Monday, September 17, 2012

Was it a "Bridge to far.....?"

The long and winding road that leads to your door
Will never disappear
I've seen that road before it always leads me here
Leads me to your door

So goes the last hit single the Beatles had as a group, and so it felt on Sunday, the road to the final had been a long and winding one.

With a bunch of new players, the team struggled in the early promotion/relegation games, mainly in sorting positions and playing tactics. Then it seemed to “Come Together” and for most of the round robin the team was clicking together, then towards the end it all became “Helter Skelter”, with 2 draws and a loss, we were wondering what was happening.

The semi was probably one of our most complete games, in that we played for most of it to the game plan, passing not dribbling, playing wide and using space.
And so the end of the road cam yesterday with the final.

It was a nice morning to play hockey, warm, no wind, and sunny.

And the team strode out onto the pitch through the gate, entering the field of battle through the gate that many other Naenae teams had trod before.

Through the first half The Farts had almost all the pressure, but just couldn’t put any away. Through some good trapping, and some luck, YWCA managed to thwart almost all of the Farts attacks around the circle edge, a few got into the circle and there were a couple of very close missed shots.

YWCA managed to take the early lead, then increase it to 2-0 through what appeared to be soft goals, both really against the general run of play.

Half time, and Richard M encouraged the guys that they were still in it, and they went out and played better than in the first half, they seemed to pass and look for passes more than they had, and again had the majority of attacking time in the opposition circle, but mainly without getting any reward for it.

Nuts had a number of runs at RW, and managed a good gaol to bring it back to 2-1, but the frustration levels started to show and with 12 mins to go Legs was sent for an early shower.

5 Mins later Trapper pulled Timbo off, and replaced him with an attacker, YW thought they were in but couldn’t capitalise on the lack of a gaolie, while the Farts weren’t able to finish off in the circle.

And so the Farts lost their second final in 3 years, a disspointing result, but also a different result. This time it was with a newer team, that had started to gel, next season looks more promising; the talent scouts are out looking for a few key “old timers” to come back into the fold.
So in the words of Arnie “we’ll be back.....”

Monday, September 10, 2012

Was it to be the second finals appearance in 3 years for the Farts

As the game time neared, the normal tension and excitement associated with Finals hockey started to mount. WHA had made a late change to the game time and venue, and added to this tension was the extra worry created by the realisation I hadn’t changed the Teamer event details, and it sent out a reminder with the old details on it.
Travelling to the game, I wasn’t sure if we would even have a team and thought maybe i should have brought my gear, although hard to play hockey with stick in one hand and crutch in the other.

We should have gotten a cr4edit from WHA for our fees, as not long before the game was to start it started to bucket down again, and they didn’t need to apply anymore water to the pitch.

It certainly had the tension and build up of finals, with the guys having a strong pregame pep talk by nuts, reiterating the three key tactics, width, channels and passing.

It wasn’t our strongest line-up, with the key strikers of Trapper and Wily not taking the field (Injury and flu), but the boys went out fired up, and right from the start it was like viewing a different team than the last few weeks. Lots of interpassing, and right through the game the Farts had probably 80% of the ball and territory.
Matty B was superbly positioned just off the LH post when a ball was hit there from Ants at RI, unfortunately Matty couldn’t connect with the bouncing ball, but it set the scene for the team and Karori knew they were in for it.

Legs scored to open his account, although the Farts could have been up by 3 at that stage. Karori had a rear foray into the Farts circler, and Damon once again cleared off the line to save a gaol, unfortunately it didn’t go far enough, Karori put it goal wards and a touch saw it trickle in 1-1.

Half time talk was held undercover out of the rain, and reinforced the pre game tactics. Craig was struggling to get enough breath to talk, and the boys were silent.
The second half was more of the same, with a couple of lapses into the dribbling runs that cost us the last three games, one however did pay off, al picked up a ball from a tackle on defence, dribbled 30m to get over halfway, passed to Legs who took iot further, then a couple more passes and back to Legs who slotted it, 2-1 up.

And there it stayed –the Farts were through to their second Final in 3 years.
This was a much better team effort, and to be honest, if we’d played like this all season we would have finished with a clean sheet, and probably no draws.

The whole team pulled very well, it was hard to pick MVP, but Legs ran all night, set up a number of chances and scored 2.

Special Mention to Al, Matt and Andy B, and also Dan who had a great game on the left wing.

Final next Sunday, 9.45 NHS1 – come along and support the boys.

2 – Legs

3 – Legs – great contribution
2 – Matt B – played well, with intelligent play and passed, and plenty of commitment
1 – Al – yet another very strong game, secured the right midfield in both attack and defence
.5 – Rearend – umpired half a game due to the umpire scheduling cock up.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Farts scramble a draw from the jaws of a loss

The game started off with the Farts attacking the southern goal, nice day, warm sun, it all looked positive.

Until they got near the circle and realised the umpire at that end (not Rearend)didn't seem willing to give any decisions, especially not PC's (Karori goalie cleared the ball at head height through a group of players, with 2 Karori players having to dodge suddenly to avoid being hit in the head!)or a stroke (when the goalie was on top of the ball!).

Things got worse after 7 mins, when out of the Blue Trappers Left Calf Muscle torn savagely, and eh hobbled off the field in considerable pain.

The Farts managed to get a goal through Ants, but leaked 2 at the other end. Attacking the southern end become almost a hopeless cause with the umpire almost seeming to be bias (Graham Henry told me to write that!).

BJ spent some time getting his breath back after a couple of reckless hacking tackles, something the Association had asked umpires to clamp down on.

2-1 down at half time, and a stern talking too from Nuts, the same malady's that had prevailed in previous games, no width, plying straight up the middle, a lack of passing.

And so the second half followed a similar vein, except Farts pressure started to get some results with Rearend providing a balanced and fair umpiring display.

After concerted pressure a ball was finally hit into the circle, Ants "left it" and Nuts on the far post slotted the equalizer and his 4th of the season.

The farts definitely had more pressure in the second half, but lots of attacks broke down through players holding onto the ball or trying to drive the ball up the middle (Karori were slow but great at trapping) instead of passing wide and using space.

