What an unforgettable season, but just in case you are tempted to forget let’s summarise:
- Ten senior league teams ALL ACHIEVING BEST EVER finishing positions in their respective leagues.
- THREE CHAMPIONSHIPS and a PROMOTION. Once again…a record.
- Two more teams waiting in the wings to join leagues next season (hopefully).
- One amazing friendly, growing, successful hockey club on field and off; undoubtedly the finest in the land, with our future assured by one hundred-plus juniors already taking the opportunity to experience and achieve success in junior competitions.
- …Not forgetting the Mixed teams – often two on the same day – Ladies’ Masters and Men’s Indoor.
Thank you to everyone who has made it so… Skippers, VCs and the other committee members (senior and junior), coaches, umpires, pizza deliverers. And hosts, Long Road College and Cantabs RFC
We are entering tough times with Coronavirus. The spirit of Camb South HC shines on in lots of offers to support each other appearing over WhatsApp, and many club members working on combating the virus and caring for those directly affected,
Let’s look forward to better times, including the crucial date of SEPTEMBER 5th, when we shall convene at the ANNUAL DINNER to recall the glories of this season, enjoy one anothers’ company and make outrageous promises of fantastic achievement in the season to come. Which history tells us will be exceeded once again.
Here are the end-of-term reports from our captains. Enjoy.
Men’s 1stsSkipper: Harry Chalk
Division 1 – debut appearance
Final position: 5th
It’s been a fun year for the M1s. We’ve learnt:
- Oven baking a damp sock pre-match is a good last resort.
- The Dads’ experience and nous does count for quite a lot, beating the Lads 4-1 in the inaugural M1 Dads vs Lads fixture.
- Herbs is the quickest player in the squad, followed closely by Deano.
- The louder James Bailey grunts, the slower the ball goes.
- Having seventeen out of twenty games decided by one goal either way is not good for your blood pressure but really quite entertaining to be part of.
- Scoring just twenty-eight league goals all season is not a problem when you have a mean defence and love winning by one goal only!
It was also nice to come fifth (highest league finish for the club), do the double over City and finish ahead of Nomads as well! A massive thanks from the lads to Coach Paul for all his efforts through the season. And a big thanks to the whole squad; a down to earth and hard working bunch… It’s been a pleasure.
Ladies’ 1stsSkipper: Robyn Rutter, née McLean
Division 2NW – previous best: 3rd, 2019-20
Final position: 1st – promoted as CHAMPIONS!
What can I say about the Ladies 1s. Well, we are champions. Winners. Unbeaten throughout the season. Awarded a massive sixty-one points from the league for our wins. Heading into Div 1 next season for the first time in South’s history. Heroes.
Twenty-one games played with fourteen clean sheets, only conceding nine goals all season. That is pretty good going. We scored eighty goals – half of those goals were scored by three players: fifteen goals from Laura, fourteen from Alice and eleven goals from Katie (four of those in one game). With a shout out to Harriet, our late joiner who played seven games and scored eight goals! #DoingBitsInTheD
Our Goal difference was a staggering +71; that’s more than double what Bury were able to get – they only managed +31 and they came second. Just shows how we smashed it out of the park.
Myself and Kim were absolutely delighted with our linking play on the pitch, how we passed beautifully around the opposition, as well as the commitment and dedication of our squad. So proud of each and every one of you.
We take our hockey seriously, as we should – we are the Ladies’ 1s – but we are a lovely bunch of girls who live and work for each other on and off the pitch and are looking forward to our venture into Division 1. Did you know we’ll have to play a team that will be relegated from Prem!! Prem?!
Those were the good bits. The bad bits: we are disturbed by the fact Harriet wears socks in slippers for post match teas, a trend we hope does not spread. We are also pretty ashamed/absolutely delighted, as it brings so much joy, that a black unicorn horn has become our LoM trophy which we wear each week with pride.
Men’s 2ndsSkipper: James Menzies
Division 3NW – previous best: 9th, 2011-12 and 2012-13
Final Position: 4th
The M2s traversed the dizzy heights of Div 3NW, home to such sleeping giants as March 1s and Bourne Deeping 2s, with a fresh-looking squad, a brand new card reader, and a can-do attitude as if to say, ‘What’s the worst that could happen?’
Well the worst thing that could happen turned out to be taking four points from our opening five games. But there was always a sense of a good performance being just around the corner. Plus morale was at an all-time high after Tom Marchant introduced the squad to the phenomenon of shower mints. The next ten games yielded twenty-one points out of a possible thirty - there was a real sense that the team had clicked. We trained hard, we worked for each other, and there was no longer any sign of trepidation as we visited some of East Anglia’s most questionable astros – some of which were still lined with the heads of visiting teams.
