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Stratford Festival 2002
Report & Photo Gallery


20th - 22nd September


Stratford Hockey Club
Swans Nest Lane,
Stratford upon Avon,
Warwickshire, CV37 7LS
Tel: 01789 550725
www.stratfordhockey.fsnet.co.uk


Report / Photo 1 / Photo 2 / Photo 3 / Photo 4 / Photo 5 / Photo 6
Photo 7 / Photo 8 / Photo 9 / Photo 10 / Photo 11 / Photo 12 / Photo 13

Tour Report


Friday / Saturday / Sunday

For the second time the Hornets graced the green (and not particulary flat) fields of Stratford ready to get ridiculously drunk and lose both the Saturday and Sunday tournaments... as usual there was only two aims - 1) Win one game, 2) Be drunk until Sunday lunchtime.

Team Members: Mark Jones, Jon Kirby, James Kirby, Jolyon Fallon, Gareth Norris, Andy Potapa, Victoria H, Catherine Dwyer, Becks Law, Mel Clark, rolf, Melanie & Yeng Ng.
New Recruits: Andy Rogers, Vix Steatfeild

----- Friday -----


With spectacular enthusiasm Jon, Catherine, Victoria H and Bec arrived in Stratford at 3pm and began tour immediately. From their various corners of the south, six more hornets arrived to play catch up and in time to join Stratford HC in the clubhouse. Enter surplus jugs of snaky b - and so the debauchery began.

The evening consisted of continuous drinking games, the Hornets' talent shining through as always with new members quickly appreciating our favourites such as 'Cookies' of course, and the Fruit game too - never as popular with other teams for some reason.

From here my own personal view of the evening clouds over somewhat, but I believe there were many pints downed (by me probably), many shoes missing (Bec's pink flip-flop did not reappear until Sunday afternoon) and plenty of passing out teamed with unnecessarily uncomfortable sleeping arrangements. Apparently Catherine wasn't sick this time, even on someone else's shoes. Although, team vomit award goes to Bec who was so violently and consistenly sick that she was unable to play until lunchtime on the Sunday. <<<

----- Saturday -----


Eager as always Mark Jones arrived acres of time before Saturday's tournament began, bringing with him Mel Clark and Andy P. The day began by playing Chipping Camden (L3-0). As it turns out this was rather a indication for how the day would turn out. Few of the hornets were in a pretty condition due to the night before and failed to pull anything out of the bag. There was little attempt to finish up front, midfield seemed unable to do more than stumble, and veteran Bec was yet to leave her tent. However Jolyon did begin as he meant to go on and expertly rallied the defence into positive action. Vix on the other hand did not seem happy between the sticks. Whether coloured in anger or her veins naturally purple from nasties the night before, we all enjoyed her unique approach to protecting the home goal. As an able and speedy opponent weaved their way across the D, Vix would simply yell 'F**K OFF', apparently just a back up measure to her goalie skills.

And it only got worse. We were due straight back on to play the Pastey White Things who beat us convincingly, final score 4-0. Not much more can be said. Though can I point out that neither of these opening teams were present the night before and looked unfairly fresh.

It was at this point that Andy Rogers became enthused by the idea of taking over in goal. Never before has someone looked so happy to don the Tulse Hill and Dulwich HC kit, if any at all. For someone who had come along to support and muck in he defended the goal with gusto. Had he really never done this before? A hidden talent and a new hornet member.

On to play Dirty Sanchez. Now a full team - Bec out of bed and Gareth having finally arrived from Cambridge (our only surviving Anglia Hornet) - we managed to deflect all but a single goal loosing just 1-0, which felt almost like a victory at that stage in the festival. Although there were still a lot of pale faces there was some stunning tackling by Melanie , also the usual impressive skills of Jon Kirby in the vicinity of the D (though we like to call it fannying about).

Not wanting to spoil a trend, we lost to the Handy Magandies (3-0). In red this year, the Magandies are another returning side at the Stratford festival, more familiar to a particular hornet than perhaps the rest. Apparently yet another item of their touring apparel was mysteriously missing after the weekend, almost as if someone was collecting it.

In the next game we played Stingray, the Stratford home team, this year in 60's attire. Roger (?), the man who told you when and where with his air horn, thought that opponent Oli's flares interfered with the game - but we were more than pleased as managed not to loose this time drawing 1-1, and good also to play a team who appreciated it was very much the morning after. It was Potty who came up with the equalizer - perhaps it made a difference to loose his usual pitch uniform of jeans and jacket for a sporty looking pair of shorts.

Our last game of the day was against Poole (L3-1). A mistake to be fooled by the team's average age, although they were avid promoters of snake-bite and black, the team were also quite serious about their sport and rarely left survivors. It did feel as if we had only just got going. Andy was really getting into his new role, Catherine doing some beautifully timed runs down the left wing and Jolyon twatting everything successfully through to the strikers. As for Mark Jones' goal even he can't claim much credit for that, an uncharacteristically unselfish pash in front of goal from Gareth gave Mark the easiest of tap ins - still with the Hornets goal prowess even that wasn't guaranteed! However, on this occasion there was no grass divot to foil the shot and the ball was safely slapped into the backboard.

Of course with a night of drinking and cheesy dancing ahead the Hornets are never disheartened and got on to what they do best. James Kirby arrived to take over from Jolyon in the morning and everyone got going before they started thinking about ridiculous needs like showers and kipping. We'll let Yeng off as she had played every possible game but one that day (clinically insane apparently).

