Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Final Countdown - 5 sleeps

Well sports fans, 5 sleeps to go till the Mighty “Old Farts” take on the up and coming “Young Guns” in the R2  final on Sunday.  With so much media attention worldwide on this event, we’ve decided to go to print daily with snippets of news, views and stats about the upcoming final

Firstly some interesting stats for the match
·         There will be 11 players from each team on the field at any one time
·         They are expecting their biggest turn out of the year with an estimated 23.5 spectators
·         This is the first R2  final both teams have played this year
·         The “yum yum” is expecting an explosion in chips sales after the Management of the Old Farts  discussed their Carb intake and dietary needs. They have  ordered an extra 3 boxes for before the game, a box for half time and 2 for afterwards. 

News snippets
·         Debs has advised that “Nuts” has upped his speed and weight training, he’s now walking briskly between the sofa and fridge, and carrying 10 Peanut slabs in each hand – “how many can you do?”
·         “Young Guns” management has asked the team to put some iron into their play and stiffen up their back line moves. So their mothers have all gone out and brought “Iron man “ cereal for their breakfasts, and are going to “extra” starch their playing shirts
·         Trapper has got in early with Fathers gift lists, asking his kids for books, the list includes, “Trapping for Dummies”, “Beginners guide to managing a senior citizen sports team ”  or “I was a fat bastard but now I play hockey”
·         And still on the Fathers Day theme, the Young Guns training sessions have been rescheduled, it appears the team are all too busy out  looking for monogrammed hankies or socks for their fathers day gifts.

World News
·         Mark Hager isn’t optimistic about the NZ Womens Black Sticks chances at the world champs.  Normally in the past he’s been able to contact Farts management for tips, hints and strategies before the big tournaments, but this week they have been unavailable as they have been in serious strategy meetings of their own (and the pub doesn’t have a phone or internet connection)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Old Farts cruise into Final

Last night the Farts lined up against Victoria 4, in a game that would give one team an early end to the season.
WHA supplied the umpires, and Phil turned up again to extend his run of games for the “senior” team. The Farts only had 2 reserves plus Glen but were reasonably confident of keeping up with the pace of the game.
Along with the usual Farts supporters, a large contingent of  rather loud (Inc all manners of Horns and even a  vuvuzela) and seemingly inebriated “young Guns” turned out to cheer the Farts on.
Vic had won the toss and chose the ball, and the first hit was one of only three times they had the ball in the Farts half.  The Farts had all the territory and ball in the first half. They had around 30 shots at goal, and numerous PC’s, but couldn’t find the back of the net.
Half time in the sheds the Farts were treated to a team talk by the legend of Naenae Hockey Ash “Ropes” Roper.  It fired them up, to go back out into the cool evening.
The second half was more of the same re Farts pressure, except this time the goals came. First Cam opened with a goal and then a second.  A great pass from Scotty found Legs into front of goal to slot the third.  Richie Rich got into the act netting the fourth, and Needles capped off the night with the fifth.
After the game the “Young Guns” formed a guard of honour for the Farts as they came off the field.
The Farts are peaking at the right end of the season, they showed good passing skills, and lots of use of space, and Trapper even managed to trap the ball.
Craig had a huge game, very strong defence and good injection into attack. Cam was his usual self, all over the place, in attack and defence, except his conversion rate was poor, 2 goals from 19 shots!
Richie Rich commanded the midfield and marshalled the troops well in attack. Scotty found a number of players with his penetrating passes, and backed up.
The only disappointing feature was the lack of activity from the back three, they really did nothing, and Phil was particularly bad, not even touching the ball at all.
So, the final beckons, next Sunday against the “Young Guns”, an all Naenae shout out of R2, with the winner taking all the glory and a Naenae team definite to start next year in R1 contention

Late Breaking news
Cambo has been cited by the FCA (Farts Complaint Authority) , last night after the game he was see drinking with the Young Guns, and and its alleged that he was trading team secrets for drinks. Farts management has evidence he had shared secrets such as “Trapper can’t Trap”, “Nuts can’t run” and promising that in the final next week “he wouldn’t pass”.  The FCA will have to decide the severity of these allegations and any suitable recourse.

