Blackpool IIs 5 - Bowdon IXs 1

Ah, the vagaries of hockey selection. On Monday we had two keepers, by Saturday 'twas none! Step forward, tattooed man-of-the-hills... Trigger! This joint seaside outing of the Vets & the Bees saw another welcome appearance by Don Di Rollo (sparing time from his 'family business' in Italy ) & new boy Tony Smith. Mr Stafford was also present, however the remaining rabble were Bees! Mike McClean from the victorius Bowdon IIIs kindly umpired for us - not bad for a geezer with only one eye!

Blackpool took pushback & sportingly sent it into our half... then the rest of the team followed & about 20 minutes later when Bowdon defence next saw daylight we realised that we had our work cut out!!! Some fine tackling by Ernie, Nick & Jonny was complimented by some excellent saves from Trigger, however a fairly relentless Blackpool attack left us three goals down by the end of the first half. Bowdon made some spirited attacks during this period, but despite keeping Blackpool defence on their toes failed to convert to goals.

Some useful comments were made during the half-time break & it was decided to drop two of the three forwards to midfield whilst leaving the newly-rejuvenated Mr Cooper to roam around the oppo's half when the odd opportunity for a lash from the back presented itself. As the second half progressed, & despite Blackpool continuing to dominate, Bowdon featured significantly more in the play. The Bees defence & enhanced midfield increased their possession & built some nice attacks which had Blackpool falling back to their Dee. Some occassionally heated 'guidance' to the umpires was given by a couple of oppo players but generally the game passed without incident. Bowdon seemed to be enjoying a slightly more balanced game & despite conceding another goal, managed to pressure Blackpool into conceding their third short. Finding his form as 'injector', Shot-dead Marshall sent the ball to the Captain's stick who managed to get some decent contact with the ball & put it into the backboard. Strike one for Bowdon!

Several more Bowdon forays into their half resulted in various shots on goal & another penalty corner, however we failed to score off them & the oppo capitalised on this to put away their fifth & final goal. When the final whistle went the game had moved from a potential massacre in the first few minutes of the game to a much more enjoyable (though hard) hockey excursion!

I suspect that, looking at the results to date (for the Bees at any rate), most of us would like to get another win under our belt (step forward, Mr "I'm sick of losing!" Hockey God himself). One wonders whether the fact that we haven't managed to put out more than 60% of the same players from one week to the next could be taking its toll? Of course, we might just suck! Despite this, today saw good individual efforts all round, & we were justly rewarded by chicken (probably) thingies & chips, with buttie chasers! Mr Pritchard, who is apparently eating for two at the moment (not sure how that works ) demonstrated his off-the-pitch interception skills were at least as good as his on-pitch ones, & got stuck in, hoovering up the last sarnie with obvious relish. Then it was back to the Cooper Transport charabang for the chosen few, & homeward bound. Another moral victory, but it's the Sportsman's Dinner on Friday when things won't seem so bad... until 1600 hours the next day when the whistle blows very loudly & we attempt to give Deeside a good tonking! Read on, for next weeks installment!

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