Sunday, 19 October 2014

Lee Valley Preseason Tournament

Sunday is a day of rest for many, but not for the esteemed hockey players of Barts and the London.  Sunday fixtures come with their own tribulations of scrambling together a team and hoping for the best. However this Sunday was slightly different, as a team of established hockey players descended on Lee Valley, with the exception of some otherwise engaged members of the club, to partake in a round-robin tournament against other London universities. The tournament involved Queen Mary, University of East London, LSE, and GKT, and we were given the luxury of playing Queen Mary as our first game, at 9;30 in the morning.

Vs. Queen Mary 2nds (1st xi of QM) 1-1

The early start did not favour either team, with the push back having to be delayed due to the late arrival of a host of the BL squad. This meant warm up time was limited to a few shots on goal before push back of one of the more important games of the day. Having beaten QM 3-1 a few weeks previously, BL tails were high and the start of the mini game reflected this, with Mingey Tibs getting on the score sheet early on with his first (?) ever BL goal. The pressure on the QM goal was relentless from BL, and on the rare occasion QM broke free, the defence easily mopped the lose balls up. The pressure lasted right until the last second until “Captain Fantastic” had a mini-stroke and mistrapped a ball on the reverse stick to allow the QM centre forward a free shot on goal, which he duly dispatched. Queue relentless mocking and battery aimed at Yard Shower for the foreseeable future.

Vs. University of East London 1s 2-0

BL men carried the same relentless pressure exerted in the QM game in the game against another new rival, UEL. However this side were far more accomplished than QM and also had the BL Boys making some important last-ditch tackles. Strong performances from Randy, Burleigh, and Aquapedo kept UEL at bay. This allowed for the BL attack to exert their prowess, and Mingey Tibs to prove the old saying about buses and waiting a while for them to come, true. The first BL goal was a somewhat scrappy affair with Mingey Tibs claiming the final touch on a ball that was squirming around on the line. His second goal however, was a goal that oozed class that we have been waiting a whole year to see. Spray and Lay turning provider by hitting a sublime cross from the left hand side allowing Mingey Tibs to deflect high into the UEL net. Final score 2-0 BL win.

Vs. LSE 1s 0-4

The exertions of the previous two games combined with a long break between games and payer turning up late for push back combined to hand BL a somewhat embarrassing defeat to a team who have just been relegated to our BUCS league. However onwards and upwards as they all say.

Vs. GKT 1s 0-2

After the previously game BL were looking to really bounce back and give a good show of themselves at this tournament and with this game they certainly managed that. A combination of intense work rate, modifying our game plan when things weren’t working, and keeping hold of the ball meant that we managed to keep GKT largely at bay, which is no mean feat when you come up against a team 2 leagues above you. The two goals that GKT did score were characteristic of teams higher in the leagues: a well worked short corner, and a sublime individual goal.

Overall the tournament was a relative success for BL, coming third overall with only GKT and LSE finishing above them. This provides a fantastic platform to play the first game of the BUCS season away at Essex.

MoT: Mingey Tibs
DoT: Yard Shower for effectively handing in a transfer request to QM 2nd by gifting them a goal.

Second Preseason

BL 1s vs RVC 1s 

It began on toasty winters afternoon. The odd daring sun ray peaking yonder the clouds afront. The temperature a mild 18'C. The umpires were prompt on arrival, trousers pressed and whistles ready to be whistled. The Vetz squadron readied themselves at the stratford end, mirrored by the mighty white and black that was Barts and the London (with the exception of the asian late comers of course). TWITAWOOO (whistle sound) - '2 mins boys' howled the umpire. Balls were flung onto the sideline, tracksuits stripped and a huddle formed. '1, 2, 3, BL' shouted the somewhat podgy captain. Push back. The match commenced in the usual fashion. Hockey was played. The match ended. The score was 4 to nothing. Another BL win. Good night and God bless xxx

First Preseason

Derby Day round 1: BL Vs QM 

The stage was set. Merger cup had been a tense affair so the team was keen to put right many wrongs from the last time out. Foremost the number of cards awarded (though if that had been achieved I wouldn’t be writing this report).

