Back on top of the league!
By Rich Mills
You can’t keep a good team down…. as Sevenoaks discovered
A perfect cold sunny morning, with stunning views of the Weald of Kent, was a perfect day for hockey.
In truth the Highwaymen didn’t really know how it would workout with one regular defender, 6 midfield players and 5 forwards to select from. Somehow Mark Ainley put together an effective formation that, after a shaky start, moved into unstoppable gear.
Sevenoaks went ahead in 5 minutes with a very soft goal resulting from an uncharacteristic misunderstanding in defence.
From that point on the Highwaymen got a grip with an unfamiliar formation – not always pretty but relentless. The opposition didn’t make life easy. There were breaks while we played high up the field but Richard Cleall stopped all individual attackers. When there were more on the break Messers Kinch, Bernard and Conway took care of them all.
Our first goal came from Pat Gainey after 10 minutes.
The second half began with no evidence of “veteran” legs. Our pressure towards of the middle of the half resulted in three short corners in quick succession – Mr Gainey scored again from the third.
The Raj Phull and sammy chana duo engineered a stylish third goal. The fourth came from Matt Robinson to put the result beyond doubt.
As last week, the Man of the Match candidates included Greg Dowse, Steve Bowles, Pat Gainey but finally went to Richard Cleall.
A special vote of thanks goes to Sevenoaks for proving both umpires who ran the game with a light touch and no controversy.
Next week will be interesting as the Highwaymen face No 3 spot Holcombe, who knocked Herne Bay off the top the league this week. Our regular scribe Mr Walters is back from down under (NZ) as hopefully should be Andy Rose and Steve Miller next week.
Squad: Chris Bernard, Phil Kinch, Ravi Wickramasuriya, Richard Cleall, Stephen Gilbert (Capt), Tom Conway, Greg Dowse, Graham Green, sammy chana, Matt Robinson, Pat Gainey, Steve Bowles, Raj Phull