Superb away win for the Monarchs to secure promotion
The last match of the Monarchs’ season proved to be the one of the best performances of the campaign with the team clinching an emphatic 6-2 against Wycombe 6. Planning for the match was disrupted hours before when unfortunately Sean (who has been solid all season in goal) declared himself injured. Colin Byrne kindly stepped up to take his place and in order to protect Colin in goal, the decision was made to play a 4-5-1 formation for the first time this season. The Monarchs got off to the best possible start when Viren scored within 10 minutes, after being put through on goal by a delicious through ball from Tim. The team were pegged back within a few minutes from a very quick break from a young Wycombe team who constantly threatened to score. The Monarchs composed themselves and from good use of the wings with Mahdi working hard on the right-hand side and JC and James controlling the centre, the team soon put together another good attack which resulted in Richard assisting Tim who cooly finished for 2-1. The lead was quickly extended when Clint provided a quick pass from the top of the D to Viren to score the 3rd. Viren then assisted Clint with a blind pass from the top of the D to take the team into half time with a solid 4-1 lead. After the break, Clint scored the goal of the match with a smart half volley from the edge of the D having been picked out JC. Colin James calmly finished to make it 6-1 before Wycombe pulled one back. This was a fantastic display overall with some superb performances all over the pitch. Colin Byrne excelled in goal and kept out some key shots and Mike had a fantastic match considering he had only played two games of hockey since Christmas! With this win and Harrow being held at Slough, the team achieved a final league standing of 3rd place by virtue of a far higher goal difference and goals for (a whopping 79 goals). This performance topped off what has been a fantastic season for a team that were fighting relegation at the same point last season. A great effort by all who have played during the season and with 3rd place, a high likelihood that the team will be promoted to Division 7 next year. To make things all the more sweeter, the Monarchs have been confirmed on the shortlist for England Hockey’s men’s team of the year. Well done all!