We travelled the short distance to Brookes to play local rivals Oxford on a cold winters morning. All credit to Oxford for changing the location to Headington School at the last minute, so that the game could go ahead and thanks to Big Dog for hanging on when he had a family lunch to get to. Also I hope that their keeper got to his umpire assessment on time. And lastly thanks to Scraggy snr to a really last minute call up. The more you play the less stiff you will be the next day - thats my moto for you!
With a reduced warm up we were a little under pressure in the first 10 minutes with Oxford pressing hard. Scraggy senior then intervened and complained that the pitch was frozen in the corner and once we had convinced him that it was ok not to have full Scragg commitment in that section, we carried on. I am thankful that he didn't injure himself as that might have been the end of his ironman aspirations! So we settled down and then he scored from a yard after Jaspers strike was saved - he wasn't complaining about the pitch now! So all was good and we played some positive passing hockey with Nathan Conn finishing superbly with 3 goals from 3 chances (he owes Rob a beer for watching one over the line). I should also point out that at 2-0 Big Dog made a very important save and we immediately went up the other end in four passes to score. We turned over the ball at the end of the half for Oxford to score a breakaway goal and went in at halftime 4-1 up. Next goal would be crucial.
I can't remember who scored next but Jasper rolled one in on the backhand and Gary dived full length to deflect one in, which was my pick of the goals but I would say that having provided the pass. Tim and Jasper finished it off with two clinical strikes from short corners. Again we played some good passing hockey with good width from the half backs and wingers, with Tim distributing as usual from the back. Also good to see Rob Manson safely back from the Middle East. Too much dribbling at the end but we need to congratulate ourselves on another good win.
Thanks to the umpires who did a good job and to the Hawks supporters, Vicky and Arthur Martin, 3 generations of Scraggs, and Mark Stoker. I think that was all but apologies if I missed anyone.
MOM goes to Nathan Conn, who stuck away his 3 chances in the first half with aplomb and was always available throughout the game. One more game and then Turkey.