Anyone want to guess the year this was written in the annual School magazine? Mike
SECOND XI HOCKEY
This season will perhaps be remembered longer than any other, not for the standard of hockey, but rather for the appalling winter. As a result of the latter fewer than half of the original fixtures were played, and of these only three matches were played in the Easter term. However, this was by no means an unsuccessful season. The team lost only two of the ten matches. At last, it seems that there is some pride in playing for what can be called a "Second Eleven", rather than a team of "also rans".
Dimmer kept goal throughout the season and improved as it progressed; although at one or two matches he spent most of the time admiring the surrounding countryside (there being little else for him to do). Renton, at right-back, after finding some difficulty early in the season in stopping the ball, improved steadily and became a very sound back. Biyth proved a strong quick-tackling back and he and Renton soon became a force to be reckoned with, the two of them saving many a dangerous situation. Hammond, at right-half showed himself to be a fast, hard-tackling player, but he could improve his ball distribution. Boardley (when he managed to stay on his feet) proved he was a hard-working and keen centre-half, playing his best against the stronger teams. Winsey, at left-half, completed the defence and proved a strong and boisterous player with a good sense of positioning, though, he tends to wander too far up the field at times. Palmer played at right-wing throughout the season, and had a valuable inside-forward in Tickner, a busy and enterprising player, whose speed proved a valuable asset and bemused many a defence. Buckett, at centre-forward, was consistently good, hitting the ball accurately and hard, (even with his ancient stick) and this ability earned him many fine goals. Tredray, before being called to the realms of higher service, proved the inspiration of the attack, having excellent ball control and accurate distribution. His place was then filled by McGhie, a player of great ability, with an extremely hard shot; Dark at left-wing completed the attack, and with his sudden bursts of speed, filled a difficult position with success though he should learn more ways of beating his opponents.
However, this was only the regular team, and several others played in one or two matches. Bolt played in all three of the Easter term matches, and with his fearless tackling and enthusiastic approach became a fine asset to the defence; Stephenson, at the start of the season, played hockey of high quality. The fact that, in all the years he has played school hockey, he has never been on the losing side, is an obvious guide to his ability. Hassall and Malcolmson also played, and for part of the match against the Old Boys, we even had Goater in goal.
With this improvement in school hockey, and with an Under 14 and Colts team, a constant supply of players has at last been realised; and one hopes that, with practice, School hockey will continue to improve in standard