News


Under 15s National Cup qualifers (Played: Sunday 30 March)

RHC Invicta's under 15s team travelled to Soham on Sunday to play in the National Cup qualifiers. The team faced Peterborough in round 1 and gave a good all-round performance. Two goals from Connor Botting and one from Joseph Peters and a strong defence keeping out Peterborough's efforts saw the team move into the semi-finals with a 3-0 win.

Invicta met Herne Bay United in the semi-final and played with good determination and teamwork. However, the greater experience of their opponents saw them score four with Invicta unable to find anything in reply. Final score Invicta 0-4 HBU.

Team: Connor Botting (2), Joshua Cox, Merlin Farrell, Kain Hart, Oliver Hill, George Longley, Joseph Peters (1)


SECRHA Under 15s (Played: Sunday 23 March)

RHC Invicta’s Under 15s team played their third South Eastern Counties tournament at Herne Bay at the weekend. Their first game against Maidstone saw their opponents take an early lead before Connor Botting scored twice to give Invicta the advantage at the break. Some good play from both sides saw the second half remain goal-less until 30 seconds from the end when Joseph Peters scored to seal a 3-1 victory for Invicta.

Next they played Herne Bay United in a very defensive game. The team worked hard to keep out strong attacks from their opponents and managed some good goal scoring chances of their own. However, the deadlock was finally broken a minute from the end of the second half when United scored the winner. Final score: RHC Invicta 0-1 Herne Bay United.

Finally they faced Herne Bay in the most exciting game of the tournament. Despite some good work from the team it was Bay who had the early advantage when they scored two quick goals midway through the first half. However, Peters scored two minutes later to keep Invicta in the game. The second half produced lots of chances for both teams and Herne Bay appeared to have won the game when they scored with a minute and a half to go. This seemed to spur the Invicta team on and Peters scored with 14 seconds left to bring the deficit back to one goal and the team were ecstatic when Botting then netted the equaliser with just 5 seconds left. Against all the odd Peters finished the tournament in style by slotting home the winner as the buzzer sounded. Final score: RHC Invicta 4-3 Herne Bay.

Results from this tournament keep RHC Invicta in 2nd place in the league.

Team: Connor Botting (3), Joshua Cox, Merlin Farrell, Kain Hart, Oliver Hill, George Longley, Joseph Peters (4), Max Sellar


Premier League: Project U20 9 - 5 RHC Invicta (Played: Sunday 17 November)

Invicta travelled to Peterborough knowing that the game would not be an easy one but confident that we could win as on this occasion, having received confirmation from all of the selected players, we were able to field a full squad. However as usual disaster struck, on the evening prior to the game one of our main players withdrew and on the Sunday morning another one of our main players withdrew. We all now knew that this was going to be a big ask to win. The team however were confident and full of determination. At the start we were controlling the game well and within five minutes James Kerr slotted the ball into the back of the opposition's net connecting with a good cross from Robert Carnell. However in the next minute the opposition struck with a slap shot from nearly the half way line leveling the game. Then due to a lack of concentration and not taking the opposition seriously enough within another seven minutes they slotted two quick goals home, the first another slap shot from half way and the second a dribble one on one with our G/K our defenders allowing the player too much room. For the next ten minutes we played a good defensive and counter attacking game having several shots on target but unable to convert until with three minutes to go Peter Halverson scored from an individual well taken slap shot. We then appeared to relax which allowed the opposition to score two quick goals one from a rebound at 26 seconds and then a simple goal at 15 secondss to go. We went into half time 2-5 down but confident that we could bring the score line back.

After a good lively half time discussion we began the second half well but after only three minutes they scored another goal from a slap shot way out and then disaster struck, Jake Fox received a blue card and they converted the resultant D/F/H. Invicta then defended well and were surprised by how much room they were allowed on the counter attack but again we were unable to score and then a golden opportunity presented itself we were awarded a D/F/H for their ten team fouls. This was taken by Robert Carnell but saved by the goal keeper, a missed opportunity. We then allowed the opposition to score another goal from another slap shot half way out and then they were awarded a D/F/H for our ten T/F’s but this was well saved by our G/K Robbie Amos and then within 20 seconds of this we were awarded a penalty which Arran Bowyer converted in his usual confident style, but was awarded, off the ball, a dubious Blue Card for apparent dissent but the referee when challenged changed his mind twice on why he awarded it, very confusing. The team defended hard for the next two minutes of power play without conceding a gaol and it was after another seven minutes of good defending and counter attacking that Robert Carnell slotted the ball into the back of the opposition's net. We were then awarded another D/F/H for the oppositions 15 T/F’s, again this was taken by Robert Carnell who miss hit the ball completely. Then from Invicta becoming too nonchalant the opposition secured the ball from our own F/H and counter attacked three on one and scored their last goal, a complete disaster, but as a consolation and with only 25 seconds on the clock James Kerr scored the final goal of the game from an excellent individual effort. The final score Invicta 5 – 9 Project U20.

Team Fouls: RHC Invicta 13 – 15 Project U20.

Referees: Peter Flint and Brian Barrow.

The Captain, Pete Halvorsen, said after the game: "I'm so disappointed for the lads. I'm convinced that if we play with a full squad we can compete with any of the top teams in the P/League but we will go nowhere if we don't attend these games with a full squad. With the two players that unfortunately dropped out at the last moment I'm convinced that we would have won comfortably as the other team although competent were not that good, but we were all allowed to all suffer the disappointment of losing due to their absence. We defended and counter attacked well and had numerous shots on target but this is another area on which we must improve. However I was pleased with the players' attitude and discipline and only one blue card was justified and the team fouls should have been less. We must, all of us, make a greater effort to arrange our social lives to be available to play in all of the up and coming games, there is only one a month. The next game is at home on Saturday 4 January 2014 so please sort out your diary you now have well in excess of a month and a half to do so.

RHC Invicta Team: Robbie Amos G/K, Pete Halvorsen (C)(1), Arran Bowyer (VC) (1), Robert Carnell (1), Jake Fox, James Kerr (2), James Shelton, Connor Botting


Premier League: RHC Invicta 2 - 8 Grimsby (Played: Saturday 9 November)

Invicta had, prior to this game, endured a horrendous time in their last two games and were rightly worried about meeting last year's P/L winners, Grimsby, and also having studied their recent scores against other teams this season. We knew that we would have to work very hard to defeat them or even keep the score line down so had to adopt an alternative mode of defense to achieve this. Grimsby is a competent well organised team and our tactic we knew would be draining both mentally and physically on our players. The game started well for Invicta, Grimsby were finding it very difficult to break down our defense despite them calling a timeout to reassess how to attack our defensive system. We were also surprised that we were creating many chances of our own on the counter attack but unable to do so with no more than two players at any one time, thus the shots we did have on goal we were unable to convert. However our goal keeper, Paul Dalton, was on fire keeping all of Grimsby's shots out of the net until Grimsby got lucky after ten minutes and scored. We then tightened the defense even more and kept them at bay right until 45 seconds from the end of the first half when a simple defensive mistake allowed them to score their second goal. However we were not too disappointed with this score line at half time, Grimsby 2 Invicta 0, as we believed the game was retrievable.

The Invicta players were now growing in confidence and, after a good half time team talk, felt that they could bring the game back. However within two minutes of the restart Grimsby scored and then we appeared to lose our composure as Grimsby scored again due to our attacking players going too deep losing the ball and allowing an undefended counter attack to take place. We then regrouped and reinstated discipline into the defense and fought hard for the next seven minutes not allowing Grimsby a chance to score again and then on one of our many counter attacks Arran Bowyer slotted a ball into the back of the Grimsby net having received a good cross from James Shelton. Even our ‘Birthday boy’ Connor Botting very nearly scored. Grimsby then went all out to increase their lead and in the next five minutes scored four more goals but then with one and a half minutes left on the clock we counter attacked and Arran Cathcart placed the ball firmly in the back of Grimsby's net. We then changed goal keepers, Paul having done his bit to such a high standard and Rob Amos also did well to keep a clean sheet for the last few minutes of the game. Invicta continued to defend hard all the way to the final whistle, which they managed to do with good discipline and without conceding any further goals or team fouls which illustrates that the Invicta players can keep their discipline when they need to.