The highlight of the game had to be Wily showing off his manly physique in Trapper skin tight (well it was on wily) top! - Wily turned up late due to Karen having car issues, and didn't have nay gear so used trappers by now not required shirt and stick.

1- Ants
1 - Nuts - Yes debs, he got another ;)

The management team decided that there were no MVP's to be awarded for play because as a team they all played crap, although Al, BJ, Craig and Ants all had big workloads.

3 - Rearend - Umpiring, a great job, even doing most of the field (3/4's)
1 - Trapper - Oranges

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Ever get the feeling of Deja Vu.....

The Farts took the field for their second early game in two weeks.

Still missing Ants (back complaint - maybe tied to recently married) and Al who was off sniffing petrol fumes at Manfield.
Nuts won the toss and chose the ball, and the Farts had early pressure, Jason up the middle and down the right sideline with Trapper carving the defence up.

A free hit outside the circle was dribbled sideways by Matt, then driven in, trapper got a stock to it and nudged it onto a Hutt foot for a PC. Toddy stepped up, and slammed the ball goalwards to collect a defender on the way, its ended up dribbling into the goal but the umpire had given a stoke!

Trapper stepped up, and slotted it high on the right side.

Hutt had some pressure, including several PC's and forcing Damon to save off the line although the defence held out.

Nuts subbed himself onto the left wing, and wily moved into the CF position, and clearance from the halves found wily, driving into the circle and past a defender a lay off to Nuts and Farts were 2-0 up.

UH pulled one back, and the Farts went to the sheds 2-1 up. Nuts and Wily reiterated the pregame plan, play wide, move the ball.

The second half however felt like Deja Vu from the previous week, The game opened up, and UH played a structured game, with plenty of passing, however the Farts played an individual game, with players often receiving the ball in space but then dribbling into contact to lose the ball rather than moving it to other players in space, and trying to force the ball up the middle.

Some strange malady seemed to effect players too, as even stalwarts like Craig just couldn't seem to hit the ball consistently, with a number of fluffed shots and even more soft passes direct to UH players.

the net result was UH clawed back to level, then scored the winner.

The Farts had some pressure in the second half, including a couple of PC's but weren't able to get even close to scoring.

UH won 3-2, and deserved to win, with more structure and moving the ball around the park, something this Farts teams struggles to do for more than a half.

There was no play based MVP's this week, due to the overall crap performance of the team. Timbo does deserve a mention as he kept the scoreline to a close event.

Rearend picked up a point for Umpiring, and the Bookers got half a point each for the oranges.

1 - Trapper
1 - Nuts

Monday, August 20, 2012

It was a game of 2 halves - but full credit to the opposition

An old cliché but the right one for the Farts game yesterday. The Farts won the first half 3-0, but Indians won the second 4-1! And full credit to the opposition for their resurgence in the second half.

Those who are old enough, but with their memories not that clouded by excessive hydration, will remember Fitzy saying those so often quoted words in a similar circumstance.

Although there was a cold wind blowing (when isn’t there at Fraser) it was fine and the pitch was dry (damn) and Hard (Damn again), when the Farts come out for an early game (9.45! ) yesterday against Indians.

The Farts had most of the pressure, possession and position in the first half. With the wings both playing wide and high, there were gaps in the Indians midfield and defence to be exploited, and Trapper on the right did just that. The Farts played a wide game, with quick passing and moved the ball around the Indians defence.
Toddy opened the scoring and got the third, both with hard hit shots from PC’s. The second Farts goal was lovely thing to watch and showed the team is starting to click. After a free hit on the right, Booker dribbled it up to the circle edge, layed a firmly hit pass to Trapper on the RH post who deflected it parallel to the goal line across to Dan on the LH post to put into the goal behind the sprawling keeper.
The farts had a number of other chances, including a Stroke, which after consultation was down graded to a PC (and was the right decision).

Nuts re itereaded his pregame talk at half time, to continue the short passing, play the ball wide (not up the middle) and go around the Indians as they could trap and going through them wouldn’t work.

Unfortunately most of this went out the window in the second half, it started as an arm wrestle, Indians got an early goal to come back to0 3-1, Al then scored a cracker from the edge of the circle, the spectators on the sideline could hear the crack as it hit the backboard.

But the Farts couldn’t replicate the good play from the first half and eventually Inidians drew back to 4-4.

Dan had a couple more chances on the LH post but couldn’t connect to either of these potential match winners.
And so it ended 4-4.

2 - Toddy
1 – Dan
1 – Al

3 – Dan – great game,. Really starting to make Left wing his own (look out Wily) with great positioning around the goal. He continues to chase everything down as well.
2- Toddy – 2 good goals, his power at PC’s is a great advantage.
1 – Isaac – never stopped running.
1 – Wily – couldn’t make game but still organised for the oranges to be there
1 – Rearend –umpired again, and even changed his call (stroke0 when he realised he’d made a mistake)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Underwater Hockey anyone - Farts win 1-0 over YWCA in the wet.

The Farts waited till nearly start time before venturing out onto a rain lashed Fraser Park last night.

My original hockey coach Bob Rosemergy, played very high level hockey, but also represented NZ at spear fishing and was instrumental in the start up of Underwater Hockey in NZ, and he would have relished in the conditions.

The track was wet and heavy underfoot, but it felt like playing on a real water turf, luckily for Trapper as he took a couple of tumbles (one quite spectacular when Trapper had pushed the ball past the rather rotund Left back who promptly pushed his backside into Trappers way as he sprinted round him, it would have scored better than Feck in the diving competition at the Olmpics) and never lost any skin.

The game was a tight affair, not helped by the standing water, including one huge puddle just outside the northern end circle that always swallowed up the ball.
YWCA had an early chance, with the ball glancing off the post, and a couple of other close calls, but the Farts also had their moments although the umpire at our attacking end seemed reluctant to give a PC, awarding 3 free hits outside for feet that occurred just inside the circle.

Danial was Left wing and had obviously been taking notes from Trapper re positioning, as he was standing just off the post to slot home a cross from the right. 1-0 at half time and the boys huddled under what little shelter there was.

Turning round into the rain was cold and sodden start to the second half. The game continued to seesaw, but the Farts started to get the run of play late in the second half, with 3 or 4 PC’s, although we just couldn’t seem to challenge the goal.

