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Men's 3rd XI - Match centre

Eastbourne 2s
Brighton and Hove Hockey Club
Sat 13 Jan 13:30 - League Full time

Star In A Reasonably Priced Car

The journey was relatively uneventful along a section of the A27 which can often ruin a trip East. That being said, it’s not a scratch on Worthing and their sapping roundabout setup.

The Kia Cee’d was catapulted into the mainstream by Top Gear and their ‘Star in a reasonably priced car’. Although many many car fans are keen to see how fast Matt Le Blanc et al could get round the track, true car bods were keen to understand how it would handle a trip to Eastbourne. The brief supplied (in an envelope by a young chap in a white ¾ length jacket) was to transport 4 adult hockey players, their kit and a further large (oversized) piece of baggage – The GK kit. Things got off to an interesting start – the passenger seat unfortunately wouldn’t relocate forward, blessing Auld with lashings of space but Bromley folded like a low-quality piece of fleshy origami. Passenger Page was loving his quarters, despite the long legs of Air Commodore Bending piloting the ship. Despite a couple of stick bags being relocated to the middle seat (due to the aforementioned GK kit) the car is spacey and comfortable.

A bit more on the Cee’d - It’s a rival for big-selling small family hatchbacks, such as the Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra and aims to tempt buyers principally through a mix of keen pricing, low running costs and an unusually long (seven-year) warranty. All key points when considering a car, although my Autotrader ‘Saved Searches’ tend to be a car less than £500 and not too far away.

The journey was relatively uneventful along a section of the A27 which can often ruin a trip East. That being said, it’s not a scratch on Worthing and their sapping roundabout setup.

On arrival at Saffrons (the Eastbourne Club), several BHHC players debated the Cricket Ground and its worthiness as a backup location for Sussex CCC. Generally, it was agreed that it is the premier East Sussex location with its only restriction being the slightly restrictive car park (not ideal for warming up!).

As one would expect for the first league game of the season – it was bitterly cold. The changing facilities are in my opinion perfect for a squad of 16 – they are well sized, have full height paneling (touch of relative opulence) and are nice and close to the pitch. Once ready and mildly warmed up we proceeded to commence our warm up on the new Saffrons surface. Generally, the pitch was true but did carry the risk of variable bounce.

The game was an end to end affair. I managed to achieve my target 10,000 steps by just after half-time which certainly pleased me. Unfortunately, an Eastbourne player took a powerfully hit but slightly deflected hit to the head – we wish him well and hope it’s fixed. Following said stoppage Eastbourne hit us on a swift break and went in 1-0 up at half time. We had a discussion (and no oranges) and came back out in a positive mindset as we were certainly in the frame. Eastbourne then scored again to create a 2-goal buffer. Somehow, and as the writer I am still baffled as to how it actually happened, Bromley received a ball high up in the right-hand side of the pitch, BEAT A PLAYER FOR PACE, ran in to the D and flicked the ball over the GKs head. Key distraction tactics were provided by Pat, putting the keeper in to two minds and creating the shooting space for Usain Bromley. 2-1, game on.

Brighton then pressed on and won several more corners, but none managed to penetrate the Eastbourne defence. Eventually after a period of sustained pressure, Air Commodore Bending managed to clinically dissect the Eastbourne wall (from 1 yard) and we were back on level terms.

In the dying moments Eastbourne broke and drove at the left-hand side of the D. Despite Rob Nob tracking the player he managed to sort of dive forward & reverse the ball in to the backboard (through Hehir’s legs). Fair play – it was a shot worthy of winning most games.

Frustrated and considering what might’ve been, we headed for showers and teas. Despite a smattering of M People, The Lighthouse Family and D:Ream, it still felt like points dropped. Hey ho – at least we get a cracking trip back to Blatch in the Cee’d!

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