LHC Round-up - 24th February

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Despite being the coldest day of the league so far, things were getting a little heated in some of the games this past weekend. With four points bagged and over three hours in the car for the Ladies 1s, here's what the teams had to say about their matches: 

MENS 1s

Men's 1's Vs Sunbury. It was a late start match which always feels a bit weird, but I was once again greeted by at least half the squad pitch side when I arrived, it was a good sign. Sunbury currently sitting comfortably 4th in the table it was going to be a tough match. First half started and apart from a few initial lapses of concentration leatherhead looked structured and ready for the game. Sunbury however did take the lead with a somewhat half chance, bobbling ball into the D not cleared and falling to a striker yards out who had an easy finish ahead of him. It didn't deter leatherhead though, and we got our mojo back attacking with some great passing hockey, and defending high limiting further chances, we just couldn't capitalise on our good play and the half ended 1-0 to sunbury. 

Second half came and we picked up where we left off, but our final ball was just not up to scratch. 

Sunbury however had one more half chance that led to one more goal, we just can't catch a break it seems. Final 10mins we showed a lot of grit and determination but It just wasn't enough and we had to take the positives from what was at times a very good team performance. Let's keep our heads up and get some more wins before the end of the season. Final score 2-0 to sunbury.

MENS 2s (Diablos)

Match report pending. All we do know is that things got a little heated this weekend, and Pete's crown jewels took one for the team! We'll wait to see what the captain has to say.

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MENS 3s

Our Mens 3s had a friendly against Cheam Men's 4s this weekend. Not sure of the score but let's hope it was a fun runaround in the beautifully British February weather. 

LADIES 1s

After a 90min drive, and buried under enough layers to kit out a clothes store, the ladies 1s rocked up at Dulwich College ready to take on Tulse Hill and Dulwich Ladies 4s. Following a few laps round the college's running track and a relatively quick warm up in the winter wind, we braved delayering down to our skorts and skins. 

As the sun set over the opposition's goal, the plan was to keep moving to stay warm – and to make sure our subs didn't frost on the sideline. This sub rolling worked effectively as usual, creating options for hit outs and keeping our opposition on their toes. However, it was going to take much more than that to trump Tulse Hill.

Strong from the go, Tulse Hill repeatedly drove forward with determination and tact, creating paths straight into our D and getting Jo Parish moving from the opening minutes of play. Luckily, most of their shots were either swopped up by our defence, ran off the pitch by Jo or misdirected by their forwards. Either way, we were extremely lucky that not more went in. 

Well... one did slip through, although it took a short corner to help them secure it. Picking up play from the half way line, our forwards drove the ball forward and before we knew it, a handful of blue LHC shirts filled Tulse Hill's D. Each player battled hard to keep the ball in there long enough for Steph Woodman to knock it into the goal getting us back into the game and showing our opponents we still had fire in our bellies. 

Come half time we were all exhausted – and still pretty cold. Despite previous weeks, we seemed to be letting go of easy balls, losing possession and constantly chasing our op's green and red socks as they successfully passed through our play. We knew we needed to do something differently in the second half and after a pep talk we pulled up our socks and prepared ourselves for the final 35 minutes. 

I'm happy to report that the second half saw our energy levels match those of Tulse Hill. Special mention goes to Molly Marshall who repeatedly pulled off some spectacular runs up the right wing, shaking off her defender and burning a track in the astro as she drove the ball into the op's D. One such run resulted in her being perfectly positioned to score a mid air volley into the top corner of the goal! It looked bloody impressive from the back and was definitely moment of the match. 2-1 to LHC. 

Sadly, Tulse Hill met fire with fire and secured themselves multiple short corners, with one delivering them their second goal of the game and a final score of 2-2. It wasn't the result we wanted but we're happy to take home the one point and look forward to battling for the remaining nine points available in the upcoming three games. 

LADIES 2s

Fantastic display of grit and determination from the Ladies2s today! Down to 10 players from 16 at the start of the week it was looking pretty scary! We soldiered on a forward down and the first 10 minutes looked promising. Maybe it wasn’t going to be carnage after all?! Wimbledon put one past the keeper and it wasn’t long before they put another one back in the net. A short in our favour towards the end of the first half and Roanna Thomas with her nerves of steel, dribbled it past the players and hit the backboard! Hooray! 2-1 at half time! Spirits were high as we went in to the second half and we held them all the way to the last 2 minutes. The match ended 3-1, but a hugely impressive performance from at 10 players. Thanks to Martin for umpiring and for players from both the men’s and women’s teams coming down to support! Well done team 2!

Other exciting news:

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Dinner dance tickets are now available!! Taking place March 24th, the annual LHC Dinner Dance promises to be an evening fun of dancing, eating and generally being merry! It is a great chance to celebrate the season with not only your team but the club as a whole and, if you're extra lucky, to take home a trophy for your contribution to the club! 

All the information you need about the night and who to get your money to can be found here: https://www.leatherheadhockeyclub.co.uk/new-events/2018/3/24/end-of-season-dinner-dance

More to follow next week...