With the 2s, the balance has always been maintaining a sense of fun and not taking it too seriously whilst improving and playing a decent level of hockey. There were certainly times when, playing against March 1s at Long Road and Peterborough 4s, that we were in danger of becoming a pretty handy team who’d look at home in Div 2. I reckon next year we’ll be looking to consolidate on our fourth placed finish – I always felt that we had the potential to be the third best team behind Uni and maybe Peterborough – so the plan is to see if we can better this season, and get promoted [followed of course by immediate relegation from Div 2 with Tom Anns scoring a league high of seventeen own goals].
Ladies’ 2ndsSkipper: Izzy MacDonald-Parry
Division 3S – previous best: 12th in 3NW(s), 2014-15
Final position: 8th
I think it’s safe to say that the L2s’ transition into Div 3S has been an interesting one. We had a frustrating run of games that saw us defend brilliantly but get caught out by one goal on eight occasions… We have been unlucky not to finish in a higher position.
We have however had some excellent performances. We put twenty-three goals past Haverhill over two games and our goal difference is only bettered by the top three sides in the league. We have recorded nine different goal scorers and our goals scored are equal to that of East London, who took the top spot. We managed in the space of two games to lose to bottom of the league Saffron Walden (who at that point had failed to win a match all season – even against Haverhill. Not our finest hour) and then in the following game beat top of the league Hertford away, who were yet to lose at home. Our performance against Hertford was our best performance of the season; we worked hard and we played good sensible hockey, and it paid off. We got to play Wapping at Lee Valley, and on the Stadium Pitch, which many of us decided was not worth the hype as it was even bouncier than Long Road and they didn’t feel like watering it for us. We got to behave like excited tourists though and get a picture with the sign.
Jenny managed to pick up four of her five Lemon votes in the first five weeks of the season. Sam and Izzy followed closely with four each then Nicola with two; no one else managed more than one. Take what you will from these statistics. We have welcomed some new faces this year: Mary came to join us from the States for a six week cameo; Nichola, Flix, Sam, Sinead, Jess Foord and Charlotte all joined us and settled in nicely. It took all season but Sam finally managed to arrive for a game with all of the equipment and clothes that she needed to play, although did proceed to throw her jumper in a puddle. We had some lovely Jess G to Jess W to Jess F play. There was a good chance that if you shouted Jess on the pitch the ball would get to one of them. Everyone struggled, despite Eimear and Aoife having been part of the team for some time, not to mix up their names and so Sinead was born.
Eimear and Izzy reached their one hundredth games this year; we’ve also had one hundred goals, fifty goals and incorrect congratulations on engagements… Nichola learnt to pass to the player and not the fence (10/10 for effort), Grace and Jess W managed to mount the opposition in consecutive games, Rebecca got really good at creating triangles and Jess W is guilty of the stick tackle of the season, which the umpire described as, ‘Quite horrible.’
Despite the challenges and frustrations everyone turned up each week determined to do their best. Sometimes we pulled it off, sometimes we didn’t, but Jenny made sure we all remembered to have fun and do it for Paul. Jenny and I are proud of the effort that everyone has put in this season, in spite of the league being tougher than expected.
Men’s 3rdsSkipper: Matt Allsopp
Division 4NW – previous best: 6th, 2017-18
Final Position: 5th
From a personal point of view this has been a season to forget. Through injury and illness I’ve managed to play only ten matches, three of which were friendlies and another where I lasted all of about eight seconds. Fortunately, the mantle of captain was picked up by George T who did an outstanding job, so a massive thanks to him for stepping in and stepping up.
Based on what we set out to achieve the season has been a huge success. We wanted to stay in Div 4NW and for much of the season we were either top or pushing for promotion. If it wasn’t for a little slump at the start of the second half of the season I believe the promotion slots would have gone to the wire. A fifth place finish is admirable and a reflection on the growing fortunes of the club and the strength of the players. Although we didn’t push any players up the sides this season, I believe the gap between the 2s and 3s was not so large as some may have thought. When players came down from the 2s they fitted into the side well and were supported by the quality of the regular 3s. In terms of depth of squad the only position where we looked a little thin was centre midfield, this partially down to my prolonged absence. That said we were blessed with Connor Grant, who took on the mantle of midfield general to great success and was well supported by the likes of Matt Kern, Dan Loy, Seb Dias and Rob Hartle. As for defence and attack, we always got a strong line out and for most of the season we were spoilt for choice. Above all things the team maintained a strong ethic of inclusivity and a wonderful atmosphere. Match 1 gave us out tagline for the season: #TeamHubris and we all wore the badge with aplomb.
