Game 6 - AGGM O/65's. v Hiroshima Masters - Saturday 18th May 2013
Today there is more than a tinge of sadness - Bob Claxton has had to leave the tour with Anne-Marie, whose sister-in-law is terminally ill from complications of a tropical disease. Our thoughts are with Anne-Marie and all her family at this difficult time.
We make our way to Hiroshima Stadium where the hockey turf is adjacent to the Soccer stadium. It's a big match today, there are spectators everywhere, As the bus drives in, people are waving to us, we feel like sporting celebrities! But apparently they have actually come to watch the soccer game !!! And judging by our standard of hockey that is to come, I am not surprised. We join the queue for Nigel, our friendly Physio, to treat our ageing bodies and ailing muscles and generally strap anything there is to strap in order to keep us on the park. As we wait patiently in line in the treatment room, we are puzzled by the sign on the adjacent door which says Doping Room. Maybe we are going to be drug tested. Or perhaps it is the place to which you go after the game to get some 'ice'.
Hiroshima start with the ball and, in a gesture of friendship, pass It to us. Of course we reciprocate but, judging by the many occasions that this happens during the game, we would have to classify these as unintentional turnovers. Perhaps the missed traps are the result of being distracted by two female players amongst the opposition, and when they are back in defence naturally the circle will be more crowded. There's no Clacko on the bench so Captain Len is trying to give orders from the back but is down to a whisper as laryngitis takes the better of him. We continue to adopt the Claxton tactics and, for all our deficiencies on the day, are making frequent forays into the circle where our striker,who shall be nameless, contrives to have a trio of missed shots on goal, before Lunger finally sweeps home the first goal at his fourth attempt. The gentlemanly conduct of Warren Flower is noted as the referee awards him a goal, but Warren advises the official that the ball hit him on the left foot at the moment he was scoring from nearby the left post. Messrs. Osborn and Flower are both on the scoresheet in the 2nd half, with our fourth from an own-goal after a clean strike by Rod "the Rocket" Dyson. We proceed to the Hiroshima Hockey Reception and are wined and dined at a wonderful evening of international friendship with speeches, awards (best player to Harps who played half the game for the opposition), and much singing and partying.
Australia O/65's 4 (Goal Scorers - S.Williams, B.Osborn, W.Flower)