Whilst ‘the rat’ did for us last week we felt the signs were good for an improved performance this week. That ‘sign’ came in the form of encouraging news from Hotel Bab in Marrakesh with the latest Trip Advisor review. Skipper Spittles is certainly making an impact (or at least paying the reviewers richly) as the most recent review was ‘Excellent’ with comments including ‘……probably one of the best hotels in Marrakech! ……The staff were lovely and helpful….. Now under new management and it certainly shows’. Skipper Spittles is in regular contact with the 6th XI even boasting of a new running regime in the hope he can outpace ‘Chair’ Higgins on his return.
So this week Hawks’s 6’s met Amersham and Chalfont 3’s. Hawks sought to bolster the team with an injection of youth and pace from James Hall, George Chambers whilst Jim Felix returned to goal and Charles Darby returned to the front line. ‘Chair’ Higgins was rested in preparation for a marathon on the Sunday (good luck Chair!).
Skipper for the day, Venables, urged commitment and intensity. Hawks responded with an early goal from Darby….. a great run from James Hall, who then delivered the ball to ‘Shambles’ Shirley. He wound up for a shot and following a clatter of sticks the ball bobbled over the keeper and Darby ‘putted’ the ball across the line from all of two inches. This was against the flow of play and A&C resolved to make amends with 3 well worked goals coming before half time.
Hawks back line were undone by the pace but threw themselves into the challenge (quite literally) which resulted in Dave Wells injuring his knee in a last gasp challenge. There is a certain consistency to Mr Wells’ game over the years and it was only a matter of time before he succumbed to his latest injury. The ‘good’ Dr Black diagnosed a strain to the medial knee ligament and prescribed a week’s rest. Hopefully he will return sooner than last years punctured lung injury.
The Half time talk seemed to make a difference and Hawks came out strongly and put in a good 2nd half performance with no further goals for either side. A&C continued to take the game to Hawks but were unable to convert. Jim Felix made some great saves from all angles and Man of the Match Carl ‘the Hacker’ Hack harried the opposition making some great tackles whilst also handing the ball to the oppo on a few occasions seemingly to get a bit more tackling practice in. Will Cairns put another hard graft session in at centre midfield. Further injuries came in the form of Mark Stoker with a turned ankle.
All the youngsters played a great game. John Black jnr showing determination and silky stick skills, James Hall continuing with surging runs and George Chambers making some good breaks.
I think a Trip Advisor style review of the performance would be ‘good’ and suggest signs of optimism despite the loss. The team were heartened by the performance and we repaired to the bar were ‘El Presindente’ was on hand to assist with the presentation of the bottle of wine to the Oppo Mom.