National Division 1: HBU get underway with a strong start with a majority Under 17’s team.
Roller Hockey Report
Herne Bay United
National League Division 1
Houghton Regis, Beds, 30 September 2012
As many of the players in Herne Bay United’s all-conquering roller hockey team approach the end of their careers, the club is preparing its youngsters for top competition and fielded young sides in both the Premier League and National Division 1 matches at the weekend.
The ND1 team was captained by Matt Holness and comprised mainly schoolboy players plus veteran goalkeeper Dan Barton and new Portuguese signing Rodrigo Carvalho having his first encounter with the robust nature of UK roller hockey.
All in all it was a good first outing for the team with 2 wins and a defeat to last year’s winners Houghton Regis. No teams went through the day undefeated so the league is wide open.
HBU team: Dan Barton (GK), Harry Adams (GK), Rodrigo Carvalho, Matt Holness, Luke Latham, George Kohler, David Martindale, Josh Branchett
Sheffield v HBU 2 – 3
Luke converted a nice pass which put us 1 up but we were back to 1 – 1 at half-time. Rodrigo got us 1 up again half-way through the 2nd half but Sheffield made it 2 – 2 with 30 seconds to go and Luke restored our lead 5 seconds later and we held out to the end.
Halifax v HBU 3 – 4
We scored early through Luke and Rodrigo and Halifax got a penalty which they converted off the rebound. We were 2 – 1 up at half-time. Five minutes into the 2nd half Halifax equalised but Rodrigo got us one back 5 seconds later. Halifax equalised again through a long slap shot that was not closed down. I asked for a time out and did not get it, the timekeeping became somewhat erratic and the last 3 minutes ran to 10 minutes. Substitutions were made to put some fresh legs in the match and Rodrigo scored with 4 “official” minutes left.
Houghton Regis v HBU 6 – 2
The effort of the earlier matches and nerve-wracking results probably contributed to HBU’s very bad start in this match. Our defenders stood like statues on the edge of our box and let Houghton’s Jason Wakenshaw flick one top corner with goalkeeper Harry having little chance. Then our back man with the ball tried to dribble Houghton’s No 4 in the middle of the rink, lost it and permitted a soft one-on-one and we were 2 down in 45 seconds. We stabilised it a bit but leaked 3 more goals for 1 in reply by Rodrigo so 1 – 5 down at half-time. We came out better in the 2nd half, conceded a goal after 4 minutes but a moment later (one second according to the score sheet) Josh scored for us. It was then ding-dong until the end but no goals either way. We drew the second half but went down 2 – 6.
We have a lot to review from these matches and plenty of time to prepare for the next ND1 outing in Soham on January 6 next year. There are tournaments in November and December but no HBU matches scheduled into these.
Ron Barker, Team Manager