14 March 2009 ~ 0 Comments

Reading University 3 – Ramgarhia (3XI) 4

Reading Uni vs Ramgarhia
Result: 4-3 win
Scorers: Angus(3), Harry

Another top of the table clash and another under strength Reading team, this week’s team against Ramgarhia consisted of 4 mixed hockey players. Ramgarhia have a very distinctive style of play that often pushes (and occasionally exceeds) the physical boundary of the game. When the players left the field at the end of the game it was reminiscent of war documentaries with wounded soldiers trudging back from the front lines.

The game didn’t start off well with the opposition arriving more than 15 minutes late and bringing no umpire with them. One of their players stepped up leaving them with 10 men for the whole game. Despite this they took a 9th minute lead with a long dribble from the 25 through the D and put it into the goal. Reading rallied back with an equaliser 2 minutes later when Harry “First Ever Goal” King collected a cross nicely at the back post for an easy tap in. One of the low points that generally summed up the whole game came about halfway through the first half with the Ramgarhia centre forward yellow carded for pushing a helpless Nathan to the ground. They have a reputation around the league for appealing lots of decisions and generally giving umpires a lot of aggravation if they feel aggrieved. Even their umpire complained at the yellow card despite it being not far from a red for violent conduct. Minutes later they again complained about a green card for Tom C for allegedly tripping one of their players when it was simply an accident. This trend continued throughout the game with a potential for most of the players on both sides being carded for one reason or another. At 1-1 the game was well poised with Ramgarhia having most of the possession but looking decidedly suspect trying to deal with any Reading breakaway and that proved to be the case when Angus scored the first of his 3 goals for the day late in the half.

The second half was played in the same spirit as the first with Ramgarhia scoring first to take it back to 2-2 before Angus scored again to reclaim the one goal advantage. Minutes later he claimed his hat-trick, and after that the vigour seemed to go missing from their attack and at 4-2 they’d almost given up. The low point of the half was a prolonged stoppage in play after Dom “What did I do?” “You know what you did.” “Actually I have no idea” Pudney to a stick to the groin long after the whistle had gone for another suspect decision against Reading. With an umpire who wouldn’t tell anyone what any foul was for and seemed to be making random decisions, the resilience of the team showed through as they battled towards full time. However with about 5 minutes to go Ramgarhia struck to bring the deficit back to 1 goal. At 2 minutes to go the time was checked and one umpire had 2 minutes and the other had over 10, even with the lengthy stoppage for Dom and various other stoppages a simple look at the actual time showed that there was no way there could be 10 minutes left and that the umpire had simply pulled the number out of his head somewhere. A cynic may say that he was trying to give his team more time to score an equalising goal.

It wasn’t the case and Reading held on for the remaining 2 minutes to seal a vital and hard fought win. That puts the team 2 points clear over Ramgarhia with 2 games in hand and 3 points over Phoenix with the next 2 fixtures home and away to Phoenix. Of the 5 teams in the league who stand any chance of winning; Reading, Sonning 5s, Phoenix, Chiswick and Ramgarhia, only Reading and Chiswick won this week with Sonning being held to a draw at bottom of the table Wokingham and Phoenix continuing a run of bad form by losing to Tring.

I hope I got this right.

Satnam Singh

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