MIKE’S MUSINGS – 17 March 2010

£4701 TAKEN!

What a result from last Saturday’s Auction of Promises! On behalf of the organising committee I thank everyone who supported the event – including, of course, our excellent auctioneers Lawrence Baynes and Robbie Kinsella, the Lot donors and bidders (both successful and unsuccessful – the latter are invaluable at auctions provided you are not a buyer!) – for making the event such a success both financially and socially. From the above figure (which excludes bar profits) there are only a few expenses to be deducted making it a highly successful event for the club.

For a list of what each Lot made please click here. The successful bidders have been given, where appropriate, the contact details of their donors.

I also take this opportunity to thank everyone who supported the Spring Prize Raffle which made a healthy profit of £1300. The draw was made during the A of P with the major prizes and congratulations going to Verity Blyth (£150), Phil Cobbald (£75) and Mike Pepper (£25).

Earlier in the day there were less wins than usual for the club – just three from 13 games. The Ladies’ 2nds continued their fine form, which has brought them five wins from their seven games since Christmas, by beating Ipswich & ES 2-0 away while the Ladies’ 5ths beat Loddon 2nds 3-1 and the Men’s 3rds eased past Lowestoft Town 9-1 during which Matt Brand took his total of goals for the season to 39 and his total for the past three seasons to 101. Some record! Matt – I must have missed the celebration drink!

In five other matches 2-2 was a popular – or unpopular – result with the Ladies’ 1sts letting slip a two goal lead against Old Loughtonians thanks in no small part to Debbie McAllen having to leave the field after a nasty knock on her head which required stitches (luckily she is OK but had to miss the Mixed team’s 3-1 defeat at Wisbech last Sunday); the Men’s 2nds conceding a goal in the last few seconds, like the Ladies’ 1sts, against City of Peterborough 2nds; the Men’s 6ths extending their unbeaten run to four games away to IES 3rds and the Men’s Veterans taking a point from their away trip to Pelicans. The Vets thus maintained their unbeaten run going back to October 17 – all of eight matches ago! But by far the most meritorious 2-2 score line was that achieved by the Ladies’ 3rds when for the second time this season they held league leaders Loddon to a draw.

In some ways the most significant win last weekend was achieved on Sunday by Oxted who beat Indian Gymkhana 4-2 thereby removing any chance of relegation for the Men’s 1sts who continued their good form in losing narrowly away to second placed Old Loughtonians by three goals to two. Andy Hipwell scored the two goals to take his season total to 16 and in doing so consolidated his position as the league’s leading scorer (with 13) of open play goals. Many congratulations to manager Robert Stimpson and captain Leigh Sitch and the rest of the squad, including the coaches, on retaining their status following their first season back in the national league.

Magpies May Day Weekend Hockey Festival (1 & 3 May 2010) – calling all HMHC members including those away at university and former HMHC members. You are invited to enter a team. Please see the top right link on the Home Page of the club’s website for entry details.

This weekend’s home matches on Saturday include the Men’s 1sts hosting, by coincidence, Oxted (2.15) in their last home match of the season; the Ladies’ 2nds playing league leaders Lowestoft (NB 12.15); the Ladies’ 3rds taking on Dereham 3rds (12.15) and Ladies’ Development playing Yarmouth (1.45) in their penultimate match of another hugely successful season. On Sunday the Ladies’ 1sts are away to Ipswich (2.00) in a match of huge significance to the home team as they attempt to cling on to top spot; the Men’s 2nds entertain Harpenden (2.15) in what should be a tougher match than their visit to Ipswich 2nds the previous day; the Men’s 5ths host Ipswich Crane (12.30) and the Senior Vets play their annual match at Weybread against England LX (12.00). Good luck to all our teams in action this weekend including the U10 and U12 Boys in the County Mini Finals at Gresham’s School on Sunday.

News and comments in brief

§ I am delighted to say that social member and good friend of the club, Brian Perks, who had an accident due to a heart attack while at the wheel of his car last Saturday week, is well on the way to recovery (and now home from hospital) thanks to the staff of a passing ambulance (!) who saved his life. Brian – it will be good to see you back at Weybread next season.

§ The highlight of the Ladies’ 1sts draw with the OLs last Saturday were the two goals scored by Angie Wheelhouse which took her national league career total to a remarkable 99. I apologise (again) to Angie and her mother, Jenny, for shouting out ‘fluke’ when her second goal flew into the net. I thought the cross from Emily Wilford went in off a defender’s stick!

§ Commiserations to England men for missing out on a medal in the World Cup in New Delhi. Their cause was not helped by the withdrawals through injuries just before the event of forwards Matt Daly and Simon Mantell and during the event of key defender Richard Mantell.

§ Please note your diary with the End of Season Bash (disco and hog roast etc) to be held at the club on Saturday 8 May (7.30pm). Tickets – Adults £10 and U13 £5 – are available from the clubhouse bar.

With kind regards and best wishes

Mike Denham 01603 506925 MDenham975@aol.com 17/3/10