|Date||18 May 2016|
|Venue||Wolverhampton Grammar School|
|Result||L 2 - 4|
The first home tie of the summer league saw Ludlow arrive at the Grammar School for an all-action encounter that ultimately left Old Wulfs coming off second best.
There were a couple of notable changes to the team from the previous week, including the inclusion of Kam Maan as well as the prodigal return of one Tom Widdowson, back from slumming it at Cannock for the last few seasons to make a welcome guest (or maybe not…) appearance.
There is never much love lost between these two teams, and the game began in that vein with a few tasty challenges going in early. This situation was not helped by their ‘useless’ umpire – and I use inverted commas as this was his own summary of his match officiating abilities, and may or may not reflect the opinions of this match report writer or the views of Old Wulfrunians Hockey Club Ltd. (editorial intervention: OWHC Ltd is always very grateful and appreciative of all umpiring interventions, no matter what their perception of their own abilities may be or indeed the perceptions of the more literary minded amongst our own membership - end of intervention!)
It was Wulfs that broke the deadlock with some good build up play resulting in Tibble finding himself through on goal with Ashworth screaming at him to square it. However, he chose not to do this and selfishly buried it in the bottom corner.
The lead didn’t last long though, as Ludlow passed the ball to their England international, who just HAPPENS to be a teenage girl. The Wulfs' defence were poor in their tracking and allowed her to encroach on goal and eventually close enough to achieve a simple finish to even the scoring.
Old Wulfs were in front again when Widdowson collected the ball in the D and drove deep to the right of the goal before neatly flicking the ball high into the net to make it 2-1. After that goal had gone in, Wulfs seemed to lose their mojo and invited Ludlow to attack with a series of sloppy passes and slack marking. This led to another goal for the visitors before half time and another good finish from their England international.
The second half was categorised by more abject play by Old Wulfs and some abject behaviour from both teams, leading to sendings off for both sides. The cards were given by the excellent stand-in umpire Al Brown who kept the game under control and dished out the punishments with a cool Mafioso style of emotional detachment.
Ludlow maintained their dominance to score two more goals, one from open play and the other a drag flicked penalty corner to run out 4-2 winners. Overall, the score perhaps flattered Wulfs who will have to up their game from here if they are to have any joy in this league. Although they did have an England international.