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Goal a Game Grouty leads the charge and just can't stop scoring

05 February 2022, 11:30, Banbury Road North (Near)

Men's 2s 4 - 1 Oxford University Men's 2s

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A desperate week of absences through the club came near to triggering the wholesale resignation of the selection committee with virtually all the sides short of players. Frankly I can't understand it although it seems to be a universal phenomenon affecting other clubs.

Time was in years gone by - and I do mean a very long time ago - when men were men,    when each team at Hawks used to select a squad of 12 and that was it. I kid you not. I'm talking of the halcyon days when hockey was played on grass or redgra each week. Then selecting next week's team was resolved at the bar soon after that week's game had finished and as far as notification was concerned we simply relied on those selected turning up with the right kit, at the right place and at the right time without any further confirmation. How outrageous is that? I can tell you it all seemed to work tolerably well.

There was no Covid of course but there was also far less crying off with injuries. Stag do's - another frequent reason for cry off's -  used to be held on a Friday night e.g mine took place in the Royal Oak on the Friday before my wedding the next day and ended with me on the roof of a Triumph Toledo outside the Radcliffe Infirmary (when did they start being arranged over 3 days or ever at the weekend?). Then there's skiing weeks, (in the hockey season - really?!?), or a legion other reasons, some acceptable, many not.

Missing a League game was invariably visited with being dropped the following week.

Thus, there was no such thing as weekly Sunday selection meetings. Now it happens far too routinely that team captains see their leisure time evaporate because of having to spend literally hours and hours on Whatsapp or Email or the telephone through the week or even  as this week , on Saturday morning , to make sure 15 or so blokes who want to, can get a game of hockey.

So my words of the week this week include rant, unacceptable and curmudgeon (me! - and I don't care) .

The 2's did finally get to the pitch on a bright Saturday morning very much thanks to the combined efforts of the Selection committee who moved heaven and earth to ensure that all teams managed to field a near full complement of players. The cream of the second (to The University of Exeter, of course) best University in the world (The University of Oxford which seems to have garnered all the most impressive achievements/headlines during the Covid pandemic - hooray) was the opposition so there were more bikes at the ground than cars.

The ensuing match played in bright sunshine which was glorious, even if attended by temperatures the Baltic side of chipper, was notable for the following features  :-

 

The absence of our top scorer Dan Andrews

The emergence of Bas Marshall as a more than adequate substitute drag flicker scoring 2 corners, the second of them being an absolute screamer (See photo 12 of another fine set from the excellent Clive)

The emergence of Pricey as a more than adequate substitute drag flicker who, although he didn't score, smashed one drag flick against the "woodwork" with terrifying force with the keeper nowhere.

Another goal from Grouty who maintained his record of scoring on every appearance since he joined Hawks (but as he then routinely hangs up his stick for the remainder of the game till the following week cannot properly be described as prolific but is shaping up nicely)

Extraordinary irrefutable photographic evidence of Jowett breaking into a sweat mid game (see photo 1 of Clive's portfolio)

Betts and Powe combining to craft a rather splendid goal 

A generally decent performance from the boys and a 4-1 win

 

A decent end to a difficult week.

 

Thanks to Clive for his usual professional job.

 

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