ABC Division 2 Bowl Final
This was very much a family affair with Noel and Ronell Hensman turning out for Maroon, as well as the Holts (Dad Andrew and son Dominic) in Maroon with older son Benjamin playing for Yellow. Two more father and son combinations of William and Reuben D'Souza and John and Jack Bonneywell played for Yellow. Finally Dilip Sukha and John Sellar fathers of Prem players Netesh and Ben respectively ensured a good turnout of spectators.
(Click on the links above if you want to read more about the Holts and Hensmans)
The youngest D2 Yellow players; year 9s Reuben D'Souza and Dirco Spies taking on the oldest Maroon players Graham Thompson and Wayne Highet with a combined age of 132; Maroon defending in the other two photos with Dominic Holt strong in goal
At the beginning of the season ABC sought to have three competitive teams in this grade with the Yellow team being the nursery for younger players surrounded by some experienced older players, Black effectively being a Masters team and Maroon having a combination of older players, some juniors and young men in the early stages of their club hockey career. Yellow have been unfortunate in that they lost two of their most athletic players in the early part of the season, but is still a team packed with quality.
The game got off to a good start with Maroon lining up 4/4/2 with Dhiren Keshaw moving into left midfield from his normal spot of left half, to weather an expected onslaught from Yellow. Dirco Spies for Yellow was creating havoc down the inside channel winning PC after PC, but the Maroon team with Dominic Holt in goal were up to the challenge of facing the PCs and on the rare occasions the ball got past Dominic there was someone on the line to clear the ball.
0-0 at quarter time. Yellow continued to press in the second quarter and the introduction of John Bonneywell returning from a nasty injury created more challenges for Maroon who continued to defend stoutly and look for a breakaway. This came and Maroon won a PC and Louie Lawton converted with a drag flick and Maroon went into half time one goal ahead.
The third quarter was pretty even - Yellow continued to press but with only two subs on a hot day seemed to be tiring, and the Maroon team began to get parity or better in midfield and began to create a number of chances. A goal from Maroon's youngest player Jacob Birks after a good passing movement and a clean finish extended Maroon' lead and then Derrec Grant scored a third as Maroon had a two on one against the keeper and Nathan Sinclair unselfishly passed having drawn the keeper.
To Yellow's credit they continued to play "good" hockey with lovely passing movements through a midfield of John Sellar, Dwayne Carroll and Danny Wrigley. They were dangerous in the outside channels as well with Josh Duley putting in huge mileage. They pushed hard in the fourth quarter and Maroon had a chance to wrap things up when Derrec Grant returned the favour from Nathan and slipped the ball across the keeper only for Dilip Sukha to rescue Yellow with a terrific tackle. This spurred Yellow on and finally they converted a PC with nine minutes to go and continued to press forward. With six minutes to go Noel Hensman got a Yellow card and Maroon moved to a 4/4/1 formation to try and hold out. Yellow won a stroke with several minutes to go but a good save from Dominic Holt snuffed out that chance and Maroon held on to win 3-1.
I would like to pay tribute to both sides - there was some good hockey played in tough conditions - and it was nice for players from both teams to retire to the bar afterwards.
The range in ages in both teams (14-67) shows that hockey is a game that can be enjoyed by all ages and I look forward to seeing how the younger players develop and grow in the club whilst the older players continue to guide a new generation of players.
Ultimately hockey and ABC was the winner. And so the season finishes in what has been a challenging year. Hopefully we can look forward to a less disrupted season in 2021.
D2 Maroon - back row left to right: Andrew Holt, Ronell Hensman, Louie Lawton, Graham Thompson, Dhiren Keshaw, Glenn Gilbert, Graham Wessels, Tobin Blathwayt (Coach), Oscar Dorbeck, Jacob Birks, Alex Sim, Nathan Sinclair; front row Derrec Grant, Wayne Highet (Captain), Noel Hensman, Dominic Holt, Bradley Bycroft