Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Lincoln Triangular Tournament

On Sunday 16th December Peterborough Handball Club travelled to Lincoln University for two half-hour matches against Bedford University and the hosts, Lincoln. Match reports below.

Peterborough HC 9 - 12 Bedford University
Peterborough were unfortunate to lose this close game against a Bedford team with a similar level of experience. Since the teams last met Bedford had drafted in a couple of rugby players, adding muscle and the ability to spin-pass sideways to their arsenal. Peterborough lined up with Paul Noble in goal, captain Dan Bird at Centre, Dan Gammons and Matt Hobbs at right and left half, Gavin Meichan and Ashley Thorpe at right and left wing and Eddy Hogg at pivot. New recruit Sam Tyler started on the bench.

Despite conceding the first goal of the game, Peterborough had the better of the early exchanges, with goals from Dan Bird and Dan Gammons giving Peterborough a 5-3 lead. Offensively the line was attacked far better, with more shots being taken from close to the 6m line. This was epitomised by Gavin Meichan’s first goal of the game, cutting in from the wing following smart play from debutant Sam Tyler. Pivot Eddy Hogg had a goal disallowed due to clumsy feet but made up for it minutes later by finishing a fine move orchestrated by Dan Gammons.

In the latter half of the game a mix of sloppy defending and luck saw Bedford pull into the lead, and despite a late rally including goals by Dan Bird, Dan Gammons and Gavin Meichan, Peterborough couldn’t quite draw level.

As well from our improved forward play, the main highlight of the game was Paul Noble’s performance in goal, including a number of fantastic reaction saves. Paul’s save ratio was over 60%, an absolutely fantastic achievement and one which earned him plaudits from everyone in the hall.

Peterborough HC: Dan Bird (3), Paul Noble, Dan Gammons (3), Matt Hobbs, Gavin Meichan (2), Ashley Thorpe, Eddy Hogg (1), Sam Tyler

Lincoln HC 12 – 2 Peterborough HC
Straight after their close game with Bedford the same Peterborough line-up faced a strong Lincoln side, boasting a former England international and a handful of other experienced players. Still recovering from the previous game and facing a fresh Lincoln team, Peterborough struggled initially and found themselves quickly 5-0 down, with all-round nice guy George Finch doing most of the damage by exploiting the large gaps left by the Peterborough defence.

As the game wore on, Peterborough came more into the game and scored twice through Dan Bird and Dan Gammons. However, our defensive frailties continued to be exposed and Lincoln managed to comfortably beat us despite another inspired performance in goal by Paul Noble.

The key it seems is space; attacking we can’t seem to find it often enough, defending we seem to leave too much of it. Even when Lincoln had the ever amiable Finch inexplicably suspended for 2 minutes for the lightest of wrestles to the ground, we still struggled to find space in attack. More work needed, but the green shoots are there and we can take plenty from the two matches played.

Peterborough HC: Dan Bird (1), Paul Noble, Dan Gammons (1), Matt Hobbs, Gavin Meichan, Ashley Thorpe, Eddy Hogg, Sam Tyler

Peterborough 9-12 Bedford
Peterborough 2-12 Lincoln
Lincoln 11-10 Bedford

Games Played
Games Won
Games Lost
Games Drawn
Goals For
Goals Against

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Essex University Blades 36-5 Peterborough

Essex University 36 – 5 Peterborough Handball Club

Despite the scoreline, Peterborough Handball Club can take a number of positives from this encounter with an experienced Essex University team. Missing talismanic captain Dan Bird and goalkeeper Badar Ali through injury, Peterborough lined up with Paul Noble in goal, Dan Gammons at centre, Gavin Meichan and Matt Hobbs at right- and left-half, Gareth Elliott and Nick Carter at right- and left-wing and Eddy Hogg at pivot. Ashley Thorpe started as substitute.

Having conceded 44 to Essex in our last meeting and 40 against Brentwood in our last match, Peterborough’s aim was to improve our defensive work, and in the first half the hard work in training paid off as our defending consistently frustrated Essex’s continental team. Despite the i
mproved showing, we could not stop Essex taking a healthy lead and the score against was in double figures before Gareth Elliott ducked past his defender and produced a fine finish to register Peterborough’s first score of the game. At half-time the score was 16-1.

The second half began much the same as the first, but the middle third of the second half saw Peterborough produce the finest period of play they have produced in their short history. Three goals in quick succession by Matt Hobbs (2) and Dan Gammons were the reward for a spell of fine forward movement from the whole team. Towards the end of the game some mistakes going forward allowed Essex breakaway goals. Peterborough scored their final goal late on when a foul on Eddy Hogg allowed Dan Gammons to convert a seven-meter penalty for his second goal of the game.

The game featured a number of fine performances. Dan Gammons, Matt Hobbs and Gavin Meichan took turns defending in front of the back-five, a role that requires massive effort and energy. Paul Noble, playing in goal for the first time, saved two penalties and showed great promise. The next step for all of the team will be to improve our forward movement and to get into the habit of attacking the ball and the defender at speed.

Peterborough Handball Club’s next league fixture is against Norwich University on Sunday 13th January.

Peterborough HC: Dan Gammons (2), Paul Noble, Matt Hobbs (2), Gavin Meichan, Gareth Elliott (1), Nick Carter, Eddy Hogg, Ashley Thorpe.