Mens 3rd Xl
Sat 09 Dec 2023  ·  North East Men's Division 4 Tyne
Sunderland 2
Newcastle Hockey Club
Mens 3rd Xl
Drag flicks, slips and lost teeth.

Drag flicks, slips and lost teeth.

Brian Coult5 Feb - 21:56
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I’m convinced that I’m only writing this because I had the stupidity to admit that I spent the evening before this match at my work Christmas party.

Something I regretted immensely after arriving in Sunderland a little early to watch the some of the 1s match before ours. This feeling was compounded by the torrential sideways rain, which lashed in the faces of players and spectators alike. Thankfully, the 1s won, setting the bar for the mighty 3s to do the double over Sunderland for the season. Even more thankfully, the sideways rain stopped just in time for our 1pm pushback.

As the final game before Christmas, the team was keen to go into the winter break top of the table. The forward line was a little depleted, missing star names such as the musician Matt Besford and “tomahawk hero” Ollie Hayman. By pushback, we were also one tooth down, as Kev’s tooth dislodged itself as he removed his gumshield in the warmup. It seemed clear we wouldn’t be able to take anything for granted in this match, be that goals or dental hygiene.

After a rousing rendition of “Kev time”, orchestrated by Andy I assume to distract the key central defender’s focus from the new hole in his gums, team lineups were announced. Filling the gap up front, co-captain Andy installed himself as a forward, striking fear into the hearts of the opposition defence with golf-swing style shooting, creating chances and forcing the keeper into good saves. Not to be outdone, fellow co-captain Wheeler spent some of the match showing off his abilities as a tricky winger racing down the right hand side.

As the game got underway, the team settled in quickly and demonstrated the high quality hockey that has been a feature of recent games with excellent transferring of the ball around the back and passing in the centre of the pitch. Unfortunately, another feature of recent 3s games is our inability to convert our chances. Marauding runs from Alex T and Joel brought opportunities to score. We hit the post several times and drew the keeper into a couple of saves but it looked like we would go into half time goalless. That is until we won a short corner, which was expertly dispatched into the back of the net via a Tom drag flick. Practice really does make perfect.

The second half was much of the same. The game being controlled in the middle of the park by a combination of Charlie, Aaron and Laurence. This time we made the most of our chances and built a comfortable lead with goals from Luke and two more from Tom to claim his hattrick.

I would describe the goals in detail but I can’t actually remember what they looked like, as I spent most of the half desperately trying to regain control of both my mental and physical faculties – nothing at all to do with the hangover, I promise – the loss of which saw me make some questionable passing decisions and spend an inordinate amount of time falling on my backside. Nevertheless, we ran out worth winners at 4-0.
A good performance to round off a very promising first half of the season. Some of us celebrated with match teas of battered sausage, chips and pizzas courtesy of our hosts, whilst others escaped back home to warm up or perhaps call the emergency dentist.

Here’s to more of the same in the new year!

Match details

Match date

Sat 09 Dec 2023




North East Men's Division 4 Tyne

League position

Newcastle 3
Sunderland 2
Team overview
Further reading