MIKE’S MUSINGS – 2 March 2010

Lots, drinks and nibbles

Just in case you don’t get as far as the bottom of this article (!) I would like to remind you of the Auction of Promises to be held in the clubhouse at 7.00pm on Saturday 13 March. This is the club’s major fund raising event of the 2009/10 season and you will be very welcome. Entry is free with a glass of wine (or soft drink) on arrival with nibbles later in the evening. To-date I have received no postal bids so I assume you are all coming! Next week I will advise you of the additional Lots which have been gratefully received.

Another reminder please: to kindly return your Spring Draw raffle tickets with money either direct to promoter Tracy Reeve or over the bar at the clubhouse by 3.00pm on Saturday 13 March. The draw will be made during the Auction of Promises.

Last weekend was another busy one and the highlights included the Ladies’ Development beating Norwich City 2-0 to claim their third consecutive league title (well done girls!); the Ladies’ 1sts excellent 3-0 win away at St Albans where they lost heavily last season; the Ladies’ 2nds crucial 2-1 win at City of Peterborough to ease their relegation fears (four teams go down from their league); the Men’s 6ths 4-3 away win over Ipswich Cranes 2nds, which included James Graham’s first goal of his career (as younger members will know he usually plays in goal), and the fine late penalty stroke save by Murray (James’s Dad) which ensured the Men’s 5ths got a vital home point off ISE 2nds following their 2-2 draw during which another notable achievement was a goal by skipper Richard Allcock on his return to the team despite his back injury.

Meantime the Mixed team played well to beat Bedford 4-1 (Duncan Steven 2, Robbie Kinsella and Jamie Legg – with the girls doing most of the defending!) in the EH Trophy – they now have another away game on Sunday 14 March against Wisbech – while the Men’s 3rds eased to a 11-1 win over Norwich Dragons 2nds with goals by Matt Brand (5), Gavin Cole (2), Will Martin and a three from James Stacey who was in sparkling form having dropped himself from the 2nds. With this win and Norwich Dragons 1sts dropping two points against Pelicans 2nds the already promoted 3rds are now slight favourites to win their league but they have to travel to play Pelicans this week (12.00) where they will be assured of a tough game.

In other matches the Men’s 2nds let slip a 3-0 lead to draw with Long Sutton (having seven days earlier pulled back from three down against leaders Wapping) and the Sunday Men’s Veterans gave a good performance despite their 3-0 defeat by Holcombe in the EH Cup during which Stuart Baker pulled a fetlock to prove his body conditioning still has a little way to go and Simon Bardwell played his second game of the weekend without receiving a yellow card! The game was played in cold and wet conditions (the worst of the season in my view) and things were only a little better when the Men’s 1sts played extremely well in going down 5-3 to joint league Canterbury. Both sides played some superb hockey which was exciting to watch and Andy Hipwell took his season’s goals to an impressive 13. If the video referral system which England used to good effect in their excellent 3-2 win over Australia in the World Cup on Sunday (the event is available on digital channel Zing 789) had been in operation at Weybread Canterbury’s second stroke would almost certainly have been ruled out!

Two other matters before a brief further comment on this weekend’s matches: my apologies to James Fanger for not mentioning his first national league goal last week (he has forgiven me!) and your forbearance please with the erratic scoreboard on the water-based pitch. It is not the fault of my well trained and devoted small team of assistant operators! But it could well be due to the board not liking the recent cold spell of weather any more than us! I’ll keep you advised of developments.

On Saturday the Men’s 1sts have a vital trip to Isleworth in Middlesex to play close rivals Indian Gymkhana (2.00) and a win would banish any fears of relegation while the Men’s 2nds are away to Norwich City (1.00) with any hopes of promotion now realistically over. Meantime the Ladies’ 5ths, after their eighth consecutive win last Saturday, are away to Sprowston 2nds (12.30) as they continue their title bid. On Sunday the Ladies’ 1sts entertain Chelmsford (12.30) seeking to complete the double over the Essex team while the U18 Girls are away to Wycombe (1.30) in the EH Cup and the U16 Girls travel to play Havering (11.30) in the EH Plate. Good luck to all our teams in action this weekend including the U11 and U13 Boys and Girls in the Watton Minis on Sunday.

Finally, I have been asked by Serena Sitch to draw your attention to a basic first aid course she hopes to run, in conjunction with St John Ambulance, before the end of the season or at the beginning of next. It would be good to have a member from each team trained (or retrained) in first aid so if you are interested please add your name to the list on the clubhouse notice board. A minimum of 12 people are required for the course.

With kind regards and best wishes

Mike Denham 01603 506925 MDenham975@aol.com 2/3/10