However captain yardshower had a cunning plan to ensure we regained our dominance. The aforementioned plan, obviously concocted whilst partially intoxicated and watching Man utd’s preseason tour, involved the now infamous 3-4-3 formation and a change in tactics which fundamentally resembled all-out attack.

So with the stage set and our new philosophy implemented the game began to a rather surprising start. A rough pre-season version of our classic champagne hockey began to emerge as we began the game in a dominant fashion. A spray and lay opened the scoring with his and the team’s first of the season with a crisp low strike. El presidente Ike then added a second soon after with one of his trademark ‘bundled’ finishes.

Unfortunately our tempo faded with the first half and complacency due to our earlier dominance allowed for a rare opportunity to be presented to our opposition which they gleefully nudged in without quite believing their luck. From there on in the game became a tense affair with the score precariously balanced at 2-1. Though as the game entered its final throws Ike put the game to bed with his second and in doing so rounded off a fine opening performance which saw Bl beat QM 3-1.

MOM: (can’t remember) ?Barbindie
DOD: Mingey Tibs- 3 green cards for body checking defenders

Quote of the day: ‘Ike (with reference to MOM) ‘this is fucking bullshit it’s [finishing] just expected of me now’!  

Sunday, 21 September 2014

2014/15 Season

Pre-season & Training

Our regular training sessions are kicking off Monday 22nd September 6.00pm, Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, Stratford( Directions)

Joining the Club

Info below and here for subs payment.

Fresher's Try-outs

2 Trials will be held this year with the first on Monday 22nd of September (6.00pm @ Lee Valley) and the other taking place on the afternoon of Wednesday 24th September (3.15pm @ Lee Valley). All abilities welcome.

First Tables

With the Fresher's Trials also comes the first tables of the academic year in the Union, heading straight from the pitch to the bar, so bring along a towel and change of clothes to the Wednesday, Sept 24th trials.

Pre-season Fixtures

1st XI Pre-season Fixtures

  • Oct 1st vs QM 1s @ Lee Valley
  • Oct 5th vs RUMS 1s @ Away
  • Oct 8th vs RVC 1s @ Lee Valley

2nd XI Pre-Season Fixtures
  • Oct 1st vs GKT 2s @ Away
  • Oct 8th vs BL Women's 1s @ Lee Valley

Saturday, 12 October 2013

1st XI Pre Season Vs St Georges

Another pre-season fixture saw another decisive loss on the field followed by a decisive win in the bar after. A slightly depleted 1st XI squad were joined by a few of the available 2nd XI players to face up to Georges, initial structure and form showed promise but with an element of randomness of the re shuffle throughout the game, fatigue and confusion set in, especially affecting one of the defenders in particular, who has the honour as DOD of writing this match report.

Friday, 4 October 2013

1st XI Pre-season vs GKT 1st XI

The 1st XI ventured across the Thames for their first pre-season game against GKT 1st XI, it was set to be a tough match with Jaime Farr trying on the keepers pads for the second time in his life and injuries and absences leaving the midfield a little under populated. An early goal from GKT was soon equalised with a craftily placed slap from Mr Pattinson. These first two early goals were followed by six more, unfortunately all were in favour of GKT. Resolute to show GKT what BLHC truly excels in the 1st XI were joined by the 2nd XI to form a ten man boat race, after Andy Balme gloriously doused himself in the final portion of his pint, the remaining nine successfully saw off their beverages in style to smash the GKT team, leaving BL with a decisive victory in the most important event of the day.

Monday, 25 February 2013

Mint Imperials & Three Tales From The Two's

Bart's and The London 1's vs Imperial 2's (February 2013)

After some initial logistical errors that saw BL scheduled to play two teams in the same day, we finally managed to secure a game against the weaker of the two sides; Imperial 2s. 

With a plethora of injuries plaguing the side, BL welcomed the return of Will Moen to the midfield and the inclusion of Chris Manville. Our preparation for the match took another turn for the worse when young Randeep rated his illness at a “five” out of ten on Asif’s Illness Scale, not what BL wanted to hear with only one sub. Regardless of this BL pressed on and, after a warm up of mixed outcomes, the match begun. 

