Game 3 - AGGM O/65's v. Yamanashi - Sunday 12th May
The Imperial Hotel will be hard to match, save for the lengthy queues for breakfast !!! It's Mothers Day and, in a beautiful gesture from Alannah all the girls are presented with a carnation. But today is a more special day - it's Bunny Osborn's big birthday and, on the bus, we break into song to acknowledge this landmark day - Happy Birthday, Bunny !!! We head out of Tokyo on the team bus, past snow capped Mount Fuji again, through the valley surrounded by more mountains and arrive in Yamanashi. It's a warm sunny day in the high 20's, we locate the Yamanashi Gakuin hockey stadium at Yamanashi University and see youthful females warming up on the pitch, some naively thinking that these are to be our opponents. As we come out of the changing rooms ready for play, it becomes apparent that our real opponents are a team of equally youthful Japanese men. Within minutes, team Yamanashi are running rings around us, they're moving into space, their passes are crisp and quick, it's a different level of hockey. It's a clinical performance and we're three goals in arrears at the long break, but it might have been six. Yamanashi add a fourth just after half-time but, with wonderful sportsmanship, take their foot off the pedal, lifting two shots over the crossbar, making mis-traps and allowing us into the game. Lunger and Bill score consolation goals as we try to copy our opponents with ball possession and inter-passing. We feel like we have been running all the way from Tokyo to Mount Fuji, the difference being that we have been moving akin to the suburban railway train with many stops compared with the bullet train speed of our opponents. We finish a distant second to the youth of Yamanashi who have run us all over the ground in a memorable display of hockey.
Australia O/65's 2 (Goal scorers - Simon Williams, Bill Osborn)