|Date||28 March 2015|
|Venue||Evesham High Sch WR11 1DQ|
|Result||D 3 - 3|
In a day of high drama, Wulfs came up short of the required 3 points and missed out on the league title as the season reached a shuddering climax.
With a strong squad of 14 this should have been a banker to clinch the silverware, but Evesham had other ideas. The warning signs were there from the start as the home side made all the running with an unusual formation and 4 fast attackers buzzing around the Wulfs defence.
Evesham took a deserved lead, and it could have been worse as several chances went begging. Sweeper Birch had to withdraw through illness just to make matters worse. Wulfs have shown an indomitable spirit throughout the season though, and in the dying seconds of the half Mark Wilson crucially levelled with a sublme drag-flick.
To be 1-1 at half-time lifted the morale and despite the further worry of a leg injury for Alan Brown Wulfs began to stabilise in the second half. Matt Griffiths put in a shift to begin to break down Evesham and the combination of Taylor's pace and Gray's skills created a number of oppotunities. It looked like Wulfs would soon take the lead, but with 20 minutes to go the unthinkable happened, and Evesham scored on the break.
At 2-1 things looked bleak but there were several twists remaining. Dave Ward crunched a penalty corner which deflected off a defender's stick, and it was level once again.
As the clock ran down the moment arrived that should have proved glorious. Player of the season Darryl Ablard provided a killer ball and Gray deflected it superbly to score the go-ahead goal. With 3 minutes to go Wulfs just needed to keep the lead.
Once again Evesham proved their league position doesn't reflect their ability. Wulfs were careless and allowed a penalty corner. Initially Ben Humpherson charged down a drag flick, taking the shot on the knee from very close range. Unfortunately the umpire awarded another penalty corner when it was clear it should have gone the other way, and almost inevitably this one was dispatched perfectly to make it 3-3 with 90 seconds on the clock.
Things seemed pretty terminal, but from the restart Wulfs ran straight into the Evesham D and Alex Gray won a penalty corner! With the final play of the game Wilson was tragically unable to convert, and it finished in a draw.
In a personal note, I'd like to thank everyone who played for the 1sts this season. I have never seen the committment and desire that this group have demonstrated in a team during my time playing hockey, and I doubt I will again. That it should finish with such a gut-wrenching low point doesn't seem like justice, but I'm sure we'll all learn and grow stronger from the experience. I just hope that whoever leads the 1sts next season can keep the team together and push on to new heights.