Date : Saturday 25th. January 2014
Fixture : Bridgnorth Fathoms v Stafford Fathoms / 5th. Team
Venue : On Grass Pitch outside Bridgnorth Hockey Club ( Victoria Road, Bridgnorth WV16 4 LB )
Push-Back : 2.15pm
Score : 2-1 ( H/T 2-1 ) ( Won )
Scorers : Dan Wheawall & Alan Snell
MOM : Declan Martin
( Nominated by John Sinclair as Stafford Fathom Captain & Paul Rennie as Stafford Fathom Vice Captain )
Umpires : N/A
Stafford Fathom Team / 5th. Team ( 9 players ) :
Bridgnorth Player ( GK ), Paul Rennie ( drove certain team members to Bridgnorth ), John Sinclair, Alan Snell ( went direct to Bridgnorth ), Dan Wheawall, Matthew Till, Tyler Murray ( parents took him direct to game ), Kyle Rennie, Declan Martin ( drove certain team members to Bridgnorth ), Taran Bassie & Bridgnorth Player ( replacement for Will Trotter ).
The Fathom Team wanted to try and build on last week’s magnificent win at Stone Hockey Club against Cannock Fathoms Re : the 3-1 win, but at the beginning of the week they had to ask Bridgnorth if they could borrow a goalkeeper from them for this game and then on Friday the Stafford Fathom Team unfortunately lost one of their regular young players to another Stafford Team, so a quick phone call / text by Stafford Fathom Captain to Bridgnorth Fathom Captain, Tony Swales to ask him if their Fathom Team could also borrow them a player as well as a keeper, which they replied they could. Then on Saturday morning Bridgnorth’s Captain texted Stafford Fathom Captain before 10am to say that their Grass Pitch was playable, even though there had been lots of rain the night before & during the week.
The Fathom Team arrived at Bridgnorth Hockey Club three quarters of an hour before the 2.15pm pushback, to find the grass pitch that they would be playing on in excellent condition, with no water what so ever lying on the surface of it.
Stafford started the game with 10 players on the pitch, as young Tyler Murray hadn’t arrived with his parents, but they had texted the Stafford Fathom Captain 15 minutes before the pushback time of 2.15pm, to say they would be there asap, as they had been delayed leaving Stafford and had been held up on route to the game at Bridgnorth. Also Bridgnorth Fathoms had as promised lent Stafford Fathom Team with a keeper of 13 years of age and an experienced player ( who will shortly be retiring from work ) to replace young Will Trotter ( who up until this game, had a 100% appearance record for the Stafford Fathom / 5th. Team this season ), as he had opted on Friday nite to play for another Stafford Team. Anyhow, Stafford Fathoms / 5th. Team found themselves playing against a Bridgnorth Fathom Team full of very experienced players and no youngsters and within 5 minutes they found themselves 1-0 down to this experienced side. Then the skies above them got darker & darker, then there was rumbles of thunder and then there was lightening and the 2 umpires decided quiet rightly, to stop the game immediately and get everyone inside the clubhouse as quickly as possible. Then there was more thunder and a lot more powerful lightening which appeared to be just in front of the clubhouse and then a massive hailstorm ensued, which covered the ground / pitch outside the clubhouse in a thick layer of white hail. When the storm had appeared to have died down after about 20 minutes or so, a number of pitch inspections were made by both Fathom Captains and the 2 Umpires and it was decided to play on the hailstorm covered pitch, but to reduce the game to 20 minutes each way, due to the state of the pitch, the light not being very good and the likelihood that it would be getting dark about an hour later. The umpires decreed that the goal that Bridgnorth Fathom Team scored before the game was stopped due to the severe weather conditions, would stand. When the play re-started Stafford Fathoms now had 11 players on the pitch, as young Tyler Murray had arrived just before the game was temporarily stopped due to the severe weather conditions. When the game did re-start, players were slip sliding all over the place, it certainly seemed to effect certain Stafford Fathom Players, especially Matthew Till & Paul Rennie ( and as a result of their comical way they went over on their backsides, when trying to stop on the wet & slippy pitch, I think both of them might be contenders for Dancing On Ice or Splash TV programmes next week, but not sure which though ) and Stafford appeared to adapt a lot better to the conditions than their hosts, Bridgnorth and created a number of good chances in the 20 minutes of the reconvened first half, which they coverted 2 of them into goals. Stafford’s first goal on this wet & slippy pitch was created from the left back, Taran Bassie winning the ball in a tackle, then passing it smartly to Declan Martin in midfield ( who was later nominated man of the match ), he then did a short pass to Alan Snell in the centre of the wet pitch, he then passed it to Matthew Till on the right wing, he then struck it into the Bridgnorth ‘D’ where Dan Wheawall picked it up and fired a ‘Screamer’ pass the Bridgnorth Keeper / Captain and this ensured Stafford were now on level terms with their opposition, Bridgnorth. Then before Stafford got their second goal, which was just before half time. Young Kyle Rennie had an absolute terrific shot on goal, that was unfortunately saved brilliantly by the Bridgnorth Fathom Keeper / Captain and it would have been Kyle’s first goal for Stafford Fathoms. Stafford Fathoms second goal was created by young Tyler Murray getting the ball up front on the left hand side of the pitch and he then made a short pass to young Kyle Rennie, who then passed it to Alan Snell in the Bridgnorth ‘D’ , who looked up and saw where the Bridgnorth Keeper was in his goals and placed it to the far left of his goal and this goal ensured at half time Stafford were leading 2-1 against their hosts, Bridgnorth. Stafford also had to thank the young 13 year old Bridgnorth keeper playing between the posts for them, as on a number of occasions in the first half he had to make a number of good saves on behalf of Stafford and on one occasion he had to make a really good sliding tackle against one of his senior Bridgnorth players and in the process got a soaked backside.
