Men

Focus for Men

Romsey travelled to Wide Lane looking to get the season back on track against a strong Southampton University 3s side.

The match started in typical frantic fashion. Romsey struggled to string passes together as the University side pressed high and put pressure on the ball. That pressure told early as Romsey lost the ball on the halfway line and the students surged forwards setting up an easy finish from the penalty spot.

Romsey tried to orchestrate an immediate comeback but despite some good breaks found it difficult to create any clean cut chances. Continuing to commit men forward, the travelling team were dispossessed on the opposition 25 in the dying minutes resulting in a 3 on 1 counter attack and another goal to take the score to 2-0 at the break.

Half time brought about a lively discussion and concluded with a Spencer Le Grande inspired change in approach.

A slightly deeper midfield gave more passing options for the defence and the more composed approach to developing attacks created immediate success. A well worked short corner took the scores to within one as Rob Noble rifled the ball across the D and Rob Kerr slotted home from close range.

Romsey continued to look in control for large parts of the second half and an inevitable equaliser came by way of Martin Simpson-Scott’s reverse stick with 15 minutes to play. It looked like that breakthrough could signal more and Romsey were favourites to win for the remainder of the match. A couple of half chances were batted away before a last minute string of University short corners set hearts racing but were soundly dismissed by the solid Romsey defence.

The 2-2 draw a fair result in the end. Both teams would feel they could have won it but a battling comeback gave promise for the upcoming games. A special mention

MOM: Rob Noble

DOD: Rob Kerr – always bring a match shirt

Despite last week’s 2-3 setback; a reasonably confident, but depleted RHC 2nd’s set off literally into

the eye of the storm – Storm Brian – to face US Portsmouth. However, bar a pre-match shower, it

was not to be the elements but the on field antics that proved tempestuous!

As expected, RHC’s defence were soon put under pressure by a speedy, feisty, well-drilled

opposition, who constantly probed and harried to get the ball. Mostly fairly, but always pushing the

limits. All decisions were verbally contested and RHC’s young team did well to remain composed.

Rob N and Jimmy P worked tirelessly to contain very lively forwards, ably supported by JCB and Hugh

Davidson. Many attacks were snuffed out and those that did get through found Nigel K back to his

best in goal. In midfield, Ali N and Greig S worked their socks off with Cam Le G and Ben D a constant

threat out wide. Unfortunately, RHC were always chasing, as such there was not much joy in the

final quarter. Neil S had to come back to get any ball; in effect, we were forced into a half-court

game – their choice, not ours! This constant pressure was always likely to tell and resulted in several

penalty corners against. RHC dealt well against good, varied routines, but one deflected shot found

its way through the RHC wall, via a defenders body. 1-0 down at half-time; all things considered not

a bad half.

Efforts remained positive in the second half, but an early penalty corner shot wide for a planned

deflection soon made it 2-0 down. Pressure started to tell and, as tempers started to fray, umpire

control started to degenerate. To be fair, the home umpire did issue three green cards and one

yellow to US P… but RHC also picked up two separate yellow cards. On reflection, all justified.

During this period of to and fro, both sides were awarded several penalty corners, more to US P than

RHC, but neither side could convert. RHC played the last 10 minutes one player short, home pressure

told and an overload led to a third goal against. Undeterred, RHC kept playing structured hockey, but

a last minute breakaway 3 v 1 on goal left the final score 4-0 down.

In summary, a difficult game and certainly one of our more demanding. However, there were several

fine personal performances. Both defence and midfield actually played quite well, our formation

worked and we have gelled as a team. Unfortunately, this time, we were just a little bit too

stretched. Both Noah and Bailey, playing in midfield, showed flashes of inspiration and are certainly

prospects for the future – well done both! We now face 5 very winnable league games. If we believe

and execute our routines as planned, we will do it.

MoM: Cam & Rob N (excellent performances)

DoD: Ali (over strenuously defending the cause; he likes the hat anyway)

Romsey faced a tricky away trip to Lavant who boasted a 100% record from their three previous outings in the season so far, while Romsey had played only once picking up an away point.

The game started evenly, and it was the solid defence of Romsey, with Duncan Sanders and Dave Loescher commanding the centre at the back that allowed Ben Parker to play a superb clearance to Elliot Colyer.  The youngster moved the ball up the Romsey right before playing it on to Colin Harwood, his first time pass played in James Fuller, who had much to do.  The 13 year old Fuller drove down the right and cut in to the Lavant circle pulling the Lavant keeper to cover the near post, Fuller calmly played it to the back post for Josh Harwood to coolly swipe the ball in for 1-0.

