With some dubious communication in the 3.s, it was only at 11pm on Friday what impact those problems would have on the settled 4's squad and their quest to finish 6th and beat BA in the league.....
Last weeks man of the match Hugh Brannan was pushed up to help the 3's, who might be, for obscure reasons, in the mix for promotion. That gave us 11 with Lord Lucan (aka Gary Rosewell) arriving at some time through the quiet roads of the north circular.
So, to the rescue came another Chapman in the form of Callum and Ethans's dad, Bill. He was assured that Lucan would be with us at some stage, although privately, the Skipper knew that Lucan had previous - he'd failed to find the Bracknell pitch, and that was a breeze compared to Kabul runway.
So, for the final push, the gallant 4's were down to 11, with their young keeper Callum called in again, and little else in the way of youth....
The start was not the best, 2 down after 4 minutes, it could have been a disaster, but everyone dug deep and got back into the game, Callum continued his excellent form and kept them out.
The energetic (and departing) Dom Spayne got a stick on the nose, and Skipper Spittles put his good looks on the line by using his cheek to keep out a deflected shot. The resulting flick was missed by the Hampstead skipper. 3 down would have been grim. Then, the HAwks 4's started playing some great hockey, the passes flowed, Andy Bishop playing a blinder on the right, and Adam Bentley slotted in a goal to put the 4's back on track.
With their keeper beaten, they managed to clear one off the line and it could so easily have been all square. Bill Chapman harrassed their defence as if he'd been playing all his life (what, is another matter....) and even had a shot on goal...
Half time chat was positive, and HAwks were out first, buoyed by the sight of the 3's leading 4-1 at half time on the runway next door, "their" Brannan having scored 2 of them.
At the beginning of the 2nd half, it was all HAwks, but despite the pressure, West Hampstead scored on their only attack in the opening 10 minutes. 3-1 down, some fresh legs might have made a difference, the skipper kept searching for the elusive Lucan, but to no avail. But this team havent given up in any game this season and despite conceding another, this was another gritty performance by a good 4th (5th?) mens team.
Overall, it was a great performance all season by a great squad, and most importantly, one enjoyed by all too. Here's to summer hockey and next season.....
Man of the match was Andy Bishop, closely followed by CAllum for his heroics.
Callum Chapman, Andrew Bishop, John Black, James Mullan, Dominic Spayne, Tim Spittles, Adam Bentley, Chris Blackburn, Bill Chapman, Karl Hack, Adrian Higgins
Player of the match: Andrew Bishop
|Adam Bentley||Open Play||20'|