The ‘Come and give Hockey a Go’ scheme, currently being undertaken by the Mens 4th team at Hawks has so far been a roaring success. The scheme allows former or potential hockey players – even for those who have hardly played before - the chance to play a few matches before deciding whether they want to continue with the game or choose other social activities that will take precedence. Why not play a game, then if something more interesting comes along on a Saturday, just drop the skipper a line and say you can’t play? Easy.
So there we are top of the table and along Saturday comes and we are nine players unavailable (damn that half term) with our opponents of the day being Marlow 3s, currently lying in second place and certainly champing at the bit. We are playing at Greater Marlow School, just near the juicily named Marlow Bottom, and it was nice of the home team to allow us to clear the pitch of eight footy goals, the netted partition and put hockey goals in place. Make yourselves at home fellas. Maybe it was the stresses of the week’s hassles of getting a team together but two minutes into the game and the skipper shouts “leave!” to Tom in goal as the ball gently rolls towards the goal and their striker careers in to touch the ball home to take an early lead. Second farcical goal of the season conceded, then. Not an ideal start, but we are nothing if not dogged and Jasper slammed in a short corner in response, before they scrambled into the lead, courtesy of a fortuitous knee. Will Cairns then gave us parity, with a well worked goal down the right before they took the lead with a short corner of their own.
In truth, we were under the cosh for much of the game with a new look defence and we were indebted to Mike Image and John Carey stepping up to the plate, with Fraser Simpson also looking a useful addition. Josh Tomlinson also played and is working his way back to fitness. Tom Boggs in goal again played a blinder, but could do nothing with a decent drag flicked short corner and although we played with determination, we didn’t do much to pressure their tiny keeper and Marlow ran out deserved 4-2 winners. We missed science teacher James Keeling’s communication skills – indeed we were that quiet we resembled Trappist Monks for most of the game. Let’s hope that those that give hockey a go, realise it is a commitment for the whole season, not just one of many social options on a Saturday afternoon.