14. Over 65's AGGM - 2014 Hockey World Cup
8th June 2014 - Den Haag, Netherlands.
Masters Hockey World Cup 2014 - Game 3 v. Germany
A grey, overcast, drizzly morning in The Hague. The Dutch weather forecasters don't seem to be any better than anywhere else in the world. There's a bucketload of sport on the world arena this week and next week - Derby Day in Engand won by a horse called Australia (trained in Ireland but they're good at that, as well as drinking in the pubs), French Open Finals at Roland Garros, F1 racing in Montreal, U.S. Open golf later this week at Pinehurst, World Cup soccer about to start and, oh yes, there's some other hockey going on here just up the road in The Hague - but where else would you want to be than HC Klein Zwitserland for the Masters Hockey World Cup ?!!! The time has come to do battle with the Germans. General Claxton marshall's his troops in the dugout before the opening campaign. Today's code word is Intensity. We open up with all guns blazing and are deep into enemy territory in the first quarter. The German defensive battery has developed the subtle shoving, bumping game into a fine art form. Robbo is giving as good as he gets, bringing the ball into the circle on the right and fires a missile with the ball seemingly heading for the top left corner of the net until the goalie leaps to his right to deflect the ball away with a goalkeeping save of which Mark Schwarzer would have been proud. The German Stormtroopers are firing the long cannon out of defence but do not seriously penetrate as much of the ball is picked off by the Aussie midfield. They try to throw the lifted overhead from just inside their half but the fearless Paicy, under enemy fire, runs straight at 'Fritz', sustains an injury to his hand and is sure to be mentioned in dispatches, perhaps even a V.C. - and, given that he comes from Melbourne, a 'Victorian' Cross seems appropriate. In fact the only cross is the one that comes into the circle and the Germans infringe - penalty corner. The ball comes out, the trap is made and Chopper buries the ball into the back of the net. One up at the main break, we slip into some ill discipline in the third quarter. Paicy is yellow-carded and in the sin bin for five minutes following a tackle considered to be 'not cricket' by the umpire but, as the Germans don't play the game, that's irrelevant. What is more relevant is that within two minutes Don, who claims not to have been benched since he was fifteen, is green-carded for we know not what. Suddenly we only have nine on the park and the ball is turned over. The German cavalry attacks down the left flank, the Aussie defences have run short of troops and the Germans score a lucky goal. The intensity picks up as we get manpower back on the ground. The enemy defenders are using the body to nudge, bump and whatever else, but as soon as the boot is on the other foot, we have the academy award of the year stuff as the German central defender sprawls on the ground claiming all sorts of foul play. Apparently he has diplomatic immunity from the umpires, which is not extended to Baz who is benched for the second time after making a flying tackle and stealing the ball which is obviously not playing the game. The only problem with this is that Chopper Neil was already on the bench after his own brush with officialdom ! We're back to nine players but Robbo up front is right in the heat of battle giving as good as he gets to the extent that we are lucky not to be down to eight. It's trench warfare now as we hold out another German attack, down to the last minutes - numbers are back to ten when, cleverly camouflaged in his bright yellow Aussie playing shirt, lurks Thommo who makes a brilliant intercept and brings the ball into the circle, is about to strike but there's a German tackle. The ball is still with Thommo who sees the goalie coming towards him of the line so passes to the left post. Robbo is about to score when he is crudely taken out by a defender, the umpire's hand goes up, penalty stroke ! The lot falls on the shoulders of Keith Chay to convert but, in an act of great Aussie diplomacy, he allows the goalie to make the save. It's a drawn game but, with the chance of both countries going through, it is possible that there could be another encounter, but "don't mention the.............", although Basil got away with it once !
Germany O/65's 1
Australia O/65's 1 (Goal Scorer - Neil Sue See)