1 – Daniel

3 – BJ – great defence, showing good strength and a lot of deft tackling. Even trned defence into attack a couple of times.
2 – Timbo – some great saves, especially after the windscreen wipers stoipped working on his glasses.
1 –Damon – also strong on defence, especially in the first half when YWCA seemed full of running
1 – Nuts – Oranges?
1 – Rearend - umpiring

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Win 6-3 V Petone

The Farts had a great win against Petone 6-3. The Farts had the ball at the start, and within a minute were attacking up the left, with Trapper ghosting into the right hand post behind the defense, perfectly placed to deflect the ball into the net to open the scoring.
Petone came back and equaled, then the Farts again took the ball wide and up the left, Willy driving into the circle and flicking a pass to the RH post where Trapper was again waiting m, this time to smack a reverse slap in the net
The Petone umpire gave them a PC, and somehow failed to notice that it hadn't gone outside the circle and gave then another equaliser.

Another Farts clear out saw Craig with the ball out in front just over halfway, and saw Trapper unmarked on the wing, a great ball and trapper drove towards the circle nut-meging the defender who then ran straight into Trapper catching him in the face, the whistle didn't go, and no sight of a doctor wanting to check for concussion, so trapper rounded the defender, dribbled to the line and pulled back for Matt Booker slot one.
Isaac showed his pace chasing down a ball over 20 metres away and out pacing two Farts players and a petone player that were only 10 metres away from it.

The boys went to the sheds and a well deserved Jet plane - Halftime 3-2

Petone started to tire in the second half and the Farts had sustained pressure, the Petone Umpire even awarding then some PC's. One resulted ina shot that was stopped on the line by a defenders foot, Ants stepped up slotted the stroke.

His second was a pearler, with a run into the circle and nailed the shot past the goalie from the edge of the circle.

Trapper had been subbed off before half time, and came back on, however with a couple of minutes the Petone umpire felt he needed another 5 mins on the sideline to recover, must be an age thing.

the Farts had all the pressure, with drives into the circle from Jason, Ants and Isaac, and more PC's. Trapper drifted to the left wing, and got his hat trick. Although the Farts could and should have had double figures.

Petone pulled back one after a quick break left Timbo to deal with 2 attackers.

Final Score 6-3

3 - Trapper
2 - Ants
1 - Matt B

4 - Trapper - Hat rick, set up Matts goal (3 for MVP plus 1 for oranges)
2 - Ants - great plays and 2 goals
1 - Isaac lots of great running again
1 - Rearend - Umpired.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Farts pick up bonus point win to stay top of the table

Another gloriously fine Sunday afternoon and the Frats were away to Karori at Eldson.
The first game under the new Captain, Nuts, and a full squad (apart from Toddy who’s still injured) turned out for it.

Unfortunately Karori turned up with less than a full team, and no Goalie. So nuts first official job was to accept their unconditional surrender, and agree to bank the bonus point win the default, and play a friendly.

They managed to get 10 players, including a Girl that played in their women’s team (and to be fair she was quite skilful, managed to evade Nuts Lunges for most of the game).
For the farts the game was to be a bit of a practise game, and for some players to get more experience in positions,. However it turned out more of a festival occasion, and not a lot of constructive hockey was played.

Nuts opened the scoring for the Farts, and Trapper followed soon after with the second. Then the Farts got a PC, and the forwards waited for Nuts to come up to receive it. Looking back down the field lumbering along beside Nuts was Timbo, the goalie! As Karori didn’t have a goalie, he’d decided that any PC’s we got he would go up and play for them in goal – and he made a number of saves for them. Unfortunately for him, straight after the PC’s, he then sprinted (well lumbered again) back to his own goal. This was comical to watch but great sportsmanship.

Karori managed to score in the first half, and Ants added another. In the second half Trapper slotted his second, then the Frats had a period of constant pressure.

The last goal was scored by Ants, although it was really burgled, as the ball was hit into the circle, Daniel sent it goal wards and Ants gave it a final nudge across the line, however it would have gone in even if he hadn’t touched it!
Final Score 5-2

3 – Ants (well really 2 to Ants and 1 to dan)
2- Trapper

3- Timbo – great sportsmanship and certainly added to the friendly nature
2 – Andy B – another constant performance, always where the ball was
1 – Ants – did score three and run his little chicken legs off.
2 – Rearend - Oranges + Umpiring

Half Year Report

The season is halfway through, and we seemed to be building up to better things however slipped up on Sunday to lose 2-1 to UH. . The loss to UH seemed out of place, looking at the performances leading up to that game, but on reflection although the teamwork just wasn’t there in the first half, the second half improvement showed it wasn’t an earth shattering event, more a reminder that if we don’t continue to build the team going forwards there’s always, then standing still is often risking slipping backwards.

With the round robin half way through, it’s fitting to get a half year report. And it’s just like the ones i used to get at school, always said shows real potential but needs to apply himself! Hmmm......maybe not quite as bad as that, but certainly correct re potential. On reflection what has been lacking has been more thinking and strategy as the team has evolved.

The team has the start of melding together, but with such a wide mix of ages, shapes, abilities and fitness levels it’s been a struggle. However they have shown that they have the potential, the potential skills, fitness and desire, to win this grade and play in R2 again, if not higher.

There is also a number of future leaders within the team, and the older guys are looking forward to being able to sit back and let someone else do it, however they haven't quite reached retirement age yet (well some are close) so we have come up with a 5 point plan (every major world strategy or revolution event has a 5 point plan!)

1. The on field leadership will be spearheaded by Nuts as Captain (or El Presidente as he would probably prefer) and Craig will stand in as his deputy.

2. Nuts will marshall defence (or Todd when hes back), Craig will take overall management of the midfield and Willy and Trapper of the forward line.

3. Trapper will never again drag out a PC! – Damon does a very good job of that, but we need a cover as well, also the structure of the receivers will be more defined. Main receiver will always be Todd , or Nuts, or maybe BJ as they can trap and hit! With a more structured approach, including lay off options and who’s going on the pads etc we should convert more of them. This sunday before the game we will look at options

4. To bring the top 2 inches into the game we are going to help players to set some personal goals, probably only 1 or 2 per game, to help us grow. Even the old guys need that Craig is the startegic thinker among us, and is happy to continue to provide insight. To be honest, I've spent most of my time thinking (worrying) about who's turning up and where to play them that i haven't even had time to think about my game.

