Students show they are fast learners

WHAT a cracking contest Elizabeth College and Colombians put on to brighten up a wet and windy Saturday.

Elizabeth College goal-scorer Charlie Clapham is closed down by Mark Oliphant. (Picture by Martin Gray, www.guernseysportphotography.com, 28760536)
Elizabeth College goal-scorer Charlie Clapham is closed down by Mark Oliphant. (Picture by Martin Gray, www.guernseysportphotography.com, 28760536)

There had been question marks whether it would be played at all as the heavy overnight rain had caused morning postponements at Footes Lane, but by the time the whistle blew at 12.45pm, conditions were more or less perfect for hockey and the teams gave the spectators a treat.

There might not have been a glut of goals, but this was as competitive as it gets and, although the honours were even by the end as the game ended 1-1, and deservedly so, it was Elizabeth College who really took the plaudits.

Although Colombians were missing some key personnel, the yellows still boasted a quality spine to their side and the students stood up to them superbly from front to back.

With just the bare XI available to him, coach Andy Good was running out of superlatives on the sideline by the end of the match.

In typical fashion, he was very vocal in his instructions throughout, but he gave praise where it was due and that was often with regulars shouts of ‘excellent’ and ‘outstanding’ to ensure his young charges kept working their socks off.

They also played some fine stuff at times.

To a man – or boy – all 10 outfielders did their jobs with great enthusiasm and no little ability while in goal Morgan Clayton produced a performance that had his opposite number Jake Le Marchant, the Guernsey goalkeeper, quipping afterwards that he might as well retire because the College No. 1 was so good on the day.

It said so much for their combined confidence that when Zak Damarell conjured an equaliser to Charlie Clapham’s opening goal a little under 10 minutes remaining, College then started to defy their own coach and press for a winner themselves despite Good urging them to keep their shape and not commit too many players forward.

He knew that his side deserved at least a point for their efforts and he did not want to have that snatched from them, but it was they who so nearly grabbed a decisive goal in the dying embers of the match only for Le Marchant to claw away Max Lord’s short-corner drag flick.

  • More in Monday's Guernsey Press.

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