Vets - Valence lose in wintery conditions
But at least game went ahead
Valence lose in wintery conditions
The game was moved to an earlier time to try and avoid a clash with the traffic to the nearby Twickenham Rugby International. However, further difficulties arose with the arrival of snow on the Saturday morning. After some early morning phone-calls it was decided to make the journey, as Teddington confirmed that their
pitch was clear of the snow. Worsening conditions en-route suggested that this had been a bad decision, but it was the traffic conditions nearing Teddington that proved the main problem.
Only one player arrived on time and the game was started 30 minutes late with 6 Valence players plus a keeper without kit and four borrowed opposition players. The game was reduced to 25 minutes each way and the remaining Valence players and keeper’s kit eventually joined in.
Despite the confusion, and the regular change of personnel on the field, the first half produced some good passing hockey from both teams. Valence probably had the better of the first half with Bob Bartlett playing an assertive midfield role, but forwards, Rupert Humphrey and Stuart Bates were unable to break the Teddington defence. It was against the run of play that Teddington opened the scoring with a tame goal, helped by Valence players expecting it to go wide.
Sadly, Bartlett had to leave the field, injured, at half time with the score at 0-1 and Teddington kindly provided a useful replacement. Valence’s eleventh player finally arrived in the second half, but it was Teddington who started to control the game with some very slick passing moves. For the majority of the second half, the Valence defence succeeded in keeping the score unchanged although Teddington helped with some poor finishing. Valence forays into the opposition half were few and far between and it was somewhat inevitable when Teddington scored one and then another in the last 5 minutes of the game to make the final score 0-3.
The overall assessment was that Valence had played well against a better side (they had 15 players) and that the loss of Bob Bartlett at half time had been a critical factor in the final result.
Despite the weather and the difficult travel, it had been a worthwhile outing for Valence and the Teddington players showed Valence players their appreciation for ensuring the game was played.
MoM: Bob Bartlett
Team: Dave Britton, Bob Sagrott, Andy McVarish, Hamish Dow, Mike Nettle, Bob Bartlett, Stuart Bates, Rupert
Humphrey, Charles Worsfold, Julian Mills, Dave Ewen plus occasional players loaned by Teddington.
Umpire: Nick Willson
Next week the Vets’ scheduled Southern Counties’ Hockey Conference home game against Marlow Strollers has been called off by the opposition. An alternative game is being sought, but uncertain to be found.