Bowdon IXs 2 - City of Manchester IVs 3

Having beaten COM 7-1 earlier in the season I made the mistake of mentioning this in the selection email, prompting Mr West to reply suggesting that I check out their latest results, which featured a string of wins against teams we had either drawn against or lost to. Oops...

Last time we played COM at Bellevue, we won because (a) we were fab but mainly (b) because their side clearly weren't used to playing with each other, despite having a number of skilled younger players. Sadly (for the Bees) this is no longer the case, & all credit to the COM coach because they have clearly 'got their shit together' & gave us an abject lesson in teamwork & distribution. The Bees have improved significantly in this area during the 2005 season, but Sod's law had it that we suffered a serious relapse at the Devisdale & paid the price.

City of Manchester took our passing apart whilst we were unable to return the favour. This was not the Bees finest hour, & dear reader, let me be the first to stick my mitt up & state that my hockey sucked and blowed in this game; frankly I was . The Bees were firefighting in our own half for a lot of the game, but we did make several forays into the oppo's dee, have no doubt. Two important (& rather splendid if I may say so) goals from Messrs Cooper & Swarbrick, & some ferocious tackling from our defensive trio consisting of Nick, Tom & Johnny made the game a good competitive one & the possibility of a draw or even a cheeky win only disappeared with the final whistle.

Newcomer Craig Simpson, back from injury & the kitchen made a good impression at left half, despite coming off for a few minutes 'to let the old guys have a go'. Talking of which... Darbs is back! Yes, there was sparkle on the wings (depending upon the angle of the sun!) as Paul made repeated forays onto the pitch to show everyone how things used to be done; it was a respectable performance considering it was his first game this season, the question is will he make himself available next week?

The team hat is however doffed in the direction of Mr George Johnson who, in Lazy's absence (or should that be abcess? - Dental joke alert), played a blinder in nets & kept the scoreline from getting a little more one-sided. He certainly is a promising young keeper, & as I keep telling everyone (or is it the other way round?), the experience from a game in nets with the Bees is worth ten games with any of the higher sides! Sadly we couldn't reward George with the customary pint of cider as he won't be drinking for a few years yet (although I think his mother buys her veg from Sellafield ). Happily the bar staff serve alcohol based on an individual's girth, not height, so I drank it for him...