Login

Or register as a Senior or Junior

Weak second half costs Croydon 2 in tight contest with Highbury 1

With both Croydon 3 and 4 having already secured wins prior to their throw off, the 2nd's were looking to make it a hat trick at Royal Russell as they took on Highbury 1. Julia Johnson, Kim Jones, Steve Jones and Pete Lindsey made up the first attack while Adam Champion (c), Edd Chaney, Hannah Driver and Susan Wright comprised the first defence.

Unlike the previous two games of the day Croydon started off slowly conceding in the first minute. Steve Jones won and converted a penalty moments later but Highbury were back on top almost instantly through a runner. Taking advantage of Croydon's bloody nose the away side quickly increased their lead scoring twice within a minute with a long shot and a converted free pass, leaving Croydon trailing by 3 (1-4).

Croydon launched a fight back and things soon looked brighter thanks to two beautiful long shots from Lindsey and Champion (3-4). Steve Jones, who was looking on top form in the first half, performed a sensational reverse blam on his bewildered opponent, much to the Croydon crowds delight. Driver and Steve Jones added another 2 from mid range to swing the match into Croydon's favour (5-4) and it was (Steve) Jones again with a delicious shot from distance that increased their advantage (6-4).

Highbury checked Croydon's scoring spree with one of their own running in shots but the two goal advantage was restored with one of the goals of the day. Wright delivered a pin point diagonal ball perfectly into Champions path as he veered off the back of the post for a fantastic drop off goal (7-5).

Highbury seemed rattled and called a time out with 8 minutes left of the half.

With an instantaneous response they scored from short range but again were knocked back by yet another Steve Jones basket, a drop off following a lovely run by Lindsey. The tempo of the game seemed to jump a couple of notches as the half way point approached and both teams were starting to make mistakes. Just before the whistle Highbury snuck in a mid range effort to bring themselves within a goal of parity at the break (8-7).

Things then seemed to go horribly wrong for Croydon, who at one stage had a decent lead and appeared in control - Highbury struck again from mid range to bring the scores level immediately after the restart. With Croydon missing a penalty soon after things did not improve and they soon found themselves behind.

Croydon's game seemingly deserting them Highbury scored 3 without reply as Croydon started to lose their opponents in defence, Kim Jones was also struggling with injury and with no sub available courageously battled on. Wright stemmed the flow of Highbury goals with a smart turn on her opponent and as the referee blew for a penalty her lifted effort dropped into the basket anyway (9-11).

Highbury responded again by scoring twice more (one short and one mid range), with Croydon falling away coach Paul Jeanes called a time out at 9-13.

His words of wisdom seemed to galvanise Croydon for one big push and going back onto the pitch they got back to work with Champion and Wright scoring in quick succession (11-13). Sadly that was where the comeback ended and as the minutes ticked on the only goal action remaining belonged to Highbury, scoring from distance twice and finally a runner.

Croydon 2 trudged off beaten by 11-16; feeling disgruntled after a promising first half. Truth be told their opponents were there for the taking and one can't help but believe a similar performance in the second half to the first would have seen them take the points.


Match Report by Simon

Final Score: Croydon 2 11 vs 16 Highbury 1


S Jones
(4)

A Champion
(3)

P Lindsey
(1)

E Chaney
(0)

S Wright
(2)

H Robinson
(1)

J Johnson
(0)

K Jones
(0)

Submitted by Simon | Scoring Breakdown |

Goals galore as Croydon 3 share it round against Highbury 3

Following on from Croydon 4's excellent performance was going to be a big ask from the more seasoned warriors of Croydon 3. The team tasked with that challenge consisted of Steve Chadd, Lorna Elliot, Sarah Hole and making his competitive debut for the club Ian de la Mothe in an experienced first attack, while Dominic Bradford, Kathy Dean, Martin James and Becky Pratt formed the 'lesser years' first defence.

First of all some stats to bring you from each section (purely for fun!)

Croydon first attack - total combined age: 165 years, average age: 41.25 years
Croydon first defence - total combined age: 101 years, average age: 25.25 years
Croydon starting eight - total combine age: 266 years, average age: 33.25 years

Wasn't that fun! Now to the action...

As I said following on from Croydon 4's impressive second half showing against Nomads wouldn't be easy, but the mix of youth and experience from Croydon 3 seemed to take the challenge on with vigour. They raced into an early lead scoring 3 goals in six minutes with a good mixture of shot types. Hole opened the scoring with a long effort, Chadd put away a runner and Bradford showed they could score from anywhere with a casual mid range effort.

With Croydon 3 3-0 to the good the confidence levels reflected the score line and it seemed the home team were destined to score more as shot after shot bounced agonisingly out of the basket, meanwhile Highbury seemed to struggle to find their range. Eventually the ball did drop once more and it was little surprise that it was Croydon that now boasted a 4 goal lead with James scoring a runner. Elliot followed soon after with a mid range effort, before Highbury finally responded with 20 minutes on the clock as Bradford could only watch as his marker scored from distance (5-1).