Soon after Romsey doubled their lead, some good central interchange of passes between the reliable Dave Andrews, Rob Cavalier and Josh Harwood see the latter move in to the circle, after his first attempt was blocked Harwood reverse swept the ball in to the far corner for 2-0 Romsey.

Romsey then had to absorb some Lavant pressure, but a long clearance from the Romsey circle found its way up field via Carl Hendy and James Fuller, with the Lavant keeper then in two minds as to whether to leave it or keep it in play, his weak clearance was picked up by Josh Harwood who finished in style for his hat-trick in his Man of the Match performance.

This saw Lavant raise their game, and after winning a couple of penalty corners which Romsey stoutly defended, a good through ball saw debutant Romsey keeper Nick Welby upend the centre forward, and a penalty stroke was awarded.  Welby, who hadn’t played a match for 21 years, was more than up for the challenge, using his experience to calmly save the stroke and keep it 3-0 at half time.

The second half saw Romsey absorbing pressure, James Tower at right full back was able to clear on a number of occasions and allow Elliot Colyer and James Fuller to break, and a good move between the two played in Josh Harwood to cross for Colin Harwood, who managed to push his shot on the base of the post and the rebound was cleared.

Romsey stretched their lead soon afterwards though, when Carl Hendy played in Colin Harwood who made no mistake pushing the ball past the keeper and the far post for 4-0.

Lavant still upped their game, and stout defending from Stuart Robertson saw him take a nasty deflection above his right eye and had to leave the field for the rest of the match.  This allowed Lavant to finally pull a goal back after two fine saves from Welby and clearances from Parker, Loescher and Sanders.

Lavant pushed for a second, and Romsey looked tired, but a long clearance upfield from Parker to Cavalier allowed the left half to play the ball to Colin Harwood, with Lavant having committed players up field Harwood took the ball in to the circle and his shot bounced under the keepers foot for 5-1.

Lavant had the last word with a consolation in last minute for 5-2, but Romsey were delighted with their efforts which were built on solid defending and great central midfield play from Dave Andrews and Josh Harwood, allowing the younger players to express themselves brilliantly.

Romsey 2nd XI welcomed a strong Swanage and Wareham team to HCS to defend our position at top of the table. Romsey fielded a strong line-up, but with a couple of regulars away, some positional rejigging was required.

The acclimatisation period was evident for the first 10 minutes as we figured things out. A few weak passes and some equally weak tackling allowed Swanage to counter repeatedly, although the back four of Rob, Noah, Jamie and Ben did manage to keep them at bay, with the experienced Nigel making his usually selection of spritely saves. Eventually we settled down and started playing some good hockey. Pass speed went up and we made some good counter breaks down both wings through Cameron and Ben Davidson, with Ali and Christian both finding the wide men regularly.

The breakthrough eventually came from some good interpassing between Mozza, Art and fellow forwards in the Swanage D, with Ali managing to get on the end of one for a “lanky reverse stick wobble” shot into the back of the goal.

Swanage however, quickly clawed on back with some good passing to find a lone forward who managed to slot away an opportunistic reverse stick shot. 1-1 at half time.

The second half saw Romsey continue to play some good fast hockey. Swanage, obviously tiring from a frantic first 35 mins, opted to sit deeper in their own half after the whistle. This allowed us to build our attacks more constructively and penetrate their D on regular occasions. Cameron particularly effective on the left wing, until a cynical Swanage shoulder rendered him unable to walk on a dodgy ankle.

Romsey bagged their second goal after an Ali Nawn short-corner piledriver drilled a Swanage defender on the foot infront of goal. P-flick awarded, Ali to step up and slot away. 2-1.

The lead was short lived though, when Swanage countered quickly, making their way down field for yet another reverse stick shot into the back of the net. 2-2.

Romsey then really started taking the game to Swanage to claw back the lead. Some fantastic one-two passing upfront leading to some good chances often shying just wide of the mark. The rare chance Swanage did manage to get into our D, they won a short, and a rather effective drag flick into the top left gave them the lead. 3-2.

With time running out, Romsey piled the pressure on Swanage for the remainder of the game with frantic play upfront trying to find that last goal. Unfortunately, time ran out before we were able to get a successful shot in.

