Saturday, July 20, 2024

Old Georgians praised as World Cup stars show up in Battersea

From Bhubaneswar to Battersea Park, London Wayfarers’ players admitted to a career high on Sunday after they shared the field with several Hockey World Cup stars in the adult mixed championships on Sunday.

A day after their win over Surbiton in the men’s Premier Division, Old Georgians’ Sam Ward and James Carson, who played for England and Wales respectively in last month’s World Cup, took on Wayfarers in the third round of the England Hockey mixed cup as they inflicted a 5-1 defeat on the London outfit.

“I was nice surprise, albeit we knew we would be in for a tough challenge and safe to say our game plan changed a little when we saw them arrive,” said Wayfarers’ Alex Horowitz.

“Our goalkeeper plays for Gibralter but who’d have known Sam Ward and James Carson would turn up as well!”

Despite the scoreline, as Old Georgians advanced, both sides agreed that the game was played in great spirits. Horowitz added: “For the squad of 17 we think it was certainly a career highlight for all. 

“It was perfectly summed up by own Frenchman Thibault, who had a good foot race with Wardy on several occasions and did joke that when he nutmegged him that was his career done!

“It was a great occasion and for many was the first time they had shared the field with current senior internationals.”

London Wayfarers’ mixed squad

Wayfarers also praised the Premier Division club for supporting the England Hockey championships.

Horowitz said: “From a World Cup quarter final in Bhubaneswar to a mixed EH Cup game at Battersea Park a fortnight later was a journey we hadn’t anticipated, but it’s great they support these competitions and for our players to have the chance to compete against them.

“Mixed gender competitions are always great fun and really bring out everyone’s love for the game. That doesn’t mean they are less competitive. We have had some fantastic games in recent seasons. But the sense of community and joy of the sport is always evident in these competitions.”

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