Whilst Abingdon 2 continue their extended Thanksgiving holiday, Abingdon 1 and Abingdon 3 arrived at St. Greg’s this afternoon ready to take on a double dose of Oxford University students.
3pm seems to be Abingdon 1’s slot these days, and the whippersnappers came in the form of Oxford University 1, an athletic and well organised team, so all 8 of us would have to play well.
So… starting with 6 players wasn’t ideal! Beastly ring-road traffic meant Bharavi and her ankles were a few minute late arriving, meanwhile a quick shop purchase meant Alex Girl had some shorts to play in after leaving hers at home! During this period, a Beavan goal was cancelled out by a Uni equaliser, and after a couple of sneaky time-outs one after the other to delay things, The Ankles and The Girl finally made it onto the pitch, and we could proceed as normal with a full contingent…
After none last week against Southampton, we found that “Damien time” was working nicely today. Monsieur had a terribly keen defender marking him terribly tightly, so a few cunning feeds and combination from Bingers, Girly and myself, and Monsieur had two running-in shots in no time at all.
Meanwhile at the other end, Gorka, Alex, Anna and Bhairavi were scrapping away manfully. Being matched for pace, The Catalan Express was being kept quiet, but alas for Uni not quiet enough, a nice goal sunk. A penalty miss *cough* and some chatter about post distances was had, but then a nice Beavan goal meant a 4-1 lead, match progressing nicely…
Meanwhile at the other end, Girly has recently found her shooting hands, WOOSH! I had the best view in the house to watch a graceful long shot nestle nicely into the heart of the korf. Monsieur beat his man one more time, and half time was blown with a very tidy 6-1 lead.
Back to it, and, well… more of the same really! A couple of Uni goals fell in, but only in between the Abingdon goals. Just to make Boy-Wonder feel better, Monsieur Le Fraysse missed a penalty too *cough*, but netting a few more times meant a fine personal tally of 5 for him, tres bien! Girly sunk another long-lovely, and Boy-Wonder and Catalan express all notched further entries onto their scoresheet, one more to Boy and two more to Gorka.
So another tough Uni encounter, but the final result a very convincing 12-3 win, well played all!
So then, up next Abingdon 3 to take on a fresh bunch of whippersnappers, this time Oxford University 2. More speed and tight marking, this would be a tough encounter for our newest players. Well, all apart from Damian Tyler of course, definitely not in the ‘new’ category! Terribly exciting to meet him for a 4th time tonight (that’s a 33% increase right there…)
So then, how did they do? A struggle in the first half unfortunately, the Uni pressure was telling, and a few missed passes out of defence kept the pressure on the defending team, Rich in particular marking a very speed young man (who I named ‘roadrunner’ in a previous match report) and doing very well. Uni created chances, and so it was inevitable that chances would start dropping in, and suddenly they were 4 goals up. But when you need a moment of class, step up Richard 5-goals McGowan from last weekend, a delightful long shot sunk meant a 6-1 advantage to Uni during the interval. Other key moments brought to you by my reporting services are Damian Tyler pushing over a girl, Shirlaine and Sarah doing sterling jobs winning collects and front defending, and Gerard heading the ball out of play!
With team fluidity and attacking tactics not working very well in the first half, Coach-Beavan had a few words to say at half time, and fortunately a better showing in the second half, with things starting to look better.
Dave Plummer, he’s everywhere these days! And his perseverance this afternoon paid off, nipping round his chap and sinking a nice one. Back at the other end…. Gerrrrrd! The one man with enough pace to match them pesky students, countless bursts of speed, I lost count of how many times he skinned his man, but alas couldn’t quite convert. And then a goal went in…. no, foul! Surely give us the goal? No, penalty…. and quite frankly, it was an absolute beauty, nice one Gerrrrrrd!
Rich Golden-Arm McGowan, you just can’t keep him down at the moment. Another tasty long effort, nicely done, two for the afternoon. And Damian T nicked in with one of his own as well meant we drew the second half 4-4, meaning a 10-5 loss to Uni 2. Good effort Abingdon 3!
So then, next weekend is a SUPER SUNDAY! With A1, A2 and A3 all in action, your presence at St. Greg’s will most certainly be required for the following matches:
A1: Saturday 7th December (15:00 vs Didcot 1)
A2: Saturday 7th December (16:15 vs Oxford City 3)
A3: Saturday 7th December (17:30 vs Didcot 2)