Mens 1st’s (2) vs (2) Kingston-Upon-Hull 1st’s
One of those two game weekends that the Mens Firsts thrive on last weekend. Saturday saw the firsts take on Hull, this time without the assistance of their umpires (although not for the lack of trying). It was a hard fort physical encounter, Slazengers were also missing several key athletes. However the strength and quality of the First Team’s youth stood out over the nonsense as Slazenger battled to take a point with a 2 – 2 draw. Richard Tuddenham netted a short corner to grab Slazengers first. With pressure on from the high tempo slazenger strikers, a defensive error allowed Ben Jackson to capitalise and net a second. Hull were equally strong however and took 2 well taken opportunities to leave it 2 all at full time, with Slaz taking a share of the points from the league leaders
Men’s 1st’s (0) vs. (3) Wakefield 2nd’s
Sunday was a rearranged fixture against Wakefield’s First/Second Team. Slazenger got off to a poor start as two defensive errors gifted Wakefield two early goals. Slazenger did manage to pull a goal back through a Tuddenham short corner however this was subsequently disallowed as the Wakefield umpire on the halfway line wanted to protect Wakefield’s clean sheet. Slazenger kept battling to the end but truth be told the Wakefield side was too strong, they put a 3rd goal past Loftus in the second half to put the game out of reach.
Mens 2nds (6) vs. (1) Chapeltown 2nd’s
Slazenger travelled out to an early 11:30am push at Chapeltown, looking to keep their good run of form going, and wondering how much damage the Christmas break had wrought. With a strong lineup, only missing Flu- infested Dodge, the team set t work against the home side.
The game demonstrated very much the best and worst of the 2nds performance this season. The first half was well of their usual pace, and Chapeltown were more than happy to sit 11 men behind the ball and trying to hit Slaz on the counter-attack. An early short corner conversion from Damo Greig settles nerves, with Alex Stacey taking a second goal before the half time.
It was clear in the second half that Slaz had pulled their socks up. Asad Baig netted 2 goals in customary exuberant style and Greig netted a second. The best was saved for last however. A visionary through ball pass from Sam Haigh found Alex Stacey, who beat the last defender, wrong-footed the goalie and put the ball away to wrap up the game.
Slaz now sit 9 points clear in 2nd place, and will face promotion rivals Kingston-upon-hull 2nds on Saturday.
Mens 3rd’s (0) vs. (7) Barnsley 1st’s
Barnsley took the push back and started the game with high intensity rewarded with an early goal. This was well executed, one on one with the Slazenger’s goal keeper with a composed hit into the netting. Slazenger’s didn’t let their heads drop and started to apply the pressure. Slazenger’s generated chances in the attacking D. Andy Fisher fired some great balls towards the back post but unfortunately the final touches were lacking on the day.
Barnsley caught out Slazenger’s on a quick counter attack and eventually scored their second. Slazenger’s kept the pressure high, Max Godley’s skill generated more chances leading into the D but again the team couldn’t beat the resilient Barnsley keeper. Slazenger’s came under additional pressure when a series of loose tackles resulting in a yellow card and forced the away team down to 10 players.
By the end of the first half Barnsley managed to score two more good goals making it 4-0 going into the break. Both teams started the second half strong and Slazenger’s won another short corner but still couldn’t find the net. Slazenger’s had some good chances with Scott, Tim and Matthew trying their best up front to find break the deadlock. Tommy moved the ball out in to the wide area where Matthew picked it up in the outside channel. After beating a few players, entered the D winning a short corner. The shot was saved by the Barnsley keeper, the ball was kept alive by the defence with a quick break resulting in a penalty corner at the other end. The Barnsley pressure continued throughout the second half with a final result of 7-0 to the home team.
Mens 4ths – No Game
Mens 5ths (1) vs. (5) Sheffield Hallam 7th’s
The home team managed to sustain their losing streak with ease on Saturday. Expectations were high as the home side welcomed ex first team star Bendover Garside into their ranks after a 15 year injury lay off. Hopes were raised further as the new boy took off on a warm up run before the game started, oblivious at the looks of astonishment on his team mates faces who had never witnessed such idiocy before. These looks changed to knowing smirks as he returned red faced and panting, green shirt stained dark with sweat 2 minutes later. He would fit right in.
Notable moments from the game included Blocker Bailey’s fantastic run and shot on goal, unfortunately at the wrong end. Paul Johnson (Pyjamas) showed him which way he should shoot and scored a 35 metre thunderbolt. And to cap it all young Josh upset at only being 4 goals down managed to superbly head in a wide Hallam shot into the net only for the umpires to disallow his effort.
Brigg away next week, we can’t wait as Paul Custard’s Nanna lives on the way and we are invited in for a pre match cup of tea and a bun. M.O.M. Topper the Stopper, fantastic new haircut. C.O.M. Bendover Garside, warm up run, fell over and came off injured after 10 minutes not to be seen again until the bar
Mens 6th’s (1) vs. (2) Airedale 3rd’s
Men’s 6th’s lost 2-1 on the road to Airedale. Luke Minchella scored Slazengers goal.
Ladies 1st’s (6) vs. (0) Halifax 2nd’s
The ladies 1’s welcomed Halifax 2’s to Slaz on Saturday thanking their lucky stars that the fixtures had fallen this way and they didn’t have to suffer gale force winds at the top of the Halifax hill.