2 – Cambo
1 – Legs
1 - Richie Rich
1 – Needles

3 – Craig – awesome game, playing some of the best hockey of his career
2 – Cambo  - what can you say, 2 goals, into everything, but will need to improve his conversion rate
2 – Wicky –  another solid game from the big guy and he brought the oranges.
1.5  - Rearend – didn’t umpire, but turned up, geared up completely to fill in as goalie but then allowed Phil to take his place on the field and had to change back into Civies.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Farts finish the Round Robin unbeaten - Finals beckon!

Last night the Farts turned out for their final Round Robin game. The warm-up was with the last rays of the setting sun, but the game was played under lights. The temperature quickly dropped and some of the Farts found themselves losing heat quickly through their thinning (or non existent) mop of hair!
The Farts had this season built a reputation for chewing up Goalies, so it was a surprise to see Phil from the Young Guns volunteer to fill in for us, resigning Glen again to the whistle (allowing his wrist to recuperate more fully)
The game got off to a fast pace, and for a change from recent games the Farts had a huge advantage in possession in then opposition red zone (96.5%), with a key stat being shots on goal (Farts 27, Vic 5).
Unfortunately the Farts struggled to convert their chances, even though they  went to the sheds 5-1 up, they had shots glancing off the front of the post, scrapping the outside of the posts and a few saves from the goalie.
The best goal of the first half was due to a fast break out of defence, and solid clearing pass from Willie found trapper with some space, he beat the left back, and drove towards the goal (Veitchy was screaming for a pass) but trapper calmly slotted the ball past the gaolie into the far corner (well that’s how trapper saw it!).
Veitchy had opened the scoring with one that dribbled over the line, and Cam had scored three great goals, one nearly powering through the top left hand side of the net.  A comment before the game was that we needed to “let the ball go” and the first half was typified was lots of quick inter-passing and running off the ball to create spaces.
Two stand out players were Craig and Needles, who between them put up a solid and determined defence and then quick turnaround into attack down the left hand side.
The Farts relaxed in the second due i think to their dominance in the first, the game developed into long passes from the back (two of which trapper managed to spectacularly mis-trap completely – Nothing but air) and a number of running plays. The Farts still had dominance in the red zones, with even more misses on goal, goal mouth scrambles and a number of PC’s as well.  Veitchy scored a cracker, a firm pass into the circle from Cam deflected up towards Veitchy near the spot, for him to sweetly swat it past the goalie.
While Victoria’s tactics appeared to have dissolved, they continued to battle and scored tow consolation goals.
Final score 6-3.
Next stop the semi final next Sunday!

3 – Cam
2 – Veitchy
1 – Trapper (although probably the best goal of the game LOL!)

3 – Cam – what can you say, scored three, lots of energy, didn’t complain when i ran a red light giving him a lift home.
2 – Craig – good solid Game
1 – Needles – good hassling down left flank.

2 – Rearend – Umpired and but had volunteered to play goalie with a dodgy wrist and in fact was half dressed in his gear when Phil turned up!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Viv Pihemia Memorial Match - a very emotional match

This morning the Farts ran out on their home turf, to cap off a very emotional week.

On Tuesday afternoon, after suffering a massive Brain hemorrhage earlier in the day Viv passed away peacefully. In the short time she had come along to support the Farts, she had made an impact with her smile, her laughter and her friendliness. During the week guys in the team showed their support for Ants, and today Viv's Family repaid those gestures by turning up in force to cheer on Ants and the team. It was fitting that they came and wore "butterfly wings" as apparantly these were a specialty of Vivs.

The guys played with Black Armbands, and had a minutes silence before the game to honour her.

But it showed right form the start that the emotion was there, even though the game flowed back and forth, Rongatai appeared to have the upper hand and scored first.  The Farts equalised through Veitchy, and after a long arm wrestle Cambo scored so the Farts went to the sheds at half time 2-1 up. This also meant the farts were sitting on 99 goals for the year to date

Early in the second half Scotty found Trapper wide on the flank unmarked, a swift pass, a 20 metre drive, beat the fullback, go to the line and pull it back for Ants to slot the 100th goal of the year.

The forwards swamped Ants to celebrate the goal, the 100th of the season and it was so fitting Legs scored it. There was more than one set of moist eyes in the celebrations. The Farts then proceeded to "Congo" back to half way.