Final Score: RHC Invicta 2 – 8 Grimsby.

Team Fouls: Invicta 3 – 6 Grimsby

The Captain, Pete Halvorsen, said after the game: "I'm pleased with the result and with the players' attitude and discipline. In the past the players have been over zealous with their tackling, but on this occasion they were not. Our goal keeper, Paul Dalton, was named man of the match. He saved numerous shots on goal but several in particular were outstanding, from which he has now gained the nickname 'The Wall'. However ALL of the players performed well and played their part with total commitment. We all came away with our heads held high."

Referees: Bruno Sousa and Dave Fothergill

Invicta Team: Paul Dalton G/K, Pete Halvorsen (C), Arran Bowyer (1), Arran Cathcart (1), George Holmes, Jake Fox, James Shelton, Connor Botting, Rob Amos G/K.


SECRHA Under 13s (Played: Sunday 16 June)

RHC Invicta's Under 13s team played their final South Eastern Counties tournament at Maidstone on Sunday. The first game was against the hosts and saw both teams defending well to keep all shots out of the net. Invicta continued to press well in the second half and some excellent team work saw Max Sellar and then Joseph Cox get on the score sheet, both from passes received from the other player. The defence remained strong and denied Maidstone the chance to score. Final score: Maidstone 0-2 RHC Invicta.

Next they faced Herne Bay United A, a team fielding two under 15 players and a member of the B team and therefore deemed a friendly game. HBU pressed more than us but more good teamwork ensured that Invicta also had a number of chances. HBU scored five before the break but Invicta netted twice, once from Sellar and another from Merlin Farrell, both from inside our own half. Sellar completed his hat-trick early in the second half to close the gap but HBU added another three to win the game. Final score: RHC Invicta 4-8 Herne Bay United A.

Finally they played Herne Bay and Invicta took the lead after just 20 seconds through Cox. The game was end to end and gave plenty of chances to both sides but the score remained unchanged at half time. Herne Bay equalised just after the restart but Invicta took back the lead 30 seconds later through Sellar. Both teams continued to attack and defend in equal measure and Herne Bay equalised again with five minutes to go sparking a full-on attempt by both teams to get a winner. Herne Bay took the lead with three minutes left ensuring an exciting end to the match but no more goals were scored. Final score: Herne Bay 3-2 RHC Invicta.

RHC Invicta finished in 3rd place in the league.

Team: Joseph Cox (2), Josh Cox, Merlin Farrell (1), Oliver Hill, William Longley, Max Sellar (5), Toby Sellar, Tilly Viccars


SECRHA Under 11s (Played: Sunday 9 June)

RHC Invicta's Under 11s team played in the fourth South Eastern Counties tournament of the season at Herne Bay on Sunday. Their first game was against Maidstone and was fairly evenly matched during the first half. Invicta took the lead through Max Sellar although Maidstone equalised a few minutes later. However Sellar scored again to give Invicta the lead at half time. Maidstone pressed more during the second half and were able to add three to their total while Invicta were unable to score again. Final score: RHC Invicta 2-4 Maidstone.

Next they played Herne Bay B in a very one sided match. Sellar score five in the first half and four in the second while their opponents could only net twice in return. Final score: RHC Invicta 9-2 Herne Bay B.

The third game was against Herne Bay A in another good end to end game. A very even first half was only broken by Herne Bay two seconds from the half time whistle. They scored again just after the restart and added another three during the rest of the second half, Sellar managing to score twice in reply for Invicta. Final score: RHC Invicta 2-5 Herne Bay A.

Finally they faced Herne Bay United in another one sided game. Their opponents scored seven in the first half and five in the second with Invicta only netting once through Sellar for a consolation goal. Final score: RHC Invicta 1-12 Herne Bay United.

Results from this tournament move the team up to fourth place in the league.

Team: Lucas Fox, Ella Hosken, William Longley, Owen Parkes, Max Sellar (14), Toby Sellar, Tilly Viccars, Emily


SECRHA Under 13s (Played: Sunday 26 May)

RHC Invicta's Under 13s team played in the fourth South Eastern Counties tournament of the season at Herne Bay on Sunday. Their first game was against Herne Bay United B where they had most of the goal scoring opportunities but displayed some good defence when needed. Max Sellar scored twice in the first half and Jack Hakkad added Invicta's third during the second, while their opponents were unable to reply. Final score: Herne Bay United B 0-3 RHC Invicta.

Next they played Maidstone in an exciting end to end game which gave both teams plenty of chances to score. Sellar netted two minutes before half time to give Invicta the lead and although Maidstone pressed more in the second half, good defence and some strong goal keeping denied them. Final score: RHC Invicta 1-0 Maidstone.

Finally they played Herne Bay United A, the strongest team in the league, meaning that Invicta had to be very good in defence. They played well and were able to keep their opponents from scoring until six minutes through the first half. Invicta had breaks and made the most of them but were unable to score. HBU added two more before half time and another two in the second half but the good defence and some excellent keeping ensured Invicta had their best result yet against this team. Final score RHC Invicta 0-5 Herne Bay United A.

Team: Josh Cox, Merlin Farrell, Lucas Fox, Jack Hakkad (1), Oliver Hill, William Longley, Max Sellar (3), Toby Sellar, Tilly Viccars


SECRHA Under 11s (Played: Sunday 19 May)

RHC Invicta's Under 11s team played their third South Eastern Counties tournament at Maidstone on Sunday. Their first game was against Herne Bay B in a good end to end contest. Herne Bay took a two goal lead before Max Sellar scored three for Invicta before half time. Herne Bay equalised half way through the second half and then took the lead again before Sellar scored again for Invicta. Some good defensive work from the team secured a point from the match. Final score: Herne Bay B 4-4 RHC Invicta.

Next they played Maidstone in an evenly matched first half although Invicta were able to make more of their scoring chances with Sellar netting twice. He completed his hat-trick in the second half before Maidstone began to push hard and scored twice. Again Invicta's good defence paid off to give the team a win. Final score: RHC Invicta 3-2 Maidstone.

Finally they faced Herne Bay United in another exciting game for spectators. HBU scored twice before half time and then once after the break to have a comfortable lead but the Invicta team continued to press with Sellar scoring twice with just 33 seconds and then 21 seconds left to play to set up a thrilling finish. He almost saved the team from defeat with a final shot in the dying seconds of the match but it was saved. Final score: RHC Invicta 2-3 Herne Bay United.

All three games showed much improvement in the team especially in their defence.

Team: Lucas Fox, Ella Hosken, William Longley, Max Sellar (9), Toby Sellar, Tilly Viccars


SECRHA Under 11s (Played: Sunday 28 April)

RHC Invicta's Under 11s played their second Southern Counties tournament on Sunday. Their first game against Maidstone started with Invicta having a number of chances but it was their opponents who scored first as the game became more end to end. Invicta soon equalised through Max Sellar but Maidstone were quick to score again and increased their lead further just before half time. The second half started evenly with both sides having chances and Invicta were unlucky not to add to their total when Sellar's shot wasn't seen to cross the line. However, he scored thee more, but Maidstone played very strongly in the second half scoring eight times to win comfortably. Final score: RHC Invicta 4-11 Maidstone.

