13. Over 65's AGGM - 2014 Hockey World Cup
7th June 2014 - Den Haag, Netherlands.
Masters Hockey World Cup 2014 - Game 2 v. Wales
We wake to blue sunny skies and the prospect of 26deg.C . Should be good for Aussies but not sure that the boyo's from down the Welsh valleys will have played too many hockey games in this weather. Breakfast is done and we retire to the Conference room where Coach Claxton has a different sort of T CUP for us - Total Control Under Pressure. Apparently if we drink enough T out of the CUP we will need Bob's diuretic mnemonic 4P's - Position, Possession, Participation, and Patience. Our selfless coach has risked major injury yesterday, climbing the Video tower to take film of the Wales / Italy game so we have inside information before we leave for the ground. Robbo selflessly arranged for wife Liz to take a short trip back to the U.K. in order to visit South Wales, ostensibly to see family, but rumour has it that she is actually an under-cover agent planted to acquire intricate details of Welsh Masters Hockey tactical game plans !!! Today the bus is on time and the driver takes us on the scenic route to the ground, past ducks and cows and green fields and canals. It is the antithesis of yesterday's journey as we arrive with almost three hours to spare before the start of our game and for most it is premature to retire to the beer tent !!! It seems today that our Dutch hosts may have misread our schedule as we run onto a ground that appears that it might actually be the sand at Scheveningen, although the beach party is not scheduled until Wednesday ! Our Welsh opponents in their traditional red shirts set up a defensive wall with a degree of physicality that the Welsh rugby team keep in reserve for the Wallabies visiting Cardiff Arms Park and the Millenium stadium. It is a torrid affair with many Aussie penetrations into the attacking twenty-five but only half of these ending up in the circle, such was the tenacity of the Welsh defence. We finally win a penalty corner, the ball comes out, trapped, Chopper Neil pushes left, ball comes back and moved to the right where Tony, who is skulking around near the spot, sweeps the ball home and we're one up. The deadlock is broken, we have control of the game, the ball is moved around through the defence and midfield, and back again. It seems like a game of chess, though Coach Claxton would like to see the boys on their bikes and take on the Welsh dragons more incisively. Wales hit a long ball well down into their attacking twenty-five with the ball going over the right side-line. There is a brief moment of panic as Aussie player Keith (we have three Keith's in the team and your scribe is not prepared to divulge which one ...... but we all know anyway !!!), hears the goalie call for the ball so takes a rapid free hit to the top of the defensive circle - goalie arrives for the kick down field. There is a brief moment of panic as the goalie (we have two but I'm not prepared to divulge that either, as one is the Vice-Captain) steps out feeling a million dollars and makes a deft pass like Ronaldo, only problem is that the pass is directly to the opposition forward who somehow manages to put his shot comfortably wide of the left post. Into the second half and the Welsh are rarely to be seen in the Aussie defensive half of the field. We win a further penalty corner. Robbo injects the ball to the top of the circle and this time it is moved outside the left post where the flying Robbo sweeps the ball home. We're two up and then it is a hard slog to the finish line against a team who have marked up tight in defence all day, and continue to repel our multiple forays into the circle.
Wales O/65's 0
Australia O/65's 2 (Goal Scorers - T.Rodgers, K. Robertson)