Blackheath leapfrog Canterbury after tight match
And that's a win...
Blackheath took to the road after an impressive home win last week. The team gradually assembled pitch side after a couple of detours, one for a hospital visit and one due to the navigator falling asleep.
It was a cold day and outer layers were removed with trepidation, but eventually the warm up did start. There was little caution as the game began though, both teams fully committed to their attacks in the early exchanges and the game looked set to be an end to end goal fest.
Blackheath opened the scoring as Thorogood thundered in the first penalty corner. Blackheath looked likely to extend their lead on several occasions, however the Canterbury keeper made a string of excellent saves and Edd Thorogood was left head in hands as his dreams of a first half hat trick came to naught.
At the other end, Sam Hannon and his defence were being called into action as Canterbury started to cause problems themselves. Sharp saves and timely interventions from the defense meant that the game entered the break with Blackheath a goal up.
The second half was under way and little had changed, the game was still being played at a frenetic pace and there was plenty of the neutral to enjoy as both teams were creating chances with their attractive approach play. Canterbury got themselves back into the game with a well worked move. Their striker popped off a quick shot, which Sam Hannon got a hand to, but he couldn't tip it round the post.
It was anyone's game now and attacks were followed by counters, both teams in the hunt for a winner. The pace was raised further and Blackheath found themselves briefly reduced to 10 men as Sam Little was shown a green.
Blackheath put together the best move of the game as the ball was worked out of defence to captain Prem Marwaha who asked a lot of Oliver Ivens. Our flying Belgian managed to keep the ball in and drove into the D before drawing a foul.
With time running out, this was possibly the last, best chance to win the game. All the pressure piled on Edd Thorogood, but he seemed serene and unleashed a powerful effort into the bottom corner. 2-1 to Blackheath.
This show wasn't over yet and Canterbury spent the final couple of minutes camped in the Blackheath 22. It was a tense finish as Canterbury had a string of penalty corners after the final whistle. Sam Hannon was equal to all of the shots and cemented his place as man of the match.
Sam Hannon - great saves at important times (Rob Hughes tied 1st - imperious game, but needs to work on his rock paper scissors)
Rich Mills - overzealous celebration (Edd close second - animated discussion with Jade about stick position)
Other notable incidents:
Rich Mills and Nick Charlish pinning the opposition back with some great touch finders.
Henry Baines getting some impromptu break dancing practice in before his trip to the disco.
Tristan finally getting close enough to a player to foul them.