Next they played Herne Bay B who scored two quick goals before the game settled to give both teams a number of chances, although Invicta still had to play more in defence. Herne Bay scored a third before Sellar pulled one back for Invicta. Herne Bay scored twice more with Sellar scoring again seconds before the half time whiste. The second half was more end to end with Sellar scoring four more and Herne Bay adding another three. Final score: Herne Bay B 8-6 RHC Invicta.

The final game was against Herne Bay United and Invicta had to work very hard in defence to deal with the pressure from a very strong opponent. Invicta did manage a number of chances but HBU scored five before half time. The second half continued the style of the first with HBU scoring another eight while Invicta managed a consolation goal from Sellar. Final score: Herne Bay United 13-1 RHC Invicta.

Team: Madeline Chapman, Ella Hosken, William Longley, Owen Parkes, Max Sellar (11), Toby Sellar, Tilly Viccars


SECRHA Under 17s (Played: Sunday 14 April)

RHC Invicta's Under 17s team started their season with two wins out of two at a Southern Counties tournament at Maidstone on Sunday. Playing with just four outfielders and a goalkeeper the first game against Herne Bay United was evenly matched during the first half with both sides having a number of goalscoring opportunites. Michael Gregory put Invicta ahead after five minutes and it took their opponents a further five minutes to equalise. The game seemed set to go into the break level but HBU managed to snatch the lead right on the final whistle. Some excellent team play during the second half saw Invicta creating lots more scoring chances although it was half way through before James Shelton got the equaliser. Connor Hampshire added another a minute later to take the lead. Shelton extended the lead further with his second and Connor Botting claimed the final goal ten seconds from the end. Final score: Herne Bay United 2-5 RHC Invicta.

The second game against Maidstone started with end to end play and although Invicta had more of the chances it was Maidstone who scored first. However, Invicta equalised eight seconds later with a goal from Gregory with Botting and Shelton both scoring before half time. Despite the team's tiredness they took control of the game in the second half with a hat-trick from Hampshire, two more for Shelton and one apiece for Botting and Gregory. Maidstone scored a consolation penalty 40 seconds from the end. Final score: Maidstone 2-10 RHC Invicta

Team: Rob Amos (GK), Connor Botting (3), Michael Gregory (3), Connor Hampshire (4), James Shelton (5)


Premier League: Bury 6 - 1 RHC Invicta (Played: Saturday 13 April)

Yet again we could only field four main P/L out players and one P/L Goal Keeper due to illness, injury and work commitments but also took two of our younger players an U17 and an U15 and our second Goal Keeper an U17 player. But felt confident that we would be able to, if not win, give the opposition a good game. Keeping us all amused travelling to the venue, and as it turned out on our return, were the antics of three of our players who elected to travel in one of our players car's. They became lost going to the venue and became lost again on their return. The 'phone calls between us were not reassuring but kept us all in stiches. They will never travel without a sat nav again and we all agree that they will never be allowed to travel on their own again.

The players were very upbeat and relaxed and we began the game at a high pace with Invicta all over Bury, keeping them in their half with us controlling the game, our numerous shots hitting the Goal Keeper and pinging off the goal frame but with us unable to put the ball into the back of the net. Then our young U17 player James Shelton was put on the rink to give a main player a short break and played very well not letting himself or his team mates down and helping to keep the game steady. With 12 minutes left in the first half and the scores at nil a piece a poor pass resulted in a ball being gifted to the opposition for them to counter attack, two players on the Goal Keeper leaving him with no chance and they scored. Then much to the team's disbelief the self-same mistake was made moments later which resulted in a second goal. Then we conceded ten team fouls but our Goal Keeper was on excellent form and saved the shot. We were then awarded a Direct Free Hit for Bury conceding ten team fouls but unfortunately we did not take advantage of this opportunity and failed to convert it. This was a bit of a blow. Then disaster struck; our player was given a Blue Card and sent off and the resulting Direct Free Hit was taken with the initial shot being well saved by our Goal Keeper but our players were too slow to react and allowed a Bury player to beat us to the ball who scored from the rebound with our Keeper still on the floor. Then our young U15 player Connor Botting was put on the rink and played out of his skin and helped hold the game. We went into half time Invicta 0 – Bury 3.

We had a good chat at half time, however the second half began more slowly than the first with our main players tiring but still felt that we could bring the game back as we were having many shots on goal but the Bury Goal Keeper was having the game of his life. At seven minutes gone a defensive error allowed Bury to counter attack with two on the Goal Keeper and again score. Then a minute later Joel DeFigueiredo, assisted by James Shelton, managed to score a goal via confusion in Bury's defence. However we now had conceded 15 team fouls and a Direct Free Hit was awarded but our Goal Keeper, Paul Dalton was on fire and yet again saved another Direct Free Hit. It's no wonder he's our Number One Keeper. Despite our younger players fully playing their part our four main Team players were tiring and through defensive errors allowed two further goals to be scored from poorly defended counter attacks. We then made the decision that Paul had done more than his bit for the team and for the game and allowed our younger Gaol Keeper Rob Amos to go in goal for the remaining period of the game. Because our players were tired he had his work cut out for him. Bury then called a timeout and can only assume that their Manager had noted the change and directed his players to drill as many shots at our new Goal Keeper as possible but firstly our players seemed to have found a new lease of life as we went to full rink press and secondly he saved all of the shots made at him. Then through tiredness one of our players conceded a penalty with two minutes left on the clock but our young Goal Keeper saved this shot, much to the relief of us but much to the annoyance of the Bury player. Despite the loss it was an enjoyable and exciting game with those players attending all getting time on the rink. With our younger players, which include our Arran Cathcart, it bodes well for the future of our Club and our P/L team. Final score: Bury 6-1 RHC Invicta

Team Fouls: Bury 15-18 RHC Invicta

Referees: Stewart Henderson and Dave Fothergill

Invicta's Captain, Joel De Figueiredo said after the game: "I'm pleased with the way we played only being a four main team of outplayers and very pleased with our two younger players and our young Goal Keeper who all more than fully contributed to the game. I'm disappointed that not more senior main team players could attend but holidays, work, injury and illness depleted the numbers available especially as at the very last minute one player, who we expected to have with us, was called into work. All of the lads played well with good humour and sportsmanship and all of them put all of their energy into the game; you can't ask for more. However a big thank you must go to our Number One Goal Keeper Paul Dalton for playing out of his skin to keep the score line down and not conceding from any Direct Free Hits, a great performance.

"However, as previously stated, we time and again made simple schoolboy errors of gifting the opposition with a poorly placed pass that assisted them in counter attacking and scoring. This was the cause for at least four of Bury's goals. Although some of our players seem to believe that Team Fouls are part of the game, which indeed they are, we do need to keep them down to fewer than 10 during our games so that we don’t just rely upon the one person, the Goal Keeper, to get us out of trouble. Invicta also need to take their chances when given to them. We must all practice taking Penalties and D/F/H's so that we have a better chance of converting them when they are awarded to us. Well done to all of the Invicta Players."

RHC Invicta Team: Paul Dalton (G/K), Joel De Figueiredo (Cap)(1), Arran Cathcart, James Shelton, Rob Carnell, Liam Holland, Connor Botting, Rob Amos (G/K)


Premier League: RHC Invicta 3 - 7 Middlesbrough (Played: Saturday 23 March)

The weather was, for this time of year, uncharacteristically poor but Middlesbrough arrived in plenty of time. However one of our main squad players, who resides in North London was unable to travel down due to heavy snow falls in his area, quirky. So we were one main squad player down, not an ideal way to play against one of the top three teams in the League. The game commenced but the Invicta players appeared dull and out of sorts and this reflected in their game and despite it being a reasonable performance the players lacked fire and enthusiasm, although they were passing, receiving and moving the ball around the rink well, it all appeared mechanical. Then five minutes into the game an Invicta player lost his man and Middlesbrough counter attacked and we conceded a goal. No problem to panic at that point until we were caught out yet again by another similar counter attack and conceded yet another goal three minutes later. It was worrying until at 14 mins gone Liam Holland caught the Middlesbrough Goal Keeper off his line and using his hall mark slap shot placed the ball firmly into the back of Middlesbrough’s net. We seemed to be coming back into the game and held Middlesbrough in an end to end game for some time until they scored twice again within two mins, one from an individual goal and a second from a Direct Free Hit awarded for Invicta conceding ten team fouls. Although we then had several more chances to score and pinged several shots off the opposition's goal frame we couldn't put the ball into the net. We went into half time knowing that we had a mountain to climb. Invicta 1-4 Middlesbrough.