BL immediately began to dominate the game with two early chances for Manville, and some brilliant interplay through all areas of the field. However this soon slipped and we allowed Imperial more space and time on the ball and eventually the inevitable happened; they scored. BL were easily the better side, and this was shown with the almost instant reply to the Imperial goal. Mark “schoolboy” Gregory delivering a free hit from just outside the 25 to Manville on the back post who coolly slotted home. 

BL continued to dominate the first half with Imperial’s only attacks coming from some typical “Route One” play. However BL only managed to go in drawing 1-1 at half time, a fact that left a few of the players dejected. This was in most ways down to Louis “open goal” Yssennagger who slammed the ball about 20 yards wide of the post from the P Spot after a lovely passage of play from Will Moen, scoring this would have led BL to be in a 2-1 lead at half time. 

We were somewhat lifted by coach Asif’s half time team talk where he pointed out that the only way Imperial would score again, is if we made a mistake. Thankfully, we didn’t make a mistake and shortly after the start of the second half Chris “goal machine” Manville added a second to his tally for the day. Somehow he was presented with the ball in the D in a one-on-one with the Imperial keeper, but he kept his nerve and lifted the ball over the sliding goalie to put BL 2-1 up.

We managed to retain our pressure for another 10 minutes or so, until we started to let Imperial back into the game. They started to camp in our half, and every time we got the ball back, we seemed to turn it over al most instantly. 

To make matters worse, Mark “schoolboy” Gregory then got sent off for throwing his toys out of the pram. BL began to ride wave upon wave of Imperial attacks until we were back to a full compliment of players. This began to steady the side and we started to mount attacks of our own. One these very attacks in the closing minutes of the game led to the completion of Chris “goal machine” Manville’s hat-trick and BLs 3rd. 

However this was a very dubious goal that probably shouldn’t have counted. Moen played the ball out wide to the young left back Randeep, who crashed the ball into the D. The ball was slightly lifted but not enough to cause danger until the Imperial player on the edge of the D sliced his stop up into the air. Louis “open goal” Yssennagger was under the ball and plucked the ball out of the air beautifully. All of a sudden a wild Chris Ellis appeared out of nowhere and squared the ball to Manville who slotted home. The goal followed countless arguments between Imperial and the umpires who still gave the goal. 

In conclusion, BL come away with a well-earned three points from a hard fought game. However the side we played were definitely worse than us and we should really have put a few more past them. 

3-1 Bart's and The London

MOM – Chris “goal machine” Manville – complete domination of IC 
DOD – Louis “open goal” Yssennagger – miss of the season

Bart's and The London 2's vs LSE 2's (some time in December 2012)

After the 1’s game had been cancelled, all eyes were solely focused on the 2’s fixture against what turned out to be LSE 1.5’s.

It was a cold Wednesday afternoon, the wind whipped the trees bare and the pitch was partly frozen. Nothing would stop the game going ahead though, and BL 2’s were up and excited for this fixture following Sundays epic win over imperial. Win here and we would shoot to the top of the league.

After early exchanges, LSE took the lead. Their first short corner was only parried out by Anish straight into the midriff of their shooter. The resultant short was tamely hit, but misjudged by the keeper, with the ball bouncing and slipping underneath the kick.

At 1-0 down and thing were about to get worse. Another short, kicked out by the keeper fell to their attacker outside the D. The ball slapped across the face of the goal, defenders and keeper flat footed, only to be tapped in by the free man at the back post.

The end of the first half saw Anish make up for his first half mistakes, LSE defence cleared their lines with the whole of the Barts team up the pitch. The striker one-on-one with the keeper, well it just turned out to be a bit of an Emile HeskeyvsIkerCasillas. No marks for saying who came out on top.

The Half time whistle blew.

Words of encouragement (and protest) from the captain and club captain saw a remarkable change of events in the second half. It was all barts!

We pulled the first one back through our goal getter supreme Christopher Manville, who seems to have hit a purple patch at the moment. I would describe the goal but unfortunately I couldn’t see it.

Barts were on the up, winning a short corner themselves a few minutes later. Returning from shin splints Benjamin Meilak fired the ball to Sim who ‘expertly’ sent his drag past the LSE keeper and the sound of the backboard couldn’t have been more pleasing.
The celebration that followed was similar to a certain Sergio Aguero last season, if only we had Martin Tyler for the commentary.

