>Welcome to the new season 2018/19

Couple of matter of housekeeping to take care of:

  • NO TRAINING THIS THURSDAY – Woodrush School have their annual open day this Thursday so the astro is not available.
  • TWO MENS CAPTAIN – position still available. Without getting all Delia Smith – where are you!

From our roaming reporter Jez Higgins
All change in the Men’s Leagues
For reasons lost in the bewildering mists of time, Midlands Regional Hockey Association, our beloved governing body, ran closed leagues.  First teams from all the clubs across the region went into a league structure. All the clubs’ second teams went into a separate, parallel, league structure. Their third teams went into yet another separate, parallel, league. All these leagues existed in their own universe, cut off from contact with each other. This structure had a number of effects, including every other part of the country thinking we were barmy, and every now and again having to travel bloody miles for an away game.

It’s all change this season though. We’ve moved to an open league structure, so all the different teams from all the different clubs have been combined together in one gigantic league structure. There was some pretty fearsome maths involved in divvying up which team went into which league, but for us it should mean two main things – fewer outrageous mismatches where we either complete outclass or are outclassed, and, generally, less travel for away games. If we take the IIIs, we do have to haul out to Telford, but other away fixtures are at Hampton, Solihull, Edgbaston, and Bromsgrove are almost on our doorstep. It’s a similar story for the IIs and the Is.

Hopefully, these changes will add up to a more enjoyable season for everyone.

LADIES TEAM v Stourport : L 2-4
Report from Carol Maddock

A combined Ladies 1s and 2s side took on Stourport 4s this weekend. A spirited effort from the Kings Heath ladies who were the weaker side given Stouport 4s play in div 1. “-1 up at half time but eventually lost 4-2 as we ran out of steam. It was an encouraging result given the relative strength of the 2 teams. Notable performances – Jayne Howarth in goal saving shed loads of shots on target and Karina Bunting blocking pretty much everything that came her way. Goals from Jane “golden sticks” Fellows and Charlie Jones – just 9 weeks after the birth of Eddie. The goal for the match was to survive (we were all a bit unfit) Goal achieved!

MENS 1 v Streetly : D 3-3
Report from Steve Jones

A new season for the mens 1st team saw a few fresh faces grace the pitch for a friendly against Streetly. We descended on Woodrush on a warm Saturday; drier and sandier than the Sahara desert. The youth in the side (and the absence of Blake) dragged the average age below 35 for the first time in several years. Like a mid-90s Welsh rugby team, we were awash with Jones’ and Williams’. And like a mid-90s Welsh rugby team, we weren’t very fit!

We sweated our way through the first half, cobbling together some reasonable hockey and not looking out of our depth against a side three divisions above us. Our first goal came from a well worked short corner. Brev feigned a good injection, Will picked up the pieces, passed to Mark to draw the defenders before passing the ball into Steve’s path (Kings Heath’s leading goal scorer…for 10 minutes), who rifled the ball home into the bottom corner.

The second half saw some more open play as our legs became a little tired. Streetly kept creating chances but much to the defences’ and Spaz’s credit, their lead was never more than a goal. Our second goal also came from a short corner, this time through a more traditional routine. A drag-lob from Mark saw the ball sail over the keeper on floor and still manage to hit the back board.

We then started to create some good chances with Nick making his way into the D on several occasions. One such occasion resulted in a reverse stick attempt which failed to connect. The resulting strop saw the stick hit the fence before the ball even dribbled over the back line… Brev would be proud! Another occasion saw a foul on Nick as subtle as a Boris Johnson newspaper article, resulting in a penalty flick. Mark stepped up and calmly put the ball past the Streetly keeper to bring the scores level at 3-3 (and to claim leading goal scorer outright).

Overall it was a spirited performance from Kings Heath, managing a draw against a team who had the lion’s share of the chances. Special mention goes to new boy Louis (the 2nd) for being awarded man of the match and to Nick for his donkey of the day award.

MENS 2/3 v Streely 2s. L 2-4
Report from Matt Minshall

The 2s and 3s combined this week due to a lack of availability due to weddings, illnesses and other excuses so we played Streetley as an all stars team though a few more stars would be useful. We were down to 10 from the start when one player got confused about the start time but Streetley were good sports and lent us a player. The game ended 4 – 2 and I couldn’t tell you who scored the first goal but the highlight for me was when Reece Brackport threw his stick at the ball to tip the second across the line and we still got awarded the goal. On balance a fair result as they were a bit stronger than us.

Saturday 22 September

  • Mens 1st have an game away at Nuneaton but it’s not on the website. Contact Josh for details.
  • Ladies 1s vs Harborne 3, 10:10pb at Woodrush
  • Mens 2s & 3s vs Harborne 4s & 5s, 11:40 at Woodrush