5. We want to settle players into positions more, the first half of the season has been good to get a feel for where they can play, noiw is the time to consolidate it and allow them to settle in more.

So there you have it, the Naenae R3 plan to rule the world, or at least play as well as we can as a team and enjoy it.

Farts Lose to UH – Sunday 22nd July

The heading says it all, it was a sunny afternoon at Maidstone, more "Deja Vu" for the older players, but the team just didn’t fire.

The first half was almost like we only fielded half a team, lots of effort but no cohesion. UH managed to sneak in a gaol(ball limped across the line).

A stern talking to from Nuts at half time and a renewed effort in the second half was like a change of diet. The Farts had much more ball and more pressure, resulting in Trapper forcing two Strokes. Zac took the first one which was saved, and trapper put the second one away. By that stage UH had scored again so the stroke brought the score back to 2-1 and that’s how it ended.

A disappointing result, a loss that shouldn’t have happened but also an opportunity to review the progress to date.

1 - Trapper

Monday, July 16, 2012

2 game reviews, both wins!

Won 2-1 V YWCA Sunday 8th
Ahh, those were the days....preparing the night before, getting all your gear ready for the Game first thing Saturday morning, those that can remember college hockey will remember those times well.

Things have changed, no longer do we need to check our studs (for tightness, not to see if they are sharp), oil our sticks or make sure we pack a head band to keep the hair out our eyes.

Last week, the Farts had a 9.45 game, the first early start for a long time, the biggest challenge now when scheduled to play at that time is to make sure we aren’t too “fragile”.

But it was a reasonably full team that took the field except Nuts was crook, he came to watch, coach and bring the oranges – That man deserves a DB! A game of few incidents (or at least none that i can remember) except to say that we should have won by more than 2-1. They had a youngish side, but lacked experience, and we played like a team that lacked ‘team’ in the first half, and couldn’t put away the opportunities in the second, but a win is a win!

1 - Jason
1 - Toddy

3 – Jason – another solid game
2- Alan – provided solidity in the mid field
1 -Toddy – great defence and cracking goal.
1 - Rearend – yes.....umpired
1 – nuts – Oranges

Won 2-1 V Indians, 15th July
A wild and wet weekend, but it cleared (well sort of) by the time the Frats took the field. The numbers were down with Al and Nuts both away, Toddy carrying an injured foot , Tim turned up late and Trapper was hit in the foot buy a thumping pass by Toddy at the start of the warm up!

So Rearend played in goal (minus his glasses, he took them off in the sheds to get into his gear then couldn’t find them – even though they were on the bench next to his gear! – he played the whole first half without them) and Trapper Umpired.

Indians came out firing in the first half, and the game was pretty even, with the teams huddling in the shed at half time 0-0. The second half the Indians started to fade, both in running and cohesion (I’ve never know teams to argue so much between themselves as Indians teams do!).

Isaac had a fair flying shot just saved in the first half, and this encouraged him to press on in the second, and finally he got one to thump the backboard. A later scramble around the circle had the ball go across the top, deflected towards the goal off an Indians stick which had the goalie going the wrong way, , then Matty somehow got a faint nick and the ball trickled across the goal line.
Indians managed to pull one back with a couple of minutes to go, but it was too late to score again and the final score was 2-1.


3- Todd – played very well considering he had a damaged foot (from an earlier game), and some great tackling
2- Isaac – lots if running and activity, good goal
1- Rearend – deserves a point for playing a half in goal with no glasses, and managing to affect some saves as well.
1- Trapper – Umpired, and a great game he had to.
1- Jason – oranges – and brought some jelly beans for halftime, but didn’t tell anyone!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Nothing better than a Fart win on sunny winters day.

It felt like the old days turning up to play at Maidstone Park on a calm and sunny winters day. The only downside was that the team felt somewhat like a pedigree dog that had just had a visit to the vet.........due to illness the Farts were without ‘their’ Nuts, however he managed to drag himself from his sick bed to deliver the oranges, what commitment.

Petone didn’t really want to come to the party, with the game about to start they refused to provide an umpire, causing a delay and finally making poor glen umpire by himself. Maybe it was delaying tactics (as they had a sub on the sideline) as their goalie hadn’t turned up.

So the Farts took field against an 11 man, (well about 7 men, 3 boys and Ross) team that didn’t have a Goalie. Trapper had lost the toss but had chosen to play into the sun in the first half. So Petone hit off but within a couple of minute the Farts had turned over the ball and been awarded a free hit about 5m inside the Petone half. Al (playing CH) stepped up top play it, and looking up saw that trapper (left wing) had ghosted in behind the Petone defence, and promptly slammed the ball towards him, the last defender hadn’t heard Trappers twinkle toes and “left” the ball, only to turn around and see Trapper trap the ball (yes sports fans, that wasn’t a typo, he trapped the ball) and slot it into the goal, 1 nil up after 2 mins!

The Petone goalie turned up about 5 or so minutes later and magically so did their umpire (maybe they were hiding in the goalie gear bag?). The rest of the half went back and forward, although the Farts had most of the ball and a number of shots at goal (mainly Trapper and yes all missing). One of Petones lone attacks saw the ball hit across the circle with only 1 Petone attacker near and Timbo was forced to come out, both missed the ball completely and the attacker fell over Timbo but their Umpire saw it differently and awarded a stroke. Up strode big bad Ross....and promptly missed. Maybe Timbo uglied the shot wide, but the boys went to the sheds at half time 1-0.

After a stern half time chat from Nuts, battle resumed, and to be honest Petone started to run out of ideas and enthusiasm, and they started to argue with the opposition, the umpire and themselves. Their frustration also started to show in their desperate tackles, many from the wrong side and couple of their players felt Farts sticks as a result. Al got bowled over by one younger Petone player, and promptly got up and squared off, luckily (for the petone player) sanity prevailed!
The pressure the Farts had showed in the number of shots on goal and PC’s, and finally a quickly moved ball found Jason in front of goal and the ball hit the backboards. More pressure and a certain goal was ‘saved’ by a foot on the line and Willy put away the stroke, for a 3-0lead. The game ended at that score, although the Farts platyed well and are starting to hit their straps as a team it was felt they could have doubled that score.

