Badger Baiting

Lydney 2nds 1 – Badgers 1

11th Jan 2014

Lydney: D. Legg, K. Alexander, J. Box, A. Bannister, E. Matthews, G. Cox, J. Samuel, M. Royle, E. Richards, K. Macakill, L. Black, S. Mitchell (Captain)

This friendly friendly was a much needed opportunity to dust off the Christmas cobwebs and run off a few mincepies. After Sarah’s Magical Mystery Tour of Gloucester’s hockey pitches (including the happy discovery of a Fun Factory) there was little time left for a warm-up but the team started the game with a positive attitude.

Unfortunately the Oxstalls pitch turned out to be 50% astro turf and 50% ice rink resulting in a few bruised bottoms. However, Lydney persevered and drew blood first with a neat goal by Grace Cox that was cooly worked round the keeper with the assistance of her teammates in and around the ‘D’ (but not before the ball had come up an opposition stick and contentiously bounced off her shoulder though).

Fast on the break and dangerous when they got loose, Badgers retaliated, capitalising on a moment of indecision at the last minute by Lydney keeper, Karen Alexander,  resulting in an equalising goal.

Both teams fought on hard to scrape a win but neither were successful. Jess was heartly wiped-out at one point but continued to play well earning her Man of the Match by a sweeping number of votes.

Things of Note:

  • Number of pitches visited: 2
  • Number of Lydney players who landed on their backside: 3 (Meg of course, Liz and Jess)
  • Variety of economy versions of well-known chocolate snacks provided in the ‘picnic-style’ teas: 3 (See below. Can you guess what they are?)

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Picnic anyone? :0)

 

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“No Fecker Scored” – Karen Alexander

Lydney 2nds 0 – Wotton-under-Edge 2

30th Nov 2013

Lydney: D. Legg, K. Alexander, J. Box, A. Bannister, E. Matthews, G. Cox, R. Lugg, A. Farr, J. Samuel, M. Royle, A. van den Braak, S. Mitchell (Captain)

This was a strange and frustrating game on a bobbly new pitch against top of the table, Wooton. Lydney were expecting a tough game so were surprised to find themselves the stronger team in the first half, dominating a lot of the play. Pressure by the midfields and forwards got the ball to the ‘D’ and struck, but it was left by the goalie to pass over the goal line as she hasn’t seen that the last touch on it had been a defensive one by one of her team mates. Unfortunately the umpire didn’t see it either (as under the new rules this would have been an own goal).

Umpires can’t be expected to see everything though, just as every player can’t, and there are always occasions when this works for you instead of against you. As a team, I think that Lydney did well to put this behind them and play on, which they did, dictating a lot of the play.

However, when the opposition gained possession they switched a lot making marking hard and as a result they were able to make a few dangerous breaks resulting in a goal before half time. Lydney were forced to defend a handful of shorts throughout the game, with few of their own. When they regained possession they found that they were well marked and hitting ‘through’ opposition players proved to be unsuccessful.

Wotton were organised and knew where to position themselves on the pitch. They took hits and sideline balls straight away which made them fast on the attack and they kept one forward very high. This paid off for them in the second half as she was well placed for a deflection that brought the score to 2-0.

Lydney were unable to play the neat, passing game that has worked well for them in previous matches and the opposition were good at picking up loose balls and charging passes down fast. At one point the ball hit an opposition foot in the ‘D’ but sadly no short was given. There may have been a reason for this but the players close to the action couldn’t see it.

So all-in-all a frustrating game, but one where I feel that useful things were learned about the opposition. The post-Christmas rematch will be Lydney II’s last league game of the season and one that I think they will be ready and hungry for.

Things of Note:

  • Jane’s shouting – plenty of this…but it didn’t do her MoM votes any harm as she came out on top, even when her vote for herself was rescinded after an Official Warning (with use of badge) from Sergeant Slugg).
  • Grace trying to pass off her mid-game collagen lip filler as the result of a ball to the face. Grace, we’re not buying it. We’re especially not buying it if the results are that bad – all in the middle of the lips with none at the edges. Rubbish. Respect to the pub though for their ability to recognise a comic opportunity when it ups and smacks them in the face by produce these crisps (even if they did have to run to the cellar to get them):

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  • Several men (and going on the stats, several women too) in the greater Gloucestershire area were denied the treat of Karen’s unrestrained (and now quite famous) ‘mammary assets’ as having forgotten to pack a clean bra opted to re-wear her one from the game. I can still hear the echo of sorrowful howls reverberating around building sites in the county.
  • The opposition were substantially more pleasant (can we say that?) than the team they are sharing the top spot with, despite putting us in the men’s changing room! (Actually not that bad – thanks Bridget for the heads-up).

