Scorers: Jonny Devereux (4), John Aikin (2), Pete Ratcliff (1)
MoM: Jonny Devereux
DoD: Not Awarded
It was a warm afternoon of glorious sunshine and the Friars found themselves facing the Holcombe Heroes for the second time in two weeks, this time in front of a small home crowd. The memory of that rare 9-0 victory the previous week was still in mind, so it came as quite a shock when Holcombe took an early lead, their centre forward latching cleanly on to the rebound from a Paul Donovan save.
But the Friars were not disheartened and executed their game plan (that must be a first! – ed) . The equaliser came about ten minutes later with young Jonny Devereux bursting at pace onto a well timed through ball, rounding the keeper and scoring with the reverse stick.
Thereafter the Friars consolidated their position and played some really great and structured hockey and taking a lead of 4-1 going in to the break.
The defensive unit in front of goalie Paul Donovan held firm with old hands Kevin Goulden and Chris Ward joined by Jamie Harris and hard tackling new signing Pete Neville. The midfield was particularly impressive with Mike Barton and Peter Ratcliff (in for injured father John) partnering with Brian Hurlow and the ever energetic Tom Parkin. The Friars’ midfield worked tirelessly, controlling the game with tackles, interceptions and great distribution. The referee even kindly gave Mike (a promising and upcoming apprentice of the Neil Birch School of Hockey Chat) a two minute rest after what seemed to be a difference of opinion!
Upfront Tony Jones and the goal-hanging John Aikin played their usual game, but the star quality came from newcomer Jonny Devereux who beguiled the opposition with pace and skilful stickwork down the right, demonstrating a ruthlessness in front of goal that all Friars could learn from.
Some chances were missed, but more were taken and the final score was a 7-2 victory for the Friars and a great start to their League campaign.