The game began to open up at 2-2 with glorious chances at either end, but none were taken.
Final result 2-2.BL unbeatwen in the LUSL league sitting pretty having taken on two of the stronger teams in the league.

A good end to the 2012 hockey year for a team which is getting better and better game after game.

Written by IkerCasillas,
Real Madrid Number 2 & Bart's and The London 2’s Number 1.

Bart's and The London 2's vs KCLMS 3's (some time in January 2013)

Hail stones battered the second team heroes as they battled cyanosis to warm up. 

No sooner had the rain ceased a strong Kings Medics 3s side arrived. Like flies swarming onto the pitch the 16 men squad settled in as our depleted team prepared for a gruelling game.
Thankfully Barts was able to rely on the old hands of Selway and Jeeves to bolster our team. Not since the silver jubilee had these two played together. 

As we engaged in the routine practice of a team huddle to exchange respiratory diseases, a surprise greeted us. 

Shockingly, only one of our devoted referees had forgotten the way to Fairlop. Ian has been declared a missing person leaving Chris to tread the sideline alone. Jeeves came forward in our moment of need to referee assuring everyone he did in-fact know the definition of impartiality. The game was underway but after 5 minutes and a series of dubious decisions decided in the home teams favour, Jeeves was replaced by Selway. 

The first half was largely uneventful, Anish, our one-armed keeper still recovering from a dislocated shoulder making some excellent saves as captain Sikander led the defence to hold their ground and the attack bombarded their defenders with numerous attacks. One short corner in particular Thusagar shifted the ball right to Fisher, the short gladiator sent the ball with force to the side of the goal but the ball clanged with the post. To our bemusement and continuing wondering a sixteen was given. 

Half time came and went and the scoreline remained even and Manville and Jim stumbled onto the pitch gracing us with their presence. 

The second half began with more shirt corners for Bartsand finally the ball fell in the P spot to Fisher who calmly chipped the ball over the sticks of the helpless defenders as the barts second team took their first goal of 2013. Sadly the opposition equalised but superb performances from our midfield players particularly MOM Ben Meilak led to continuing pressure and more short corners. 

An energetic Will Selway wreaked havoc with the kings medics side. One deflection fell towards the edge of the D to Bruce George who expertly slammed the ball into the back of the goal.

Another attack saw Tom Milnes-Coate,sonly just substituted on with the captains instruction of ‘make a nuisance of yourself’ ringing in his ears, make a darting run behind enemy lines. The sporadic visitor to fairlop was pickedout who then controlled the ball beautifully before hitting a perfect shot into the corner whilst the keeper could only shed tears.

The visitors scrapped another goal after some tragic defensive errors but their soul had been crushed and they were unable to put up more of a fight against the rampant second team. Depleted, maybe.Playing a team with a strong squad, perhaps. The barts second team showed unbelievable courage to carve out a sterling win which stakes a strong claim for promotion at the end of the season. Between that and a subsequent England win against brazil, a good day had been had by all.

3-2 Bart's and The London

MOM-Ben Meilak
DOD- David Fisher

Special mention – Rajiv Wijesuriya the Portuguese sensation. His running in a straight line was unparalleled. Shame about the turning.

Bart's and The London 2's vs RUMS 3's (most likely February 2013)

Another big Wednesday had arrived and after convincing ourselves that this was a cup quarter final (it wasn’t) we all agreed to meet at Waterloo for the short trip to Barnes Bridge and the proposition of facing RUMS. 

Things were going nicely when a train containing Manville, Anish, Sikander and copious amounts of New Star Soccer pulled away on schedule. Jaime Farr, who luckily played well otherwise he would be the one penning this, managed to board a train 20 minutes later (the easy bit) but to the obvious delight of the watching Meilak he failed to accurately differentiate between Barnes Bridge and Barnes (also the easy bit).

However given that he has to buy a new bike every week due to crime rates of South London, insurance dictates he has to have it with him at all times and thus his amusing detour didn’t compromise his punctuality.

