Tickets for the Polatch show!
Date: Saturday 12th March 2011
Attendance: 28, the girls for the next game and 2 others.
Venue: Wimbledon, not Indian Gym
Author : Lavers
It was another STRONG performance from the Reading 3’s which ultimately ended in the annihilation of Wimbledon through the strength of the club. After watching the 2’s get a win, Reading 3’s were all set for a good match which is what we had. We had a full strength squad and the return of Mr Polatch who had been on a 2 month hockey skills training course in Argentina (he needed it!). The sun had gone in and the game started with the joys of one umpire as we were waiting for a chap to come over from the 2’s game, which hadn’t yet finished. The camaraderie of the game was superfluous and the umpire barely needed! Reading started with the strength, determination and downright beauty that was on the pitch the week before, Farrow was bombarding the Richmond deffers with some aerial attack whilst Hamilton was attempting to pass the ball to the Richmond centre forwards but not even managing that very well.!! The defence was strong and the attack was where it was going on. JT added to the running about and started to drive to the corner, he showed that if he’s a lucky lad he may get a permanent place in the 3’s but in reality he needs to pick up his game a fair bit. JT picked up the ball after being fed a lovely running onto ball by Polatch and in an attempt to show the 3’s what he’s made of he skinned a couple of the Wimbledon players and ended up wide left, one more skill out of the sack arrived with a reverse cross and the mighty Polatch was present to get the first goal of the game with a 20cm knock in! Result, 0-1 up. Reading pushed forward in the first half but no goals came despite the skill that was shown, just before the half time whistle there was one of few attacks by Richmond and the ping pong that ensued was a desperate effort to clear the ball but unfortunately it ended up with a goal for Wimbledon, which Dexter could not quite work out how it got into the goal. Shame the midfield had already decided that the strength of the deffers was all that was needed even against 6 players! Whoops. 1 – 1 and time for a sit down at half time.
The second half was one to enjoy, the sun still not out, Reading 3’s decided that it was time to bring out the lessons. Slasher on the left was leading by smacking the opposition about the park and lucky not to be invited to have a rest and at the same time Hamilton was doing the usual loan of the ball to the opposition forwards to see what they are made of! Nothing!! The Mighty 3’s pushed on and forced a penalty corner where Rob “the yellow t-shirt” stepped up, ball out, stop and release, Farrow collected and scooped it towards the goal keeper who obliged by knocking it into the goal. 1-2 up and looking strong. The next section of the game was a lesson on hockey from the Reading 3’s which started with JT winning a free hit outside the 25 and then releasing a hit into the D, the hit went flying towards Polatch who, with his back to goal, did some very hot looking reverse knock into the back of the goal – if there was showboat for hockey this would have made it! 1 – 3 ahead and looking like it wasn’t over for the day. There isn’t much to say about the defence as it was more the attack show today except that Lavers was the usual capable machine, Farrow was the aerial attack and despite some shockers even Hamilton was managing to do some aerial attack on Wimbledon. Reading pushed forward through the strength of Corkers in the midfield accompanied by Schweff “Daisy” Dukes, more running than we are used to in the 3’s which is always a good thing. More attack from the Ding (Lawes) and the pressure told as we won another penalty corner, the machine “Flopper” Farrow stepped up and managed to get some attacking spirit from Tickets Polatch and scored his SECOND goal in the same match, the same week, the same month! Yes, we were all very surprised too which showed that we were 1-4 up and starting to teach the opposition the way to play.
What happened next is something that we can only look back on in awe, Polatch had his 2 months of Argentinean hockey skills school training in his back pocket and this was now the time to take it out. There were 2 ladies teams watching the destruction of Wimbledon and Rich Polatch decided to step forward and take up any suitor that may have wanted someone with the tekkers! The ball was played through to Polatch whilst he was outside the 25, he drove towards the D, was accosted by 2 Wimbledon defenders and lifted the ball over their 2 sticks with Argentinean control, a third defender ran his way whilst in the D, Polatch V dragged and left the defender for dust so the goal keeper came charging out towards him as the last line of defence and with only one thing on his mind, the bouncing ball at his feet, Polatch lofted the ball into the air, over the keeper and lobbed him! Goal of the season!! The girls warming up in the corner gave Polatch a round of applause for his efforts and they positively threw phone numbers towards him but we all reminded him and informed them that we hadn’t ever seen him do this before! Reading up by a great 1–5 and looking like it was a run away. The last minutes of the game saw a few more attacks which were fruitless and also one attack from the Wimbledon boys which did actually manage a goal so the end score was a good second win in two for Reading 3’s 2 -5 to secure some more mid table madness in the league. The last few minutes also threw up the funniest moment of the day as JT, our Slough based ringer, tried to cross on his reverse and took out his opposition numbers extremely posh new Audi Q7, a dent the size of his head!! Nice, insult to injury! At least they weren’t sore losers!!
