MIKE’S MUSINGS – 9 December 2009

ANYTHING GOES

Only very rarely am I likely to get an opportunity to start the column by referring to ferrets! So here goes. If you didn’t come to last Saturday’s well supported Ferret Racing and Bangers & Mash Night you missed a treat although I have to admit I didn’t fancy touching our furry friends – unlike some brave members present.

The ferrets raced in four lanes of coloured tubes and over obstacles with the first one completely out of its tube at the other end being declared the winner. But as our genial compere and ferret owner Malachy de Lacy said ‘Anything goes in ferret racing’ and one could see what he meant when some of the ferrets had a good look at the cheering and pleading punters before deigning to fully emerge and some even turned around and went back to their starting stall! It never happens at Newmarket Races – or not while I’ve been there! Our thanks go to Malachy and his wife Helen for providing us with a novel and fun evening and thanks also to everyone who attended.

Earlier in the day an entertaining programme of matches at Weybread included an excellent 8-0 win for the mighty Men’s 3rds (is this their best ever team?) who have now scored 21 goals in their last three matches with none against; a laboured 2-1 win for the Men’s 2nds over lowly Ipswich 2nds (but ‘a win is a win’ as they say); a fifth successive win for the Ladies’ 5ths; a very welcome victory for the Ladies’ 6ths and a hard earned and impressive 3-0 win for the Ladies’ Development over a defensively strong Norwich City side for whom the ‘keeper had an outstanding game.

Away from home the Ladies’ 3rds got back to winning ways and there were also good wins for the Men’s 4ths and 6ths while on Sunday the Men’s Veterans, boosted by a hat trick of penalty corner strikes by a lively looking Stuart Baker, recovered from 2-1 down (after Roger Kent had put the team ahead in the opening seconds) to beat Pelicans 5-2 in the 3rd round of the EH Masters Over 40 Cup. They now meet Holcombe at home on Sunday 21 February. For one of Peter Dolton’s inimitable match reports I urge you to go to the club’s website and click on REPORTS – BLOG. Modest as ever Peter fails to mention that he withstood enormous pressure to convert the late penalty stroke – cometh the hour, cometh the man.

This weekend the indoor season gets underway in earnest with the top billing going to the Men’s 1sts who will be in action in the Premier Division of the England Hockey League at Fleming Park in Eastleigh. This will be the squad’s second season in the top flight and another demanding campaign is assured. On Saturday their opponents will be Old Loughtonians (1.30) and East Grinstead (5.30) and on Sunday they play Reading (9.55) and Beeston (1.35). The remaining four matches will be played over the weekend of 9/10 January. Meantime we have three teams competing in East Finals with the U16 Boys at Gresham’s School and the U16 Girls at Colchester on Saturday and the U18 Girls at Colchester on Sunday. Good luck to all our teams playing indoor and outdoor this weekend. For the full list please see the Home Page of the website.

Congratulations to –

§ Charlotte (Charlie) and Neil Harrison on the birth of Alex.

§ Sarah and James Stacey on the birth of Beatrice.

§ Claire and Charlie Farrow on the birth of Ruby. As many readers will know Charlie is East Hockey’s Regional Development Manager and a frequent and welcome visitor to Weybread.

§ Ashley Jackson on becoming the first English winner of the prestigious FIH Men’s World Young Player of the Year Award.

2010 dates for your diary please –

§ Rioja and Roll Evening at Tibbenham’s Barn on Saturday 30 January.

§ Auction of Promises in the clubhouse on Saturday 13 March. Members will be invited early in the New Year to kindly submit Lots for this auction which is the club’s major fund raising event of the season.

§ End of Season Bash – please note new date of Saturday 8 May.

§ HMHC Golf Day at Bungay GC on Thursday 29 July – if you have a golf handicap (and some of us have several!)

Other news and comments in brief

§ I am pleased to report that Melissa Hunter is recovering well after receiving a nasty hit on the side of her head while playing for the Ladies’ 2nds last Saturday.

§ Please click on the BLOG if you are interested in buying a copy of the Official Hockey Yearbook 2009.

§ Rumour has it that Paul Howland could be coming out of retirement next season. Watch this space.

With kind regards and best wishes Mike Denham 01603 506925 MDenham975@aol.com 9/12/09