Stratford 2001
Hock Rock of Ages Festival
Report & Photo Gallery

21st - 23rd September

Stratford Hockey Club
Swans Nest Lane,
Stratford upon Avon,
Warwickshire, CV37 7LS
Tel: 01789 550725

Report / Photo 1 / Photo 2 / Photo 3 / Photo 4 / Photo 5
Photo 6 / Photo 7 / Photo 8 / Photo 9

Tour Report

Friday / Saturday / Sunday

For the first time Stratford was to experience the 'sting' of the Hornet team. Or so we thought after recent festival success. However with just 8 players (becoming 9 on the Sunday) we didn't manage to make much of an impression on the pitch, loosing all our games, but one draw. But spirits unfazed we excelled in what we do even better and became famous in the clubhouse instead.

Team Members: Mark Jones, Jon Kirby, Simon Riley, Lee Snowdon, Victoria H, Catherine Dwyer and Becks Law
New Recruits: Aidan Brock and Nick Mckie

----- Friday -----

Due to work commitments, traffic, distance and other lame excuses made by late arriving hornets - just Jon, Victoria H and Catherine first arrived to lay the way for the weekend. Pitching tents in the dark and having no idea where they were, the Stratford team kindly adopted the keen drinking trio once in the bar. Kind as they were, finding them frighteningly sedate it was only polite to show them exactly how drinking games were played. And eventually, on arrival of Aidan and Simon, it was time to invade the town for further tour debauchery. Of course no evening would have been complete without Catherine being violently sick from having drunk too much. This, more than anything else, is a tour tradition.

Little is remembered after this point, but hockey was sufficiently painful in the morning - and Stratford certainly remembered us the following evening. <<<

----- Saturday -----

The Stratford Tour is split into two separate competitions - one on Saturday and one on Sunday. This of course gave us the opportunity to lose in both! The rest of the team arrived early from London - having left at around 6am - that is real dedication. Upon arriving the team immediately registered and went into the bar. First things first of course!

As the game progressed it was clear that we weren't gonna do very well! Apart from the fact the Hornets are not known for their prolific goal scoring especially when the team is reversed - defenders up front and strikers in defence. Still that is what tour is all about. Having only 8 players didn't overly help either! Still on most occasions players from other teams were happy to help out.

The days started in true Hornet style the opposition attacked our goal straight from the off - sliding out came new keeper Nick Mckie... right into our defence wiping them out!! Lucky the opposition weren't much good - although they eventually won. All the end of the days games we had lost all but one of our games. Surprisingly the goal came from Mark Jones set up by a finessed clout from the hornets own defence that bobbled over everyone and then sat up nicely to be clattered into the goal. Not sure the technique of closing your eyes at the final moment helps though, especially if the luck isn't with you! The only question remaining was who got the assist? It seems both Jon Kirby and Simon Riley are adamant they did it. At the end of the day the opposition scored shortly afterwards and the match was drawn - so it doesn't really matter. Having not qualified for the knockout stages it was off to the bar for some purple nasties.

The best part of the tour has to be the Saturday night disco in the Stratford clubhouse bar - now made even more special by Aidan's famous and near legendary robotic dancing, cruelly egged on by Victoria H. One of the revelations of the tour was a new drinking game... the fruit game! Has to be one of the easiest and most amusing games ever and remember no showing your teeth! As the evening progressed it was clear (as usual) that the Hornets were the team to be drinking with and slowly members of the other teams slipped away from their own sides to join in with our games - even Stratford joined us!

The rest of the team adjourned to bed. Although on the way Simon Riley & Aidan Brock managed to empty the local petrol station of every Ginsters product they had - what a pair of fatties!! The sleeping arrangements were a collection of tents, cars and B&Bs. The amount of sleep was clearly summed up as one of the team remarked the following morning... "well you'd have got more sleep if you hadn't parked your car under a conker tree!"... fair point - but only cos it was windy! <<<

----- Sunday -----

After an appalling nights sleep it was back onto the pitch for the next days competition! Plus our ranks were to swell with the arrival of another team member - Becks Law... when she could finally get out of bed and come down from Wales. While the results today were actually worse than yesterday the days glory lies with recent recruit Lee Snowdon. Having been clattered by a goalie in an earlier game a limping Lee took up residence in the opposition's D for the remaining matches. This finally paid off when a battered clearance from Aido shot up the field to Mark who fluked it passed the last defender straight to Lee feet, upon which he sliced it into the top corner. A quality goal... marred only by the fact that the teams was so chuffed that it proceeded to let in two quick goals and lose the match!

Stratford is a small club and very friendly BUT a word of caution the car park backs onto the end of the pitches, the balls are very hard and cars are quite expensive. Think very carefully if you are gonna park on the end of a pitch that the Hornets are playing on - especially if Jon Kirby is honing in on goal. In a situation like that the only safe place for your car is in between the posts!!!

With the customary non-qualification for the knockout stages looming the hornets packed off to the bar... although the problem with a two day tour is that drinking on the last day is confined to tea and water! Having watched some of the closing games it was time to take down the tents (those that had actually bothered putting them up), jump in the cars and shoot off back to wherever. <<<

Still, this tour is one of the less strenuous AND most fun on the circuit. Especially thanks to the brilliant attitude of the home team who certainly welcome you and make you feel at home. Watch this space as we will definitely be back next year.

Victoria H & MJ - Report 10-Oct-01

Stratford Tour Gallery

A photo gallery from the Stratford Tour 2001.

Mark and Jon in a cheesy headclash Photo 1
Mark and Jon getting head to head with a classic chintzy drunken pose. Shortly before embarking onto the dancefloor for some serious strutting. <<<
Mark Jones playijng the leg guitar
Photo 2
Mark Jones the pioneer of the "Leg Guitar" is unveiling it for all to see in Stratford. An, as yet, un-celebrated example of modern pop-culture often unfairly dismissed as "looking a complete dick"! <<<
Goalie Nick and a Stratford player
Photo 3
Hornet virgin, Nick the goalie, showing a member of the Stratford team how to party and how to drink. <<<
Simon & Victoria H
Photo 4
Victoria H - resident Hornet granny - & Simon Riley sneaking around the edge of the dancefloor. It appears that these guys are getting a little too old to dance these days. <<<
Simon, Cat & Aidan with Nina form Stratford Photo 5
Simon, Cat, Nina (from Stratford) and Aidan (new recruit) all sitting in the Stratford bar drinking the classic hornet beverage - snakebite & black! <<<
Aidan, Nick & Lee in the Stratford bar Photo 6
Aidan, Nick and Lee getting the beers flowing prior to the call of the dancefloor. <<<
Becks in situ Photo 7
Bexs, having missed 50% of the tour - finally turns up and starts drinking everything in site and showing everyone her bottom. Business as usual then! <<<
Catherine with the Hornets in the fields Photo 8
Cat and some of the hornets relaxing by the pitch after a couple of matches. <<<
The team at Stratford 2001 Photo 9
The Hornets team for the Stratford Tour 2001. <<<

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