1 – Trapper
1- Jason
1- Willy

3 – Al – another good solid game especially as he stepped up into the CH position, and great vison (and faith) to see Trapper unmarked and pass him the ball for the first goal
2 – Jason – continues to play strong hockey, good support and goal.
1 -Daniel - good game, where does he get his energy from, he just keeps running
1 – Nuts – Oranges , what more can we say
1- Rearend – umpired again,

Monday, June 25, 2012

Farts hitting their straps.

The rain Gods must have seen the draw yesterday and decided to allow the Farts to display their style and flare to best advantage on a dry Eldson pitch. Trapper again continues to build a run of wins by winning the toss and choosing the sun at their backs in the first half.

As a sign of the depth that the Frats are building this year, the start of the game saw both Trapper and Nuts on the sideline. So it was a young looking forward line that took the game to Karori. Karori managed to gain equal possession in the midfield but right from the start never really looked converting enough possession to win. Andy opening the coring for that Farts early in the game, with a nice shot from the circle edge. Not long after Karori equalised in somewhat controversial fashion, as a ball hit into the circle seemed to just struggle across the line into the goal, the Karori umpire awarding the goal despite the appeals of the Farts defenders who were claiming it was never touched inside the circle.

Shortly after Daniel scored, and the Farts went to the sheds 2-1 up. They were welcomed at half time by a stirring message from Nuts, pinpointing the same issues often conversant with Naenae play of the defenders staying deep and the forwards high, with no halves or inners in the middle.

The second half saw Ants moving into the RH position, with the aim of pushing the right side up into attack. It seemed to work with pressure staring to mount for the Farts forwards. Jason was pushing hard up the RW, and looked hungry in wanting the ball, which finally paid off with him stealing the ball of the Karori LH, driving down to the line and hammering another one of his crosses, this time Trapper was there to easily guide the ball into the net, 3-1!

Not long after Trapper managed to get a stick to a clearance from the backs just over the half way line, deflecting the ball down into the corner and sprinting the 30 metres (outpacing his marker) to slam a cross spot-wards for Daniel to latch onto and get his second goal.

More pressure and several free hits saw Ants take one in the corner, deftly dribble the ball to the line and towards the goal, and pulling it back from Trapper but the far post to again slap it into the back of the net.
Matt got the final goal, and a lovely one it was. Isaac got a break out of the Farts half, send the ball forward, trapper got to it and deflected it to Matt in the circle who left the goalie sprawling on the ground, dribbled round him and netted for the Farts 6th!

The Farts seems to be playing more and more as a cohesive unit, with the older wiser heads guiding and providing the structure, and the younger guys earning their stripes with their speed and energy.

2- Trapper

3- Jason – another strong game and left everything out on the pitch.
2-Trapper – scored 2 and set up 2 goals.
1- Daniel – 2 good goals from following up.
1- Rearend – umpiring

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Farts starting to reach their potential

The sun was out, although the snow on the hill tops told the truth about the season and the temperature, cool enough to ensure even the Older Farts moved around, simply to keep warm. It was a local Derby, versus that team for the northern reaches of the Hutt Valley, Upper Hutt.

The signs were good when Nuts won the toss, and chose the ball, andf the Farts played with the sun on their backs in the first half.

UH started without a goalie and the Farts tried hard to capitalise early, but gallant defending around the circle kept us out. However not long after the goalie took the field (and after we’d had a couple of potential PC’s not awarded), the Farts opened the scoring with a cracking goal to Jason. Toddy slammed home a PC to pout us 2-0 up, but UH pulled one back so that the Farts hit the sheds 2-1 up at half time. Although they’d had plenty of possession and pressure, they weren’t looking like increasing their lead, and in fact UH potentially looked like poulling it back.

Nuts had spent some time on the side line, analysing the weather patterns (staring at the sky), appreciating the supporter base (checking out the women in the crowd) and keeping up his energy (eating Peanut slabs) and was rested enough to give a stirring talk at half time. He really emphasised stepping up to the opposition and building some depth through the field, and to be honest, most of us stood there, concentrated (on the sky, the crowd, picking our noses etc)and took it all in.

However it must have worked as the Farts team in the second half played much better, with better linking through the halves, inners and forwards, and applying more pressure on the opposition. Trapper got onto a strongly hit cross form Jason early in the half, with the ball rocketing just wide of the upright. Matt B managed to sky on high and wide of the goal , and a number of other shots were saved . The Farts had almost all the pressure, with long spells in the UH red zone.

This paid off with some brilliant play from trapper, latching onto a loose ball outside the circle, he drew his player then flicked a pass onto Nuts who was unmarked for him to clamly slide the ball into the backboards.

The young guys played a huge role in the final goal, with Daniel dodged defence turning over the ball, Matt B bringing it up and passing to Jason who deftly beat the keeper and fired the ball at the UH goal. A defender got his foot to it in front of the line and the farts had a stroke!

Damian stepped up and calmly put the ball into the corner of the backboards.
The final score was 4-1, which in the end flattered UH a bit, although they continued to fight right to the end.

The team was flattered by the appearance of Gok on the sidelines to cheer them on. Thank god he didn’t bring his whistle and offer to umpire, but his wit and charm was a pleasant addition to the crowd.


1– Jason
1- Toddy
1– Nuts
1– Damian

3 - Daniel – full on performance, plenbty of running, and support in both attack and defence, and lots of effort to back tackle when dispossessed of the ball
2 - Jason – strong performance in the front, only just pipped for Player of the day.
1 – Matt B – tireless worker and continues to listen to Trapper s advice (no one else does)
1 – Rearend – Umpired again
1 – Craig – Oranges.

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Battle of the Little Big Horn Revisited.

A Home game at last, even if it was an early start for the Farts. They didn’t quite “break the ice” but it was close as temperatures have really started to drop.

It was a good turn-out, which was lucky because the Farts Stand out start winger (or should that be whinger) Trapper was still out of action. You’ll remember that 3 weeks ago our hero broke half of one of his front teeth when going back in defence to help out. A quick trip sideline to wash out his mouth was enough for his athletic physic to cool down, and on return a sharp sprint for a ball came close to tearing his calf muscle. That was 3 weeks ago, and after several sessions with a Blonde Irish Pyhsio named Dee has seen him nearly back to starting form.

