Trinity 1s were up against old nemesis' Guildford 2s on Saturday, away against a side who'd only lost 1 game all season and were looking to take top spot. A strong squad of 14 was assembled to rise to the challenge and it was soon needed as Harry 'Seb' Kane hobbled off injured once more.
Trinity had the best of the early exchanges which rather riled Guildford, who were perhaps expecting an easier game. As we controlled the ball we merely had to watch on as the home side contrived to get themselves sent off for backchat, including a decision which went in their favour which the complained about and ended up being down to 10 with the decision reversed. In a high intensity game it was, however, Guildford who opened the scoring - their well worked shorts which we'd seen the previous week against Kenley coming good once again.
The response from the 1s was emphatic. Some beautiful keep ball gave Callum, who was having a storming game at left back, the chance to find Chris who had time to pick and aerial over the top to John Devaney who controlled it beautifully, skipped into the D past two men then bundled the ball home (home being perhaps an inch over the line). 1-1 it remained until half time.
We knew we'd had a good first half but the intensity needed to remain that way against clearly a pretty decent side. What came was perhaps the best 35 minutes of hockey of the season so far, as we went 2-1 up through a stunning Robbie Warburton strike, before seemingly controlling the game before a series of match defining moments. As Guildford ramped up the presssure the umpire inadvertently deflected the ball straight to their centre forward who finished with aplomb, 2-2. Then came a 50:50 decision on a disallowed goal which went our way to keep the scores level, and finally an overturned short in our favour, still 2-2.
Having thrown everything at us for a 15 minute period and Trinity having weathered the storm (the defence was superb) it was now our turn to go for the jugular. Short corner won, up stepped Chris Clark who smashed it into the bottom corner - 3-2 with 7 minutes remaining. Could we hold out? The answer was yes, the rest of the game was managed excellently, JD running the clock down in the corner and then winning a short as he got hacked in frustration.
A fine win indeed and some of the best standard hockey of the season, the defending, marking and triangles in midfield belied a better level. Everyone played well and it's difficult to pick out individuals, but Sam William's command of the ball at right back and continuous interceptions deservedly earned him man of the match.
The 1s will look to back up the win with another 3 points at Kenley on Saturday