By Edd Thorogood
2ND XI Thrash title rivals 5-0 to confirm place at the top of the lot!
And so it came to pass that the fixture gods would land the top 2 sides together at the end of a grueling season. Lengthy away trips to Herne Bay, Canterbury 7 times and Ramsgate had all been suffered and negotiated in one way or another, but the equation was simple, 2 home games, 3 points would settle it, a double chance if you will............the boys needed 1.
'Blustery yet pleasant' they said on the radio, I hate the wind, so there was nothing pleasant about it at all, that said, the mind was strangely focused on the task at hand. The regular gathering in the changing rooms with another high class play list strung together, tunes pumping and babies crying, its become the norm. We will need a club baby sitter this time next year and that's just for Joe. The scene was set, the grounds of Eltham College were quiet and not a soul dare move for the chance of upsetting the apple cart. Starting line up was read out, coach gave his final words and we headed to the fortress. 9 wins from 9 at home before today, keep that record alive and it was always going to be tough for anyone coming to the Meadow. Warm up negotiated and Nathan pumped as ive ever seen him........
The first 5 minutes were perfect for BE as Canterbury dominated the ball and showed the home side that nothing was going to come easy. A short corner fro the boys came about and from the rebound, the resident jester, Joe Allen, slotted the ball into the roof with a cracking drag push, 1-0 and nerves settling. The second would come soon after as a slightly wonky PC drag out forced Edd Thorogood to take on the strike and that he did, burying the ball bottom bins to set the Cat among the pigeons. 2-0 and Half time came calling.
The 2nd half would see the pattern continue, BE ball dominance with the occasional break out from the tiring Canterbury 11 man squad. BE kept the patience, kept the ball and kept the clock ticking. Another intricate move from front to back saw Oli Ivens inject a ball and a Fowler deflection caused havoc, leaving Dr Slack to tap in to make it 3 and surly, surly that was that.
4 was a single minded effort from Joe Allen, he lost it, won it back, lost it again and then, from under the keepers nose, finished very cutely to close the day out as far as the result was concerned. The boys had battled hard and the 5th opitomised that, as Marly Jones robbed the centre back in the middle of the park and played it through to Thorogood, 1 touch, finish, 5-0..................game over.
Before I say anything further we should take this chance to give Canterbury a massive hand. They have not let up, they have been on our tails all the way and been waiting for every little mistake, thankfully we found enough in the tank each week to keep the run going, tough away battles and very pleasing home wins have kept us going but all the while Canterbury have kept us honest.
And so it was to the Heath, songs of 'Championes, Championes ole ole ole' rang round the village as each and every establishment grew more and more tired of our happiness. You cant hold back the joy of a season that has been just a pure pleasure to be part of. We set out from the off to win the league and that's what we have done. Hats off to Jade and Rob for running a pretty tight ship. Jade has done a wonderful job as coach and has instilled standards among the squad that have been missing from previous years. Training has been superb, match prep fantastic and we have reaped the rewards of having a true hockey badger run our squad. We will miss him as he focuses on umpiring and masters hockey, but without him this could have been a very different year.
Game over................Sports day 2016