The next goal was also set up by Scotty, again finding Trapper in space, this time for Cambo to find the back of the net. Not long after a pass from the IR channel found Trapper on the far post and he managed to slot the 5th for the day.  Rongatai were lucky to retain a full team with the amount of verbal pressure they applied to the umpires, but all teams have come to expect that form them this season.  They did apply a lot of pressure, and at times the Farts defended well although Rongatai managed to score a couple of consolation goals

I have to admit that this game was very much a blur, such was the level of emotion that built up this week and was released today.

Without Doubt, Legs was the MVP for the day. He was everywhere, in attack and defence, and rightly notched up the Farts century of goals.

The sideline support by the Pihema whanau, went a long way to making this a match that will go down in Farts history and the memories of all the players for a long time. Especially memorable was the pitch invasion by the fairies at halftime and their lap of honour!

Special mention to Timbo, he fell over half way through the first, not certain why, maybe he wanted to check out the new turf close up.  When he got up he thought his wrist was a little sore. Dr on monday morning conformed he'd broken it and played 3/4 of the game with a broken wrist. Typical Farts attitude, play on!

2 - Cambo
1- Legs (the 10tth !)
1 - Veitchy
1 - Trapper

3 - Legs
2- Pihema "Angels in the outfield"
1- Scotty - great passing set up two of the goals
1- Rearend -Umpiring
1 - Nuts - Oranges

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Farts win the Minor premiership

The weather Gods were smiling on the Farts this morning as they turned out at the unusual time of 11.15AM to take on Northern United.
With the Farts sitting 10 points ahead of the the Young Guns in second place, and only three games to go, they only needed a win to secure the Minor premiership, and this morning they did that with a ground out 2-0 win.
The night before we had all watched the AB's arm wrestle a win from the Wallabys to secure the Bledisloe cup. Then watched England steal a win on full time from the Black Sticks.
With so much at stake, this morning the AB's had the game televised live into their motel rooms, and Shane McLeod, the Black Sticks Coach also organised satellite coverage, to look for some pointers to help the Black Sticks improve their play.
The Frats have been unbeaten in pool play this year, and like all champion teams as they near their peak [performance, they tend to pull the opposition along with them, and so it was today.
The Farts had previously dispatched Northern with ease, but today they came out firing, and took the Farts on in a frantic "man to man" marking strategy.
The game was an arm wrestle from the start and while the Farts had 57 % of possession, and 61% of territory, it wasn't till mid way through he first half that Veitchy had a shot at goal blocked, which trapper then powered towards the goal only to have it stopped by a defenders foot. Veitchy slotted the Stroke into the top RH side of the net. The Farts piled on the pressure, and one great ball from Scotty split open the defence, although trapper couldn't quite catch it up.  So the Farts went to the sheds only 1-0 up.

The second half was much the same although gaps were starting to open up in the Northern defence, and their umpire even managed to to give us some PC's. However the Farts second gaol was a cracker from field play.
Adrian got the ball from Richie Rich around the 25, and put his foot down to power towards the circle, then hammered a cross goal pass to Needles who was waiting by the far post to slap it into the goal.

The Farts ended the game with 57% of possession, 63% of territory and didn't turn over the ball in the tackle as much as the previous week.

So, they have ticked off one BHAG (winning the minor premiership), and are two goals close to their Century.Two games to go to finish the round robin, then onto the finals.

1 - Veitchy
1- Needles

3- Wicky - strong game again,certainly showed his presence in defence and attack
2- Nuts - He turned up, he played, and he drank a beer afterwards.  (actually he played will in defence, and the backs lacked something when he went off )
1- Toddy - a number of good clearing and attacking passes, showed good vision.

1- Rearend - umpiring
1- Veitchy - oranges

Next weeks game is a home sunday morning game, can we have a volunteer for oranges?

