So, it was a wet and windy night in Derby but to start the story, a month or so ago, I’d had an idea that there must be more unicycle hockey players in the middle bit of Britain than the four of us who were playing 2-a-side at the derby juggling club in half a church hall where we were ,I would imagine, generally trying the patience of the local juggling community with calls of “Can we have our ball back please?”. So something had to be done - or more correctly I had to do something - a faster thinking man would have done it over the balmy months of the English summer however I was not that man so with a brief appeal on Unicyclist.Com (thanks for all your tolerance for it mysteriously appearing at the top of the list at regular intervals)I canvassed opinion and it looked like a goer so I went booked the pitch. Now thereis always a difference between those who say theat they are interested in something and those who actually follow it through and in those introspective moments of whether this venture would be like that, however my cunning plan centred on having a large car and reckoned that I simply had to offer lifts to enough people andand that would up the attendance figures.
So, Tuesday night arrived, when the phone rang - it was joe while it was dry in Castle Donington, Derby was experiencing almost biblical rain and he was wondering whether it was going ahead - well we had to pay for the pitch anyway so we needed to go. We arrived a bit early and it had stopped raining, paid for the pitch and patiently waited for the junior football players to vaccate the pitch - a brief welcome speech and a run over the rules - A quick count revealed that 10 players had been press ganged into coming ranging in experience from Joe who had played with the LUNI’s to Sarah who hadn’t touched a stick before and was , slightly apprehensive with that amount of testosterone flowing around the place. As well as the players we also had a crowd - 3 to be precise who had been intruiged when I had mentioned it the previous week so now with players and supporters (baying for blood - it was hard to say as they were reduced to sheltering underan umbrella)
The teams were picked as Derby v Notts and we resisted the suggestion that one lots should play as skins - explaining 5 cases of hypothermia was not a job I had signed up for. So 5-a-side it was and this is where it all gets a bit hazy mainly due to the huge amount of fun I was having. As I remember it Derby started very positiviely and took a two goal lead - Notts stung into action pulled it back but then I recall it going to 4-2 to Derby before Notts turned around and went into the end of the half 5-4 in front - by this point in time there had been a number of wipeouts mainly due to the slightly slippy pitch and the dangers of smooth wet shoes on smoth wet pedals ( not wishing to brag I performed some of the finest examples of this particular dismount). The pitch also had a huge mound of leaves down one side which regularly caught out the unwary player who charged in after a hockey ball. The change of ends brought a change of tactics to the Notts side and they forged ahead into the lead helped by some creative defending by Derby who seem to have taken their eyes of the ball possibly due to the now enthusiastically falling rain and vicious wind. To cut a long story short with a minute or so left Notts were leading 9-8 and a frenzied phase of Derby attacking was in progress - (it was my game and it certainly wasn’t going to end with us loosing :-)) An elegant passing move (30 seconds to go) and the ball whips into the box with Sarah waiting for it - where I was riding things went into slow motion - this was almost certainly the last chance of the match and parity was staring us in the face if a good contact could be made… Sarah watched the ball while pedalling full pelt at the goal, their paths met, she raised the stick, whacked the ball and it rocketed into the goal, closely followed by sarah and unicycle as stopping by then was out of the question but that was it 9-9 , a draw and a fitting end to a fine hours unicycle hockey-so now it was time to pack up and have a team photo and flee the site of our collective victory and head for the Bridge Inn (obviously for a serious post match debrief) and the oft spoken of cheeky half. So, next week it looks like we’ll have even more players, hopefully less rain and just as much fun.
So thanks to (in no particular order)
John (John Himsworth)
and to the suporters/media (Amy,Myron & Jeff)
So same time next week, all welcome - and who knows this could be the start of something good. Thanks again to all who came and helped make this a success
Well done Rol, it was a top night. I think the photo doesn’t quite do justice to the amount of rain that was falling at the time though!
