Saturday was a great day. Our leader and surrogate father Boggs had sorted a minibus for our trip to London Edwardians and a great day was anticipated with a stopover on the way back and the Christmas party in the evening. But first we had to deal with the important part of the day - the hockey. The 1's are on a run, winning their last five games with goals being scored from everywhere whilst conceding very few. London Edwardians were expected to provide tough opposition but we were confident.
The venue was Battersea Park, the capacity crowd (mostly comprising the extended Blakemore family) were hoping for a treat, and an early Christmas present was what they got. The game had it all - goals, cards, tackles, bite and handbags. Well worth the admission fee.
The first half came and went. Edwardians had the better of the early exchanges with Pricey making a sharp save in the first two minutes after skipper Dunlo decided the season for giving had started early when leaving the ball to an unmarked player on the far post. After that the men in white (we were in our away strip!) looked dangerous, creating numerous chances. However we just could not find the backboard despite first Ted and then Godders having glorious chances to open our account. Edwardians had chances as well, with a dynamic frontline led by the not so good looking but better hairlined brother of our very own pride and joy Blakemore, meaning Pricey had to be on alert.
0-0 at half time and the game was beautifully poised. The message from coach Immy was to keep it simple and the chances would come.
Early in the second half the prolific Biggs found his goal scoring boots, once again sticking a penalty corner into the netting. However Ed's hit back immediately, converting a corner of their own. Ten minutes later and history pretty much repeated itself. Biggs binned another PC in the netting but Ed's bounced back immediately with Mini Blakemore officially scoring. However all those present know he did not get the last touch before it crossed the line. The game entered the last ten minutes with both sides pushing for a winner and I'm delighted to report that it was Hawks who found it to take the points back up the M40. And what a goal it was. Good enough for its own paragraph actually.
So, 2-2, and ten to go. Many handbags and toys were evident around Battersea and the crowd were nervous. Then it happened. With the ball coming out from the back it ended up somewhere within the devastatingly quick duo of Woody and Ted, who tore through the Ed's defence leaving Ted on the ball with just the keeper to beat. After selling him a dummy and marketing some leather goods, he slipped it under his left arm for the on rushing Woody, who after looking like he had initially overrun it, managed to get his hand speed to match that of his size 9's, finishing from the tightest of angles with an upright reverse. Cue pandemonium. After this, the highly reliable backline held firm with wave after wave of attack coming to nothing and the win was sealed (despite a very nervous short corner to defend right at the death).
What a game. After the win and a shower, Boggs' children enjoyed themselves thoroughly on the fun bus home, stopping off at the Shepherds Crook to meet some of the 3's for dinner. Upon return to the club, many a move was pulled on the dance floor at the Christmas social and all in all it was one of those days that will be spoken about for years to come.
So Hawks M1's go into the mid-season break in 3rd place, now only five points off the top after Bromley and Beckenham surprisingly dropped points away at MK. With all to play for, we have a massive first four weeks after Christmas playing both sides immediately above us. Anything could happen!