Weekend Report No. 2

Posted by Andy Darnley on 19 September 2016

This Saturday saw Cannock Hockey spring into life with the First Team beginning their league campaign and five other teams playing friendlies. 

Cannock Firsts started life in the National Northern Conference Division with a 1 – 4 defeat to Durham University. Durham, who are one of the stronger teams in the league, finished third last season. Durham's side included many current internationals and was a difficult test for the new Cannock squad. 

Before the game, which was sponsored by Jeevan's Legacy, the teams gathered with the Dhanda family to honour the occasion. At the end of the game Manveer Dhanda presented the 'Man of the Match' award. 

Cannock started the game very nervously during the early exchanges, as Durham applied the pressure. Despite this, Cannock's Harry Jawanda forced an early attack down the left and fired a cross, which was narrowly missed as the forwards dived in. Durham scored their first after a good initial save by Cannock's keeper Mike Gerrard. Despite further pressure from the visitors, Cannock weathered the storm to keep the deficit to one goal as half time approached. Then, two minutes of mayhem in the Cannock defense saw Durham increase their lead with two further goals. 

The second half saw Cannock turn the tables in terms of pressure, creating several chances. When Durham did get anywhere near the Cannock goal, their keeper Gerrard was again important in keeping the ball out including a fine penalty save. With two yellow cards and Cannock down to 9 men the home side conceded a further goal from a penalty corner. Having to face an impossible rear guard action Cannock made one final push and won a penalty corner. On the final whistle Callum Stacey put the ball home to put Cannock on the score sheet. 

Next Saturday Cannock face Deeside Ramblers. This team, led by ex Cannock coach Andy Mitchel and Parkistan's captain Ali Ghazanfar will be another tough encounter. This is a home game with a 18.00 start. Your support would be greatly appreciated. 

With two weeks to go before the Midlands Leagues begin Cannock's other sides were all successful in their encounters. A young Second Team beat Streetly Firsts 4 – 2 in a tough game. They took the lead through Josh Edwards but a lack of concentration saw Streetly equalise. Two quick goals before half time put Cannock in the driving seat. However they took their foot off the pedal and allowed Streetly to score. With a barage of Streetly attacks Cannock held firm and managed to defend several counter attacks until Cannock sealed the game with a 4th goal in the 60th minute. The Thirds won 2 – 1 against Streetly 2s with goals from Lewis Michael with an impressive reverse strike and Andy Hodgetts from a short corner. The Fourths beat Sutton by the same score with goals from Jordan Warren and Dave Wigg who found the net for the second week. Completing the double against Sutton was the Fifths who won 5 – 3. Despite playing some attractive hockey Cannock found themselves two goals down before Callum McGarry halved the deficit. Cannock took control from this point with two goals from Chris Mayer and one from new member Paul Minall. Goal keeper Captain Rufus Horn then saved a penalty at a critical point in this game. Despite Sutton pulling one back from a short corner Darren Pugh pounced on the end of a cross to volley the ball into the roof of the net. The Badgers also played against a Finchfield side (for more detailed reports see match details in the members area).

It was good to see several new members and some old ones returning to play their hockey with Cannock. If there are people who would like to join this merry band you can make initial contact through the website. There was a hive of activity beyond the playing field as members got involved in umpiring( Bob Pursehouse,Conrad Willars,Lewis Michael, Callum Stacey and Chris Darnley), making and serving teas (Dan Hoare, Andy Hoare, Rufus Horn, Cameron Horn), ball boying, and a host of other necessary jobs. Many thanks to all those who have given up their time for their club. It was also good to see the bar spring back into life as a new season dawns. 

Why Cannock Hockey Club

Why Cannock? We've a history of competing in and winning National competitions across all junior and senior hockey. We're also a great club with numerous sides playing every weekend for players of all ability and commitment! 

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