man of the match...and rightly so. However, on behalf of the team, he shares the honours with Clare.