A very good game indeed and I look forward to the next one (just hope the weather is a little nicer to us and the leaves have been swept off the pitch, then we’ll have no excuses).
I understand your confusion about the match report. I’ve just been trying to think about the order of goals and can’t remember much at all except the frenzied gameplay. I do have a recurring image of Mr. Marshall thundering towards me (blond hair whipping in the wind) and smacking the ball past me with deadly accuracy.
Oh, I also remember my embarressing own goal too (but in my defence, it had just been smacked through the un-netted side of goal before hitting my tyre and bouncing in).
Anyway, roll on next week (and Kidderminster at the weekend)!
oops, posted on the wrong thread, here it is again.
Wow, that was one hell of a game of hockey.
Full sized teams, a massive pitch and a really good balance between the two sides.
Riding in the rain on plastic pedals was a bit mental, I’m glad everyone was still up for playing despite the weather.
Can’t wait till next week!
By the way, anyone interested in a muni night ride, I’ll post up properly on a different thread, but it’s going to be next Thursday (14th) starting at the Bramcote Hills Park / Hemlock Stone car park at 8 o’clock which is <http://www.streetmap.co.uk/streetmap.dll?G2M?X=449990&Y=338545&A=Y&Z=3>
here. Bring a light or a head torch or some candles or something.
> (thanks for all your tolerance for it
> mysteriously appearing at the top of the list at regular intervals)
What’s with all this “appearing at the top of the list” stuff? Does
posting to a thread change it’s positioning in the web forum? The
threads have remained neatly in alphabetical order, as per my
preferences, in my newsreader
Anyway, kudos for organising a hockey session. I enjoyed the report,
and it sounds like a good time was had by all.
Although I don’t recall ever playing hockey in heavy rain (ISTR a
tournament played outside in the rain a few years ago, but I don’t think
it ever got beyond drizzle), your write up called to mind a tournament
in Hackney many years ago. It was midwinter and the weather was
freezing. ISTR being quite relieved to find that the trains were
running, so I could get to London. The school ‘hall’ that we were
playing in had brick walls on 3 sides, with the 4th wall being made up
of wooden slats (looking a bit like the side of a livestock lorry). I
think the only person who was really warm enough was Bob, who played in
a 3-piece suit having come direct from a business breakfast. I’ll never
forget watching fingers of mist drift across the pitch as it seeped
through the gaps in that 4th wall …
I remember that tournament. A team of us from leeds came down for it. We worked all day saturday selling programes at the christmas fair in some little dales town, then handed over our earnings to Mike to pay for petrol and drove down to London arriving LATE on saturday night. One of the Hackney HokeyCokeys lent us a floor for the night.
I ended up playing hockey wearing all my normal clothes and a scarf on top of my cycle shorts with my hockey shirt over the top of my flece. Twas bitterly cold.
In the web forum, mine is set up to show the most recent first so I just assumed that that is the way it is for everyone - sounds like your tounament was quite a thing - we didn’t run the risk of mist as the wind was too strong to allow anything misty to develop - I did however have a cerain mistiness as my glasses fogged up after about 30 mins so the 2nd half was all rather soft focus - anyway it was an excellent evening and I for one am still beaming like the cheshire cat as a result - roll on next week
Thanks again to Rol for organising the event. Despite the weather that was one of the most exciting games of anything i’ve ever played. It was good natured, well balanced and thoroughly enjoyable. The best thing was the sheer range of abilities on display from complete newbie to confident commuter, all playing an active role in the 1 hrs play.
The tartan (rubberised) pitch made a super surface for falling on - I think I can lay claim to one of the best dismounts, a feet-off sprawling, gliding (not something I can normally do) somersalt which left me amazed i could still walk. Applogies to Roger who nearly got the stick in his head some metres away.
Such a good game I will do it again next week - Such a big pitch we could squeeze a couple more on it.
Glad to have avoided the picture editors knife for once parry!