LHC Round-up - 27th January

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Three wins, five well-fought league games and 50+ portions of fish and chips. Here it is, this week's LHC Round Up: 

MENS 1s

Men's 1's took on Kenley today, it was bitterly cold, the pitch looked like a children's sand pit but with more sand, and from watching some of the match before ours looked like it played about as quick as a sand pit too. The match started after a minute's silence for a founding member of Kenley hockey club who sadly passed away, and then the rag tag squad of the 1's played some of the better hockey they have played this year. Kenley hardly created any chances and we kept piling the pressure on all throughout the match. Olly Ruff causing a mischief up top running their defense ragged, with our defense holding strong and outplaying the Kenley attacks. Goals from Jamie Lewis, Olly and the ever reliable captain (oh wait that's me) meant that by end of the match Leatherhead came out 4-0 victors, a good effort put in by all, and big thank you to those that made the long trip on such a miserable Saturday afternoon.

MENS 2s (Diablos)

Match report pending... all we do know it that they went hoping for a win and came back with a 4:2 victory against Epsom HC Men's 5s. Great work lads!

MENS 3s

We welcomed Epsom to ‘The Field’ for a 6 pointer this weekend, preparations started at 8:45 with a ‘Spoons breakfast as we looked forward to a game with subs after our enforced break last week.

We rocked up at the pitch ready to rumble, one or two a bit jaded from the previous night out, but all with one aim in mind, taking 3 points. We also welcomed Dan Lambert back unto the fold.

The whistle went and we were immediately on the offensive and pinned Epsom in their half for 5 minutes and with all looking good I retreated to the luxury of a heated seat for a quick reheat and some warmer clothing. I can report two goals occurred, I heard the celebrations however I saw neither, on my return we were looking impressive at 2-0 up and dominating possession and territory.

This long period of domination did not however bare any fruit goalwise and Epsom regained some composure and were finally making forays towards our goal. We looked secure with time running down in the first half until a poor clearance from a 16 turned over possession which resulted in panic in our D and a penalty corner which was drilled home.

We still had time to launch another offensive, the only thing stopping Harry’s bursting run was a sandwich tackle leaving him with what looked like a split lip, Two minutes later the half time whistle went and we were 2-1 up.

The half time team talk consisted of 3 key word, focus, focus and focus, that is what would give us the points. Harry was heading off to get treatment but was persuaded to stay for the 2nd half as we had no 12th man and this was a 6 pointer against Epsom, what more did I need to say.

The second half began as a much more even affair, the goal near the end of the first half had given them a boost and we were looking ragged, anything but focused despite the team talk.Then the unthinkable happened, Epsom got an equaliser as they overloaded our defence for a simple tap in at the far post.

It was our turn to be under the cosh, we thankfully regrouped and focused on the job in hand and on the 20 minute mark we restored our lead Lewis H-S slotting home. Epsom now threw everything at us, this gave our midfield space. Shaun B drove from halfway, the first attempt to take his legs failed, the 2nd attempt was more successful and was penalised, the tackle on Dan that followed the whistle left him in a crumpled heap with a nasty gash in his forehead. On the advice of their umpire he was given a yellow and 10 minutes off, unfortunately we lost Dan for the rest of the game and maybe 2-3 weeks on top. So for the next 10 minutes it was 10 aside until we could get a willing volunteer to assist and the time to run out on the yellow card.

Colin volunteered to play the last 10 minutes for us once kitted up, a last 10 minutes where we defended resolutely giving nothing away then, with time running out , we picked up a loose ball in our 25, and 2 passes later Harry was released 1 on 1, he rounded the advancing keeper before slotting a neat reverse stick finish to put us 4-2 up with the last hit of the game.

Game over, 4-2 to Leatherhead and 3 much needed points.

LADIES 1s

Things are starting to get exciting. Not that it hasn’t been exciting previously, but ahead of yesterday’s game there was only one point separating 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th places. And with only six matches left of the season, and us taking on 2nd place in the league yesterday, there was a lot to play for! 

With a squad of 14 strong and a  sub rolling itinerary accurate to the minute, we were good to go. Although hesitancy interrupted our flow of play a bit at the beginning, Jess Laslett was quick to turn it around, intercepting and driving the ball up the pitch and straight into OK’s D. Although sadly a goal wasn’t pocketed, this early surge of energy picked up the entire team and put OK on the defence early on in the game. Well done Jess!

From then on, there was the occasion wobble - one torn glute, one bloody thumb and one black eye - but all in all, the squad relaxed into the game and stared to enjoy the chase. Sophie Dungedon did an amazing job as centre defence, hungrily beating the opposition to multiple balls and redistributing play back up the pitch. Once back in OKs half, we fought to keep the ball high and had a fair few shots on goal, with one ball rebounding off Steph Woodman’s stick straight towards the net. Although it looked like a goal from the sideline, a penalty flick was awarded and Sarah Cusition stepped up to take the shot. Silence took the pitch as the goalie and Cush got ready. The whistle was blown and without hesitation, Cush beautifully fired the ball to the left of the goalie securing the first goal of the game! 

Needless to say, the subs, Kat and Sue went a little wild on the sideline.

And then they got to excited all over again! Not happy with just one goal, Cathy Laslett took her opportunity to pocket a goal from the top of the D, striking it past three defenders and to the left of the goalie’s foot. 2-0 to LHC.

The team reassembled at the half way line feeling elevated and ready to take on the remaining quarter of the game. With about 12mins left on the clock, the team drove the ball high, passing it to Liz Carleton who ran it into the top of D and straight towards the goalie. Unshaken by the approaching marshmallow-man-sized player about to take her out, Liz C slipped the ball under the goalie and into the back of the goal, stopping her momentum only when her feet met the goalie, now on the floor. 

This incredible run secured the third and final goal of the game! We arrived wanting a win and left with the three available league points which helpfully put us back in second place in the league table - cue Chumbawamba’s tubthumping...

LADIES 2s

A disappointing yet somewhat expected loss today for the Ladies 2's against Horley. Having started the week with 15, we were a somewhat depleted 11 shivering on the side of the pitch this morning prior to the match. We battled hard with some nice attacking breaks and even had a few near misses, however Horley's speed and skill yet again proved too much for us. The final score line (10-0) does not do our efforts justice. Well played everyone.

Other exciting news:

RECORD numbers at the LHC annual Quiz Night on Saturday night! Well done to everyone who rallied up a team and took part. The questions varied from roman mythology to the overtly cheesy, with one round dedicated to deciphering a penguin brotherhood as they escaped from a circus showground. While some relied on the luck of the Irish, it seems a knowledge of those who didn't make it to the end of 2017 and the inside of Liz C's house were the key to bagging those much needed points!

Well done to team At the back! for the win and many thanks to our quizmasters David Bavin and Liz Carleton for organising a thoroughly enjoyable evening! 

More to follow next week...