After a good discussion at the break the second half commenced more vigorously, the teams passing and moving the ball well with us waiting for Middlebrough to make a mistake. At six minutes into the half Middlesbrough were awarded a penalty which they converted but then eight minutes later Invicta were awarded a Direct Free Hit, Middlesboro having conceded ten team fouls. Things were looking up, but the goal keeper saved the shot even though it had to be re-taken for the second time. Then disaster struck, we were pressing the Middlesbrough players hard and they were then awarded a second Direct Free Hit, Invicta having conceded 15 team fouls, but our goal keeper saved this and we all breathed a collective sigh of relief. We were beginning to get our game together at long last and we began playing much improved hockey. Another Middlesbrough goal in the last six minutes shook us up but then Invicta scored from a perfect one two move which saw Aaran Cathcart score from a superbly well placed pass into the box from Joel De Figueiredo. Sadly Middlesbrough scored again with 1½ minutes left on the clock but again Invicta rallied and responded with another excellent one two move seeing Liam Holland score, at eight seconds left on the clock, from a perfect pass into the box by our youngest player James Shelton. However it wasn't to be our night and went into full time, Final Score Invicta 3–7 Middlesbrough.

Team Fouls: RHC Invicta 18, Middlesbrough 12

Referees: Dave White and Mark Greenwood.

Invicta's Captain, Peter Halvorsen said: "I'm a little disappointed with the way we have played as a team during this and our last game. We must all improve if we want to win. It's not sufficient anymore to just narrow the score lines, which we are doing, we now need to win games and the only way we'll do that is to improve our fitness and train much harder. It was a good exciting game and we are all improving, our training is working well but it is taking us a time to get all of our tactics in place. Also the players' fitness is improving slowly; it needs to further improve if we wish to fully compete and must eradicate the simple schoolboy errors of gifting the opposition with poorly placed passes that assist the opposition in counter attacking and scoring, it's become a habit that seems to plague our game. We cannot afford to keep making these mistakes at this level. At least two goals were as a direct result of these mistakes we also need to keep the team fouls down to fewer than ten during our games so that we don't rely upon just the one person, the Goal Keeper, to get us out of trouble. We seem tonight to have improved our attacking game but seemingly at the detriment of our defensive game.

"I'm continually impressed and reminded that all of our players are becoming irreplaceable. We are fast becoming an efficient cohesive unit and this bodes well, if not for this season most certainly for next. I'm also pleased that Kai Dillon has returned to playing in games and will be an asset to the team. However well done to all of the Invicta Players.

RHC Invicta Team: Joel Carnell (G/K), Pete Halvorson (Capt), Joel De Figueiredo (VC), Kai Dillon, Arran Cathcart (1), James Shelton, Rob Carnell, Liam Holland (2), Rob Amos (G/K)


SECRHA Under 13's (Played: Sunday 17 March)

RHC Invicta's under 13's team hosted their home tournament at the Bay Arena on Sunday. Their first game against Maidstone saw the team with the majority of possession although their opponents got a few chances too. However, it was Invicta who had the lead at half time through a Jack Hakkad goal. Maidstone pressed more and equalised halfway through the second half but a beautifully placed shot to the top corner by Hakkad had Invicta back in the lead. Maidstone then equalised quickly but this was replied to almost immediately by Joseph Cox and the team then defended well to hold their lead. Final score: RHC Invicta 3-2 Maidstone.

Next they played Herne Bay United B in an end to end game. Invicta had more of the first half chances and took the lead through Hakkad although HBU were quick to claim an equaliser. Lots of good defence from both teams ensured no more goals were scored before the break. Not long after the restart Hakkad again put Invicta ahead only for their opponents to score another almost straight away. The teams then played an evenly matched game for the rest of the game with HBU claiming a winner four minutes from the end. Final score: RHC Invicta 2 - 3 Herne Bay United B.

The third game was against Herne Bay and was once more played end to end. Herne Bay took the lead after 15 seconds but Invicta pressed and were reward five minutes from the break when Hakkad scored an equaliser. However, Herne Bay took the lead again before half time and extended it with two more goals at the end of a hard fought second half, although keeper Josh Cox saved a penalty. Final score: RHC Invicta 1 - 4 Herne Bay.

The final match was against Herne Bay United A, easily the strongest team in the league. Invicta had to play in defence for much of the game although there were opportunites to score. HBU scored four in the first half and five in the second while Invicta could only manage one in consolation from Max Sellar. Final score: RHC Invicta 1 - 9 Herne Bay United A.

The results keep RHC Invicta in fourth place in the league with the next tournament taking place at the Arena on Sunday 24 March.

Team: Joseph Cox (1), Josh Cox, Merlin Farrell, Jack Hakkad (5), Oliver Hill, William Longley, Owen Parkes, Max Sellar (1), Tilly Viccars


Premier League: RHC Invicta 2 - 7 Bury (Played: Saturday 16 March)

For the first time in a little while we were able to field a full team and all felt confident that we would be able to give the opposition a good game and if lucky beat them, although some of Bury's recent games have seen good results in their favour. We began but the Invicta players appeared lacking in confidence and were unable to play at the pace required and this reflected in the game. Our Goal Keeper, who had complained of feeling ill prior to the game, was unable to prevent Bury scoring three goals in nine minutes without reply from Invicta. At that time our Goal Keeper had to leave the rink speedily to visit the toilet only to be physically sick, going home to bed where he stayed for the next three days. Fortunately cometh the hour cometh the man, our number one Goal Keeper, Paul Dalton, who often happily only supports our other Goal Keepers from the bench, stepped into the breach to prevent a rout. Bury managed to again score twice but were denied by Paul for the last ten minutes of the first half. We seemed to be getting ourselves together playing an end to end game for some time and at eleven minutes on the clock our James Kerr scored a well worked goal off a good pass into the penalty area by Liam Holland. We went into half time Invicta 1-5 Bury.

After a good heart to heart talk at the break the second half commenced more vigorously, the team passing and moving the ball well. Then after just two minutes we were awarded a penalty, excellent! Unfortunately this was not converted. However the game continued at a much steadier pace than the first half with both teams getting chances on goal but our Goal Keeper, Paul, was on fire denying them any chance. Then at 14 minutes Bury were awarded a Direct Free Hit which was convincingly saved by Paul and then two minutes later another Direct Free Hit was awarded to Bury for ten team fouls by Invicta which our Goal Keeper again saved. We were all feeling reinvigorated and believed that we may just be able to pull the game back but then disaster struck, an Invicta player made a defensive error which allowed Bury a two on one with the Gaol Keeper which they converted despite our Goal Keeper's best efforts to save it, a cruel blow. However two minute later our Joel De Figueiredo scored a cracking individual goal from a breakaway move. But yet again a defensive error allowed Bury to score the last goal of the game with just two minutes left on the clock. Although more drama was to come, with just one second left on the clock Bury were awarded a Direct Free Hit. We waited nervously for the take but as always our Goal Keeper saved it keeping the score line to a Final score of Invicta 2–7 Bury.

