5 Company go to battle on Armistice Day
5s play well, but pay price for missed chances
Somewhere in deepest darkest Kent, hidden under camouflage netting, was Blackheath’s finest Battalion, 5 Company.
Their mission shrouded in secrecy.
Under direct orders from sergeant Whitney, Corporal Cotgreave had mustered the troops at precisely 11 hundred hours.
"Gentlemen” began Sgt Whitney. “ you are all unaware of this but one of our number was recently promoted to under cover ops. Private Stanton is that man, and he has fed us some very valuable information. The trouble is that now Stanton has gone so deep under cover that we can’t bloody find him!!!”
The Sgt continued, “now his last communications stated that the enemy, old Gravvy, were going to mount an assault against us today, Armistice day of all days!!! Now our mission today is not only to defeat old Gravvy, but also to rescue private Stanton”
“Leave him there sir!!”
“Who said that!?!” yelled the sarge.
“Private Parts sir”
“Private parts!! We have no Private Parts………….. ahhh I see very bloody funny!!!”
5 Company settled down as Sgt Whitney unfurled a green felt hockey pitch and lined up wooden hockey men on opposing sides.
“Now we are expecting Gravvy to do the usual down the line and attack us in the old pincer movement, the general idea is for…………………….”
“Attention. Officer in the room”
“What officer Private Elliot??”
“General Idea sir!!”
“Very bloody funny Elliot. Now where was I………. Ah yes. So our plan is to intercept the ball, quickly spread it out of the congestion and mount a quick counter attack, using our speed and skill, thus delivery a major blow to the………………………”
“Attention. Officer in the room”
“Explain yourself Elliot”
“Officer sir. Major Blow“
“For gods sake Elliot grow up man“
“Trying to sir, but I am only 15 sir, so bit of growing yet to do sir!!!”
So 5 Company listened to the last of the battle tactics before taking to the field and facing the old enemy for another epic battle.
The first 20 mins showed 5 Company at their finest. The hockey was super. Fast, flowing and supreme. Gravvy were completely overwhelmed and had absolutely no answer to the fives continuing attacks. Thwarted by the fine keeping skills of the Gravvy goalie, and our own mistakes in finishing, however meant that during this onslaught the scoreline remained at 0-0. Then something happened. What exactly no one knows. But 5 company lost shape and momentum. Gravvy started to find their feet and the game evened out for a while. Gravy had 2 breakaways and scored both times leaving 5 company reeling and shell-shocked. Just before half time there was a chance. 5 Company awarded a p-flick after a foot saves a direct shot on goal. Up steps Sgt Whitney, but for the first time battle nerves seem to take over and he fluffs the flick (the first ever miss in his life!!). The Court Marshall will take place next week and toilet cleaning duties are expected!!!!
The second half started in the same way with 5 Company completely losing shape and leaving their flank wide open, allowing Gravvy to play a bit of hockey and once again grab a lucky goal. So 5 Company found themselves 3 down, but the battle was not over and they mounted a flurry of counter attacks, parried again and again by the Gravvy defence.
“Leverton has taken a shell to the knee sarge and he is in a bad way”
“Take him off and let the nurses deal with him on the sidelines boys, this battle is not over”
And so the fives continued to fight on, bruised and bloodied, towards the final whistle. Private Ainley grabs a consolation near the end but it is too late to change the outcome. 5 Company leave the field defeated, but with their heads held high.
At the de-briefing the deflated Sergeant asked what had been learnt today.
The answer is simple. Convert your chances. Gravvy had 4 shots on target and 3 went in.
Keep your shape. We had an exposed flank, putting ourselves under pressure and giving ourselves no option to counter.
But there are always positives.
5 Company had 70 percent possession
Had far more shots at goal
Showed determination and team spirit until the end.
Proved that so far we are easily equal to any team in this league.
Let’s get it together boys and rip this league up. It is ours for the taking.
Thanks to Tony J for stepping into the pads for us and to the umps, Chris Brown and the Gravesham chappie who was super strict but in so doing kept full control of the game. Thanks to all the troops for their continued hard work, courage under fire and passion in battle. Thanks also to Gravesham for as always providing us with worthy opponents and a hard faught game enjoyed by all.
MOM by a mile was Private McGhee
Since Saturday it has been revealed that Private Stanton was recovered after the battle and is getting his full de-brief at HQ in Eltham and will hopefully be back with us next week.
A final thanks to those who have gone before us and made the world we live in possible.