Men’s 4th IX

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Firstly, I’d like to take the opportunity to say a huge thank you to Lawrence McCabe for his positivity and winning mentality in leading the Men’s 4s last season. I speak on behalf of the whole team in saying that we all had a great time enjoying our hockey, through wins and losses, and enjoying being a part of the Men’s 4s. The team finished 4th this year, although this was not an improvement on last year’s performance, throughout the season we played well against tough opposition and showed some promising hockey to take through to this season.

The Men’s 4s started well with a strong 5-3 win over Harper Adams at home, with a team of many freshers showcasing some talent to take through to the rest of the season. This win was then followed by a trip to Cambridge, a team playing in a league much lower than their ability, with this in mind the Men’s 4s tried to take the game to them, which proved not to be fruitful, losing 0-11, however it was a hard fought game by all of the Brookes boys until the final whistle.

The Men’s 4s then returned home for a match against Anglia Ruskin, the boys went into the game potentially too relaxed, and let emotions get the better of them in a gritty and aggressive match, with Ruskin playing what seemed like a 9-0-1 formation, with two counter-attacking goals, ending in a 1-2 loss. We then travelled to Nottingham, hungry for a win after a disappointing and unlucky game, we were to face Trent in what would be an important game in the league. It was a close fought match, with a lot of chances created by Brookes, with none put away until late on in the match to snatch a 1-0 win.

After a string of league games, with mixed results, the Men’s 4s had their first cup game, the first for many freshers, so we knew it was a big game. Once again we faced Anglia Ruskin at home, after the last game the Men’s 4s knew what to expect, however this seemed to not make a difference. It resulted in a 0-4 loss, a recurring problem of not putting away our chances began to surface.

With no distraction of a cup run, the Men’s 4s were to face Cambridge again, this time at home, after a mixture of different tactics to keep the scoreline in single figures this time, nothing could be done to stop the strong Blues team, with Brookes losing 0-16. We then faced Anglia Ruskin again, this time away, with many personal battles on the pitch, we held it to 1-1, until the final minute when Ruskin stole a winner.

Hungry for a win, the Men’s 4s headed to Harper Adams, on what can only be described as an agricultural pitch, the boys showed their true ability and love for the game and brought out a huge 10-2 win, the largest win of all men’s teams last season, we returned to winning ways. This was continued with another 1-0 win over Trent at The Fortress as the season came to a close. However, an interesting last game of the season saw a double-header against UEA, with no chance of promotion or relegation, spirits were high, resulting in a fun game, despite a 0-1 and 0-2 loss.

With a disappointing season position wise, I am very excited for the coming season, to continue playing good hockey and hopefully push for a higher finish and a cup run this season. Come on the 4s!

Will Ash