Friends of Western v Scottish Thistles

1 September 2012 Auchenhowie

Since Friends, although comprising a few of our own club members, were augmented by players of somewhat younger years not to mention of some hockey playing repute we decided to do the same although minus the repute! This was necessary anyway as we couldn't raise enough bodies from our own remaining ranks unfortunately.

It was a glorious day and the hockey, also, shone through with a very good quality. Although we had not played with each other before Thistles found a steady rhythm from the go having adopted a versatile 4-4-2 line up with nifty forwards, hard working midfielders and a defence that gave little away. For a change the ball wasn't given away much either and half time saw us surprisingly, to everybody, but deservedly for all that up 1-0 the scorer being one of our younger guests Dave Godfrey from Madras.

Friends probably thought they'd come back into it but the second half did not start with them dominating and they got a break to level the scores before Thistles took the lead again through invitee Richard Tough also from St. Andrews. With time running out the opposition were getting a bit worried and to elicit more endeavour the 'F' word was being used by them a lot - & it wasn't 'Friend'. Thistles also had an 'F' word at play but ours was 'Fatigue' as we'd started a couple short though up to full strength by half time. Midfield had put in a hugely impressive power of work but the younger Friends, who had enjoyed substitutes from the start unlike us, also began to enjoy more possession and this helped them take the lead for the first time in the match well on in the second half. However the last move of the entire game saw Thistles make a quick break with Richard Tough latching on to a brilliant pass and leaving the Friends defence trailing before rounding their goalie only to see his finishing push slide agonisingly past the outside of the post.

A great game with superb effort by everybody involved to whom only the highest of praise goes considering this was a 'scratch' team. However having 3 under age players even though all over 50 did make a difference. This may be the way we should look ahead by inviting younger players, when we've not enough >60s, to sample what LX club hockey is like so that we can a) enjoy their input on the pitch and b) have them formally join the club when officially qualified!

Finally many thanks to Friends for their kind invitation which we will try to reciprocate in future. A very pleasant pizza, pie n'pint was enjoyed in the clubhouse after hostilities when it was good also to see some of the crowd quite a few of whom who were even older than the Thistles players!

Final score Friends of Western 3 Thistles 2

Thistles team

D. Pearce, R. Robertson, J. Smith, E. Farnon, A. Bryce, G. Conkie, D. Godfrey, P. Burns, O. Lobo, S. Robertson, S. Weir, R. Tough.

G. Toner (Ump)

Friends team

R. Higham, S. Dick, N. Sturrock, T. Duncan, G. McBride, M. Young, K. Ellis, A. Murray, B. Johnson, I. Anderson, P. Monaghan, K. Bashir, S. McIntosh

M.McBride (Ump) A.Trainor (Mgr. allegedly)

Sandy Weir