Thank you as well to Dave Penney for umpiring.

…and to Laura Mahon for supporting us in spirit (as I’m sure that she was) if not actually in body this time.

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Yay – another win! :0)

Lydney 2nds 4 – Dursley 0

23rd November 2013

Lydney: D. Legg, K. Alexander, J. Box, A. Bannister, E. Matthews, G. Cox, K. Macaskill, L. Black, J. Storrey, R. Lugg, E. Penfold, S. Mitchell (Captain)

In the past we have beaten by some teams that played good, clean, skilled hockey. It wasn’t that we played badly, just that they played better. They worked well together, defended well, attacked strongly and the goals that they scored were good ones. In these circumstances we’ve rarely begrudged them the win as they were clearly the better team on the day. Well on Saturday I felt that we were that team. I hope that Dursley agree.

To credit the opposition, they didn’t play like a bottom of the table team. They caught us napping in the first quarter of the game and despite an early attack from us (a short corner) they kept us busy from the first whistle. Those first 15 minutes were evenly matched with both teams sharing the play. It was becoming the type of game where one silly mistake could result in the only goal of the match and the one that cost us the game. Thankfully we remembered before half time the way that we’d played the week before and started to communicate better and start to regain some control.

Using shorter, simpler, safer passes we held possession and got the ball to the ‘D’ and gained a short corner. This gave Jane the opportunity to thwack a ball in from the top – a ball that was hit so hard that it ping-ponged between the goalie’s legs before going in. Fired-up by the goal we continued to improve. Great work from the midfield including a superb work-rate from Jess Storray who was guest-starring from the 3rds with Ellie ‘Dangermouse’ Penfold (who’d already completed a netball match before the game started). This determination won us another short corner where Liz was able to cross a brilliant ball in from the left to Sluggy who deflected it into the goal so hard that there was nothing that Dursley could do to stop it.

Fantastic and well-timed interventions by Debbie Legge, saves by Karen Alexander and clearances by Emma Matthews and Kate Macaskill kept our sheet clean. The defenders repeatedly fed the ball through to our determined midfielders who worked hard to get the ball into the attacking 25 and keep it there. Grace Cox chased down a number of loose balls at speeds that the rest of us can only dream of. All of this hard work and some skillful stick work from Captain ‘Nasher’ Mitchell led to another short corner and Janer (having realised that there’s no ‘Assist Sheet’) made the scoresheet again with another blistering shot.

Every player was kept busy as Durlsey continued to push, with some dangerous looking breaks but we kept our cool. Kate Macaskill, reliable as always, drove the ball down the right wing and responding to a great call from Grace fired an accurate and pacey cross into the top of the ‘D’ where Grace struck confidently and firmly into the goal to take the score to 4-0 (taking her onto equal Goal Scoring points with Jane for the season so far).

The only serious worry was from a Dursley short corner where the first strike found the back of the net. Thankfully, the umpire had spotted that the ball hadn’t crossed the line of the ‘D’ so the goal was disallowed. It was a well worked short corner though and had the striker been slightly more careful a goal would have been well deserved.

Notable moments:

Janer’s Freudian mix of the words ‘wing and ‘line’ resulting in the classic call “DOWN THE WINE!!”
Also her spiritual/drunken channelling of some long deceased relative of Ms Blacks with ‘LIZZIE!”
Despite all of this she managed to get Man of the Match.

Thank yous:

Thanks to our supporters, namely, our coach, Mr Jeremy Box, Masters Toby and Sam Box, the lovely Caz Johns and the most alarmed-looking Welsh dragon I have ever seen! 

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Thank you as well to all of the team. You’re all as mad as a box of frogs …but if you weren’t I’d never fit in ;0)

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Remind me how many brain cells you all have?:Image

 

 

(Naughty Jane – no wonder she’s smiling)

P.s. Thank you Sarah for noticing but shouldn’t everyone get a nice description..?:Image  

Ok, enough now. I’ll be quiet.