After Cookies, Famous Names and copious amounts of alcohol the drinking games took the more personal direction that is 'I have never.'. And there we were thinking we knew each other well! The dance floor soon became a hazard especially due to the dancing of the Kirbys, Gareth and Mel. Oh yes and not forgetting Rolf, she soon moved on to other teams but not before getting her teeth into Potty. Bec was also up there most of the evening spreading her knowledge of such classic routines as Saturday Night.

Meanwhile Jolyon helped Vix with true incestual induction to the Hornets. <<<

----- Sunday -----


A mess, and proud, the Hornets slowly gathered in the bar for breakfast. Fourteen teams had arrived for the second tournament of the weekend so it was to be 15 minute games and plenty of recovery time. Having had the previous day to adjust to our side we were relatively confident about producing some better hockey this time.

Perhaps we just needed the morning to manage our hangovers - games one and two followed suit from the day before with 1-0 losses against Berkswick and the Bretforton Jaffas respectively. However there was impressive diving from our new goalie, Bec's stick skills from nowhere on the right wing and Yeng's constant and determined support through midfield and up front despite a worsening knee injury.

Next we played Stingray again and produced the same result as the day before 1-1. It was no problem that Melanie was wearing Potty's shoes, he just went on in his lovely red socks, and neither party seemed even slightly hindered. The defence seemed even stronger today, and although they missed Jolyon, soon flourished under James' supervision. Jon scored at last and we were relieved that it wasn't the old Bournemouth syndrome.

Indeed Jon scored yet again, but unfortunately our well-fought battle against Standard was finally lost 2-1. Gareth unfortunately missed an array of opportunities but played a great game with Yeng and Jon in support and some lovely runs by James up from defence.

It was time to lie in a literal pile on the grass and sing Christmas carols. Onlookers didn't seem to appreciate the high standard of musical talent, only stare as if it was odd behaviour.

A three game break came up before the next match. As usual with such a long break came a need to go over to the Hockey shop to purchase a few 'items'. Mark Jones took the oportunity to purchase 'yet another' new stick for £80 - rather suprisingly the stick (which must be magic) took him onto the pitch for the nexxt game, where he promptly scored a bullet of a shot after a great layoff by a Kirby or two. Outlanders W1-0 (Jones). The team had hit winning ways and were hungry for the final game of the day.

There was a shorter two game break before the final game. Pastey White Things W2-0 (Norris x2). What was scary is for the first time ever the team discussed tactics and positions. This is unheard of but actually payed off. Gareth who had possibly the worst ever weekend in front of goal finally broke his duck by being on the end of a some throughly professional and brilliant team play - in fact even he raised his game to score one of his goals with a superb reverse low backhand (arrrgggh). his win meant the Hornets were in touching distant of the finals... so the wait and the nail biting began...

After our final game we were told that if the red team playing across from us won 2-0, that we were into the quarter finals. So naturally off we went and, though lacking pom-poms, did our best to support them. It was almost certainly full time and the score was 2-0 in the reds favour, all that was needed was a wee blast on the air horn. Despite knowing our position, Roger seemed in no hurry to end the game - in fact he waited for the precise moment that the opposition scored making it 2-1 before he did so (bastard). All over for the Hornets.

As always we were determined to make the weekend last as long as possible without making it unsafe to drive. As no one's journey was much over 2 hours we took our unwashed selves to a local Beefeater and had a frankly unpleasant but happy social last supper. <<<

And once again the touring season draws to a close for 2002 - time to go back to league hockey with the various clubs we all belong to and just plan for the many socials between now and Xmas..... Oh yeah and there's that rumour about the Easter tour 2003 being in Barcelona - no there's a thought!

Victoria H (& MJ) - Report 09-Oct-02


Stratford Tour Gallery


A photo gallery from the Stratford Tour 2002.

The Hornets squad relaxing in between matches Photo 1
The Hornets relaxing in between games on the grass in between pitch 1 & 2. <<<
The Stratford-upon-Avon Clubhouse
Photo 2
The Stratford-upon-Avon Hockey Club Clubhouse. <<<
Defending a short corner
Photo 3
Hornets successfully defending a short corner. <<<
Live action matchplay
Photo 4
One of the very few photos of the Hornets actually 'playing' hockey - do tour teams actually do this? <<<
New goalie Andy Rogers Photo 5
A new recruit for the Hornets - Goalie Andy Rogers... no relation to Kenny apparently! <<<
More live action matchplay Photo 6
More live Hornet action from the pitch. <<<
Jon tackled by a girl Photo 7
Jon Kirby pisses around and is tackled by a girl... shortly before Norris misses a reverse low-backhand shot on goal! <<<
Hornets chilling near the pitch Photo 8
The team lazing around on the grass before going bck into action. <<<
Drinking games in the clubhouse Photo 9
The team all sat around playing drinking games well "I have never...". <<<
Andy Rogers & James Kirby Photo 10
Andy Rogers and James Kirby arsing around in the clubhouse. <<<
Getting it on! Photo 11
AP getting Jiggy with Rolf. <<<
Vix & Jolyon Photo 12
How sweet... part-time Goalie Vix and full-time poshy Jolyon get happy together in the bar. <<<
James & Mel Photo 13
James appears to have bagged himself a dwarf. <<<


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