With an unbeaten home run to protect, and having gifted Halifax the points at their last meet Slaz started strong – pressing hard maintaining the majority of the possession. Defensively the team were in control and kept Halifax from any real attack on the Slaz goal. It took 2 stunning short corner routines to break the Halifax defence and put Slaz 2:0 up at half time. The first saw Katie Minchellas deceive all but Jess Rudge she was in the right place to deflect the first in, and the second sent the ball to Captain Tyrrell who had clearly been practicing her 3D skills.
Knowing that last time they had lost the 2:0 half time lead to let Halifax take a 4:2 win Slaz stepped it up a notch in the second half. Field chose the role of distributor selflessly setting up her team mates and created wave after wave in the D. Rudgy netted the 1st of the second half and when the ginger attacked a quick ball sent into the D lead to the 2nd from Coops. Number 3 came courtesy of Ni. When Field sent the ball 75m up to MVP Rudgy, it was left to her to beat 2 defenders and the keeper to come face to face with an open goal – she did not disappoint and claimed her hat trick – proving that reaching her first quarter century would not be slowing her down
The final minutes were tense with Gk not wanting to lose a clean sheet – 2 last minute short corners were cleared off the line, to the disappointment of the visitors.
Special thanks go to Woody and Keith for officiating the game
Ladies 3rds (4) vs. (1) Halifax 4th’s
This was the first match back after the festivities and Slaz were playing the team directly above them in the league table, Halifax having taken the home win last time the teams met.. it started with end to end hockey, with missed chances from both teams, Lizzie Tunstall, having to make a number of saves, but Slaz became more settled and secured their first short corner. From a set plan, Justine Birkett stopped the ball at the top of the D, passed to Caro Schofield on the right who belted it towards the goal line, where Donna Hall just missed out on converting the first goal. The next short corner, was a direct strike from Linda Stacey banging the back board to give Slaz the opening goal.
There was some great play from Slaz, with excellent distribution from the defence, taking advantage of switching play, especially between Jess Lloyd and Emma Eley at the back, through to EmIly Chason Linda and Justine, who dominated the midfield.. Balls were passed wide to the wingers, Caitlyn and Ellie who made some great runs and chances. However, Halifax broke free in open play, and equalised the score., Slaz then secured another short corner, bang on half time, and with Helen Ramshaw on the D making a great shout for the pass from Linda, she hit it cleanly and netted Slaz’s 2nd goal and the first in defender H’s career.
Slaz knew that Halifax would come out strong at half time, but after a great team talk and some jelly babies Slaz continued with some great passing and movement off the ball. Slaz were on the attack, with Caitlyn, using her speed and skill up the right wing, passing to Caro, who drew the keeper, to pass to Donna whose first strike was stopped by the keeper, but Donna kept at it, trying to lift the ball into the back of the net only to be denied in the end by a further 2 defenders.
Slaz continued their attack, starting from the back, through midfield, where Justine made some great runs into the D, and striking at goal. Likewise, Ellie narrowly missed out by literally “flying” towards the left hand post, and Sarah Ritchey nearly had a nose bleed, as she swiftly went past a number of defenders to the attacking back line.
Slaz knew a third goal was in sight, and from a cracking free hit by Em C on the 23 yard line, into the D, Caro converted into the roof of the net to make the score 3-1. Another attack, and a great pass from Donna, allowed Caro to make it 4-1. Halifax kept on battling though but the Slaz defence continued to deny them. They also hit the back of the net from a short corner, not the backboard, so the goal was disallowed.
A great team performance, and player of the match was a close one, with Em C clinching it with 3 votes, Justine, Sarah and Linda on 2 votes each, but a special mention to Donna, who normally plays at the back, but nailed the left half and left wing positions.
Ladies 4th’s (2) vs. (1) Halifax 5th’s
The ladies 4th team travelled to play Halifax 5th team this week. The weather came as no surprise, on the top of a hill, the second half in particular saw the ladies get a drenching.
Halifax started strong, within minutes, scoring their first (and only) goal.
However, with almost a full game in front of them, the Slazenger ladies just got on with it and soon proved that that wasn’t a sign of things to come. The youthful and energetic Emily Craven, Freja Wilson and Hannah Tindall-Miller put in some real effort in challenging the Halifax attacks pushing the ball through to Lyn Wood and Josie Hughes who both had their chances. Junior, May Bailey, playing her first game of ladies hockey owned the right hand side, quickly learning how to stop a powerful Ingrid Coughtry hit out. It was only a matter of time until Slazenger’s equalised – Julie Bailey sending the ball in from the right and Josie Hughes knocking it in.
1-1 at half time, the Slazenger side knew they needed to keep the pressure on and the ladies did not disappoint. Keeper, Maisie Royston held her cool, saving each shot on goal and with Sarah Paveley getting in with the low tackle and Ingrid Coughtry sending it out, Slazenger’s fought hard to avoid conceding another goal. Gemma Wroe worked perfectly in mid-field adding a further barrier to Halifax getting through and Jules Measures worked tirelessly to get the ball in the attacking D. With 10 minutes to go (and the rain really coming down) captain Julie Bailey returned to the pitch from subbing walking straight into the path of the ball which she collected, took into the D, managing to get it round the keeper who was out and on her knees – to score the winning goal! A really good game of hockey by the Ladies 4th team.
Player May Bailey