Monday, 24 December 2012

Chieftains Hand a Tanking to Wightlink

Hopperational details
Date & Venue
Sunday 23 December 2012 at the Riverside Arena
Chelmsford Chieftains 11 Wightlink Raiders 1
English National League Div One South (third tier of the game in England)
Number 11 on the rinkhopping list.
Pre-match preparation
I saw the Chieftains in their bruising 5-5 draw at divisional leaders Romford last week – now they entertain second-placed Wightlink in what should be a close game.*

*wishful thinking
This match in one sentence
A disappointing anti-climax that, for the neutral, turned out to be as one-sided as a Klein bottle (one for the pure mathematicians among us) but Chieftains fans absolutely loved this demolition.
So what?
League positions unchanged but the gap between third and second is reduced.
The drama unfolds
Gary Clarke opened the scoring for Chelmsford with under two minutes gone.  1-0

Here’s a scene-setter clip – Chelmsford are in white.  There are only two officials on the ice - I assume the players ate the other one earlier.

The home side then successfully defended a couple of powerplays but apart from that ran up a 16-9 shot count in their favour during the first period.  You felt it was only a matter of time before the second score arrived, but the timing was a killer blow to Wightlink as it turned out.  There were only 22 seconds left on the clock when the puck crossed the line.  It was an unassisted shot from distance from Alex Green.  2-0 at the end of the first period

The game was soon over as a meaningful contest.  The third (Danny Hammond) came only seventeen seconds after the restart, and a fourth and fifth were on the board (the fourth from Clarke off a powerplay) before we had reached the midpoint.  3-0, 4-0, 5-0

Another powerplay was converted before two players picked up roughing penalties.  Cue jokes about Wightlink having some fight at last, before the visitors eventually picked up their consolation goal just before the buzzer (Ben Lock, I think).  James Ayling was the scorer of the fifth and sixth.  6-0, 6-1 at the end of the second period

The home team rattled in five more without reply in the third.  The last two came in the final thirty seconds of playing time. Julius Sinkovic got on the scoresheet first, Hammond scored the eighth and tenth for his hat-trick, but not before Ayling had his with the ninth goal.  Darren Brown got the rub-your-masks-in-it final score.  Final score 11-1
The programme

There is some interesting coverage of last week's 5-5 draw at Romford, with forthright views expressed by several contributors about the physical challenge and intimidation allegedly encountered by visiting sides there.
Something random
Never in doubt – clockwise!

Hopping for Moorfields Update
Nothing to report.
What Next?
Boxing Day groundhopping doubles look feasible in many parts of England, and I will make a decision depending on the weather and travel practicalities.

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