Overall, a really good performance from the 2nd XI in terms of quality hockey and shear effort. The scoreline was not really a fair reflection of the game, but Swanage proved to be a more physical and experienced side than we have faced so far this year. Onwards and upwards.

DoD: Nigel King – ‘dropping the mic’ in the team Whatsapp group chat

MoM: team as whole from good all round performance

Romsey Men’s 2’s first outing of the season meant a trip to Fareham at HMS Collingwood. With a few of the regulars absent from the line up, it meant that at the start of play it was an unfamiliar 11 players lined up to take on this unpredictable Fareham 6’s side.

You wouldn’t have thought that this bothered Romsey at all after watching the initial 10 minutes of Hockey, with some good passing and creative skill to create an opening for Captain of the day “Mozza” to score. The move was Romsey’s best of the match so far with good work from Ben Davidson, now revelling in the spot light after his older brother Hugh while he’s away, to get in down the right and a quick pass to Sam B who squared for Moz at far post. 1-0 to Romsey.

In the space of the next 10 minutes however, Fareham had got themselves in front. Overloads in the Romsey D helped by hitting the ball long through the channels, thusly cutting out the entire midfield, meant Fareham started looking dangerous going forward and an extra man at back post on one move meant Fareham were able to fire home for the 1st to go 1-1. The second came after a tough 10 minutes for the Romsey defence with Nigel King providing some excellent saves until finally having one get past him on the rebound for Fareham to go 2 -1 up

Romsey responded well though and after some constant pressure pegging Fareham back, another nice move down the right from Ben led to Art Barcia having enough space to set up his brother Sam Barcia to first time reverse hit low at the back post under the Fareham keeper for Romsey to go back to 2 – 2.

Half time talks were constructive and after a conversation between defensive stalwarts Jim Ponsford and Rob Noble, the defensive shape was altered slightly to block out the long hitting tactics of Fareham in the most part of the second half. Fareham pushed forward to try and get back in front but never looked as dangerous as they did in the first half. Romsey on the other hand were moving the ball nicely with Man of the Match Felix Chapman-Sheath providing some quick one twos to help make it 3 – 2 to Romsey. This time it was Sam again who broke free at the top of the D and produced a majestic flick to lob the keeper as he slid out. Quite superb.

4 – 2 to Romsey came in the dying minutes of the game as a now tired looking Fareham pushed higher up the field were cut down by a fantastic passing move which ended up in Cameron Le-Grande hitting the ball home in clinical fashion to seal the game.

It was a tough first away game of the season for Romsey 2’s but the cool heads and the constant threat of their front five meant they came away with a well fought 3 points to keep them top of Hants Division 4.

Romsey finally kicked off their season in the Men’s 4s after a postponement the previous week with a hard fought point away at Alton.

Romsey had three 13 year olds making their Men’s debuts, and with half the team 16 or under it was an even split of youth and experience.

Romsey started the brighter, and Josh Harwood was unlucky when his goal bound shot blown up for a high ball after it hit the defenders leg.

Will Ritchie on the left of midfield made some excellent runs combining with Will Richards and James Manning to carve the Alton defence open, and soon after a ball played to Colin Harwood at the top of the circle who played it square to Josh Harwood, he beat his man and squared it back to Harwood Senior, another one two between the pair took out the keeper allowing Colin Harwood to put the ball in the empty goal.

Soon after Romsey doubled their lead, a fine  through ball from Dave Andrews in centre midfield was fired in to the circle and Top marksman Carl Hendy got a deft touch to glance it past the keeper for 2-0.

Romsey didn’t have it their own way and Duncan Sanders and Dave Loescher had to make several interceptions to clear Romsey lines, a hit outside the circle from Alton was deflected on to the Romsey post, and cleared and Bryn Wathen was called upon to make three clearances.

With James Tower supporting down the right, it looked like Romsey might get a third as James Fuller, Will Ritchie and Josh Harwood all came close, but Romsey were undone just before half time when they gave away a penalty corner and Alton made it 2-1.

The second half saw Alton up their game Romsey were left to absorb pressure. Elliot Colyer held his own at right back, cutting out a number of Alton plays and then using his skill to move up the right hand side.

Romsey almost got a third from a breakaway when Rob Cav was played in but his shot hit a foot and Romseys penalty corner was cleared off the line, and then James Fuller was in but the keeper narrowed the angel to make the save.

With 15 minutes to go Alton got the equaliser they deserved and they led to an exciting last quarter with both sides having chances.

