Scorers: Glenn Prebble
MoM: Richard Wade
DoD: Harry McDonald
The day our captain and pilgrim overlord Paul Crane had been dreading, and the fixture he hadn’t been able to wriggle out of by playing for the 2s (unlike our away fixture in the first half of the season) – Pilgrims vs Ashford 1s. What’s more, the sense of dread of a potentially carded captain was only added to by the lack of our vice-vice-vice captain, warm-up manager and mint tea tree shower specialist – Sammzi Bahrawy.
However, despite the loss of our Egyptian King, we had overabundance of experience, with our ol’ faithful, Stewie Keir (who must have a sore back from carrying the team each week), as well as the return of Papa Wadey (who thought that after managing the team last season, it was time to show us how it’s really done), and guest appearance from Huw Stevens.
Despite the scorching rays of the sun (Crane and Hurst, 2022), the game started at breakneck pace, with lightning-fast attacks, counter-attacks and counter-counter-attacks quickly piling up pressure to both teams.
The first goal for Ashford came at their first short corner, with a gunshot of a dragflick blowing a hole through Duir’s pads. However, this did not break our spirits, and with a great burst of pace and skill by Max (Messenger et al., 2021), accompanied by the cool, experienced head of Glenn infront of goal, a reply came hard and fast. Despite the work of the forwards in winning short corners (Prebble, 2000), an off-day for Stewie’s corner conversion, and the dragflicks found their way to the keeper.
Hot weather sports are not my forte, so I will be honest that I don’t remember Ashford’s second goal, however I do remember happy reaching half-time only 2-1 down, and a stick-breakingly disgusting stick “tackle” from our most frequent naughty-step warmer, Andy Hurst.
Sadly, despite much more of the performance in the first half, the second half deteriorated back to pre-Christmas Pilgrims hockey (Pilgrims, 2021), with poor passing, mistrapped balls, a loss of team shape but most disappointingly, moaning at ourselves over small mistakes which sadly just adds ever more pressure to ourselves over everything – including but not limited to (Hurst, 2020; Forrest, 2021).
The constant pressure and ever-fast Ashford attack proved too much for the boys, and they were able to score 2 more goals by deflections in the D.
Despite, a valiant effort by the chaps, the game finished as a 4-1 loss and the mood was somewhat soured. However, a quick Dutch shower with a jug of beer and a hotdog outside in the sun soon cheered us up, and I hope that despite the loss, we can take our work from the first half into our final game against Folkstone, and truly stick it up them!
A final credit to vice-captain, midfield engine and all-round good chap, Alex Rydon, for selfishly deciding to retire from the Grims and from hockey to travel, and as much as we hope he has a good time, we hope more that he will miss us and come back!
– Crane, P. and Hurst, A. (2022). ‘The reddening effects of gingers standing in the sun for too long’, Nature. 37(1).
– Forrest, D. (2021). ‘Fined for being a grumpy-grumpy man between the posts’, Goalie Guide Journal. 51(3).
– Hurst, A. (2020). The art of complaining about not being passed to, despite being behind many opposition players. 6th Ed. Canterbury: Polo Press.
– Messenger, M. and Pilgrims, The. (2021). ‘Is antiskill just skill if it works?’, Grimstagram Journal. 74(3).
– Pilgrims, The. (2021). ‘Chapter 1: Lowering people’s expectations by losing the first half of a season’ in ‘The Great Escape’. Wincheap: Pilgrim Press.
– Prebble, G. (2000). The art of perfectly drawing fouls. 1st Ed. Canterbury: Polo Press.