Meanwhile, after arriving at Barnes Bridge the rest of the team traipsed towards the RUMS hockey pitch, blindly following Jim’s instructions. The route to the pitch was akin to a well-kept Serbian National Park, with a scraggy bit of woodland ruined with the inevitable placement of plastic bottles, shopping trolleys and other such paraphernalia that a misguided soul felt would improve the aesthetics of the area. It didn’t. 

We eventually made it to the clubhouse, which was a house in the sense of 4 walls and a roof but was cold, boarded up and smelly. Locked when we arrived, a kindly individual then decided to launch litter off the top floor but failed to respond to basic requests in English to let us in, further correlating with a Serbian hellhole. The pervading smell was made even worse by Manville’s pre-match desecration of the water closet.
After getting to the pitch we warmed up where I managed to emulate an Israeli airstrike by shattering a hockey ball whilst shooting at Anish. Mind you, he does look part Palastinian. 

After a typically rousing talk from captain Sook, the match began with a few missed chances from the boys in black. Ten minutes in and we were comfortable with the first goal coming from yours truly, a reasonably struck effort that took a couple of deflections before nestling in the RUMS goal. Suggestions from Manville that it was an og were swiftly rebuked, even if it was akin to pinball. Our second goal also came before halftime after winning a short corner, with Meilak beautifully sweeping one to Thusager who hit the ball in the goal with such venom, should he have been the one dating Rihanna a black eye would have been the least of her worries. Chris Brown eat your heart out.

Halftime came along and with a 2-0 lead Sikander suffered from not having his hearing aid turned up enough and gave us his team talk from a distance of 1 foot but with the auditory force of a jet engine. Manville also took this opportunity to give Fisher his opinion on matters of hockey, using rhetoric of such venom Abu Hamza was spotted in the woods taking notes. 

Maybe it wasn’t Serbia and it was actually Afghanistan. Afghanistan, at least, wouldn’t put up with a medical school of the quality of RUMS. Anyway, I digress.

The second half began and it wasn’t long before we were 3 up. After telling us strikers to get on the posts, Jim took his opportunity with aplomb on the back post after I had cunningly left the ball for him (swung at it and missed from 3 yards). The assist came from Thusager, who as well as hitting the ball hard, can also caress the ball gently as he took it around the opposition Messi-esque and smashed one firmly into the grateful stick of Jim and the ungrateful goal of RUMS. Our fourth was also created by Thusager, who fed it into Manville who finished it beautifully with a run across the defender and a deft touch- a sign of things to come in his future career. 

After this, good play from Barts appeared to frustrate the opposition. Jaime Farr, who had bossed the midfield with energy and dynamism, was on the receiving end of a RUMS player who as well as going to a sub-par medical school, had failed to grasp the fact that in hockey you can’t smash into someone’s back and drop them to the floor. The umpire initially felt that Jaime was a diving little girl, but after a swift and brutal jihad against him by Manville, the foul soon went the correct way. 

It wasn’t long before we were in position for another short corner which I dispatched without the help of multiple deflections, a fact that I made abundantly clear. 5-0 but the drama wasn’t done. After good work down the right, Manville smashed one at the goal which the RUMS player stopped with head on the line; just as well you don’t need a brain to do medicine at RUMS.

The result was a penalty flick, usually a brilliant outcome but since we’re not the most gifted at hockey, a short corner would have been nicer. Manville had won it and claimed it for himself, however after presenting an argument that this was my hat trick ball, he (not so) graciously acceded and I placed the ball on the spot. I had never taken one in my life, and after confirming the rules with regards to taking them I pushed the ball into the bottom right which took a brilliant fingertip save to keep it out… Actually it was an appalling effort and I’m sure the keeper had time for a quick lap around the pitch before blocking the trickling ball from entering the goal. Oh dear.

The whistle went soon after, bringing to a close another good win for BL but not the complete drama for the day. Moheen, who is not miles away from being a qualified doctor (you know, public trust and that) found a hilarious game in repeatedly pushing the ‘open’ button on the toilet of the return train home. Hopefully there will soon be an opening for such wit on prime time TV so that this particular brand of comedy can be shared with you fine readers..

MOM: Jaime Farr
DOD: George Bruce