Andrews and Hendy both had half chances, while Colyer created opportunities up the right but Fuller, Ritchie and Harwood jnr couldn’t covert in to goal scoring plays.

The Alton keeper managed to lay on top on Harwood Senior which resulted in a penalty corner and both players receiving their teams awards in the clubhouse after.

A fair result in the end as Wathen in goal and the solid defence kept Alton out.

After two months of reasonable game and set piece training, but hampered by poor pre-league availability, a buoyant Romsey team finally delivered the goods against a relatively limited 10-man opposition.  Playing with our preferred single forward, five-man midfield and one-three defence plus three subs, a crushing result of 9-1 in our favour provided just the start that was needed.

RHC got the perfect start when Mozza Simpson-Scott seized on a defensive error to round the keeper within the first minute; this was backed up by a mazy, lanky run plus lunge from Ali Nawn – 2-0 in ten minutes.  Play then continued back and forth for most of the half.  Surprisingly, B&S won the first few penalty corners, but the home defence, well marshalled by Rob Noble and Jimmy Ponsford, held firm.  Following a couple of sharp saves from Nigel King in goal, a loopy miss-hit deceived everyone – 2-1!  Disappointed, but not undone, RHC immediately responded with Tom Wigley easing through and making it 3-1.  RHC then started to really dominate.  Strong performances from Jamie Sanderson in defence aided by Ben Davidson on the right and Felix Chapman-Sheath and Mozza higher up ensured that the ball was kept alive; several further chances went begging.  Not that everything was all one sided, the left flank of James Croft-Baker (JCB) and Cameron Le Grande also provided a constant threat.

After a positive half-time talk, RHC really turned the screw.  Six more goals followed:  Tom, Mozza, Ben, Ali and Noah Cooper (2).  Overall, RHC used the ball well, switching left and right, probing, but coming back as required; exactly to plan.  Even better, player availability for ball release was much improved; good calling and direction also helped.  On the down side, some ill considered individual runs, the odd aerial or wishful 45 degree pass still led to lost possession; patience is needed here.  Play the game plan, simple, considered; keep the ball, then pounce.  RHC gained any number of penalty corners.  Whilst we did not score, there were several near misses and, in the main, all routines looked dangerous.  Considering we had 14 players and numerous substitutions, it was good to see the team so effective in this essential set play; well worth our pre-league practices.

In summary, an excellent start against a weaker team; more demanding games will follow.  League debutants Jamie (MoM), Noah and Felix all played their part – well done.  Given their ages and relative inexperience, this was really pleasing.  A further mention must also go to Spencer Le Grande who managed to execute Ali’s substitution plan without fault; pace, structure and rhythm were maintained throughout.  Not mentioned above, but still worthy of note:  Christian Pain for a mature performance in central midfield playing ahead of Ali and Dave Miles who covered most positions in defence at some stage.

This year’s AGM is at 7:00pm at The Phoenix Pub, Romsey on Monday 12th June – Monday after the End of Season Do!

Here we will discuss the agenda which is in the process of being established when formalised the main discussion points will be about committee positions for next year, the following positions are available to ALL club members regardless of age!

  • Sponsorship Secretary: to hand over from Alex Budden who has made great resources this year but is unable to commit to another year due to work commitments.
  • Social Secretary: after two excellent social years Emma Bouchard is stepping down, we look usually to have two members in this role ideally one representative from the ladies and another from the mens side of the club.
  • Ladies 2XI Captain : following Bethan’s amazing three years as captain she is stepping down.
  • Ladies 1XI Captain: a role which is being adapted slightly from Erica Jenner who has done an ace job for two years.

If you are interested please contact the people named in the roles currently. Colin Harwood as Club Chairman and also Emily Slade as club secretary could also enlighten you on the roles.

The roles have got flexibility in terms of how many people do them and what you do with the role. The main stipulation is you attend as many of the committee meetings as possible; these are usually held about every 8 weeks during the playing season.

Our committee are integral to the running of the club and to keep it moving forward whilst bringing the club together as much as possible. If you could let me know if you are interested please contact me prior to the AGM.

Look forward to hearing from you!

Hog Roast and Awards Evening

When: Friday 9th June 2017 – 7pm ’til late
Where: Crossfield Hall, Romsey

Arrive from 7pm.

Bring you own …

All tickets must be purchase prior to the event.

Invite open to all families and parents.

£25 per ticket

Purchase tickets via online banking for free raffle ticket – please use reference “your_surname 2017EOS”

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