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I’ll just leave you with the table as it stands so far. Well done, Lyd:

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Ladies 3s unable to push Wotton over the Edge

Wotton Under Edge II 1 – Lydney III 1
Saturday 23rd November

To conclude the first half of the seaon’s league games, Lydney travelled to Wotton under Edge to try out their new, slippery pitch. Committed captain Sam Zala didn’t disappoint, grazing everything uncovered on her first attempt at a reverse stick strike which failed to connect with the backboard. Lydney dominated the first half, with numerous unsuccessful scoring opportunities and most of the play. Wotton were certainly the more determined side in the first half and finished it with a well worked goal a minute before the half time whistle.

After Captain Zala’s positive, uplifting team talk, resembling a scene from the Saw Movies ( the 3D version ) Lydney began the second half ready to fight for an equalizer.

Some unorthodox tackling from the opposition’s midfield enabled Judith Lack to demonstrate some of her useful rugby skills and deliver several deadly passes to the waiting forwards, securing the team’s vote for Man of the Match.

Lydney’s patience after numerous short corners and a disallowed high shot was finally rewarded with an equalizer in open play from Sam Zala which squeezed past Wotton’s solid defence and skillful keeper.

The remainder of Wotton’s attempts to steal a winner were foiled by Lydney’s brilliant defence and diligent midfield and the score remained at 1-1.

Lydney : Anne Durham, Hannah Parnell, Abbie O’Connell, Megan Binns, Katie Kearsey, Bridget Worth, Judith Lack (MoM) Di Webb, Sam Zala (C) Michelle Plender Smith, Annie Kirk. Grace Sleeman, Lydia Matthews, Cath  Hutchinson

Notes for the 2s … The showers in the Men’s changing rooms are great ( with thermostatic controls no less ) If you don’t want dishwater type soup with white bits of ceiling tile for teas in the Swan pub, declare yourself a vegetarian and feast on a plate of egg and chips. The pitch is extremely slippery, particularly when you have a 10.30 start on a frosty morning and is still covered in the blood of several of the Ladies 3s.

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The Fellowship of the Long Trek to the Pitch

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“Where We Played like Legends…but Could Only Draw”

Lydney II 1 – Old Bristolians II 1

Saturday 16th November 2013

Lydney: K. Alexander, D. Legg, E. Matthews, J. Box, A. Farr, J. Samuel, R. Lugg, G. Cox, A. Bannister, M. Royle, S. Mitchell (Captain)

Somewhere in the Shire of Lydney, a plucky crew of mixed ages, experience and backgrounds was drawn together by the command of one voice, Sarah ‘Gandalf’ Mitchell. From here they traveled, their merry band expanding as they were joined by others along the way. They forded dangerous rivers (the Wye and the Severn) and passed swiftly through tolls (luckily without having to answer any tricky riddles) and made their intrepid way, sometimes by separate paths to the Centre of MiddleEarth Bristol.

As this noble band convened at the sacred home of Ye Olde Bristolians: Riven-Gordano-Community-Trust-Sports-Centre-Dell they were joined by others (despite Ali ‘Eowyn’ Bannister’s temporary loss of inner compass). Hurdles many had been thrown in their path but once they were all together at Longwood Lane (and after a rapid costume change) the trek to the pitch could begin. Toes were lost (might have been socks) and dehydration was a constant source of concern, but on they trudged. On and on and on…and on and on….until eventually the hinterland of the Turf of Atrso was reached, and the battle they had come for could commence.

Both teams of warriors confusingly sported the Noble Maroon and Whyte colours of Sir Stryke-the-Ball-a-Lot. The Lydneyshire fellowship however, wore the modern arrangement whereas Ye Olde Bristol-eo-lians had opted for the traditional quarters, the choice of a previous millenium. There were those in the Lydneyshire fellowship however, who remembered the days in Quarters. They had fought and won under those heavy shirts of olde and the lessons were not lost on them. Indeed, the Olde Ways were called upon when during battle a ‘Bullye’ was required to be performed.

Both armies battled hard but the deadlock was broken when Jane ‘Baggins’ Box cannoned a ball into the ‘D’. The opposition was unable to deflect it away and the Sphere of Infinite Dimples was sent thundering into the Goal of Mouth where it should have stayed forever. However, as everyone’s backs were turned, it was retrieved by a cunning Olde Bristolian* and the battle was on AGAIN. (Honestly, it was just battle after battle after battle…with little dialogue).

