Jim East

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Romsey Mens 2nd XI 3 – 3 Weymouth Mens 2nd XI
Romsey Mens 2nd XI twice came from behind to share the points against a determined Weymouth side. The Dorset side opened the scoring very much against the run of play when a misplaced pass deflected its way into the Romsey circle to leave Keeper Lukasz Suleja 1 on 1 with a Weymouth forward who was able to make a thin contact at full stretch to divert the ball past the on rushing keeper and agonisingly into the vacant goal.
It remained 0-1 to the visitors until some way into the second period, when Romsey’s relentless pressure eventually produced an equaliser. Chris Harwood, restored to his accustomed position not he right flank deftly played in Greig Stewart who thumped home first time. Central defender Matt Munro turned provider giving the scoring pass in a move he initiated in his own 23m line, he found Tim Bailey at the back post to tap in on the backhand to put the hosts 2-1 ahead.
James Fraser had a goal disallowed moments later on the spurious basis that he did not actually touch the ball on its way into the goal, and Munro was denied a goal for himself by the more conventional method of excellent goal keeping.
Weymouth forced themselves ahead in short order with two goals which were more or less identical – crash balls into the circle deflected past the keeper at close range – to leave Romsey 2-3 down with less than 10 minutes remaining.
Romsey had dominated possession for most of the match, and had seen 9 shot on target saved by the Weymouth net minder, but were finally able to convert when Fraser and Tim Bailey combined for Sam Barcia to drag the hosts level with moments to go, for a final score of 3-3.

Aldershot & Farnham 0 – 2 Romsey Mens 2nd XI
Romsey Mens 2nd XI opened their account in Hampshire Open league Div 5 with an away win based on clinical finishing at The Army Hockey Centre, Aldershot. Romsey were under pressure straight from the first push back, pinned in their own half by an effective home team ‘German Press’, but the reds were unable to convert their possession into something more tangible.
Almost as soon as Romsey sustained a bit of possession of their own they were able to force a near miss. Ali Nawn found Tyro Charlie Harrigan at the top of the Aldershot circle. Harrigan dropped his marker before turning to shoot sharply on the back hand, surprising the home keeper into a hurried half save. The loose ball dribbled agonisingly onto the goal line with the keeper unsighted, but was scrambled clear by the recovering defence.
The match continued even, with both sides able to sustain possession without really threatening, until James Boggis on the Romsey left picked out Matt Munro close to the ‘Shot circle. Munro cut into the D and flicked precisely past the keeper and high into the left side of the net. Romsey were able to keep out the home side thanks to an excellent save from Adam Sankey, stretching to meet an unsighted shot, and went into half time 1-0 ahead.
The second half saw Romsey dominate possession, attacking with good intent down both flanks. Harrigan was by now cousin chaos in the home circle and was unlucky not to add to his opener. Munro went close again, picking off a poorly directed Aldershot 16 yard hit, advancing into the circle and blasting narrowly wide.
Chris Harwood was the creative spark for the winning goal, using his pace to great effect cutting in from the Romsey right and into the circle before dropping a reverse pass to Ben Manning at the top of the circle, for the attacking midfielder to smash past the home keeper. Sankey was required again as the home side managed to force a series of penalty corners, and produced a memorable double save, first kicking then hitting clear.
Ali Nawn’s excellent match was very nearly crowned when Harrigan threaded a neat pass into the inside right channel for the tall defender to smash across the home keeper, only to see his effort strike the base of the post.

Romsey Mens 2nd XI 3 – 1 Hamble 2nd XI
Romsey Mens 2nd XI began their 2015/16 campaign with a friendly against opposition from two divisions up. Romsey fielded something close to their strongest possible XI and this was just as well. The match started at a furious pace and continued throughout to be a keenly contested affair. Romsey opened the scoring, having gone close a number of times, only to be thwarted by a Hamble Keeper in memorable form, when a Matt Munro crash ball into the circle was met with a deft deflection by a flying Tim Bailey to leave the GK flat footed.
Romsey continued to press, sensing that a second might be decisive, but were undone by their own ambition when Hamble, breaking quickly exposed the out of position home defence. Adam Sankey in the Romsey net was unable to see off all three Hamble attackers, and the visitors levelled for 1-1 at the break.
The home side continued to dominate the second period, maintaining both their shape and their composure as their more illustrious visitors, perhaps expecting an easy ride, began to show signs of cracking, spending progressively more time arguing with the excellent match officials as the game wore on.
Romsey were able to summon a goal on the counter themselves when Greig Stewart fired a rangy pass to James Fraser, who picked out Bailey in front of the keeper. Bailey rounded the keeper to finish with a backhand flick. James Boggis completed the scoring when he materialised as if from thin air at the left hand post to smash into the roof of the net from short range.