Anyway, to give himself another week to rehab (and a couple more physio visits I’m sure) Trapper volunteered to umpire. Lucky, as Indians were short of n (unbiased, capable, knowledgeable – pick only 2) umpire so Rearend did the other side.
Willy lost the toss, mainly because with no coin Trapper simply asked Indians whether they wanted the ball or to pick ends, and chose to paly the first half with the sun at their backs (will, back of their shins, it was early and the sun wasn’t really up that far).

After an initial burst from Indians, the Farts got the ball and a PC (3mins and 26 seconds to be exact).
The farts had most of the ball and territory in the first half, and racked up 5 or 6 goals (hell, i was only umpiring; i can’t remember everything at my age). Ants got a couple, Nuts got one (and then promptly subbed off so that he didn’t injure or strain anything that might impact on his goal scoring celebrations later that night) and Toddy missed a sitter out in front.

The Indians did have their wings high, and got some ball through to them but were mainly shut down. Tim shut down one attack by taking out the attacker in a one on one situation, and then saved the stroke! He did exactly the same thing at the end of the game but didn’t save that one (Indians only goal).

Overall it was a vastly improved “team” that played, with everyone willing to pass (a strange feeling in an old farts team) and showing a lot more touches on the running ball.

Still room for improvement, and everyone is looking forward to the return of their start striker next week.

Goals -?

2 - Chicken Legs
2 - Isaac
1 - Toddy
1 - Nuts
1 - Damon
1 - Jason

3 – Chicken Legs
– lots of running around, showed good staying power and fitness in being able to sledge the opposition and the umpires right up to the final whistle
2- Isaac – got a couple, and didn’t slide all game
1 – Timbo – saved a stroke, deserves something for that
1 - Rearend – Umpired
1 – Trapper – Umpired, and a damn good job of it too
1 – Craig – Oranges!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Drew 5-5, V YWCA 3, 27th May

Good job from the old farts today - great to not lose a match! 
Came away with 5 - 5 draw having come from 2-0 down at one point. Some excellent last minute on post touches from Matt to seal off some sweet crosses from Ant, especially the last one which left about 4 different players on the ground!

2 - Matt
1 - Chicken Leg
1 - Rearend
1 - Willy

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

V Harbour City 6 - Lost 3-0

The Farts returned to their old traditional structure, with a full attack lineup the aim was to try and score early. The game was very even, and pressure was applied at both ends through the first half. Rearend made a fleeting appearance in goal, to be replaced by Timbo after 15 mins, freeing Rearend up to be a field replacement (we only had 12 including him).

Trapper had a shot saved by the goalie late in the second half, the only on target" shot although a number of others peppered the outside of the goal. A valiant effort by Trapper, who had not long before taken a ball in the mouth when back on defence, breaking a front tooth nearly in half.

Craig saved a certain goal off the line, with some stick work that Raffa would have been proud of.

3 - Craig - solid game, good advice at half time, and spectacular save off the line
2- Trapper - put his body on the line, broken front tooth, tweaked calf, but still managed to force a save for the keeper
1 - BJ - solid defence

May 13th V Victoria 5 - Lost 3-0

The Farts tried a new defensive struct, with a sweeper (Nuts) to take control of the defense.
This seemed to work well, with a huge improvement in structure and play from the previous week. Unfortunately this also weakened our attack and several times we rued the lack of a CF .
Nuts took control in the back, comment of the season so far was "I'm the bus driver and i'm driving this bus!"

Matt B was outstanding in  both attack and defence, with plenty of effort. Isaac continued his zippy running around the field.

The final score was dissappointing, but the team is starting to gel and can only improve form here.

3 - Matt B- never stopped in attack and backing up when he lost the ball
2 - Isaac - only knows one speed
1- Nuts - Bus never crashed or missed any stops!
1 - Rearend - Umpired again!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Saturday dawned bright and clear, obviously the start of a new duck shooting season.....

And as the season begins, talk in bird shooting circles turns to Dogs, the different breeds, their strengths and weaknesses.

There are three basic types of dogs, characterised by three distinct breeds. 
Spaniels are flushing dogs; they run around with boundless energy, like a bunch of school kids around a soccer ball. Typically smaller and long haired, full of enthusiasm and the joy of life, however they don’t like harsh treatment, respond better to encouragement than a telling off and often will run themselves into the ground for no result.

German Short Haired Pointers (GSP) are what are called Hunter, Pointer, Retriever dogs (HPR). They are a general purpose dog, with good abilities across a range of areas. They are generally sleek and muscular, and like the Spaniels have lots of energy but balance it with intelligence. They can be arrogant and selfish, Whine when bored and like to be the centre of attention, displaying almost a “proud” demeanour.

Lastly there are Labradors. They are bigger, more solid and stronger, not so fast, but persistent and have the internal fortitude to just keep on going. They take disciple well, and harsh words are like the proverbial “water off a ducks back”, although like GSP’s can be whiners as well.  If they have a fault, (or two) tits that they are inclined to wolf down food, their own, another dogs, yours, your wifes.... and would often especially when older, prefer to just curl up in front of the fire , roll over and have their bellies scratched or generally just have a nap.

Sunday the Farts ventured onto the new turf at Maidstone, and like the courting rituals of their youth (back when “everything” was in black and white) quite tentatively and cautious.  Their opponents set the scene, when 30 mins before the game, they, as a team, all went for a warm up jog! 

It certainly seemed like a game of Spaniels V Labradors, with UH2 being a college age team (like spaniels, smaller, long hair, lots of enthusiasm) against the more conservative and solid Farts team (well some of the players are certainly built like labs!).

It seemed to start with a good omen when Trapper won the toss, second week in a row, and a new record winning streak for him (Surpassing the 1 week streak of the week before). But to be fair, it was all UH from the start, they attacked with enthusiasm, skills and teamwork. The Farts players all tried desperately to hold them back, but all felt at times like the little boy with his finger in the dyke, holding back the flood in small amounts while at other times it surged around him.

