Match Reports Week 3

Mens 1s: v Felixstowe (H)

Beautiful blue skies lay the canvas for a hard-fought draw with a competitive Felixstowe 1st XI.

A cagey opening 15 minutes settled following a smart short corner routine from Newmarket which saw ‘Hologram Harry’ (more on that later) sling one to the far post for Dawson to deflect into the roof of the net. Newmarket then dominated the next passage of play, creating various threats to the Felixstowe goal with no reward – the industrious Dylan Hardy with the pick of the chances, thwarted by an onrushing goalkeeper.

Felixstowe equalised against the run of play after a useful interchange down the right resulted in ‘Hologram Harrington’ (as he fondly referred to amongst teammates) missing yet another off stump delivery on the line. Unfortunately, now three games into the season and he’s yet to shake his poor form with the bat.

The home side reacted well and won a couple more penalty corners before the break. The second of which was beautifully worked: slip left for Wilson who dragged it back into the danger area, finding Olding with an enterprising deflection over a logged keeper. A deserved lead at the break.

The half time team talk was a rare upgrade on the usual inane sporting cliches from Donald. Whiteboard Coach Dan was on hand to fill our simple Fen brain’s with talk of beating the offside trap and not entering the ruck from the side. It worked. Felixstowe came out strongly but Newmarket were able to repel the attacks through an organised defensive unit.

Tempers on both sides rose in accordance with the match tension. This is only to be expected with 22 testosterone-filled men, all performing at the peak of their physical and hockey’ing abilities. Despite several second half cards, the game looked destined for a 2-1 victory for the yellows, until Felixstowe were able to convert a penalty corner in the dying seconds.

On reflection, a draw was a fair result with Newmarket controlling the first half and Felixstowe shading the second. Next up the lads entertain the unenviable trip to the Scottish border to play North Norfolk away as they still hunt for their first league win of the season.

Written by Rod Roddington