*just as the half time credits rolled to leave things nicely open for a follow-up of course…

And a follow-up there was, as an even harder battle commenced that saw ‘Princess’ Megan Very-Royle elbowed to the floor despite her protective gloves of woven unicorn fur. In a Peter-Jackson-like twist of fate, Lydneyshire’s fortunes were reversed as they found themselves suddenly having to defend. Ali ‘Eowyn’ Bannister showing bravery a-plenty threw herself in front of the ball in the ‘D’. She wished that she’d had The One Ring on her finger though as the Ump of Pyre saw the speeding sphere hit her feet in the Mouth of Goal and bounce off the back line. He called upon Karen ‘Gimli’ Alexander to face battle in a one-on-one duel with OB’s feared Striker. As tradition dictates, both armies retreated to the sides of the playing battlefield for this tense showdown.

Powers of the mind were used by Striker to try to send Alexander the wrong way, but as a projectile was launched hard towards her, Alexander read Striker’s hit perfectly and stepped the right way, the sphere colliding with her leg armor but the force of it caused it to slither on past her into the Mouth of Goal.

The Fellowship answered the silent (and not so silent) inner call to retaliate and worked as one to gain a Penaltee Corner. In a cinematically close call Jane ‘Baggins’ Box struck The Sphere towards the target but one of the enemy skimmed it with a swinging weapon and it collided noisily with one of the pillars at the entrance to the Mouth of Goal and deflected away as the ringing continued in everyone’s pointy (and not so pointy) ears.

As the fighting continued, the Lydneyshire fellows were forced to retreat and defend more with Sarah ‘Gandalf’ Mitchell being presented a Carde of Greene for attacking from the side of Lefte and ‘Baggins’ Box being badly injured. This did not deter the troops though and nimble, elf-like switching round the back and up the wing to Abbi ‘Arwen’ Farr and Grace ‘Galadriel’ Cox saw plenty of determined charges; though it proved impossible for the Fellowship to return the Sphere of Infinite Dimples to the Mouth Of Goal. They managed to keep it from falling into enemy hands though by passing it cunningly between them with great communication, trust in each other and quick little moves.

In a final attack, Racheal ‘Legolas’ Lugg bravely took The Sphere from the Lands of the Twenty-Fyve-Yard-Lyne into the Dee and launched it at The Farr Poste. Sadly though, The Sphere went slightly wide (which was lucky for the heavily armored OB defender as she was slow to react and didn’t quite reach it to make sure).

As the final Horn of Ump from Pryre rang out over the domain, the battle was declared a draw. The Fellowship have no choice but to try again On Satyr-day.

On a brighter note, post-battle sustenance was of an unusually high standard with a Shire Cottage Pie and flagons of ale tea and coffee available on production of a special token – tokens presented as an Olive Branch of Peace by the enemy. This was a game that critics rated as ‘FIVE STAR’, ‘Superb viewing’, and, ‘A performance well directed by Sarah Mitchell’. Let’s hope that the lessons learnt can be remembered for the future.

Hobbit of the Match was Ali Bannister.

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The Weather 0 – Lydney 1

Washed Out Wick

Lydney II 2 – Wick 0

Saturday 19th Oct 2013

Lydney: K. Alexander, D. Legg, E. Matthews, K. Macaskill, J. Box, A. Farr, E. Richards, J. Samuel, R. Lugg, G. Cox, A. Bannister, S. Mitchell (Captain)

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This weeks match of Lydney and Wick v The Weather was a tough one. Lydney and Wick started strongly but The Weather responded with some lightening moves down the right.

Thundering down the pitch and building in momentum, the opposition stamped it’s authority on the first half with a less than legal move: sending hail-stones the size of chickpeas hammering down (and sideways) like giant, angry, frozen hornets. Lydney and Wick, unable to respond, attempted at first to stand their ground but were sent running for cover as the intensity built to an unbearable level.

Umpire, Mr David Penney, was right to blow the whistle with instructions for everyone to ‘Duck and Cover’ as following recommendations from the Committee of the International Hockey Federation (FIH) last month, a new rule (10.2) was introduced that clearly states that for outdoor hockey:

‘Play should not be allowed to continue when hailstones of a similar size and colour to the match ball are present on the pitch’.

I have no doubt that more hailstone related injuries would have resulted if it hadn’t been for Mr Penney’s swift implementation of this new regulation and associated guidelines (see below).

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Both teams ran for cover but the dug-outs provided little to no shield from the sideways onslaught. A mad dash to the Leisure Centre left bags, cameras, phones and dry changes of clothes all at the mercy of the deluge that followed. Little mercy was shown.