Monday, August 2, 2010

Farts get 3-peat

In atrocious weather last night the Old Farts and The Young Guns Squared off in their second match of this season, and the third in 12 months.
During the warm ups it was cold with light drizzle, but just as the game was about to start a strong northerly whipped  the rain into a horizontal stinging sheet which the Farts faced into in the first half, it was reminiscent of watching that historic match  where the AB’s played into the storm against  the Wallaby’s at Athletic Park.
Maybe the weather was an omen, maybe it was that the Farts were for once reduced to just 13 players,  but the Farts played probably their worst game of the season.  Conversely the Young Guns came out fired up and seem to have melded into a better unit , with lots of deflection passes and good trapping skills.
For the first 5 mins the Farts had to weather not just the horizontal rain, but a ferocious period of play from the Young Guns. Although there were no shots on goal, the game was played deep into Farts defensive half.
However the Farts took their chances as they came, a short pass  to Trapper, who unbelievably trapped the ball, then in a dazzling 30 metre run up the flank beat two players and passed into the circle for Legs to smack home his first goal.
More pressure from the Guns, but again the Farts scored, with Richie Rich putting a great ball from IR towards the LH goal post (where Trapper was waiting to slot it home) but Big Needles stepped in and slammed it into the net from 5 metres.
Similar pressure again, but with a break out and some pressure of our own then Veitchy sent one goal wards, Legs managed to get a stick on it (just as it was about to go in the goal) to “claim” his second. Then he managed another to get his hat rick.
Nuts saved a goal off the line, a lifted shot that he partially trapped at nipple height (I could tell, it was cold) and then cleared away.
4-nil up, but with only about 16% of the territory, the Farts then conceded one, then another to go to the sheds 4-2 up.
Scotty had his usual 10 min Breather period just before half time and was fired up on his return at the start of the second half.
But the Young Guns came out fired up as well, and after concerted pressure had pulled it back to 4-3. It really looked like they had a chance to draw, maybe if they were lucky to win (and they seemed to have a lot of luck with umpiring decisions).
The Farts were however beginning to find gaps and get more attacks in (even a few PC’s). One attack ended in a 16 hit, and Trapper thought he would deliberately position himself in the circle to unnerve the Guns defence (well that was what he said but this reporter thinks he was too tired to run back). The ploy worked, they fluffed the hit, tamely topping it towards Scotty, who with outstanding vision and skill (is that a good enough mention Scotty?) saw Trapper unmarked in the circle and slammed a pass to his off side, Trapper reverse trapped, beat the sprawling goalie (maybe he fell over in surprise at the trap) and slammed the ball into the net from a very acute angle.
Shortly after more pressure and the Farts got a PC, Scotty hit out, then ran in for the return pass from Veitchy and slotted it high into the net. The Umpire deemed it the first “shot” and therefore too high.  However not long after Veitchy tried Trapper's tactical move of hanging around in the circle, a quick pass and he slotted the ball home.
The Guns scored another goal, this one a well worked drag flick By Jordan from a PC.  That was the last scoring moment and the game ended 6-4.
As mentioned, that was the worst Game the Farts had played, not seeming top get their rhythm,  and losing too much possession, particularly turning it over in the tackle. It also showed the improvement form the Young Guns that they are getting closer. The next show down is likely to be in the finals, so that one will have bragging rights for the season.
A comment heard from the sheds before the game was that the white shirts appeared to make the Farts players look fat, however after Nuts took the shirt off he still retained that fine Farts Physique.  I had some discussion after the game  with our in house resident Fashion Guru “Gok” , and he suggested that for our alternate strip that thin vertical stripes would be slimming, preferably in a nice pale Lemon with pastel Pink trim to bring out our natural eye colouring.
So the Farts continue their unbeaten run for the competition  and also added to their goal tally, now having chalked up 95 for the year.
The Farts are closing in on their four BHAG’s (Big Hairy A*** Goals) for the year

  • 1)      100 goals
  • 2)      Unbeaten in the round robin
  • 3)      Minor premiership winners
  • 4)      Overall R2 winners
Three games in the season to go fans.

Goals scorers
3 - Legs (well should have been 2 but we'll give him the third as it might mean Viv comes to 2 games as a Cheerleader)
1 – Trapper
1 – Veitchy
1 – Needles


3- Legs – solid game and three goals 
2 - Trapper – great goal and good support play
1 – Nuts – great defence and save off the line

1-      Glen – Umpiring (again)
1-      Trapper – Oranges
1        1 - Kirin – supply of away strip (and also taking them home to wash!)

The next two Farts games are “back to the future” with two morning games, Elsdon then Fraser.

Robbie (GOK) is on Oranges.