Team Fouls: RHC Invicta 12, Bury 7

Referees: Smokey Robinson and Mark Greenwood.

Invicta's Captain, Peter Halvorsen said: "I'm disappointed with the way we played as a team during this game as just recently we have been playing as a very effective unit but we didn't tonight. It all went downhill after the first three goals were scored, but you can't help illness and I do hope that our Goal Keeper, Joel, gets well soon and will be able to play in the next game. However a big thank you must go to our Goal Keeper Paul Dalton for stepping in at a moments notice and playing out of his skin to keep the score line down, a great performance. We must all improve if we want to win, it's not sufficient anymore to just narrow the score lines, which we are doing, we now need to win games and the only way we'll do that is to improve our fitness and train much harder, but as a unit and supporting each other. Time and again we made simple schoolboy errors of gifting the opposition with a poorly placed pass that assisted them in counter attacking and scoring. This was the cause for at least three of Bury's goals today. Although some of our players seem to believe that Team Fouls are part of the game, which indeed they are, we do need to keep them down to fewer than ten during our games so that we don't just rely upon the one person, the Goal Keeper, to get us out of trouble. Invicta also need to take their chances when given to them. We must all practice taking Penalties and D/F/H's so that we have a better chance of converting them when awarded to us. Well done to all the Invicta Players."

RHC Invicta Team: Joel Carnell (G/K), Pete Halvorson (Capt), Joel De Figueiredo (VC)(1), Kai Dillon, Arran Cathcart, James Shelton, Rob Carnell, Liam Holland, James Kerr (1), Paul Dalton (G/K)


Premier League: Letchworth 4 - 2 RHC Invicta (Played: Saturday 2 March)

We travelled to Letchworth full of confidence believing we could win the game, taken from our last few performances and managing on this occasion to take a nearly full team, six senior out players plus one younger player and two goal keepers. It was therefore a bitter blow to lose to Letchworth tonight, despite the game being a hard exciting affair and according to many a good game of Roller Hockey and a good spectacle.

The game began with Invicta moving and passing the ball around the rink well, counter attacking and creating numerous attempts on target but unable to put the ball into the net. However the Letchworth Goal Keeper was in good form keeping his team in the game. With the Letchworth rink being so small we were able to comfortably press Letchworth very nearly full rink and were controlling much of the game but with just eight minutes into the first half we suffered a sucker punch, a counter attack, and due to poor defending by Invicta, Letchworth scored. It was good to note that Invicta didn't let their heads drop but this was definitely a wakeup call and we applied even more pressure on Letchworth but they continued to maintain a solid defence denying us the opportunity to score. Then due to another inexplicable defensive error we conceded yet another goal. The game was not going to plan. Invicta then tried to up the pressure but it was difficult but then at six minutes left on the clock Liam Holland making one of his trade mark shots slapped the ball from outside the area into the back of the Letchworth net with no chance for the goal keeper to respond. We felt that we were back in the game. But then another defensive error allowed Letchworth to score again with barely 45 seconds left on the clock. We were all in shock and went into half time Invicta 1 Letchworth 3.

After regrouping and a talk the second half commenced with Invicta determined to reduce the gap and despite controlling much of the game and keeping Letchworth in their half we remained unable to score, although we had numerous shots on goal. The Letchworth keeper was earning his corn. We then suffered a direct free hit for ten team fouls at five minutes left. This was taken and the first attempt was saved but it took a little time before the Ref adjudged that an Invicta player had moved too early and had Letchworth retake the hit, which on this occasion they converted. One or two of the Invicta players were beginning to become frustrated with themselves and each other, allowing their emotions to get the better of them, becoming tetchy and negative which resulted in them not playing well and certainly not playing a team game. We continued to press Letchworth in their half and this paid off with our Captain Pete Halvorsen scoring from a well worked move from a free hit with a good pass into the area by Robert Carnell with two minutes left. Many of the Invicta players felt reinvigorated by this goal which began a short but sustained period of vigorous attacking overwhelming Letchworth, but we were unable to score again. Final score: Letchworth 4-2 RHC Invicta

Team Fouls: RHC Invicta 10 – Letchworth 8

Referees: Bruno Sosa and Peter Flint.

Invicta's Captain, Peter Halverson said after the game: "We didn't play well tonight and certainly not as well as we have been doing lately. In my opinion part of this issue is simple psychology, the players believing that they would win the game based on the stats. There are no easy games in the P/L we need to treat all games seriously and individually. Also one or two of the players allowed their frustrations to come to the surface resulting in them not remaining effective or focused. There's a good camaraderie developing between the players and tonight this was put fully to the test.

"Despite the negatives it was a good, hard, exciting game, we are all improving and as I've stated previously 'ad nauseam' our training regime is working well but it is taking us a time to get all of the facets of our tactics honed and in place. Tonight there were many schoolboy errors gifting the opposition with chances on our goal which the opposition took full advantage of. I've said it time and again we must also improve our attacking systems to ensure that we take full advantage of all the numerous attempts and opportunities we have on goal. I was impressed by Arran Cathcart's performance tonight, he was very effective and played a mature game, maintaining focus and not allowing his head to drop. Well done to all the Invicta Players, thank you for travelling and playing so well.

"Despite this set back we are all looking forward to meeting Bury on Saturday 16 March at the Arena. Hopefully we will do better in this game."

RHC Invicta Team: Joel Carnell (G/K), Pete Halvorsen (Capt)(1), Joel De Figuieredo (VC), James Kerr, Arran Cathcart, James Shelton, Rob Carnell, Liam Holland (1), Paul Dalton (G/K)

Premier League: Middlesbrough 4 - 0 RHC Invicta (Played: Sunday 24 February)

Apart from travelling to Manchester this was the longest journey we have had to make this season and were confident that if we managed to take a full team we could win the game. The first blow to our plan was one senior player's work rota changed so couldn't attend. One man down! The next blow was another one of the main squad players 'phoned up to say that he was too ill to play and then at 2.30am on the Sunday morning another main squad player reported in ill. But gratefully one of our younger players jumped in to help out for which we were most grateful. However we had to travel 621 miles, round trip, with just four main squad players plus one younger player and only one Goal Keeper, no other Goal Keepers were available. Not an ideal way to play away against recent winners of the Premier League title and a team currently placed second in the League. To say the least we were a little apprehensive.

The Middlesbrough club fielded a full team, including their Portuguese player and their new South African signing. With just four plus one players and a Goal Keeper the Invicta team were apprehensive about our prospects. However, the game began well with Invicta passing, receiving and moving the ball around the rink well, competing more than adequately with the opposition and counter attacking, having numerous shots on target. However our finishing yet again leaves a little to be desired, with us unable to put the ball into the back of the net. We were holding Middlesbrough to a draw when at eight minutes into the game Middlesbrough called a time out and by us eaves-dropping heard that they were having difficulties in overcoming us and needed to change tactics. They were throwing everything at us, rotating players constantly, changing tactics and employing set moves. It took them another five minutes before they managed to score and this was only due to an Invicta player attempting to dribble the ball out of our half, not clearing it quickly enough, losing the ball and as a direct result we went a goal down. Then after another five minutes of frantic, energetic play Middlesbrough scored again due to an Invicta defender not closing the player down sufficiently or quickly enough. Then disaster struck, Middlesbrough were awarded a penalty, but our Goal Keeper, Joel Carnell, saved this and saved the shot from the rebound. However, we thought that we had closed the gap when Arran Cathcart made a fantastic shot on goal and despite us all seeing it cross the goal line Middlesbrough's Goal Keeper craftily scooped it out and it was disallowed and two sticks given. Very unlucky! We went into half time Invicta 0 Middlesbrough 2.

