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New Year’s Fun Hockey Tournament

Well it’s all over for another year …Another year of glory for that most experienced group of ladies ‘ The Marrieds
Yes it clearly proves you can’t beat EXPERIENCE. The Marrieds Captained by Jill Barton proved very worthy
Winner by beating the Baboons, The Young Ones and even the Over 25s in our now annual fun-filled post-Christmas
/New Year fun event!!

So that is two annual tournament wins on the bounce for the Married Team, and every prospect of the Three in a Row, with the strength in depth they possess. The rumour is that people are signing up to get married, just for the chance to get their hands on the coveted Roches Stores Vase, which strangely reappeared after a long absence of 4 years, when Emer Campion smuggled it onto the table in the new clubhouse and then calmly crept away without a word of explanation other than “It’s being in the boot of my car! ‘. Yeah right Emer, we all could see it was spotless, (and smelling of Ajax ) , as it clearly took pride of place in your home “display cabinet” , in the most prominent location, even overshadowing all of Ash’s trivial AIL or ISC medals !!

So how did the day all pan out?…well as usual Gemma Hopalong One Knee Statue was late (more on her later) …
shock horror, I hear you say … In fairness , things were already moving at pace by the time she started to issue orders . Most people were warming up to the loud music supplied by Ben , although he almost had someone rewiring the new clubhouse with an electricity plug when someone kindly pointed out to him that there actually was an external power source on the balcony within two inches of where he had plonked the Sound System . That selective vision was to be evident during the hockey matches when he failed on numerous occasions to spot the simple pass!

I don’t recall a lot about the first match other than to say that John Elliott lasted a lot longer than many would have expected . Yes, he did last at least 15 seconds . But as soon as he attempted a jog his hammer tore. Thereafter he was his usual effective self just standing around like he was on the sideline barking orders that no one could understand. Judging by Aideens ‘I just got out of bed look’, it looked like she went straight from duvet to astro, with just enough time to grab the closest sporting garments.

The marrieds with Clarkie playing her first match for the team, won comfortably with Pommers (also on her debut) scoring two cracking goals and despite her saying she meant both of them , rest assured she had no clue what she was doing as she reached the circle , confirmed by her cry of ‘ that’s my first goal for years , sure I don’t even score in training ‘Sharks was her usual hustle and bustle and she certainly made her presence felt with a few well taken goals. She also wore her trademark “I’ve got a hangover dark shades” for the rest of the day.

Bronnie only knows one way to play hockey (i.e. competitively) and so she was putting is her normal “very committed crunching tackles in defence”- this was despite the fact that this tournament was clearly meant to be a” FUN EVENT.!!!! On the other hand, Pauls O’D also in defence for the Married Team, put in her usual very “well timed and textbook tackles”.

On the wing Sue V was simply uncatchable as she skipped past defenders at ease and set up a number of goal chances. Helen Cusack was in total control in midfield, spraying passes all over the pitch. It was great to welcome Sarah O’B back and she quickly showed she has all her old skills back working again. O’B – a born goal-poacher if ever there was one!!

The first match gave us a clue as to what to expect from Stuey and Moon girl …Statistical analysis of the match proved rather easy when it came to their contribution. Stu passed the ball 17 times during the game and on 75% of those passes the ball was passed to Moon Girl …The other 25% were passed towards Moon Girl but she either missed or didn’t control the ball or was in ‘dream land ‘ looking at Stuey in shorts and was left standing ogling him. In fact throughout the tournament the ‘ Love Show’ got so bad that Stuey ended up passing the ball to Moon Girl several times – when she was in fact umpiring the game!!! .

Back to Hopalong Gemma- She literally could not move so she satisfied herself by playing at the top of the D in all of her games . Lack of movement must be something that she gets a lot of practice at, as it was her most effective display in years with several shots on goal, plenty of close deflections and she’s a definite impact player. So to anyone coaching Gemma, leave her alone just standing around, you will get more out of her that way.

If only Duracell Barry could learn from that. Straight in from a 3hour physical GAA session, he threw himself into the
tournament with no regard to his safety (or anyone else’s for that matter ! ) . After careful examination of the video several times, I could not even see him touching the ball much during the 3 games he played . There is conflicting evidence that he may well have had a practice shot in the warm up which ended up in the Safety netting well above the Hockey Goal .(Wrong sport Barry, but better luck next year )

An interesting player on the day, who also specialised in limited movement, was Nicky King. Remaining calm and unflustered throughout, she displayed remarkable ease and skill with the stick despite her attire being without the normal layers of foam, plastic, etc. that she would have been normally used to. However despite a couple of prompts from team mates, the temptation to test the nostrils for nose bleeds never wavered beyond the 25 yard line…the fear of not making it back to the circle clearly and forever engrained in the grey matter!

The Babogs Captained by the great Kate Kirwan were always up against it given their tender years. They may be very fit and can running non-stop, but their lack of “cuteness and experience cost them dearly. They decided not to play their third match when one of the team suggested giving a walk over and heading straight to the Glenside!! The over 25’s Team captained by Smithy were the hot favourites coming into the Tournament with some big names in their squad. However on the day the failed to gel as a unit and suffered a very embarrassing loss to the Married team.

The hockey over the day was very entertaining to say the least. In fairness the standard was actually pretty decent, probably due to the fact that most of the participants were a lot more sober / less hung-over than in previous years. On the day player poaching was rife and we may need to check some Birth Cert next year as quite a number of players were definitely lying about their age!!

As the photo below show, the Married Team (Captained brilliantly all day by Jill Barton) only managed to keep their willing trophyin one piece for a few hours before it was smashed. We hear Jill’s daughter Alanna, was so proud of her Mum’s winning trophy that she was showing it off to neighbours when she accidently dropped it!!! Oh well that one less trophy to be cleaned!! – Alanna, don’t feel bad about this, because if Orla Smiths over 25’s team had won this tournament, they probably would have left the trophy behind in COPPERS anyway!!

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