Barnes Beavers (3) 5 - Teddington Men's 6s (0) 1
By Dan Sowden
Tom's report below - one for the Apollo 13 fans!
On 9th March, the anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s birth, Barnes faced Teddington, who had made the short Voyage(r) downstream. Our own First Man making a difference was unsurprisingly Alex. He found his usual acres of Space on the right as Barnes got into the game early, which has been a regular feature since Christmas. Missing our usual in midfield launchpad of Chris and Keith, it was suggested in the pre-game huddle that we try a less route one, more expansive game. It paid off early. Will and Joe’s afterburners caused problems out wide and Rory continued his campaign up top of complaining to umpires after getting penalised for backing into defenders. Quickly a short corner paid off, Rory injected to Pops whose shot arced into the bottom left corner.
After the first there was no let-up, Tom G and Ollie ran rings around defenders before the ball made its way to Will. His shot from an improbable angle led to panic on the goal line and after some ping pong, Rory lifted the ball over the keeper into the roof of the net.
Teddington looked to get into the game, but a pairing of Ollie and JP (allowed out of the sticks) hermetically sealed the middle of the pitch, so Kev was hardly troubled all half as Dean and Pat shifted the play from wing to wing. Eventually the possession told again as Barnes won another short but with the usual striking options refuelling on the bench, Tom S decided against shooting for the moon and instead shuttled the ball back to injector Rory, who calmly swept in at the left post.
Three up at halfway, and looking for more goals, Bussey swapped on for JP who kindly umpired the second half, and Barnes were bolstered in defence by the arrival of Dai. Unfortunately, it could be said he was caught a bit cold having not been part of the stellar first half. After an exploratory Teddington attack was rewarded by a short corner, Dai unfortunately conceded a flick as the shot on goal was blocked by his foot. Up stepped Kev for his first real action of the game and having dived the right way, there was no chance the ball would be reaching the net.
Bussey and Alex were in complete control on the right, while Dan, Dean and Joe took charge of the left (at least for the 20 seconds Dan was on the pitch before he was KO’d by a child). As people arrived for following game there were oohs and aahs as Joe manoeuvred his way around and over a pair of Teddington defenders to win Barnes a short corner. Alas it wasn’t put away and quickly after, the defence was caught too high and Teddington had a foothold in the game with a goal against the run of play.
This did not sit well with Barnes, who could remember slipping from winning positions previously in the season, but Ollie had plenty of gas left in the tank. He was involved in setting up Will, which was more than just reward for his brilliant Endeavour all over the pitch. Ollie was again involved in the build-up for Barnes’ fifth, and after a few weeks of misses, Tom S snuck in with a goal late on and it finished 5-1. This puts the Beavers into 5th with 4 wins in the last 5 games, and with an excellent performance up and down the middle of the pitch, Beaver of the Week goes to Ollie, well played!