The second half commenced vigorously, both teams passing and moving the ball well, with both teams waiting for either side to make a mistake. At ten minutes into the game Middlesbrough were awarded their second penalty of the game but yet again our Goal Keeper, Joel Carnell, came to the rescue, saving the shot. We were still in the game. Middlesbrough were becoming frustrated, not being able to break us down, but with tiring legs at ten minutes left on the clock Middlesbrough scored. The Invicta team never let their heads go down and continued to match the energy of the opposition and despite vigorous attempts by Middlesbrough they could not score due mainly to a combination of excellent defending and excellent Goal Keeping. Then after several shots on Middlesbrough's goal Pete Halverson pinged the ball off the goal frame defeating the goal keeper but narrowly missing the ball going into the net. This was followed by some excellent shots from James Kerr and Joel De Figueiredo and yet again our youngest player James Shelton narrowly missing out on scoring. The game became an end to end struggle but a mistake by Invicta allowed Middlesbrough to collect the ball unopposed and score the final goal of the game with four minutes left on the clock. However Invicta didn't give up and continued pressing Middlesbrough, despite very tired legs, till the very end.

Surprisingly, with our dearth of players, it had been a hard, exciting and enjoyable game of Roller Hockey thoroughly enjoyed by the players. The Invicta players were completely spent at the end, with the journey home still to come, sleep was beckoning. We all felt sorry for Pete Halverson who had the drive home to cope with. A super-human effort. Final score: Middlesbrough 4 - 0 RHC Invicta

Team Fouls: RHC Invicta 8 – Middlesboro 6

Referees: Bruno Sosa and Chris Freeman.

Invicta's Captain, Peter Halvorsen said: "I'm so pleased with the way the lads played as a team, there's a good camaraderie developing and we are all working for each other. It was a pity that our other players couldn't make it as the game may well have turned out so differently. I just don't know where we got all of our energy from, fortunately Joel De Figueiredo, Arran Cathcart and James Kerr are all very fit lads, as is our goal Keeper Joel Carnell, but thanks must go to James Shelton for coming along to give us each a small amount of rest, it was much appreciated. Also when he was on he played well, very nearly scoring. It was a good, hard, exciting game, we are all improving. As I've stated previously our training regime is working well but it is taking us a time to get all of the facets of our tactics honed and in place. Also the players' fitness is improving, it needs to further improve if we wish to fully compete. However today's game again illustrated that we can compete at a high level. We must eradicate the simple schoolboy errors of gifting the opposition with poorly placed passes that assist them in scoring. We cannot afford to keep making these mistakes at this level. At least two goals were as a direct result of this. We must also improve our attacking systems to ensure that we take full advantage of all the attempts and shots that we have on goal, of which there were many. I was impressed by all of the players, they are all becoming irreplaceable, I'm especially pleased with our Goal Keeper, Joel Carnell, and again his performance was outstanding. Well done to all of the Invicta Players, thank you for travelling so far and playing so well. You can feel very proud of your selves. We are all looking forward to meeting Middlesbrough again on the return leg when they travel to us on Saturday 23 March at the Arena. Hopefully we will have a full squad this time and hope to do better."

RHC Invicta Team: Joel Carnell (G/K), Pete Halvorson (Capt), Joel De Figueiredo (VC), James Kerr, Arran Cathcart, James Shelton.


SECRHA Under 11's (Played: Sunday 24 February)

RHC Invicta's under 11's team played their first tournament at the Bay Arena on Sunday; a novice group with three of the players taking part in competitive matches for the first time. The first match was against Herne Bay B and the team started well with two goals in the first half from Max Sellar to give them a lead at the break. In the second half Herne Bay B got a goal back before Sellar completed his hat-trick. With the team tiring a little Herne Bay B claimed two more goals to equalise. Despite a good effort from Invicta they were unable to score again. Final score Herne Bay B 3-3 RHC Invicta.

Next they faced Maidstone who took the lead after five minutes. Invicta were level 15 seconds later through Sellar before Maidstone scored four more to take a comfortable 5-1 lead into the break. Invicta scored again through Sellar just after the restart and then held their opponents well for the rest of the game with Maidstone only adding two more. Final score Maidstone 7-2 RHC Invicta.

Finally they played Herne Bay A in a slow paced game. Invicta had the majority of chances and Sellar scored a hat-trick before half time with their opponents only managing one in reply. Herne Bay A scored twice after the break to equalise before Sellar added another two restoring the lead. However, Herne Bay A scored again and the final two minutes were exciting as Invicta aimed to maintain their lead and Herne Bay A tried to get another equaliser. Final score Herne Bay A 4-5 RHC Invicta.

A good effort from the team puts them third in the league.

Team: Madeline Chapman, Ella Hosken, William Longley, Owen Parkes, Max Sellar (10), Toby Sellar, Tilly Viccars


Premier League: RHC Invicta 1 - 3 Herne Bay United (Played: Saturday 16 February)

We all felt nervous about the game but equally positive and believed that we could give HBU a good game and, at best, win. It was gratifying to note, and indeed welcomed by us, as we would be assured of a good game, that HBU had brought back into their team one of their senior players, who has currently been playing ND1. We believed to assist them in an attempt to assure a win given our recent performances. The game began well with Invicta passing, receiving and moving the ball around the rink well, competing more than adequately and counter attacking, with numerous shots on target. However our finishing yet again leaves a little to be desired, with us unable to put the ball into the back of the net. We were holding the score line at nil a piece until 11 minutes into the game when an HBU player, due to an Invicta defender not 'closing him down' sufficiently or quickly enough, scored from near the goal with a well-placed slap shot. The Invicta goal keeper was unlucky not to save the shot as it glanced off his upper arm but unfortunately entered the net. However four minutes later an extremely well worked move, inside HBU's defence, allowed Invicta's Joel De Figueiredo to strike the ball from in close and score from an excellent lofted pass into HBU's box by Robert Carnell who had a second earlier received an excellent pass down the rink from Liam Holland. We were now at one apiece and this lifted our confidence. However disaster struck 13 seconds from the end of the first half; a mistake made by an Invicta player not clearing the ball from the goal area quickly enough allowed a HBU player to seize the ball less than a metre from the goal mouth and score, giving Invicta's goal keeper no chance. It was an unfortunate mistake but we remained confident going into half time at Invicta 1-2 HBU.

The second half commenced cautiously but contested vigorously by both teams passing and moving the ball well, both teams waiting for the other to make a mistake. This occurred sooner than Invicta would have liked when an HBU player managed to get the ball off a rebound and into the goal after only three minutes of play. This was disappointing but Invicta didn't let their heads go down and continued pressing hard to regain the advantage. Then, despite the game being relatively free of fouls, we concede the first Direct Free Hit of the game, for 10 team fouls. We all waited with baited breath as this was taken but Invicta's Goal Keeper, Joel Carnell, saved the first attempt and dismissed the second attempt off the rebound without conceding. We all let out a collective sigh of relief. But despite many further shots on goal by both teams no more goals were scored. During both the first and second periods Invicta's Goal Keeper, Joel Carnell, made some incredible saves to prevent HBU moving further ahead. All of the Invicta players worked hard for each other as a team unit in both attack and defence not allowing HBU to play their game, which the Invicta players' controlled well.