All of the players had small cameos during the game, but the Farts just couldn’t seem to get it together enough.

Ants scored their only goal in the first half, Trapper was perfectly placed on the top of the D,  and great ball came to him from LH but Ants poached it,  dragged it a little further into the circle and fired it at the goal.  
The Goalie managed to get his right chest in front of the ball but was nearly blown off his feet into the goal by the force of the ball (like watching a Dirty Harry movie).  Trapper suggested he could claim an assist, and asked if you got anything for an assist. Nuts replied No!

UH were awarded a dodgy Stroke, after Timbo came out and blocked a shot, only for the UH player to keep going, over run the ball and tackle Timbo.  Farts should have had the free hit but instead the umpire saw it differently.   With all their pressure they only went to the sheds 2-1 up over the Farts.
But it was obvious in the second half that they still had plenty of energy, and their coach had encouraged them in loving and gentle tones at the half time break.  They piled on the goals, not quite making double figures, but getting very close.

Special mention in the second half has to be given to Trapper, this mild unassuming gentle leader covered wing, Inner, half and Full back at different times, cleared two balls out of potentially dangerous positions, monstered a couple of players, and even run down a pc receiver before he could get the ball goal wards. He’s always been a Tana Umaga fan, and was overheard telling one of the UH team “its not college hockey - boy”.

Rumour has it that the management team are considering some structural changes to the Farts team, stay tuned for more on this.

Next weeks game will decide whether the Farts get promoted to R3, or stay in R2. Its against Victoria 5, NHS2 at 4.20 on Sunday.

1 – Ants (although it should have been Trappers!)

3 -  Zac-  recently recovering form a frontal lobotomy operation to remove his appendix, he was supposed to be recuperating, but came to watch the game, half way through the first changed into his gear and had a few runs. That showed great stupidity as well as team dedication, and obviously for that he deserved the coveted Player of the day Bar tab and 3 MVPs.
2 –Trapper – because I thought I played well and deserved some points!
1 – Andy Booker – good to see the young guys stepping up, even if they do need to put on a few pounds, played well, and has a long future in the Farts.
1         - Ants – brought the Oranges, but should really lose this point for poaching Trapper goal (not that he’s caustic about it!)
1-      Rearend – umpired what more can we say.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Never before, have so many owed so much, to so few........

“Forlorn Hope” - Meaning - A hopeless or desperate enterprise.

 Description:- Each troop in the British Army had a hand-picked group of soldiers, chosen for their ferocity and indifference to risk (and occasionally by using that tried and tested army method of "I want three volunteers. That's you, you and you."). They were the army's 'attack dogs' who risked all in reckless death or glory raids on the enemy, they were the Forlorn Hope.

 And so it felt for the 10 hardy souls that were there to defend the Old Farts honour on a bright but windswept Sunday. Amazingly the hordes of reserves that had been apparent the weeks previously had, like an Aussie looking for his wallet, failed to materialise.

Just 4 days after the commemorations of Anzac day, the small band of fearless (one could also say witless) warriors gaxed upon the younger, stronger opposition like the Anzacs before them had gazed upon the ridges and hillsides above Anzac cove on that fateful morning, 25th April 1915.

 A faint glimmer of hope had sparked when in the distance, the sun glinted off his head, the familiar figure of Adrian was seen next to the dugouts. This was short lived when it was realised that he had in fact defected and was shortly after seen in the appropriate yellow strip of Northern United.

It was a game of 2 halves, both of which we lost, although like the Forlorn Hope’s throughout history, we gave them a run for their money, literally. Even trapper was seen running, puffing and sweating, covering throughout the game both wings, stints at inners and even Left Half, however his biggest contribution (some say for the past 7 years)  was probably winning the toss and choosing the sun on their backs in the first half.

It didn’t seem like it, but they also only had 10 men, however they seemed to have a younger average age, and overall a higher skill level (or at least quicker reactions). The 10 players we had were mainly Old Farts plus the Harrison Brothers, so there was more wheezing, coughing and puffing than the Kingston Flier at full steam.

They had most of the possession, and territory, but probably onlky 60/40. We certainly put up a good fight and applied our own pressure at times. By the second half the match had started to even out, as usual the young plyers had done their run early, and the stayers started to get their second wind (for some it felt like their first breathes!). Ants scored and the match see-sawed back and foirth for a while.

Adrian got a “welcome back” when he picked up the outside the Farts circle, then without thinking turned his back on Nuts. Nuts thought hed won lotto, and pounced, and the two of them danced around for quite a while, Adsrian protecting the ball (with his back to Nuts) and Nuts (well it is a family Blog after all) “sticking close” to pressure him. Adrian did complain about Huts jamming his stick in his back, Nuts just smiled.

This was the first game of the season for the legendary Oranges to be in attendance, (Ants you’re a legend) and the boys all sat around afterwards having a quiet one.

Goal 1 - Ants, pretty soft one but yes he did score.

3 – Toddy – great defence, hard working, and really marshalled the defence, his voice was often heard barking out where to stand etc, (wonder where he got that form Rearend)
2- Al – another solid game, dependable in the halves
 1 – Damon – did enough running to deserve a point (plus he never answered me back, that was a first from this team!)
1 – Ants – Brought the Oranges – you’re a bloody legend
1 - Rearend – unselfishly umpired whole game - mind you , that meant he didn’t have to run around!

 That’s the end of the round robin promotion/relegation round, next week is a play off, not sure who against yet, watch the airwaves for the game time.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Young(er) Farts go down but there are positives from the negatives!

