I’ve been told by the powers that be to try and start the match reports with a song… So here it goes… For the 4th time in just over a month Ounde were back ‘On The Road Again,’ this time to play the team that sat directly below them in the table, Rugby & East Warwickshire 3s. The same fixture from the previous season saw a 3-1 Rugby win.
Oundle were looking to get back to back wins for the first time this season, this task being made much tougher with the absence of key players such as George ‘Can i have more minutes?’ Martin, Tristan ‘Later guys, i’m going shooting’ Ashby, Jimmy ‘I got players player last year’ Moore and Peter ‘Don’t you know who i am?!?’ Ellis. The long list of absentees saw Oundle only travel with 12, but this saw a recall for Brandon ‘Fashionably Late’ Ingle who had the chance to impress.
The pre match did not start well for Oundle, turning up to the same pitch where the fixture was played last year, only to find out from the coach of Rugby’s youth team that the game was to take place at a completely different location! Thankfully all of Oundles players were able to make it to the new location in time, special mention to Brandon Ingle who was on time for the first time, and P.Wilson (Phil) who did not go to Birmingham.
With the warm ups complete the game started with a Rugby pushback. Straight away Rugby were on the front foot looking to attack Oundle. Oundle had barely touched the ball before Rugby won their first short corner of the game. This was dispatched, with a touch of Youngys pads not enough to keep the ball out of the net. Rugby smelt blood and won their 2nd and 3rd short corners before Oundle had had a chance to establish a foothold in the game. The 2nd short corner was saved by Youngy, however the 3rd was well worked by Rugby with a deflection taking it past the postman into the bottom left corner.
After Rugby’s 2nd goal of the game went in, Oundle appeared to calm down and the game became much more even. Despite this it appeared Oundle had forgotten how to play hockey with full back Phil R thinking he was playing football, and receiving a green card for a deliberate kick of the ball.
Oundle received a 2nd green card when utility man John Brown was unfortunate enough to step on a Rugby defenders stick which sent him tumbling to the ground. With no decision forthcoming, John Brown was incensed and let his feelings known to the umpire, despite the best efforts of Dalley to schmooze one of the umpires this did not stop the umpire issuing J.Brown with a card.
Oundles fortunes changed towards the end of the first half and they were able to manage their first shot on goal! After a brilliant pass from P.Wilson (Phil) found an unmarked Pickstone about 4 yards out, Pickstone was able to give the Rugby keeper the eyes, and sending him to the right, firing home into the opposite corner.
With half time came hope, despite a very shaky start Oundle were still in this, with only a 1 goal deficit. The hope was soon extinguished in the 2nd half when Rugby scored from their first shot of the half, a low shot from close range to Youngys left.
This was the kick start that Oundle needed however and it was not long before Oundle started to show their quality, taking the game to Rugby and producing the better chances. In a move that would have infuriated the coach, Oundles right back from himself with a lot of freedom high up the pitch often overlapping the right winger!
Rugby tackles were flying in, with a number of particularly bad ones not seen by the umpires. The game became quite heated and threatened to blow up when Rugby player kicked the ball away delaying an Oundle free hit. When this point was communicated to the umpire by John Brown, the umpire responded by calling him a 14 year old child and sent him for his 2nd stint in the sin bin, at this point he had spent more minutes in the sinbin than on the pitch!
After being called a child and wanting to show his youthful exuberance John Brown came back on after his 2nd attempt at cooling off full of fire and he quickly turned the momentum of the game back towards Oundle, firing a rocket of a shot, straight at the waiting stick of ‘Goal a Game’ Dalley, who has regained his form and got his 2nd goal in as many games!
Oundle followed this goal up by winning two short corners, the first resulting in the 2nd. The 2nd short corner was saved by the Rugby keeper, Rugby were able to break, finding themselves in the Oundle D, a stick block from The Rugby player resulted in them winning a short corner which they converted, taking the score to 4-2.
This is how the game finished with the 4th Rugby goal coming quite late on in the game. It was a disappointment for Oundle who felt like they could have taken something from the game. Despite this we go again next week with a tough home fixture against Derby. HWTL.