21 Aug 2017
Second Hand News

Day 3 in the SG Tour

If it's Sunday, it must be Holland and we must be playing hockey. Again.

But today we were getting our own hockey out of the way early before relaxing a little. An 8.45 mee time saw everyone in the L6 and below on time and ready to depart. So a 9.00 am departure it was. As we drove to our next opponents (Verhout HC) we kep seeing the same road signs to The Hague and Leiden: surely we were not going to the same club as yesterday? The conclusion that the tour leader came to was that Holland is such a small country that every road sign has the same names on it - only the distances vary. It seems that almost every where in Holland is basically 30 - 45 minutes driving distance, according to Peerless Pete the bus driver.

Unless the A10 is closed, that is.

So after a predictably efficient journey Pete dropped us in a deserted car park next to a suspiciously large number of artificial football pitches. It turned out it was simply a short walk to the hockey club (once more furnished in the beach bar style which seems to be this season's look in the world of Orange Hockey). The pitch seemed to match that - according to one of our U6 midfielders who commented - on the sand-based pitch as being akin to a beach. The Coach pointed out that, since the SG pitch until recently was little more than a sand bar itself, we were in no position to suddenly turn into astro snobs.

Anyway, the key thing is that one adapts to the surface and plays each pass and each bump and slide on its merits. And to a great extent the U18s did exactly that with a much-improved performance against a well-organised opposition. It was 1-2 at half time after Amelia had thumped home a penalty corner and although we lost our way a little in the second half, goals from Tilly S and another penalty corner from Amelia (thrice re-awarded in the last act of the match) gave us three goals. And employing the new scoring whereby we only county Dutch goals as half, we narrowly lost 3.5 - 3. Soooo close.

Close was not what we would call the U16 match. A resounding 8-1 victory for the youngsters with two goals a piece for Amelia E, Dee Dee (so good they named her twice), and Tilly C, with the scoring completed by Sophia and Freya. By the end even Mr S was commenting on how well the girls were using space and moving the ball around. Indeed probably the most hard-worked member of the team was Mrs M who found herself as sole umpire on that pitch, as well as coaching the team and calling substitutions. Excellent effort all round.