We then returned to the Lane to support the Race Night at the club for a few social drinks where Schweff Jukes brought his younger brother Andy who is definitely blessed with the brains, brawn and beauty in the Jukes clan! Not much winning went on but we supported the club and Tim Hamilton inappropriately touched Rob Farrow as the young ones denied him! Town next, and the rest is confined to the annuls of history!!
Date : 13th November 2010
Crowd : 2, Tia and Louisa
Reading had a difficult task to arrive at the Teddington pitch as the Rugby was on at the same time and only 2 miles away from the hockey pitch. The journey to the ground was ok from Reading despite fence panels being thrown at cars on the motorway and we managed to arrive over an hour before the game ready to go. After not realising that High Wycombe were not Reading ladies, Dexter manned up realised that we were at the wrong pitch so we packed up again and went 100 yards down the road to the correct pitch.
This match was set to be a good one as Teddington were second bottom in the league and we had drawn with their “better” club team the week before so I was hoping for some of the lads to be fighting to take the ball home after hat tricks galore.
Upon arrival a general warm up ensued which led to the game starting and once on the ball the level seemed to be set reasonably low. There were a number of attacks from both teams with the lack of commitment from the Reading side visible. Reading were pushing forward with attacks through the left with Graham and the right side through Dunc but not managing to convert anything into the illustrious goal. In defence the Woolner and Lavers were strong and the centre of defence was up and down with Hamilton bolstering up the middle. Rob Lee was starting in the centre with Hamilton and the plan was for him to do all the running and Hamilton to do all the standing about – reading were indeed going to plan with this good tekkers.
After a number of attacks reading broke into the D with Anderson driving forward and winning a shortie so Hamilton stepped up to the mark, got hold of the drag, pinged it fast, high and . . . . wide. Miss, within one minute the attack came back at Reading down the right hand side and this led to the opposition forcing the ball into the back of the Reading goal via a foot, with poor old Dexter left with nothing else to do except pick the ball up and send it back to the centre of the pitch for the restart. Reading pushed on but went in one nil down at half time when we went for a discussion on the poor level of hockey on the pitch.
Second half started with some pressure on the Teddington defence and a couple of short corners came the Reading way however neither were converted, both were on target and saved and then Barker attempted to punish the Teddington defence but managed to miss what can only really be called an open goal! Whoops. Reading 3’s continued to defend well and attack back and finally we had the chance to draw back level, the ball spanned left, then right, then back to the centre, into the D and Alex Wright was poised to roll the ball into the back of the goal … but unfortunately he didn’t realise that the goal is that big thing with two white posts on each side. On this occasion, with no goal keeper in his way, he proceeded to sweep the ball closer to the corner flag than the goal, much to the interest of Graham G who was already celebrating!
The next spell of the game saw certain attacks from both sides and another short corner missed by Reading so the score remained at 1 – 0 down to Teddington. With approximately 10 minutes to go Barker made a very tired tackle which resulted in a short corner being awarded to Teddington. They did not manage to score from that corner as Rob Lee managed to kick the ball out of the goal which apparently is not allowed in the game of hockey so Teddington were awarded a penalty stroke. This stroke was converted to see Reading 3’s down 2 – 0. The final 5 minutes was some of the best hockey that Reading managed to play but it still did not result in a goal for the dominant team which resulted in Reading off to the showers losing a game that on paper should have been one in the bag! Nice tea though and a round of Jaeger bombs, not all is lost!
