Imperious Vets Hockey
By Tim Armitage
Cements top of league spot
If Carlsberg did match reports and team selfies……………………
The Reading Relics put on an imperious display of Vets hockey to put Indian Gym to the sword at Hounslow today and cement their place at the top of the league (with a very healthy goal difference advantage over their competitors).
Reading and Indian Gym Vets went head to head once again in bright sunshine, with Indian Gym the favourites given their wins against us in leagues and cup hockey this season. The first ten minutes suggested the Reading Relics would struggle as Indian Gym put together typically fluent attacking moves - helped by our inability to put together more than 2 or 3 passes in a row. However, two goals in succession from Jerry (a nice reverse stick deflection) and Bob (a signature reverse stick strike into the corner) helped the team find their confidence and our passing skills improved as we began to win the battle for possession going into half time.
The second half saw Reading really up their game and a short corner slip gave Micky the chance to score with a sweetly struck shot inside the far post, after which Reading went on to totally dominate the game as Indian Gym heads dropped and their complaints aimed at both umpires increased. More goals followed as Bob got a lovely touch on a Pelly cross and then Pelly finished with a powerful shot across the keeper, Indian Gym appeared powerless to stop our flowing attacking moves as we went down both flanks and moved the ball early and well.
In the end their umpire gifted Indian Gym a consolation goal after awarding them a run of flagrantly wrong short corners one of which they eventually scored from.
There was no man of the match as everyone played well. Our defence played magnificently; Mark “the wok” Boothroyd standing firm, Graham coolly dealing with any threat at sweeper, Richard M sorting out Kulbir Bhaura’s younger brother at centre forward, Charlie, Yogan and Nigel Woolven (rolling back the years in the second half) made sure that Indian Gym’s wing threat was nullified. In midfield Bob, Pelly and Laurie all ran, passed and hustled really well to ensure the forwards had plenty of scoring chances. Upfront Jerry, Bartie and Micky linked well with each other & back into midfield to ensure we attacked as a team and dominate play in the Indian Gym half.
Big, big thanks to Mike Gray who showed huge character and strong umpiring to put up with the endless Indian Gym “chat” and ensure the game was played as fairly and cleanly as possible (Mike then rushed back to RHC to umpire the Redsox afterwards).
The win leaves the league very much in our hands and the attached selfie reflects the mood in the bar - a bunch of very satisfied old men enjoying beer and curry! We toasted both our win and Trevor Jones, for whom we wish a speedy recovery.
Very well done Relics – next week the Rustics are away to St Albans in our last GMA game of the season.