It had been an evenly balanced, hard, exciting and enjoyable game of Roller Hockey contested by two teams of a similar strength and ability, which was enjoyed by the players and spectators alike. Final score: RHC Invicta 1 - HBU 3

Team Fouls: RHC Invicta 12 - HBU 8

Referees: Smokey Robinson and Mark Greenwood

Invicta's Captain, Peter Halvorsen said: "I'm so pleased with the way we played as a team, it was a good, hard, exciting game, we are all improving as players and as a team. Our game, as a consequence, is also improving rapidly, indeed many people are noticing and commenting on this. Again this is borne out by HBU urgently bringing back one of their senior players, not done for any of their previous games, for them to attempt to obtain a win. In reality it's a compliment to us. As I've stated previously our training regime is working well but it is taking us all time to get all of the facets of our game and tactics honed and in place. Also the players' fitness is improving but needs to further improve if we wish to fully compete. However today's game again illustrated that we can compete at a high level. We must also eradicate the simple schoolboy errors of gifting the opposition with poorly placed passes that assist them with scoring. We cannot afford to keep making these mistakes at this level. At least one goal tonight, and possibly two, was as a direct result of this. We must also improve our attacking systems to ensure that we take full advantage of all attempts and shots on goal, which tonight there were many. I was impressed by all of the players, they are all becoming irreplaceable, however I'm especially pleased with our Goal Keeper, Joel Carnell, his performance tonight was again outstanding. Well done to all of the Invicta Players you can feel proud of your selves."

RHC Invicta Team: Joel Carnell (G/K), Pete Halvorson (Capt), Liam Holland, Rob Carnell, Joel De Figueiredo (VC) (1), James Kerr, Arran Cathcart, Steve Clarke, Sam Meranghi, Dave Beeson (G/K)


Kent League: Invicta Keaveneys 9 - 0 Maidstone Spitfires (Played: Saturday 9 February)

The game commenced well with the Keaveneys players appearing relaxed, although not too relaxed. We were attacking and defending well, but without our normal focus. However Pete Halvorsen put Keaveneys ahead within 50 sec of the start with a further goal coming from Robert Carnell, scoring from a well-placed pass from Liam Holland, a minute later. However we had many chances on goal but the Spitfire's goal keeper was having a good game but he couldn't keep out Liam Holland who struck with seven mins to go and then Pete Halvorsen scoring his second of the half with three minutes left to half time. The last three mins were a frantic affair with Spitfires pushing us and making us defend hard. Half time score Keaveneys 4–0 Spitfires.

The second half began well but Spitfires were defending and attacking well and it took Keaveneys a full six minutes into the game for Robert Carnell to score the first goal of the half, which was followed a min later by a goal from Pete Halvorsen, connecting with another excellent pass from Liam Holland. There followed an intense six min period of frantic hockey, Spitfires not giving up, with constant counter attacks from both sides, when Robert Carnell stuck again and then yet again three minutes later with Pete Halvorsen scoring the final goal of the games three minutes from the finish. However the drama was not at an end we were on seven team fouls and didn't wish to concede a D/F/H so the message went out 'no more T/F’s' but with only 14 seconds from the final whistle Liam Holland committed a blue card offence on a Spitfires player for which he was sent off and a D/F/H awarded. Our goal keeper Paul Dalton had maintained a clean sheet up to this point and we all held our breath as the D/F/H was taken but our Goal Keeper thwarted the Spitfires' attempt at scoring and Paul Dalton left the rink with a clean sheet. Although not getting on the score sheet Arran Cathcart played extremely well, 'play making' and using his ball handling skills frustrated the opposition. It was also the debut of our Sam Merenghi, returning to the game after a period out. He played well and fully contributed to the team's success. Final score - Keaveneys 9-0 Spitfires

Team fouls: Keaveneys 7 Spitfires 8

Referees: Marlena Martinho and Robin Cathcart

After the game the Capt. Pete Halvorsen said: "We didn't play as we normally do; we should have used our passing and moving skills but decided, sub consciously, to 'rough it up' with the opposition which was unnecessary. Our discipline must improve by not conceding silly team fouls which must become a thing of the past. Although we won it could have been so different. I was pleased for our G/K who kept a clean sheet. We must all learn to begin a game as hard and as fast as we do normally and consistency amongst the players needs to be maintained. We must all train harder and win the remainder of our games."

Team: Paul Dalton (G/K), Pete Halvorsen (Capt.) (4), Rob Carnell (4), Liam Holland (1), Arran Cathcart, Sam Merenghi

Next Game: Premier League - Invicta versus HBU, Saturday 16 February at The Bay Arena, start 7.45pm


Premier League: RHC Invicta 3 - 7 Grimsby (Played: Saturday 2 February)

Grimsby RHC, the winners of the Premier League last year and currently second in the League to date and only our second game of the New Year we felt that it was going to be one of those evenings. We all felt nervous about the game but equally positive, we believed that we could give them a good game and at best, win. The game began well with Invicta passing the ball well and keeping Grimsby in their half, competing, counter attacking and shooting at goal, but unable to put the ball into the net, but holding the score at nil a piece, which lifted our confidence. However after 6 mins, due to an Invicta player's mistake, gifting the ball in the centre of the rink to a Grimsby player, they scored. Then for nearly another 11 mins we held Grimsby in an excellent period of good passing and good defending hockey until another mistake by an Invicta player, misplacing a pass, Grimsby broke away and scored. We were then granted a penalty for a transgression by a defending Grimsby player in their 'box'. The penalty was clinically converted by Liam Holland and with only 4mins left till half time we managed to defend hard to prevent Grimsby from scoring again, half time coming as a blessed relief. We were 2-1 down and feeling confident that we could still pull the game back. We went into half time with our confidence high.

The second half began, not unsurprisingly, by Grimsby attempting to overwhelm us with a near full rink press but soon realised that we were able to cope with this tactic. However it only took them 4mins to score from a wicked slap shot from very near to the half way line, with a second goal 5mins later. We were requiring all of our skills and confidence to withstand the Grimsby onslaught and were awarded a second penalty which on this occasion was unconverted. We were then awarded a D/F/H for ten team fouls by Grimsby and boy did we need a goal but this again remained unconverted. We were beginning to tire and struggling to keep Grimsby at bay but we were also going all out to score ourselves which left us vulnerable, and no sooner said than done, Grimsby counter-attacked. With our attacking line too flat and deep allowed them an easy goal. But then with 10 mins left we were awarded a penalty which thankfully was again clinically converted by Liam Holland. We felt we were coming back into the game when we were awarded another D/F/H for a foul by Grimsby on the Invicta player who was on a goal scoring opportunity. But this again remained unconverted. We were continuing, having no other opinion, to press forward and being too flat in our attack allowed Grimsby to counter attack and again to score. Then our confidence was tested further when Grimsby was awarded a D/F/H, but our Goal Keeper, Dave Beeson, saved it. This gave us some small crumb of hope which was followed by a quick well worked team goal, two clinical passes, the final pass by Pete Halvorsen, who delivered a peach of a ball to Joel De Figueiredo, who slotted the ball, off the rebound, into the back of the Grimsby net, with less than 3 mins left on the clock. Grimsby sensing our tiredness went all out to press us and we were now fighting off and defending a continuous attacking onslaught which resulted, disappointingly, in Grimsby scoring their final goal with 1/2 sec remaining on the clock. Final Score:Invicta 3, Grimsby 7

Team fouls: Invicta 11 Grimsby 10

Referees: Dave White and Mark Greenwood

Invicta's Captain, Peter Halvorsen said: "I'm pleased by the way we played as a team, it was a good game we are improving and indeed people are noticing and commenting on this. As I've stated previously our training regime is working well but we all need to get fitter; it's our fitness that lets us down during the last quarter of any game. However today's game again also illustrated that we can compete at the highest level. We must rethink our 'all-out' attack when we feel we can regain the initiative, it doesn't appear to work, as illustrated today. We must also eradicate the simple schoolboy errors of gifting the opposition with poorly placed passes that assist them in scoring at will. We cannot afford to keep making these mistakes at this level of game. At least three goals were as a direct result of this same mistake. We must also improve our conversion rate for both Penalties and Direct Free Hits; we can't allow these opportunities to go begging. If converted we would have been knocking on Grimsby's door."