Date: 6th November
Crowd: 4 including Gemma (on locking up duty), Grant Barber (watching his boyfriend Farrow) & a visiting mother! (Whose son we almost killed on a couple of occasions)
This was always on paper going to be a difficult match for both teams. Teddington had a good record which has seen them march to the top of the Higgins Group London Hockey League Division 4 whilst Reading 3’s were positioned 3rd after a couple of frustrations so it was poised for a good game. The 3’s had the brand new pitch to enjoy under flood light with a small crowd who braved it for an initial 35mins but after that realised the cold was coming in and they had to be outside again soon for the fireworks!
The match pushed back with neither side worrying about their ends as it was under floodlight, there were a few mêlée’s in the middle of the park as both sides tried to control the match. Notably Reading attacked down the left flank started off by Jimbo Woolner from the back which then crossed the pitch to attack from the right and saw an early ball fly across the front of the D from Dom Tallent. The ball was bouncing a little on the new pitch and Rich P slipped on the pitch (he claims a dive) and stretched out a stick but just missed the connection that could have resulted in a very early goal. He immediately had to roll himself off due to a reoccurring injury he had tweaked which gave the chance for Ian Anderson to come on to the pitch for his real return to a real Reading side. A few dangerous aerials were launched into the lights from Robert Farrow but all that was achieved was a number of free hits to Teddington as the Reading eagerness could not be controlled and the defensive players were not given the obligatory 5yrds to bring the ball down. Geoffrey Jukes was doing some good running on the pitch with and without the ball which I am sure must have annoyed his marker and led to Geoff getting some more space as the half went on, he was pushing down the left flank and Duncan Bond was doing the same down the right but still no breakthrough had occurred.
At 22 minutes Teddington managed to fluster the Reading Left back – Woolner – and won a free hit as a stick had gone flying in at what can only be called an agricultural tackle. Hockey was not the winner out of that tackle! Teddington were poised near the side line so had the chance to pass around and then into the D. This is what they aspired to however the final ball was lifted into the danger area so some of the Reading players made a strong, personal, umpiring decision that this was dangerous play and rested themselves however this was not the vision of the umpire holding the whistle so the game continued (always play the whistle – told to us all from the first day we picked up a stick!) with a number of Teddington players surrounding the ball and goal keeper in front of the Reading goal – the inevitable happened and the ball ended up in the back of the net and no amount of protesting was going to change the decision. Teddington were 0 – 1 in front and this gave them some impetus for the remainder of the half and some strong defensive play and goal keeping was needed which took both teams to half time still seeing Reading a single goal down.
The second half started with Reading on the search for the winning goals, an awe inspiring half time talk from Daddy Mackie showed a number of players that they all had a voice and it is common place to use them in a team game and this brought the pace of the match up to the usual standard that Reading 3’s are used to. The ball started to ping about and a number of attacks started to break down the Teddington defence. Hamilton went for the aerial attack from defence which saw him raise a few eyebrows as the thinning air of a late cold night obviously did not aid his aerial assault so he went back to the ground ball much to the teams pleasure. The left and right sides saw some good attacks with Matt cutting around the back and off-loading to Dom Tallent, he pulled the “old skool” 360 sand spin out of the bag which dazzled the defender and led him to a drive into the D which gave a short corner. The team setup as planned but on this initial corner, the result was a save but the pressure was mounting and Reading could feel it. Some substitutions were made to revive the players expending their energy in the thin air of the night which only helped the pressure from Reading. A further attack by reading broke down which saw the ball come out to Tim Lavers at right back who looked up and saw the opposition closing down at pace so a brief controlled lift of the ball led to a bit more time to pick out the pass down the line to Tallent who then crossed the ball but again it just fell out of range of that final touch. Further short corners did not result in a goal just a couple of fouls but aided towards the pressure.
Reading 3’s pushed on further and then an attack came down the left hand side of the pitch, pace was added and it was taken to the base line by Matt who released it to Dunc Bond. The pressure was mounting on Teddington and as the ball flew across the D Mackie was there to steer it back into the danger area and some amasing control saw the ball move goal ward bound along the base line but just staying in play and then the Teddington defence and keeper confused each other which resulted in a tap in for the Reading player Rob Lee 1-1. This was what was deserved as the fight back had taken 30mins of the half and Reading went on to control the final 5mins. After some more reading defensive work, the ball was released down the left and around Teddington which saw a 3 on 1 in Readings favour but just as the Reading Attack team neared the oppositions D – - – Final Whistle – - – The result being a 1 -1 draw.
Off to change in a packed changing room and have Pasta for tea.