Highbury's were still celebrating finally getting a goal when Pratt restarted straight to James under the post who tucked the ball away to silence the Highbury support. Croydon weren't finished punishing Highbury yet though and scored a flurry of goals before half time with Dean (short), Chadd (long and very long) taking Croydon 3 into the break with an eight goal advantage (9-1).

Highbury might have seen Nomads score straight from the restart in their game (vs. Croydon 4) and decided to do the same, this time it was Hole who could only watch as the ball flew it from distance. Unfortunately for Highbury they fared no better than Nomads after their goal and Pratt who clearly objected to any opposing goals, again made sure the celebrations were short lived, this time with her own from distance.

Croydon turned on the style in both sections, the experienced and the youth showcasing their respective abilities. Hole found the basket from mid distance and a massive cheer went up as de la Mothe (on his first competitive game for the club) finally put the ball into the basket from near half way, this meant that every Croydon player had scored typifying a brilliant team display. Ian's marker didn't like this one bit and responded with his own distance shot just a minute later (12-3).

Croydon 3 looked like they had taken lessons from Croydon 4 as they recycled the ball superbly, taking shot after shot while retaining possession. This served them well for the remainder of the game, registering another 5 goals before the final whistle - goals from Dean, Chadd, Hole, Dean (again) and Bradford all from a comfortable mid range. Croydon had run Highbury ragged and it showed during those 10 goal filled minutes with the blues emerging victorious by 17 goals to 3.

A highly impressive performance from two very differently aged sections, one thing they had in common though was ability. Croydon 3 can be very pleased with their performance today, which like Croydon 4 was a testament to their own excellent play.

Match Report by Simon | Updated by Simon

Final Score: Croydon 3 17 vs 3 Highbury 3


S Chadd
(4)

D Bradford
(2)

M James
(2)

I de la Mothe
(1)

K Bradford
(3)

S Hole
(3)

L MacKay-Elliott
(1)

B Pratt
(1)

Submitted by Simon | Scoring Breakdown |

Brilliant Croydon 4 comfortably take the points against Nomads 6

Croydon 4 took to the pitch under the watchful eye of coach for the day Dominic Bradford with Susie Davis, Jon Dean, Stephen Gooch and Angie Newton in first attack, while Phil Aish, Hannah Driver, Charlotte Feakins and David Hughes comprised the first defence.

Having arrived 10 minutes into the game I can merely point out that by this point the scores were level at 2-2 with a goal from each section from the youngster Gooch and the not quite as young Hughes on the scoresheet.

The game remained tight throughout the remainder of the half, with both sides trading goals see sawing the score 2-3, 3-3, 4-3, 4-4, 5-4, 5-5. Goals included a beauty of a runner from the lively Gooch, a lovely long shot from Davis and a trademark mid range one hander from Hughes.

Despite the balancing act on the score line, Croydon were starting to dictate the play and were attacking brilliantly by recycling the ball - taking a number of shots within each attack before scoring. It was within one such sequence following 5 shots within the same attack that Hughes again found the basket with one hand to take the blues in ahead at the half time whistle (6-5).

Croydon had been sublime and spectators were scratching their heads as to how they weren't ahead by more by this point. With some wise words from Bradford with particular focus on extra pressure in defence the team set back out to finish the job they had started.

Nomads immediately scored following the restart which served as a wakeup call, Davis responded instantly with a wonderfully worked running in shot fed by Dean and followed this up with another excellent long shot to extend Croydon's lead (8-6).

These two quick goals seemed to knock the wind right out of Nomads. Croydon pushed on attacking superbly and now defending just as well. They prevented Nomads from gaining any real shooting opportunities, made an untold number of interceptions and forced them into a number of mistakes.

The rest of the game was Croydon's for the taking and boy did they take it! Hughes put away a long range basketball shot (as standard), Aish made it onto the scoresheet with a shot he probably had no right to take (he didn't need a collect really!) and Davis put the icing on her scoring cake with her 4th and most ridiculous goal most have ever seen - one handed flat and flung like a pass! The score really didn't flatter Croydon 4 despite its closeness at half time - finishing up at 11-6.

A really remarkable game from the 4ths, they were excellent in both attack and defence (particularly in the second half). Were first to every ball, kept it brilliantly and just seemed to want to win it so much more than their opponents. Everyone played superbly, but special mentions should go to Newton for an absolutely brilliant defensive performance, Davis for her 4 goals + excellent movement around the basket and to young Gooch who's game has improved unbelievably since the start of the season - his movement and intelligent play was joy to behold!

Well done team (and well done Coach Bradford too).


Match Report by Simon | Updated by Simon

Final Score: Croydon 4 11 vs 6 Nomads 6


D Hughes
(4)

S Gooch
(2)

P Aish
(1)

J Dean
(0)

S Davis
(4)

C Feakins
(0)

A Newton
(0)

H Robinson
(0)

Submitted by Simon | Scoring Breakdown |
Page views: 631