Romsey mens training will be in a different place and time from normal, so please take note :

7pm – 9pm at HCS

For those of you who have not been there before bear in mind that it takes about ten minutes to get from the main gate to the pitch, so arrive even earlier than you usually would.

Romsey Men’s 1st XI 2 – 3 Bournemouth Men’s 1st XI

A spirited fightback was insufficient to overcome an early deficit when Romsey travelled to their high division opponents, but the Abbey side can be pleased that they recovered from a very poor start to hold their own in the remaining three quarters of the game.

Romsey fashioned the first chance when striker Lewis Birch won the ball after putting a defender under pressure and the resulting shot was fired through the legs of the advancing goalkeeper and only just wide of the the target.

Soon the visitors were on the back foot however as Bournemouth settled into their rhythm whilst Romsey looked nervous in possession. A rash attempt to force a long ball from defence was picked off and the hosts punished the mistake fully, converting the counter-attack with a low reverse stick effort.

Bournemouth were looking consistently dangerous as they pinned the visitors into their own half,  peppering the final third of the pitch with through balls searching for their ever willing attacking runners, and it was little surprise when a second goal came in similar fashion to the first.

Romsey got themselves back into the game when Ben Mullan drilled a hit into the crowded ‘D’ and Neil Strong showed sharp reactions at the back post to put the ball away after it took a deflection off an attacking stick. Romsey’s attacking pressure won several penalty corners during the game but they were unable to produce much from these opportunities.

In the second half Romsey continued to improve in possession, demonstrating the necessary patience to transfer the ball around the back until the right ball forward presented itself, whilst Mullan earned his sides’ man of the match nomination for working tirelessly in the midfield to link up play. Bournemouth finished a penalty corner with a pinpoint dragflick into the bottom left corner to extend their lead however.

Tom McCarthy had already troubled the defence on several occassions with his silky skills and incisive dribbling and he cut the deficit by driving along the baseline and flicking a finish from a narrow angle as the ‘keeper prematurely stepped out anticipating a pass.

JimEastA big thank you to those ladies last night who were kind enough to listen to my pleas for more ladies to help out with coaching. As I said last night, the only qualification is the willingness to help. If you feel you lack the coaching skills, we can give you those. If you feel you lack the hockey knowledge, we can help you with that too. There are a range of roles within the very broad title of assistant coach which can accommodate all ranges of ability, experience or knowledge.

If you are enthusiastic, everything else is easy. All willing assistants will be welcomed with open arms.

To get involved, email me at monstersnorkel@gmail.com

Thanks again !

Romsey Men’s 1st XI 6 – 6 Hamble Men’s 1st XI

Encounters between these two sides over recent seasons have typically produced plenty of goals and this pre-season friendly at Romsey School certainly lived up to that reputation with a feast of attacking hockey on display. The home side began well with Sam Barcia deflecting in Jack Murray’s flick early on before Tim Bailey fired in a second on the reverse stick after the ‘keeper had parried an initial shot.

Hamble began to build momentum on the back of picking off numerous loose passes from the hosts, who were too often guilty of trying to force the ball past well set opponents. The visitors got on the scoresheet when Romsey erred in allowing a midfielder to drive at the top of the ‘D’ and get a shot off under little pressure. Goalkeeper Lozz Scott kept the first strike out with his kicker but the ball rebounded to the same player and he scored second time around.

