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Hawks 4s defeat Slough 2s 5-1 after vocal display

25 October 2014

Men's 4s 5 - 1 Slough Men's 2s

I have fond memories of the old Slough hockey and cricket ground, which had both an excellent grass pitch and a top batting wicket, but this was the first time I had played at the new ground on the edge of town, which I luckily found despite the vagaries of sat nav and poor traffic which tripped up a few of us. In the 1980’s Slough dominated British and European hockey and boasted gold medallists including Barber, Potter and Taylor, but also other stars such as the Partingtons, the genius Suti Khehar, Bal Saini, the Floras and very wily Kuki Dhak. Unfortunately, the club has fallen on tough times since these halcyon days and Hawks 4s travelled to play Slough 2s on a lovely day and a newly laid, springy pitch. As we were a tad late, myself excepted, we rushed through our warm up and we had strict instructions on how to behave towards the officials prior to the start; which to be frank, we struggled to adhere to. Our umpire was Adrian Higgins, who could have listed at least a dozen things he would have preferred to do on a Saturday afternoon and umpiring our 4s would probably not have made the shortlist. He was firm with both sides and did an excellent job under trying circumstances – massive thanks, and we’re especially sorry for leaving you at the mercy of their lone supporter afterwards. We mentioned beforehand that we should not talk back to the umpires or react to the opposition, but when it came down to it, we allowed ourselves to be dragged into pettiness, which affected our pattern of play at times. However, we did manage some impressive passages of quality hockey, with Charlie Stoker particularly standing out, and an impressive debut from George English, who was totally unfazed by the afternoon’s proceedings. Jasper scored early on with a well-placed shot, followed up with a typical poacher’s goal from Rob Manson. Slough were pretty well-organised and forced a few corners, dealt well by Lawrence in goal, until they forced in after our keeper’s initial save. However, we disputed their first shot; not whether it would hit the backboard but whether it would have hit the crossbar or Lawrence’s helmet. Our vociferous-ness didn’t help our cause with the goal and soon after the black-eyed James Holder was shown his first yellow for the club after a poor tackle. Slough were rejuvenated, but we broke back just before half time with a stroke, another first for Ben Morris. This took the wind out of the home team’s sails and further goals from Jasper and (another converted keeper) Brett Morison made the second half relatively painless, although you may have to have a chat with Tim Martin about that. So a hard fought win in difficult circumstances, but the 4s look well able to compete in this higher league. Plus, I was so looking forward to a curry after the game only to be disappointed ...


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