Blog: Great to have rivalries
Blog: Great to have rivalries

There are rivalries everywhere in sport. No matter where you look; any sport, any level, you can find them and Holcombe v Canterbury is no different.

I make no apologies for maintaining that Cannock v Beeston will always hold a special place for me (don’t @ me) but there’s a tangible excitement in the build-up to a Canterbury game.

I lost track of the amount of times I heard “just make sure you beat them” this past week and I’m sure that was no different at Polo Farm. At all levels, it’s the fixture you look for when they first come out, especially when you’re away from home.

I like the Canterbury crowd.

They’re always lively and aren’t afraid of disagreeing with something; whether it be a decision, your team, or just you as an individual, which I think is brilliant. When Nowakowski scored late in the first half of our game to tie things up, it was probably the loudest cheer I’ve heard this season.

It may not be everyone’s cup of tea but it all comes together to create a great atmosphere to play in but also gives us another factor to manage.

For our girls, Saturday proved to be a really frustrating game. Playing against the bottom of the league, there was an expectation that the girls would perform and there was an expectation that the girls would win.

It’s because of this expectation and the girls’ own personal standards that there’s frustration off the back of Saturday; probably more so than simply the result alone.

Not being able to close out from a winning position definitely gives the feeling of two points dropped as opposed to a point gained.

It wasn’t necessarily the worst performance and Canterbury definitely stepped up their game to make life difficult for us at times.

In truth, a lot of it came down to the final third and a lack of connections and clinical finishing when it mattered most.

I know the girls put a lot of time into their penalty corners and are disappointed at Saturday’s return but the short of it is that nothing is won in November and the girls currently sit fourth with only one defeat to their name and are just three points off second.

With three games to go until the Christmas break, a lot can change in the table before the end of the month, let alone the end of March.

Next weekend, a home tie against Slough presents another tough task. There’s a goal difference of 1 that separates the two sides and the girls will be keen to get back to winning ways at Holcombe Park.

For the Men, we started off aggressively and nullified any early momentum with a goal inside a couple of minutes. Despite not getting the breaks for the rest of the period, we took care of business in the second half and ran out comfortably by the end.

We’re playing well at the moment and have made good strides forward this past month with our collective understanding of roles within the group and how we can be successful.

Next weekend’s going to be another tough test in an early Saturday fixture against Brooklands. Brooklands are renowned for their tenacity and work rate and it will be our professionalism in the first 50 minutes that will dictate our chances of success late in the game.

With just three games to go, we have a big push to build on this momentum before we turn our attentions indoors.