VPHC versus ADF
The Victoria Police Hockey Club played the Australian Defence Force team at Hawthorn Hockey Field yesterday. The annual match which went into hiatus for a few years during the war in Afghanistan is now back. VPHC fought well all game finishing the match with a 4-3 win.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing though. VPHC opened the account in the 9th minute with a thundering drive from Jason Hamilton-Smith after some deft work in the middle by Andrew Harris and Rick Forcey who released Andy Stevenson for the pass to Jason. Great team work only for the ADF to find the back of the net 2 minutes later to level the scores after Damien Duggan had been wrong footed in goals. VPHC again came back with superb defence by Andy McNess, Dave Sanders, Jack Blayney and Stuart Deitz mounting a counter attack which resulted in a fine goal from Lachlan Holding. The second stanza ended with The Wallopers leading 2-1. The third stanza of 20 minutes began with fierce forward action by the ADF, challenging the Police defence which eventually wearied to allow the equaliser through some terrific hockey from the Navy and Army boys resulting in a clever deflection and goal, 2-2.
But the Wallopers engine room rotated to great effect; James Nelson linked in with Lachy Holding and Jason Hamilton-Smith moved the ball quickly out to the wings Tim Cavanagh and Jess Wigg and back to the D for a terrific goal again to Jason Hamilton-Smith for his second of the match. Chris Lewis worked tirelessly out wide to draw the opposition, allowing Rodan Smith some run getting the ball to Rick Forcey. The ADF were relentless in their quest to claim the shield and broke the backs of the defence with a finely timed run and clever deflection to again level the scores with 5 minutes to go.
Jess Wigg had worked hard all game in the blistering sun up against a bigger opponent, drawing him out wide to allow Rodan and Rick the run through they needed to create space for James Nelson and Andy Harris. Jack Blayney moved up field and allowed Tim Cavanagh some run inside to feed Stevo who was peppering the goals alongside Jason and Lachy. With 4 minutes to go Jess drew an opponent out wide, ran along the base line and was on the end of a very clever ball from Lachy which she finally put in the back of the net to win the game with 2 minutes to go. The Wallopers hung on for the 4-3 win and claimed the shield. Jessica Wigg was declared most valuable player by the ADF to commemorate her debut game for the VPHC.
Well done to everyone for giving up their time and enjoying a hot day in the sun playing hockey.
Norm Walker was honoured with a certificate of appreciation from the club for his 10 years of service in umpiring his 50th match for the Victoria Police Hockey Club.