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Mens 3rds - Match centre

Three Rock Rovers MIII's
Rathgar
Sat 6 Dec 11:00 - League Full time

TRR M3's finally score a goal past 'Jack' Rathgar's Custodian

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Would it be third time lucky for TRR M3's having played Chiefs away (0-0) in the season opener, last Sunday's epic battle battle (0-1)

Do superstitions really figure in a match, or is it simply mind over matter, if you really want something bad enough then this supercedes any negative mindsets, players turning up late (please note that Mr Epstein was last on the pitch by some distance, and played possibly his best game this author has had the pleasure to witness - boy when Ben gets it right we become nigh impossible to play against, sadly we dont see this side too often...), full complement of players, Findo not playing, back pitch, Leinster umpires, weather, early morning starts that have in the past been possible contributing factors to a bad performance.

TRR welcome the Chiefs back to fortress Grange Rd, on a sunny but chilly morning, on the FRONT pitch, would the training on a frozen pitch on Wednesday pay off? Heinz graciously had voluntered/or been asked to do the capt/admin honours in Findo's absence, and our thanks to Dylan who yet again managed and coached the team.

A good warm up, everyone it seemed with a point to prove, highlighted in the warm up with some of the best striking of the ball, everyone was smashing the ball into the net with a real hunger for the whistle to blow. Am guessing that Chiefs won the toss and elected to stay at their end - the sun was hopefully not going to be a key factor.

'Jack' who we have failed to score a goal past turned up 2 minutes before the match started, Heinz again graciously gave them extra time to pad up, despite a full set of matches on the front pitch. This is it, Carpe Diem, were off, the yellow jackets have blown the whistle.

First touch was there from the start, Heinz had us all raring to go, cut out the wonder passes, no mistakes... Several probing attacks down the left, switched around to the right, saw TRR force 'Jack' into some early saves, one of which the ball rebounded off his pads, a scramble with sticks searching for the ball, only for Ryan I think to smash the ball over the line, under 'Jacks' incoming kicker, 1-0 WHooooo HOOOOOO deadlock broken,
Chiefs heads down.

Not content with first goal, the forwards Gavin, Sean, Phil and Ryan immediately applied the pressure forcing Chiefs into errors which we would capitilise on. I dont really at this stage wish to discuss tactics, Dylan's coaching, but lets just say that whatever was asked/suggested was implemented with great effect. We dictated the match.

Chiefs invariably moved the parked bus after going down 0-1, midfield with Roly, Pete, Mac, controlling and defending well, a period of 10 minutes or so saw Chiefs rally and created several chances with Ed having a good game, saving well. With 15 minutes to half time, Ben who was at the middle of most things that we did well, lauched a counter attack, forcing "Jack' into several saves, up stepped Gavin G who clearly who had enough of 'Jack' smashed the ball into the net, off Jacks stick into the top right. 2-0 Whoo HOOO

I am pleased to say that we didnt sit back at this stage, and in a golden passage of play Ben would score from close range with a great finish, and follow this up with another well deserved goal... yes, 4-0 to half time!!

Trepidation as a change in tactics was implemented by the coach and the now infamous mini white board... Second half resumed with more of the same, we pressed well, Rig, Ben, Mac, Stu, Scottx2, Ritchie, Roly, Gav, Sean, Mark, Ed, Ryan, Pete, (and anyone I have omitted apologies), all playing and committed to total team hockey. With Chiefs under pressure The Knatch stepped up and smashed/lobbed the keeper to go 5-0.

With any 'up' period their naturally follow's a 'down' period, for a period of 20 mins or so we lost our shape, players exposed too high up the pitch, gifting Rathgar to attack, stringing several passes together, with our shape missing, we needed to dig in. Ed saving smartly from a deflection off Stu G's stick, and several more saves, good defending on the succession of shorts conceeded, but in the last moments a consolation goal, no clean sheet, Ed later grumbled that the normally stalwart right post 'Rig' and gone walk about, Chiefs strike in on the right post.

Chiefs keen for more goals continued to attack, defense held, final score 5-1.

Big turnout for training on Wednesday is required, last big push before the Christmas break (I think we return 17 Jan!!?), we must repeat this level of performance on the road in Mullingar, make or break our season...

MOM - The whole team, really impressive lads, but one of us in particular had a great unselfish game, defending, attacking, scoring goals, staying in position, no chatter back just got on with it... Ben Epstein is my man of match (please, please, please Ben I would like to see you getting the accolades on a regular basis starting with a repeat performance V Mullingar). Please note Ben this MOM is a jug! Your 2 goals is also a Jug (Jug Avoidance)!

DOD - Possibly Ed for no clean sheet, but this week, right post walk about Rig.

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