Our main strategy this season was to score more goals. Last season we averaged a little less than two goals a game, this season we managed nearly three. We generally stuck to the tactic of getting it down the line, and with the likes of Jimmy Wood and Pete Creed on the wings we always looked a threat. Joe and Jonny battled through the middle and on good days it rained goals. There were the occasional droughts but it’s something to build on for next season. Jimmy won most MoMs this year, George and Jonny came in second and Adam got a couple of nods for some excellent defending. Finally a few words on training. When I was there (which was not often) there was always an excellent turn out from the 3s, which was a huge benefit throughout the season as we got the chance to develop together. I massive thanks should go to Chris Graveling for his wonderful coaching throughout the season, as well as coming to watch a few matches as well. I don’t think we’d have been half as good this year if it wasn’t for him.
Thanks to everyone who has played this season and everyone who makes each week possible with all the work they do to make it happen.
Ladies’ 3rdsSkipper: Rhiannon Davies
Division 4NW(s) – previous best: 6th, 2018-19
Final Position: 2nd – promoted!
With the aim at the beginning of the season to be one of the teams fighting for a top five spot and hoping for promotion after finishing sixth last year, I am so happy that we have managed to get PROMOTED! The season started off a little bumper than we would have liked with only one win in our first four matches (two of which were friendlies); but we managed to get the bad ones out of the way to then start showing our opponents what we are really like. Since then the team has gone from strength to strength, winning sixteen and drawing two of our twenty-one matches and with only some minor injuries and only a couple of A&E visits, all by the skipper – no surprise there then.
The team have managed to laugh at the silly moments: lateness, shoelaces and falling over (anywhere and everywhere on the pitch), but have known when to get serious. With a Forward-First-Fast-Fierce mentality the team have scored just shy of one hundred goals and have a goal difference of +83; eighteen-nil against Haverhill did help. Goals have been spread throughout the team: Rhi with thirteen, Anna and Irina both getting twelve and a further sixteen goal scorers, it really has been a team effort to fight for our promotion. Defensively, only fourteen goals have gone past us, making us the lowest conceding team in the league, putting emphasis on our defensive unit and how hard they have worked to support our attacking play.
The team has not been short of support both in the changing room and from friends and family on the side-line, but also from across the ocean with weekly mascots, sent from Kirsty, who set off on her big adventure at the beginning of the year.
The team are such a lovely group of girls and I am so proud that we will be moving up to Div 3 where we can fight hard, continue to score like we have this season and battle to show why we have been promoted!
Men’s 4thsSkipper: John Gourd
Division 5NW – previous best: 9th, 2018-19
Final position: 4th
At about 12.46pm on Saturday 23rd March 2019, the wonderful Jo Dant popped up in the St Neots D to deflect home Dave Monck’s rocket and thus ‘secure’ a 5-2 defeat – it was this last minute goal that ensured the 4s’ survival in Div 5NW by a goal difference of one.
Avoiding relegation by the thinnest possible margin meant that we started the 2019/20 season with a view that keeping out of the relegation zone would be a worthy ambition. Gaining only four points from our first four games seemed to reinforce that view. Little did we know that a major revival was on the cards… The fact that we ended the season in the lofty heights of fourth place is down to a number of reasons:
- First and foremost, we kept a strong key squad who bonded together as mates and started to develop a style of play that allowed us to be more competitive and combative.
- We bid farewell to some 2018/19 stalwarts, who went on to grace the M3s and the M5s, but we were able to say hello to a few new members of the squad who helped raise our game.
- We were lucky enough to also be entertained by a couple of players, new to the club, who stopped off for a while on their – well deserved – rise up to the higher echelons of the club.
- The support that the team and I received from Rob Barton especially bearing in mind the number of times he arranged everything, whilst voluntarily dropping to the M5s/M6s. Thanks Rob.
And of course there are the events that defined the season:
- Doing the double over Wisbech, who were leading the league when we went to play them on a dark November night, on a muddy pitch, illuminated by only twelve of the twenty floodlights, and stole a three-one victory.
- The loyal troupe who gave up their Saturday to travel to Louth and came back home with three points for their troubles.
- Our goal king trio of Jamie, Oli and JJ, who scored thirty-eight goals between them.
I can’t find the stats but I would also like to pay tribute to the number of umpiring slots the M4s squad has provided this year – both at the club level and at the pool level.