I was again pleased with our younger player, James Shelton, who only went on for a few minutes but again who very nearly scored. Also our youngest player, Connor Botting, who unfortunately didn't get a chance to play but who turned up and am sure that future opportunities will become available to him. All of our players displayed great commitment and enthusiasm with good self-control, no major incidents, minimum team fouls, no cards and best of all, good humour. Well done to you all we are becoming a force to be reckoned with and, maybe not this season although there's still a long way to go, we will be challenging for the middle to top spot during next season.

RHC Invicta Team: Dave Beeson (G/K), Pete Halvorson (Capt), Liam Holland (2), Rob Carnell, Joel De Figueiredo (VC) (1), James Kerr, Arran Cathcart, James Shelton, Connor Botting


Kent League: Invicta Keaveneys 1 - 2 HBU Spartans (Played: Saturday 12 January)

The game commenced well but the Keaveneys players appeared unfocused, however we were attacking and defending reasonably well, but without our normal alacrity, with us having many chances to score but Spartans' goal keeper was having a good night. But disaster struck one minute from the end of half time when a Keaveneys defender lost his man and Spartans scored their first goal. Half time score Keaveneys 0-1 Spartans

The second half began at a slightly faster pace but at 8 mins into the second half a well-placed shot by a Spartans' player entered Keaveneys' goal. We then realised that we must pick up the pace if we were going to compete and began attacking Spartans goal hard and fast, this then resulted in the Capt. Pete Halvorsen scoring a well worked goal with 8 mins left on the clock. We were back in the game. We then controlled much of the game and kept Spartans in their half defending for most of the remaining time but couldn't get past the Spartans' goal keeper, despite numerous attempts and shots on target. Final score: Keaveneys 1-2 Spartans

Team fouls: Keaveneys 3-6 Spartans

Refs: Ron Barker and Marlena Martinho

After the game the Capt. Pete Halvorsen said: "We didn't play as we do normally and all of us players appeared very 'lack lustre'. The only one of us on form, thankfully, was our goal keeper, Joel Carnell. It was a game we wanted to win and one we should have won, it is disappointing not to have done. We must all learn to begin a game as hard and as fast as we do normally and consistency amongst the players needs to be maintained. We must all train harder and try to win the remainder of our games."

Team: Joel Carnell (G/K), Pete Halvorsen (Capt.)(1), Rob Carnell, Liam Holland, Steve Clarke, Sam Fidock, Arran Cathcart

Next Games: Premier League game - Invicta versus Grimsby, Saturday 2 February at The Bay Arena. Kent League game – Keaveneys versus Spitfires, Saturday 9 February at Maidstone


Southern Counties Under 13's (Played: Sunday 6 January)

RHC Invicta's Under 13's played their first Southern Counties tournament of the season at the Bay Arena on Sunday with the team including two players taking part in their first competitive matches. The opening game was against Maidstone and all of the team played consistently good hockey. However it was only in the second half when we were able to break through the defence with a goal apiece from Max Sellar and Oliver Hill. Final score: RHC Invicta 2 - 0 Maidstone.

Next we played Herne Bay United B, a stronger opponent than the first. We struggled to contain their players at times allowing HBU to score several times but we pulled one back through Hill. The second half continued as the first and included another goal for Invicta, this time from Jack Hakkad. Final score: Herne Bay United B 7-2 RHC Invicta.

Finally we played Herne Bay United A, easily the strongest side in the league, but our players stepped up their game, denying United from scoring for long periods of time. Only three behind at half time we were still positive about the game but the experience of the United team showed as they pulled ahead during the second half. However an 8-0 defeat was an excellent result for our team as most have only been playing for a year and some for just a few months.

Team: Joseph Cox, Josh Cox (GK), Merlin Farrell, Jack Hakkad (1), Oliver Hill (2), William Longley, Owen Parkes, Max Sellar (1), Tilly Viccars (GK)


Premier League: Manchester 8 - 1 RHC Invicta (Played: Saturday 5 January)

The first game of the New Year. We were all suffering from an over-large intake of Christmas pudding and just general over indulgence, not doing anything for two weeks or so. What a shock was in store for us all as we began our journey to Manchester at 6am in the annoyingly slow minibus but our spirits were high. When we arrived at the Arcadia, approximately 11.20am (the game began at 12.15 pm) the Manchester players were already outside jogging, stretching and warming up, oh dear we all pailed to a greyish colour. We had received storys of the Manchester team consisting of very good mainly Spanish and Italian senior players and had realised that we were in for a very hard game. We were not going to be disappointed. However the Arcadia as it is normally was very damp and the floor being concrete and uneven the ball bounced around a lot and was very difficult to control unless you played on it regularly; our last game here was nearly two years previously.

The game began well with Invicta competing, counter attacking and shooting at goal but unable to put the ball into the net but holding the score at nil apiece which lifted our confidence. However after 10 mins Manchester scored from a slap shot, the Invicta defender allowing the Manchester player too much room. But it took Manchester another 10 mins before they managed to score their second, they were becoming very frustrated by Invicta's solid defending and the outstanding performance of our goal keeper Joel Carnell. Our youngest player at 16 years of age, James Shelton (his first P/L game) although very nervous had his baptism of fire in the first half. He is a very tricky, competent player and acquitted himself well, not making any mistakes despite the standard of the opposition and during his second half period on the rink was very near to scoring. Then Invicta were awarded a direct free hit 26 secs. from the end of the first half for 10 team fouls by Manchester. The free hit was taken by Rob Carnell who placed the ball clinically into the back of the net. We went into half time confident bunnies with Manchester 2 Invicta 1.
The second half began not unsurprisingly by Manchester attempting to overwhelm us with full rink press but soon realised that we were able to get out of this and counter attack at will and had many shots on goal pinging off the metal work and the G/K but again unable to convert them. Manchester were then awarded a direct free hit of their own for ten team fouls by Invicta and we all waited with baited breadth, but our Goal Keeper saved this and then saved the inevitable shot off the rebound. It took Manchester another 13 mins half way through the second half to score again but this was due to a simple but costly error by a tiring Invicta player not clearing the ball out of our box quickly enough, with a second costly error of the same making but by a different player a few minutes later. However we were defending solidly and our Goal Keeper was in outstanding form. However the players work rate, especially the work rate of our Goal Keeper, was showing and it took all of our efforts to restrict Manchester to three more quick goals in the last minute and a half.

Final Score: Manchester 8-1 Invicta

Team fouls: Manchester 13- 12 Invicta

Referees: Bruno Sosa and Dave Fothergill

Invicta's Captain Peter Halvorsen said: "I'm delighted by the excellent hockey and sportsmanship displayed by all of the Invicta players. All of our training is paying off and I hope that we will all get fitter; it's our fitness that lets us down during the last quarter of any game. However today's game illustrated that we can compete at the highest level. I also want to say that our Goal Keeper Joel Carnell must be named ‘Man of the Match’ what a performance. I was also very pleased with our youngest player James Shelton who showed that he can play at this level, well done. Arran Cathcart has also become an essential member of the P/L squad and his team game is fast improving. But I must not leave out our goal scorer Rob Carnellit took a calm level head to score the D/F/H at that time in the match. Also Liam, James Kerr and Joel De Figueiredo (who were all unlucky not to score on several occasions) were all fully committed to the game and made it what it was - excellent. I would also like to say thank you to the Manchester Team for the great game and their hospitality. P.S. I have just noted while writing this report that the Manchester players have placed a comment on Facebook and I quote "Thanks lads for a fantastic game of Hockey" so well done you guys."

RHC Invicta Team:- Joel Carnell (G/K), Pete Halvorson (Capt), Liam Holland, Rob Carnell (1), Joel De Figueiredo, James Kerr, Arran Cathcart, James Shelton.


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