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A soggy re-start saw both teams laboured by the weight and resistance and/or slippy-ness of soaking kit. Skorts doubled in length and weight impeding the free movement of legs so popular in today’s hockey. Gloves slipped on wet sticks. Photos taken from this stage in the game really don’t do the level of unpleasant soggy-ness justice. So here are some that do:

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Despite these challenges however, goalie, Karen Alexander was able to hit away at least four strong strikes at goal from short corners. Emma Matthews, confident in defence, saved a beauty and Kate McKasgill, always strong, stopped another dangerous ball right on the line to keep Lydney’s sheet clean.

As nearby animals started to line up in pairs, Lydney got into a better rhythm and Jess Samuel slammed a ball into the far post from just inside the ‘D’ to take Lydney into the lead. In your face arctic weather!

After the shortest half time in recent history – just long enough for Lydney to wring some rainwater out of their tops…

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…the game was back on under a glorious rainbow (pot of gold clearly buried with some chap in Saint Mary’s).

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The Weather, realising that it couldn’t win, naffed off to ruin someone else’s day and left Lydney to battle the rest of the game out against Wick.

The game proved no less dangerous a battle though as a sideline ball was bravely charged down by Jess Samuel resulting in some serious bruising to her face as the ball flew up her stick and hit her hard in the head. Apparently the echo was audible from the other end of the pitch (though this might have been exaggerated for dramatic effect).*

I am reliably assured that kids love unicorns though so Jess, I’m sure that you’ll be fine back teaching on Monday.

A confident move into the ‘D’ by Emily Richards drew the Wick goalie out to challenge. A sliding tackle saw the goalie on the floor and an enterprising (and possibly still slightly concussed) Jess Samuel stepped into to whisk the ball out from under her, round her and neatly into the goal. I’m not saying that a smack to the head knocked some sense into her….someone else said that.

***LEGAL DISCLAIMER*** Lydney Hockey Club does NOT promote the use of performance-enhancing blows to the head, no matter how successful the result (or how irritating the player).

So when the final whistle eventually blew, Lydney were able to celebrate their win with a dry-off in the showers and much excitement in the pub over Debbie’s dumplings. But up and down the wider Forest Area today (Sun) kit is still drying over every available surface. Don’t believe me? See below:

kit drying

In all seriousness though, thanks to everyone who braved the weather; especially umpires Jeremy Box

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…and Dave Penney and our hardy and much loved spectators: Caz Johns and the Richards Family (possibly never to be seen again after this foray into watching Emily play an outdoor winter sport that lacks a boat house).

Player of the Match (and now Top Goal Scorer too) was Jess Samuel (Welsh unicorn).

*I’m certain that you couldn’t have heard it from anywhere further than the 25 line.

A few pics from the game for your viewing pleasure:

It's all happening! Sarah and Emily make sure that a Wick attacker goes no further.

It’s all happening! Sarah and Emily make sure that a Wick attacker goes no further.

Sarah goes in for a tackle

Sarah goes in for a tackle

Soaked through but undeterred, Emily makes a stand

Soaked through but undeterred, Emily makes a stand

Abbi works her reverse magic

Abbi works her reverse magic

Emily makes a run

Emily makes a run

Faster than a camera can focus - Debbie Legg shows that she's still got it.

Faster than a camera can focus – Debbie Legg shows that she’s still got it.

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A Date with Yate

Lydney II 1 – Yate II 2

Lydney: K. Alexander, D Legg, E Matthews, K Mckaskill, S Mitchell, G Johnson, J Box, A Farr, A Durham, S Watkins, C Turley, E Richards

Lydney 2nds travelled away this week to Yate for what proved to be a nail biting game. Yate scored the opening goal in the first half which provided Lydney with the catalyst they needed to up their game and equalize from well worked midfield play; allowing Chelsea Turley to slot one home for the visitors.

Yate constantly tested the skills of Lydney goalkeeper, Karen Alexander, who kept the team in the game with numerous fantastic saves which indisputably earned her player of the match this week. However Yate were hungrier for the game, resulting in Lydney having to conceding a final goal in the last minute – a Yate player threw herself in front of the goalmouth, deflecting the ball into the back of the net.

All in all though it was an encouraging performance by Lydney.

*This week’s match report kindly provided by Captain, Sarah Mitchell, in Ali Bannister’s absence.

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