We started the day strong and fresh, faces painted rather poorly may I add! We went into our first game not too sure what to expect from our youthful team of Yours Truly, Hannah White, Liam White, Katie Scott, Tilly Malins, Alex Scott, Rob Sydenham and Alex Culff but enough about the team. Our first game was against the notorious old farts of Epsom! Who lost spectacularly 2:1 with Macca scoring their only goal and tuckey hindering his team with an interesting show of goal keeping techniques yet to be understood by us mere mortals, anyway Tuckey managed to assist both my goals. (Cash exchanged hands…) Then as the game was nearing to the end Alex Scott was subbed on then two seconds later decided to have a quick nap and quickly became acquainted with the ground.
Game Two: With our morale high we started our second game hopeful that we could actually succeed! Due to an U16 game we had lost Liam White and Rob Sydenham, so we swiftly recruited Phoebe Persey and decided she might as well play in goal, this was an interesting decision she had both heroic and tragic moments and at one point it was starting to look like our hopes and dreams could be crushed, but we pulled through with Tilly swiftly putting two away and Breesey scoring another to leave the final score 3:2 another victory to Breese’s Badgers. During this victory an interesting substitution took place which involved the exchange of a Santa suit between myself and Alex Scott which resulted in me lying on the floor legs in the air with Alex trying to remove the red Santa trousers!
Game Three: Now with two wins under our belts we were pumped to win this still yet to get back our two U16’s we kept Phoebe in goal. Now this was quite an eventful game as Culffie almost died after taking a stick to the knee and Josh Glasford seemed rather confused about what sport we were playing and decided he’d rather kick the ball repeatedly which resulted in him being forcibly substituted. I think an appropriate term for Phoebe’s goal keeping would be “fluky” but our defence of Hannah and Katie kept us in the game and we scraped a victory with Josh scoring a deflection leaving us 1:0 at full time and 3 wins behind us.
Game Four: All I can really say about this game is some dubious decisions were made here by the umpire, but what is hockey without players disagreeing with the umpires! We lost a key member of the Badger Strike force and we had to replace Tilly Malins with Clair Hugo. We fought hard but could not avail and ended up with a 1:0 defeat, a blow to the streak we were having.
Semi Final: Now the day was getting on it was quite late we or rather I had finished most of our port and the other team was looking like they were in a similar position and I think it was a combination of our finesse and their blood alcohol level which resulted in our 4:1 victory with goals to Henrietta Evans (Recruited to replace Claire Hugo), 1 to Josh and 2 to Yours Truly. They did manage to score one skilful penalty flick which was awarded when our top footballer Josh decided to kick the ball again. A special mention must go out to Alex Culff here for assisting all of our goals with some fabulous aerials spanning the length of the whole pitch.
And Finally the Final: We walked onto the pitch hesitantly as we were up against our rivals Clapham Common the only team to have beaten us so far. But all previous games aside we started with clear minds and went in strong keeping possession and making some threatening runs, Clapham responded in kind so Culffie decided the best way to handle this was to slide on his knees stick out and tackle them an interesting and surprisingly effective approach to hockey on grass. Then on the counter after a fabulous aerial from Culffie, I managed to squeeze a goal in leaving us 1:0 up. After this event I tactically subbed myself off for Alex Scott and with a fresh pair of legs we were on the attack once again, Josh now playing hockey made a brilliant run with the ball ending up at the top of their D ready to shoot, unfortunately it just wasn’t his day and he missed the ball completely and almost fell over in the process. But this left Alex Scott free in the D to pop it in the back of the net. Apparently their keeper had thought he was one of their players? The Santa onesie camouflage had worked! And we were 2:0 up. Our defence of Katie and Hannah stayed strong and we finished the game 2:0.
Great Tournament thank you to everyone who made it happen, a special mention to Carlos and Henri! MoM has to go to Hannah White for consistent brilliant play. And TFC went to Tuckey for his interesting Goal keeping technique.