Next Hamble counterattacked after a turnover and Scott came off his line to deny a shot, but once more Romsey failed to gather the loose ball and were punished by a finish from a narrow angle. The visitors then took the lead when a straight strike penalty corner found a way through the goalkeeper’s pads, but Lucas Cross tied the scores moments before halftime with a brilliant run and cool finish after being sent into space by Ben Mullan.

After the break Romsey thought they had retaken the lead via a Lewis Birch strike but were denied when the umpires conferred and ruled the ball had previously hit a teammate’s foot. Instead the home side found themselves once again playing catch-up as Hamble scored a fourth, but Neil Strong got them back on terms as he somehow managed to finish a rebound despite falling to the floor at the time.

The see-sawing continued when Jack Forrest-Charde coolly sold the GK a dummy pass and instead roofed a reverse stick flick, but Hamble hit back with two further goals of their own and led once more. Romsey had the final say with yet another effort on the rebound as Birch found the backboard with a crisp strike after Tom Ponsford had set Mullan up for the first shot.

Romsey can take plenty of positives from this performance against higher placed opposition, but will also seek to tighten up certain aspects of their play when they travel to Bournemouth next Saturday for another challenging friendly.

Tom McCarthy played for Romsey Hockey Club since its inception first with the Mens 2nd XI, for whom he scored over 50 goals and was part of a team which was promoted twice in as many seasons, then for the Mens 1st XI enjoying similar successes. He now lives and studies in the USA, and is part of their Olympic Hockey squad. In order to continue to train, with Rio the ultimate goal, he needs to raise USD 2,500. If you wish to make a donation to help him realise his Olympic dream, please click on this link.

Tom pictured playing in the Hampshire Trophy Final which Romsey won 5-2 v Gosport

Tom pictured playing in the Hampshire Trophy Final which Romsey won 5-2 v Gosport

http://www.gofundme.com/8wdzs4

Tom Writes :

“As many of you know im Tom and i play for the USA field hockey team. 5 days a week i step out onto the field at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista pursuing and furthering my ultimate goal of attending the Olympics as an athlete for the USA. Unfortunately this comes at price, with men underrepresented in the USA for field hockey there are limits on funding and with continuous training, travel and competition comes financial sacrifices on my part. So im asking all you generous people to help continue my dream to remain in San Diego and build towards Olympic Qualification for RIO2016. 

With love and many thanks Tom McCarthy”

Romsey Men’s 1st XI 3 – 0 Honourable Artillery Company Men’s 1st XI

Victory in their final league game lifted Romsey to a very respectable 7th place finish for their first season of highly competitive regional hockey in Hants/Surrey Div. 2, but the win was far from straightforward. HAC hit the post and won numerous penalty corners with Joe Welch denying a couple of these efforts on the line, who then went up the other end of the pitch to show the toothless visitors how to finish a set piece, placing a dragflick neatly inside the right post.

Romsey were soon rewarded for their improved play after the break as Mark Gilbert quickly restarted play after being fouled and a clinical move via David Edwards and Jack Forrest-Charde saw Ben Mullan supply an assist for Neil Strong’s pinpoint finish into the corner.

Tom Ponsford - Carded !

Tom Ponsford – Carded !

A third goal soon after appeared to seal the result, with Forrest-Charde’s lifted shot deflected into the roof of the net by Lewis Birch’s lightning sharp reactions.

Romsey were then under the cosh for a ten minute spell with HAC seemingly certain to score on several occasions, only to be denied by last ditch tackling and numerous fantastic saves by man of the match Lozz Scott in goal.

With quarter of an hour left Romsey suffered a wholly unnecessary implosion that threatened to ruin the previous hard work. Tom Ponsford took his complaints to the umpire much too far after a penalty corner was awarded and received a sin-binning for the remainder of the game, and compounded the matter by ignoring instructions from the official regarding where he should serve the penalty, leading to the Romsey captain being yellow carded as well in punishment.

A couple of minutes later the home side were temporarily down to eight players as Birch was carded for a slide tackle, yet HAC actually threatened the goal less than when facing a full side, with Romsey holding on relatively comfortably. This brought the haul from their final nine games to seven wins and a draw, a brilliant run which saw them climb from a position several points adrift at the bottom of the table to their eventual mid-table security.

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