Saturday, July 20Royal Holloway's offical student publication, est. 1986

#BearsDay- RHUL Hockey Wolfpack Vs Imperial Medics 5’s

After several months of lone, predatory hunting in the wilderness of Surrey, the Wolfpack finally regrouped to participate in what they do best: Play some mediocre-yet-passable hockey. The summer hadn’t been good on the pack after many of the groups matriarchs had left for pastures new, more specifically actual careers, but many of the new pups quickly came up to the pace of the sport.

Unfortunately, the match quickly deteriorated with the two’s struggling to have a serious spell in possession. It was clear that a summer of drinking and inactivity had not had the best effect on the team: by the end of the first half, we were undeservedly 2-0 down, particularly because our goalkeeper had only two hours experience in that position and because of a fumbled and scrappy ball over the line. As the 2nd half rolled on, more and more mistakes crept in: Over-optimistic runs, unimaginable through balls, dummies which weren’t actually dummies (which led to their 4th goal) and general fatigue. Many of our set pieces needed improvements too, particularly our short corners which were rather clumsy and needed a lot more practice and fluidity. In the previous season, one of our main strengths was our counter attacking capabilities yet, although it was not half as good as during our last few games, we did show promise on the break. This was proven late into the second half when our sweeper-turned-attacking midfielder saw a thunderous hit fly into the bottom right corner of the goal. But by this point, the result was an inevitable yet expected defeat at 4-1.

There was a general consensus that the returners needed to step up their game, take charge and own their positions, especially after the experience from their previous, title-winning season. We didn’t leave the game empty handed either, there was plenty of potential across all of the new freshers and many of us saw it as a learning curve for them, giving them the opportunity to try out new positions. We all know it’s a long season ahead with plenty of time to improve and learn from our mistakes, what we now need is the determination to go on and fight for this league.

Back-to-back promotions? Entirely possible, crazier things have happened! (not many though…)