Scorers: James Curtiss -2
MoM: James Curtis
DoD: Geoff Philpott for going AWOL with a cauliflower
A FEW FRIARS FALL OFF THEIR PERCHES BUT SURVIVE AGAINST RUSSETS
Skipper Corporal Jones had to work hard juggling steadily depleting human resources during the week and right up to and into the game for all sorts of reasons; as Brucie would have said, “Didn’t he do well”. Starting off with 17 in the squad at the beginning of the week Dr Tan became ill, though watched us looking as though he might expire at any minute poor chap, RSM Richard McCarthy and now pensioned off, also watched us, Mr Grumpy was grumpy and had a “groin” issue – he also watched us (and shouted at us), Big Geoff had cauliflower issues. On pitch Lord Lucan (Mike Green) had an ongoing/hereditary muscle strain meaning he played only a half, Phil ‘Movember ‘Dowling’ pulled up in agony as his discs went 20 minutes from time, whilst Hayward was still suffering from a cracked rib after him being sandwiched last week and was on 2/3rds power and not allowed off, young Ollie Curtiss had succumbed to a rugby injury and his dad JC was just “knackered” or so he said. End of medical report though you can see most of these characters in the photo.
The hockey started with Neil Birchy in fine voice exhorting us in Churchillian tones to do all manner of physical things which the defence -, promptly start to do Phil Dowling, James Curtiss, Mike Green, Chris Ward, and Nick S-K – chuck their bodies around, not forgetting a big shift from Hurlow, (Brian that is not Simon !)
Despite some shots from both John Aikin and Geordie Hayward which nearly got through the Russets athletic keeper It was Marden who “scored” first at a short corner but were deemed not to have hit the ball outside of the D according to the highly efficient eagle eyes of the 2 umps – Bob Green and Martin Twyman – so still no goal. A succession of 5 Friars shorts were then all kept out by the Marden defence and we thought it was not to be our day however James Curtiss at last managed to get one in and we had the lead.
The second half saw Marden come back at us hard and after several near misses and usual heroics from Paul ‘Dono’ Donovan in goal they eventually equalised. The Friars injuries then started to have an effect and with no subs available and the younger Marden team realising their time had come to snatch a victory pressed hard but Birchy, Nick Scott-Kilvert, Ratty Ratcliffe, Biggles and JC with Pete Bowell at left half put in some serious work. 10 minutes from time Hayward managed to force a penalty corner from skipper Jonesy hitting into the D from which James Curtiss scored what was to prove the winner. Deservedly he was awarded the Man of the Match but this was probably the best team performance of the season with a win ground out by effort and perserverance and well umpired by Bob and Martin to whom many thanks.