Sunday dawned with a quiet gloom over the capital with many appearing to still be suffering from the previous nights hammering of the Horricanes by the Crusaders (some appeared to be suffering more than others, Trapper apparently one of them!).
Earlier in the week Mark Hammett had spoken with the Farts management as both franchises had large player changes over the off season with new blood coming into both teams. Mark spent time asking Farts management for their success secrets and took away a heap of notes to bring into the Hurricanes camp for this year.
At leaset it was sunny and fine as the Farts took the field for their second game of the preseason promotion/relegation series yesterday. In a ploy to more quickly bring the newer players up to speed, and also as part of the strategic conditioning of the experienced players, the start saw most of the Farts regulars on the sideline.
To be fair, and “all credit to the opposition”, but the final score line didn’t really reflect the complete nature of the game. The Farts had plenty of opportunities, but couldn’t connect to take full advantage of them. In the first half Willy and Rearend were both unable to capitalise on some strong runs and well hit balls into the circle by Isaac “Usain Bolt”. The constant pressure did see the Farts winning a number of PC’s, which saw Toddy stride forward from the back line. The big guy trapped the second one calmly, took one step right of the advancing defender and slammed it into the back board.
With it so early in the season the coaching team were able to move some players around to test combinations, and Nuts took advantage by slipping onto the field into the Left wing. Before the management had noticed, he’d received the ball, scorched up the field around 3 defenders and laid off a beautiful ball for Chicken Legs to slot home.
Mrs Nuts then rushed up to the management and pleaded for them to take him off before he actually scored himself. Not certain what that was about, maybe what “goes on tour stays on tour”?
More pressure was applied after that but without any goals to the Farts. There were a lot of Positives to come out of this result, a number of the young guys put their hands up, as did Rearend (but that was just to ask to go to the toilet). Some guys might be destined for transfer to other teams (Can’t call it Higher honours, as what is higher than playing for the Farts?).
The midfield is looking strong, good performances by Craig and Al, but built on by the new guys. Late in the second half BJ took a quick tap out of defence, chewed up 50 metres before he was illegally shut down by Harbour City, then again took the tap to set the Frats up for another Foray into the circle.
So stay tuned sports fans, keep those payment for the season tickets rolling in (ps send them to Trapper TV, PO Box 48145, Upper Hutt) as this season will only get better.

1 – Toddy (pity the poor groundsman that had to repair the dent in the backboard left by his shot
1 – Chicken Legs – good following up from Nuts dazzling run

3- Craig – solid game, took control of the mid field and ran all day
2 – Issac – some great runs and looked phat is his sunglasses
1 – Al –another solid game from an old timer.
2 – Rearend – Umpired R1’s and also one of the womens games Saturday, apart from that really didn’t do much at all.
Next Game – Elsdon - Sunday 12.45 hit off – Chicken Legs to bring the Oranges

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Game 1 under our belts....... (to the tune of Madonna's - "like a virgin.......")

Well, the season is underway and a true thoroughbred at the Melbourne Cup, the team held themselves back to ensure they peak later in the season.

It was obvious from the fractured small talk and the line up of players going to the gents before the game that this was a nervous start top a new look (younger!) Farts team, Maybe they were nervous because they had heard rumours of the infamous initiation processes that new players are subjected to. The old hands held back from enforcing this on sunday, heightening the nervous tension of the new Young Farts.

Breaking another Old Farts tradition though, we actually had a full team for our first game of the season.

Karori also had a very youthful look, and heaps of subs, won the toss and hafter taking out their sextants and calculation tables chose to play into the sun in the first half. The had calculated that in the second half the sun would be lower, and with the reflection off Trappers head the entire Farts defence would be looking into the blazing sun.

It would be nice to be able to give a blow by blow account of the game, but to be honest my memory is also getting older (funny that) and i spent most of the time trying to will my body to move and/or just to breath.

The game was reasonable even sided, and the Farts went to the half time sheds 1 down, a goal that had come from a dubious Karori umpires decision, blowing the whistle when they were on attack in our circle, and of course the entire Farts team stopped playing (i think to be honest because they wanted to get their breath as well) but Karori played on and slotted the goal.

The second half was a harder affair, as the Karori team used their rolling subs to keep the players fresh, while a couple of Farts were rolling to, but across the ground. I was waiting for the umpire to give them yellow cards for Simulation, but realised he would have to resuscitate them first so he stayed away. Karori had most of the possession and territory, although there were some forrays into the Karori circle. Trapper had a stunning run down the right flank, beating the left back and forcing the goalie to save what would have been a certain goal (well, in trappers mind anyway).

At the other end the defence held up against Karori, Damon (the new Gok) saved a goal off the line, Toddy and Nuts were "solid" and Rearend was often sprawling to save shots.

Karori did manage 2 more goals, and the game ended with a 3-0 loss .

Although a loss, there were pleasing points to the game, with such an influx of new players (most of whom i can't remember their names) and the Older Old Farts rusty and almost at their peak fitness (yeah right) the team looked ok. After a few games we will be a well oiled winning machine.

3 - Nuts - strong game in defence, some great tackles as well, even managed a jog (although it was onto the pitch before the game started)
2 - Gok (Damon) saved goal off the line
1 - Rearend - managed a few saves, took out a couple of Karori players and was over heard advised Gok that he needed to beef up if he wanted to stay in the Farts team!

Check out the blog for reviews, news and coming events.

Next weeks game is at NHS1, 3.45 V Harbour town. Can you please confirm or decline via teamer , or let me know closer to the game so i can arrange an umpire if necessary.

Well sports fans, just what you have been waiting for, another season of the Old Farts....

Yes, hard to believe that little over 6 months ago we cleaned our gear and stored it ready for the new season.

Well its time to get it out, dust it off and prepare for another action packed Old Farts season.

There have been some changes to the team over the summer lay off, we lost some players in the draft, and picked up some new blood (much younger blood too which is great so that we older guys don't need to do all the running around) and have contracted into the team some players that filled in for us last year (Tim, Damon, Bradly).

So the new look Old Farts team will take the field on Sunday, NSH2, 2.30 for our opening game against old rivals Karori 2. Obviously there is some organise to be done re positions, introductions and the dreaded Farts initiation process, and as we believe in being prepared, the first Farts training session will be at NHS at 2.00 on sunday, enough time to do the usual Farts warm ups (chew the fat, friendly abuse, glen to have a smoke) and also to introduce the new players to the team.

See you all on sunday.

PS - I believe Damon (Who recently was a guest star on Project Runway)  is the new Gok, and he will be bringing shirts for those that don't have them.

PPS - No Oranges this week, as the NHS doesn't have a BYO license, so we will have a quiet one after the game upstairs. Ants will bring the first oranges of the year to our first "home" game at Elsdon later in the month.

PPPS - To those that haven't, you can join our facebook page Old Farts, and also siign up to the Blog to get schedule for games, after match reviews, and MVP points etc

Blog Archive