Unfortunately the second half was reduced to less than 10 minutes of play by the 2 Umpires, as the ball was getting bogged down in massive puddles which were now appearing all over the pitch and when the ball landed in one of these massive puddles, players were getting soaked, as players tried desperately to hit the ball out of these massive puddles. However, it was fun to watch a player trying to make the ball move in these puddles and players trying to tackle the ball of them and getting sprayed from the excess water on the pitch, which resulted in them getting drenched / soaked. When the Umpires blew to stop the game due to the pitch being waterlogged and was preventing free flowing hockey being played by both sides, everyone came off the pitch soaked and a few of them were quiet muddy from going over on their backsides on this waterlogged pitch, Stafford claimed technically that they had beaten their hosts Bridgnorth 2-1 in these atrocious weather conditions, but both sides agreed that they had thoroughly enjoyed the bizzare game of ‘water polo hockey’, just like they did a couple of seasons ago when the 2 teams continued playing one another on a snowy covered pitch at Cannock Hockey Club.
As a result of the manner in which both sides played this game, the experienced Bridgnorth Player who played / helped out Stafford Fathoms on Saturday and will be retiring from work some time soon, he asked after the game in the clubhouse, if our Stafford Fathom Team could come back and play Bridgnorth Fathoms on their grass pitch again on a Saturday in April in a friendly / testimonial game to celebrate him retiring from work ( this game will probably be pencilled in on the first Saturday after the Fathom Season has finished i.e. Saturday 5th. April, but it definitely won’t be on Saturday 12th. April, as Bridgnorth have already arranged something on this date and it is also Stafford Hockey Club’s Hockey Festival / Beer Festival on this date ) and by then their grass pitch should have dried out.
Man of the Match at the end of this bizzare game was awarded to Declan Martin by both Stafford Fathom Captain, John Sinclair and Stafford Fathom Vice Captain, Paul Rennie, as they felt he adapted best to the conditions and also played one of his best games so far this season for the Fathoms.
The next Fathom’s game this Saturday ( 1st. February ) should be at Home against Aldridge & Walsall ‘A’ Fathom Team ( which Stafford lost Away to 4-1 back in October of last year, with the solitary goal coming from young Will Trotter ) and it is a 10.00am pushback at Beaconside and all 9 players who played in the game against Bridgnorth Fathoms have all said they are available for this Aldridge & Walsall ‘A’ Fathom Team game this Saturday and all players picked to play in this Aldridge & Walsall ‘A’ Fathom Team game will need to meet promptly at Beaconside for 9.30am this Saturday. Will Trotter, Damon Morbey & Harry Coltman who missed the bizzare Bridgnorth Fathom Game, have already said they are available again for this Aldridge & Walsall ‘A’ Fathom Team game this Saturday. However, yet again Stafford Fathoms are needing / requiring a keeper to play between the posts for them in this Aldridge & Walsall ‘A’ Fathom Team game this Saturday + they also require 2 Umpires ( please let us know asap, if you are available to Umpire our Fathom Game at 10am at Beaconside this Saturday – Thanks ).
Anyone and Everyone is welcome to come along to Beaconside to watch and support the Stafford Fathom / 5th. Team this Saturday Re : 10am pushback and if you do come along to watch, it will definitely be appreciated by the younger members of the fathom team, in that it shows to them that other members of the club are interested in how they are developing & progressing.