An off day in the Cumbrian sunshine

Blackpool Men’s 1s 0-3 West Cumbria Men’s 1s

by Peter Latimer

Readers know this reporter has an undying love for BHC and I have to admit to sometimes slightly biased reporting of events. But there is no gloss that can make this report any easier to write. Every season Blackpool collectively have an off game, where nothing goes right and everyone has a bad game. That off game happened on Saturday against West Cumbria.

The day started so well. An early meet in glorious winter sunshine, with an almost end of season jovial atmosphere. Kieron, Rob and Joe even stopped off for a picnic on the way up, they tucked in to roast chicken salad sandwiches washed down with lucozade sport. All three commenting on how beautiful Cumbria was in the January sunshine. The whole team arrived a good hour early and were escorted into Cockermouth with a squad of police outriders. My conservative guess is that most of the town turned up to wave the Blackpool players in. A town of this size rarely gets to glimpse players of this calibre.

The warm up went well, there was much joking at Gaz’s girth and Woody’s little legs and even the big lump that appeared on Joe’s forehead after a mistimed tackle. The umpires called the captains in and then there was the customary team talk and then they were off. That’s when it all started to go wrong. Wests played at a good pace and looked to attack at every opportunity. Blackpool looked a little unsure of what was been asked of them and just could not string more than 5 passes together. Half time two nil down, Blackpool had been there before and knew what to do to sort the game out and get a result. But even though they knew what to do they could not do it. The second half was atrocious with some desperate displays across the whole park. All the senior members of the squad did not lift their game and this reporter can state as fact that at least six players had their worst games for Blackpool for a number of years. Three nil down at full time and lots and lots to complain about. Beaten by a better team on the day in a match played with good spirit but with no real hockey aptitude from any Blackpool player.

The team used its ‘get out of jail card’ against Tameside. If this level of performance continues, Blackpool are looking at a second half of the table position instead of a top four placing. Senior players need to stand up and start having good games and the team needs to learn that if it can not pass more than five times it will not win any matches.

Even with the loss and the Blackpool team playing Lytham standard hockey (very poor with too many egos) Cumbria really is a beautiful place in the sunshine.

Squad – Blakemore M, Blakmore A, Woodman, Gettings, Whitley, Abbott, Pasqualino, Boniface, Morrow, Ashfield, Morgan, Chadwick. MoM – Pasqualino (there is much debate over this award as several people thought he was playing for West Cumbria).

© Kieron Morrow 30/01/06

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