MIKE’S MUSINGS – 9 February 2010

COUNTLESS HOURS

As many members, past and present, will know David Cobbald has spent countless hours at the club over many years working on the club’s grounds and pitches. His job title has rarely been properly defined but I know David would not complain at being called groundman’s assistant, i.e. assistant to his son Philip.

In this capacity DC has worked tirelessly for the club and we all owe him an enormous debt of gratitude for all he has done in this and numerous other capacities going back over 50 years.

All good things must, sadly, come to an end and DC has finally, after a few recent health concerns, listened to his wife, Judy, and family and has reluctantly decided to take life at an easier pace.

This has necessitated a fresh approach to the maintenance of the club’s grounds and pitches with the establishment of a Ground Team under the co-ordination of Jeremy Podd. The various members will be responsible for specific tasks which include grass cutting and rolling, hedge cutting, strimming of banks, repair and replacement, when necessary, of the rabbit fencing, spraying of weeds, brushing of the artificial grass pitches, etc., etc. I am pleased to say that both David and Philip will continue to assist the club as members of the team. If you have comments to make regarding the grounds and pitches or would like to join the Ground Team please have a word with Jeremy (please see page 6 of the club’s handbook for his contact details).

Results last weekend were a real mixed bag with the Men’s 1sts and 2nds both losing; the Ladies’ 1sts drawing 1-1 (congratulations to Emily Wilford on scoring her first national league goal) despite dominating Cambridge City for much of the game; the Men’s 5ths pulling out of their match due to several late call-offs and eight of our teams winning. The Ladies’ 2nds took another step away from relegation by beating Norwich City 2-1 with goals by Jesse Withers and Melissa Hunter; the Ladies 3rds beat Evergreens 3-1 with a hat trick by Keira Booty, who was recently promoted from the 5ths, and the 5ths won 6-0 against Evergreens 2nds with Jess Howland scoring four. Did Dad Paul ever score so many in a match? He tried to tell me on Sunday that it was a regular occurrence! All I can remember were his somersaulting goal scoring celebrations!

There was another win for the Ladies’ Development (their tenth successive victory!); an eighth successive win for the Men’s 3rds (with two more goals by guess who?) and a welcome three points for the Men’s 4ths who beat Norwich Dragons 2-1. And the Men’s Veterans got themselves into action for the first time since November 21 and gained a 2-0 win over Cambridge City. I missed the two goals so I was left watching a lot of huff and puff with no end product. I enjoyed using this phrase after the game hence a repeat here! But to be fair they played some delightful flowing hockey but missed the goal power of the injured Roger Kent who was in the ‘crowd’. But the game I enjoyed most over the weekend was the 7-0 victory of the Mixed team on Sunday over Norwich City in the EH Trophy. Robbie Kinsella steadied any early nerves with a deft touch and thereafter more goals flowed from Bryony Lund, Verity Blyth (2), Daniel Legg, Lucy Fields (a cracking shot high into the net from distance) and Robbie again.

After their 4-1 defeat away to Holcombe the Men’s 1sts will have been relieved to learn that bottom team Chelmsford (now six points behind Magpies) had beaten Indian Gymkhana (still five points behind) and to take full advantage of this result the team needs to beat Chelmsford at Weybread this coming Sunday (2.15) where in previously postponed fixtures the Men’s 3rds entertain Dereham 3rds (12.30) while the Men’s Vets take on table topping Ipswich (3.15). Also at home on Sunday will be the U18 Girls who play Old Loughtonians (11.45) for a place in the quarter finals of the EH Cup.

But before then we have twelve teams in Saturday action with the Ladies’ 1sts travelling to play Northampton Saints (12.30) who they beat 5-1 earlier in the season. It was good to see Charlie Harrison easing herself back into the team last Saturday following the birth of her second child. Meantime the Men’s 2nds have centre stage at Weybread when they entertain Letchworth (12.30) – to whom they lost 6-3 earlier in the season – with the Ladies’ 2nds playing Ipswich 2nds (1.45) and the Men’s 3rds taking on North Walsham (2.15). Please see the Home Page of the website for a full list of this weekend’s matches. Good luck to all our teams.

With kind regards and best wishes

Mike Denham 01603 506925 MDenham975@aol.com 9/2/10