Scorers: John Aikin (2), Nirpal Saraon
MoM: John Aikin
DoD: Brian Hurlow for his green card
Well after 90 seconds and one goal down it seemed despite getting to Rochester early that half the team were still in the hutch. However Holcombe had peaked early though not their chatter. Just 6 minutes later John Aikin who had reminded your hack in the changing room that he had scored 24 goals this season and not the 22 aforementioned in last week’s report equalised from a nice ball in by Nirpal Saraon. The game ebbed and flowed and 3 minutes before half time Nirpal scored from a short corner to send the Friars into half time 2-1 ahead having played some pretty decent hockey – for them!
3 jaffas having being doled out to the Holcombe umpires with even them admitting this act of “generosity” keeps them happy the Friars increased their lead within one minute of the restart as John Aikin flung the ball upfield rather than back for Geordie Hayward to scamper after. Though this didn’t work out quite as planned Simon Hurlow pounced on the Holcombe surprised defence, passed to Aikin who scored his best goal of the season, a back flip fit fiercely that flew past the keeper – imagine a Joe Root reverse sweep! 3-1 up and into the heady uplands against a very quiet Holcombe.
The Friars defence then started to earn their match fee with Mike Barton, Pete Nevill and John Ratcliffe really digging deep and Tom Long-Castro in goal pulling out a few saves. Young 13 year old Hugo Fassum, on his senior debut, showed some real tenacity refusing to give up competing and showing potential for the future. Brian Hurlow and Jamie Harris were ever reliable though Brian’s enthusiasm earned him a rare Green Card. The Holcombe forwards at last clawed a goal back in the 65th minute from a weak Friars 16 hit out leading to a very tense last 5 minutes but the Friars defence held out and for them produced this unaccustomed photo on the flashy new Holcombe scoreboard, an excellent and very tough 3 points and 26 goals for the season from John ‘Boy’ Aikin – what a player!