Scorers: Geordie Hayward, John Aikin
MoM: Ollie Curtiss
DoD: Geordie Hayward
With most of us having watched the England agony against South Africa earlier in the day, the pre-match zone was a quiet affair – could we cheer ourselves up despite the wind and rain? A young and thus mobile opposition did not bode well. However a bright start with a Friars goal missed suggested otherwise and 15 minutes in Scribbler Hayward latched onto a Nick Scott-Kilvert and James Curtiss pass and was away slotting it neatly into the bottom left – on target for once. 10 minutes later Ollie Curtiss playing right mid passed beautifully to John Aikin to make it 2-0 and at half-time spirits were a trifle raised. It could have been more but for a combination of airshots and direct shots at the keeper from The Scribbler.
Anchorians came back strongly after the break and Paul Donovan in goal put in a serious shift keeping all attempts out. With injured Phil Dowling managing the bench in a somewhat confusing yet none the less confident and entertaining manner, and all without a timepiece, the Friars played roll-on roll-off hockey which sounds better than it was. They thus kept their aerobic resources topped up against a team which had an average age of at least half of the Friars. Big Geoff Philpott who had to mark a thirteen year old who was quite literally half his height, Scott-K and Grumpy Kev again had good tackling games but the pick of the defenders was Neil ‘Good Boy’ Birch who managed to avoid being carded. He also was out of the stocks at short corners like a whippet putting his well honed body on the line saving some crucial belters – he was a tight contender for Man of the Match but this narrowly went to 13 year old Ollie Curtis who showed huge improvement in the skills and more important fitness dept over last week, though describing his team-mate dad as “slow” shows he doesn’t lack in grit and courage also though possibly not common sense! In the last 10 minutes a flurry of penalty corners for Anchs were all kept out of the net by the Friars stoic defence.
A competitive yet friendly encounter with Bob Green and an Anchs umpire keeping play moving along nicely. Plenty to talk about in the bar afterwards with The Friars now 3rd in the table which is a bit high for them coupled with the inevitable dissection of events in Yokohama.
in the era of fake news this photo shows Birchy and Philpott shaking hands and congratulating each other on their wonderful play ….or were they?!