Men’s Friars vs Folkestone Optimists 7 (Home) | 12 Feb 22

Drew 1-1

Scorers: John Aikin

MoM: Pete Nevill

DoD: Jonesy for taking all his birthday cakes home.


An auspicious day it being skipper Jonesy’s 79th birthday; and he had even managed to wangle a show pitch outing! Not content with that The Friars produced stalwart manager Phil Dowling (see pic) to run the line and impart his wisdom!
Folkestone turned up with 15 in their squad and a manager also, so pitch 1 had its full complement of advice and indeed the vocal levels were considerable throughout the game though not from the respective managers apart from an instance of too much chat from the Folkestone bench which Mr Sandy dealt with in his usual way!
Having said that it was an extremely good natured though competitive game and this year, for once, without Biggles Ward getting injured as he normally does against Folkestone – this made his fragrant wife very happy given that they were travelling to their homeland (God’s Own Country) the next day. Well where were we with the hockey……?
Half time came and went with at least one of the umpires demanding a Jaffa Cake and Dowling giving us some pearls.
Into the second half and young Thomas Newell (on only his third senior game) was having a great game running for everything and tying the Folkestone defence up at times with at least 3 markers!
Ratty Ratcliffe was on fine form also but it was Pete Neville at the back who was the defence marshall and apart from his hard hitting ventured upfield with increasing frequency – necessary as the forwards were not really firing on all cylinders until Geordie Hayward, who had gone off the boil (as he does these days), managed to slip a pass to John Aikin (who elese?!) across the goalmouth who slipped the ball past the giant of a Folkestone keeper to grab the lead. This galvanised the visitors and 4 minutes from the end just as Pete Bowell came off with cramp somewhere in his body – he had been very vocal throughout, scored with much celebration. Friars pushed hard for a winner but it was not to be and the game ended in a fair and honourable draw.
Into the club house for Jonesy’s 79th Birthday party of Black velvet (yuk!), chips, sausages, lemonade, straws for those with false gnashers and 15 deliberately purchased cup cakes which for some reason the skipper took home without sharing around – so just like a children’s Birthday party 75 years or so ago – pip pip.

Many thanks to umpires Paul Spratt and Phil Sandey and Good luck to Jonesy on his England over 75 trials on Wednesday!

Squad: Paul Donovan(GK), Brian Hurlow, Tony Jones(C), Geordie Hayward, John Aikin, Mike Barton, Kevin Goulden, Pete Neville, Pete Bowell, Tom Parkin, Thomas Newell, Chris Ward, John Ratcliffe