Men’s 1st XI vs Bath (Home) | 20 Mar 22

Won 2-1

Scorers: Bean x2

MoM: Dan Gent

DoD: Jamie Tritton

A sunny Super Sunday at Polo lived up to its billing with Bath Buccanneers visiting for a promotion chasing clash.

The game got underway with both teams lively and the standard high and as the first quarter passed, both teams were able to nullify any corresponding threats.

In the second, Bath were able to sneak a lead through a penalty corner that was well run-down by Tom Degiovanni but unfortunately fell to a waiting Bath player to push past Chris Rea in goal.

Another penalty corner came for the visiting side which this time was expertly saved by the man in the pads, low to his stick side, keeping Canterbury in the game.

As the half went on, Canterbury’s midfield began to take a foothold in the game, lead by the tenacity of a man of the match performance from Dan Gent – unphased by his big name counter-parts in the Bath midfield, he nicked the ball and set Tom Bean away down the flank who won a penalty corner.

A bronzed Toby Vaughan managed to crack his sun burnt shoulders into action and pulled the ball out at lightning speed to give Bean the best opportunity to flick the ball home and he duly delivered on the stroke of half-time.

1-1 at half-time and the talk in the cabin brought about some scenes this writer was yet to see in a half-time team talk… inspiring words from Mr Bunyan are common-place, but to see coach Boyne pull out some hair gel and start to slick his flowing blonde locks back was distinct – whether it was meant as an inspirational metaphor, or just vanity, no one knows but it did seem to work.

Canterbury came out with the hair slicked back and sleeves rolled up as they dominated the second half.

Cal Brown-Lea, with a perforated ear drum nonetheless ran the line with spirit and put the Bath defence under immediate pressure. This forced them to resort to long balls through the pitch which were swept up by a resurgent Matt BB and ever-present Tom Richford… a back line pairing of the ages.

As the game went on, Canterbury continued to probe and finally their moment came in the 68th minute when Alex Laslett darted into the circle only to be chopped down and earn his team a penalty stroke.

Bean stepped up and slotted it past the goalkeeper with little margin for error… for those who saw from the sideline, it was right in the corner and never in doubt, for those who saw from directly behind the goal, it was heart in mouth stuff as it found it’s way through the diving keepers legs.

But it was a goal nonetheless and Canterbury just had the see out the last two minutes. Secret weapon Ben Young came into his own here… ‘just let me chuck massive aerials!’ And he did just that, setting free Jamie Tritton who put one agonisingly wide of a keeper-less goal. Supposedly it was the sun’s fault… we’re not sure but he did make himself look like what you’d find on page three.

Every single player showed a maturity and a sign of how the squad has developed over the season and this win sets up a huge top of the table clash away to Reading next week.

Two more wins and it’s a league win, all your support is vital!

Squad: Chris Rea, Tom Richford, Tony Vaughan, Matt BB, Ben Young, Matt Carney, Tom Degiovanni, Craig Boyne, Dan Gent, Tom Bean, Ronan Taggart, Cal Brown-Lea, Conor Annand, Jamie Tritton, Alex Laslett