Scorers: John Aikin
MoM: Phil Dowling
DoD: Geordie Hayward
When even the OW’s umpire described this match as the “graveyard shift” to your intrepid correspondent we wondered what he was alluding to. Our GK Paul Donovan had remarked, with little actual saving to do during the game so had to occupy himself somehow, on the ages of the back sides facing him – they being 72, 62, 73 and 76 years and you begin to wonder about the reality of the OW umpire’s comments. Still….moving on……
With pouring rain and no warm up off we went and by half-time a feeling of deja vue from last week was percolating like an ersatz coffee through the team – more missed goals and opportunities. However amidst the gloom of a damp dusk there was a different feeling this time – that the elusive first win of the season might be there and indeed it eventually was. The Friars were actually playing better, possibly because some Old Stagers – Mike Green and Phil Dowling especially and young Josh were creating opportunities. John Ratty Ratcliffe back from injury was scurrying around and from a ball into John Aikin latched onto it in front of goal to at last hit the back board.
The Scribbler Hayward then got a green card for faulty ABS brakes and crashing accidentally into an opposition player; luckily for him and the Friars the opposition’s attempts to score were foiled whilst they had a numerical advantage by a calm defence and vocally very well marshalled by Paul in goal. We have a GK who instructs and you can hear without switching on the hearing aids – brilliant. Phil Dowling had a “they shall not pass game” and his knees just about stood up to the effort. Even Mr Grumpy was happy given that he was back at his alma mater and his mum who lives just across the road was cooking up a hot tea for him (as mums do for 60 year old sons) but he made some crucial tackles as did Nick Scott-Kilvert.
All in all a satisfactory day at the office and thanks to both umpires including our very own Spratty. Paul had given his afternoon up to umpire the Friars in downtown Rochester – a true hero – obviously nothing to do at home.