It’s been a great season and my only regret is that we couldn’t extend our seven match unbeaten run into the last game of the season – but in the context of the worldwide crisis we’re facing these little things fade into insignificance.
Ladies’ 4thsSkipper: Zara Bradley
Division 5NW(S) – previous best 7th, 2018-19
Final position: 1st – promoted as CHAMPIONS!
After a good start to the season the L4s went from strength to strength. Fifty-five points, seventeen wins, thirteen of which were clean sheets thanks to our cracking defence and fantastic goalkeepers throughout the club. Sixty-three goals scored thanks to our fantastic forwards, with Naomi Gibson as the L4s’ top goal scorer with sixteen goals and Emily Stevenson close behind with fifteen!
The development of all players in the 4s has been staggering, never becoming complacent and always pushing for the wins, aiming to get better each week. As the season went on and we got used to each other as a team play flowed fantastically, developed further through training by Bhav and Izzy who deserve medals for managing the impressive number of players from the L4s and L5s coming to training every week.
It has been a pleasure to captain such an incredible team, from nail-biting short corners to reach-for-the-stars warm-ups in the changing room. The L4s will most definitely be celebrating a fantastic season when lockdown is over!
Men’s 5thsSkipper: Howard Steed
Division 6NW(S) – previous best: 6th, 2017-18
Final position: 1st – promoted as CHAMPIONS!
After early defeats at the hands of Peterborough 7s and St Neots 3s who would have put money on the 5s taking the championship this season…? I wish I had now! Having conceded five goals to Peterborough back in October we managed to only concede a further five league goals throughout the remainder of the season, which is pretty impressive!
So what happened at the end of October apart from the clocks going back? Well it was around that time that newcomers Pete Jacobs, Roland Li and Avi Sharma came along and turbocharged our midfield and defence. The addition of M4 stalwarts Paul South, Rob Barton and Dan Image-Flower alongside M5 regulars also made a massive difference. An ample supply of keepers (MSG, Naka and Mikey G) meant that Shazhad’s goalkeeping dice of destiny wasn’t needed at all this season.
Alas we were just a couple of points short of the title when Covid-19 called time on league fixtures and meant that it was decided on an points percentage basis. It would have been nice to win it on the pitch against arch rivals Nomads but with a record of played eighteen, won sixteen, lost two, we were by far the best team in Div 6NW(S) this season. So Div 5 awaits us along with the delight of Lincolnshire.
Ladies’ 5thsSkipper: Nicole Mills
Division 5NW(s) – debut season
Final position: 6th
This works so well that another team is formed during the season, a.k.a. the Ladies 5th Xtras, and additional occasional friendly games played. It’s not just Assassin Steed who can organise two teams on the same day. [Ed - ghost-written whilst Nic is busy on active service at Addenbrookes. Thank you to skipper Nic for assembling up to forty ladies for hockey, creating a great team bond and positive vibe throughout]
Here’s the blueprint:
- Have a season of friendlies to get used to the idea of a new team, blending experienced Southerners, hockey returnees and new young talent.
- Enter league the following season once the squad have established an identity.
- Supply half time Percy Pigs (dietitian approved) for morale purposes.
- Somehow juggle twenty-five or more players most weekends, giving everyone a chance to play if possible.
- Enjoy hockey in games with many goals; a proportion of which we scored.
Men’s 6thsSkipper: also Howard
Friendlies only (formed this season)
It’s always difficult to know when is the best time to try and launch a new team. We did it with the M5s a couple of seasons ago and look where they are now! We took the same approach this season with the M6s. It was touch and go at the start and we had to cancel several early fixtures due to lack of numbers, but with the support of other local clubs particularly Bishop’s Stortford and City who had similar aspirations to launch another team, we actually ended up with a suprisingly full fixtures list. Massive thanks to our amazing Fixtures Sec, Jan, for managing to rustle up fixtures from nowhere!
Results were mixed with three wins and eight losses out of eleven played, but we a have a young team growing in experience and confidence all of the time and ready to compete in Div 6 next season. In particular Yuning Zhou, who has played brilliantly in defence this season, and also Tendayi Rwambiwa for scoring his first and second goals for the club in the same game! Team Grove (Martin, Thomas and an end-of-season guest appearance from Steve) have also had a big impact on the team this season. And finally a massive thank you to ‘Big Sean’ Gardiner for taking on the role of captain for most of the M6 games this season, as well as umpiring and playing for the M5s.
The M5s may be champions this season but equally importantly we have proved that an M6 team is a viable proposition for next season and this is down to every one of you who have lent your support to the team during the 2019/20 season. Thank you all, Div 6 here we come next season!