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Prmier League: RHC Invicta 6 - 5 Kings Lynn(Played: Saturday 8 December)

Invicta had, prior to the game, noted Kings Lynn's progress in the Premier League and also noted that they had drawn and won two games against teams who had previously beaten Invicta. We were rightly concerned and knew that we would have to work very hard to defeat them; they appeared to be a competent well organised team. We were not disappointed, but the game started well for Invicta; Arran Bowyer opening the scoring after just one minute, when on a counter attack move, put the ball firmly in the back of the net connecting with an excellent pass from Liam Holland. A further eight minutes of play elapsed with frantic end to end hockey, both teams having numerous shots on goal, but both unable to score until Kings Lynn levelled the game. We rallied and Robert Carnell put Invicta ahead again, from an individual effort. Invicta's lead was further extended with an individual goal from Steve Clarke a minute later. However poor defending resulted in Kings Lynn narrowing the gap again with a further goal, but Steve Clarke managed, receiving a good pass from Arran Bowyer, to put another goal past the Kings Lynn’s G/K, giving Invicta a 4-2 lead at half time.

The Invicta players were now growing in confidence and, after a good half time team talk, felt that they could maintain the lead. The second half started well as within three minutes of the restart Joel de Figuieredo, from a well worked move and a good pass from Robert Carnell, placed the ball squarely in the back of the Kings Lynn net. However more defensive errors and lack of concentration allowed King Lynn to narrow the gap again with a goal of their own. The game was now becoming end to end, opportunities being created by both sides, and the pressure was building. Then Robert Carnell receiving the ball from defence broke away and went on the counter attack, assisted by Arran Bowyer, scoring his second of the game. But then disaster struck, a Blue Card for Liam Holland, which saw Kings Lynn being presented with the opportunity to score from a direct free hit, which they did. Invicta were now fighting to keep their two goal lead. Invicta had to defend hard, not really having to chase the game as they had the lead, but Kings Lynn were fighting hard and desperate to score and were pushing Invicta players hard. Invicta players were tiring and through more defensive errors and with only one and a half minutes on the clock, allowed Kings Lynn another opportunity to score. Invicta's lead was now down to one goal, the score 6-5. 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. Being on nine team fouls at this point, one more team foul would have gifted Kings Lynn with a direct free hit. Invicta could not afford to concede anymore team fouls and they did not, which shows that the Invicta players can keep their discipline when they need to. Final Score: RHC Invicta 6 - 5 Kings Lynn.

The Captain, Pete Halvorsen, said after the game "He was pleased with the result and with the players attitude and discipline. In the past the players have been a little over zealous with their tackling, but on this occasion they were not. Our goal keeper, Dave Beeson, must be named man of the match. He saved numerous shots on goal but one save in particular was outstanding, from which he has now gained the nickname 'The Cat'. However ALL of the players performed well and played their part with total commitment."

Team Fouls: Invicta 9 - King Lynn 3

Referees: Mark Greenwood and Dave Fothergill

Team: Dave Beeson G/K, Pete Halvorsen (C), Arran Bowyer (1), Rob Carnell (2), Steve Clarke (2), Sam Fidock, Liam Holland, Joel De Figuieredo (1), Rob Amos G/K


Prmier League: Herne Bay United 8 - 4 RHC Invicta (Played: Saturday 17 November)

All of the players were looking forward to this game although not believing that they could win but just to play and acquit themselves well. The first half began well for Invicta holding their defence solid and counter attacking at will, against all of the 'big guns' of HBU, but couldn't put the ball in the back of the net. It took HBU until the 14th minute of the game to score, a poorly hit ball by HBU, but allowed by a mistake made by an Invicta defender. There followed two more quick goals from HBU but with our goalkeeper preventing a direct free hit (10 team fouls) going in. Invicta then frustrated HBU and their attack for long periods of play, having numerous shots on goal of their own, but unable to score. The HBU goal keeper, Jamie, was having the game of his life. But then with 31 seconds on the clock HBU struck again. Half time score HBU 4 Invicta 0.

We all had a good talk during half time and began the second half in upbeat mood. Within a minute of the restart Pete Halvorsen scored a well worked goal and within another minute Steve Clarke scored a second goal off an assist by Liam Holland. We seemed to be getting back into the game and the players sensed it, which spurred them on. We played well and controlled various periods of the game, not allowing HBU to play, but fell foul to a counter attack and conceded one more to HBU. We were continuing to frustrate HBU and the game was becoming end to end, like 'ping pong'. We then scored another goal, by Joel De Figuieredo, assisted by Steve Clarke. We were 6-4 down and seeing and sensing the panic in the HBU camp felt we could win or at least get a draw. The atmosphere was building and an Invicta player and a HBU player had a tussle and were both given Blue cards, the game was becoming tense. Then in the dying 37 seconds two Invicta players conceded blue card offences, with resultant direct free hits both scored by HBU. Our two players didn't give the game away (they had to fight to get the ball back so this type of situation will occur) but a score line of 6-4 would have appeared better than the 8-4 final score line.

The Captain, Pete Halvorson, said he was over the moon with the players' performance but disappointed with the score line, we felt we could have won. HBU had to keep all of their 'big guns', including their two Portuguese signings, on the rink much of the time to hold us back. Pete also wanted to single out our goalkeeper, Paul Dalton, who he believed should be named 'Man of the Match'. All of the players are looking forward to playing HBU again. We all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

Team: Paul Dalton (G/K), Pete Halvorsen (Cpt) (1), Arran Bowyer, Arran Cathcart, Steve Clarke (1), Liam Holland (1), Joel De Figuieredo (1), James Kerr, Rob Carnell, Rob Amos (G/K)

Team Fouls: HBU 12 - Invicta 21

Refs: Mark Greenwood and Smokey Robinson.


Kent League: Invicta Keaveneys 2 - 7 HBU Titans (Played: Saturday 22 September)

RHC Invicta played their first Kent League game of the season on Saturday night at the Bay Sports Arena against HBU Titans. Due to a variety of reasons; work, family and injury, Invicta were only able to field four out players, but went into the game with a positive attitude.

The first half of the game transpired to be between two fairly evenly matched teams with two goals from Invicta, courtesy of Rob Carnell and Peter Halvorsen, with just one goal, from a direct free hit, in reply from the Titans. Half time score Invicta 2–1 Titans.

The second half began with some very weary Invicta legs, and with no subs available this half was going to be a very difficult one. As predicted the Titans took full advantage of our tiredness and responded with three goals of their own within the first five minutes of the half. Matters only worsened as the half progressed with Invicta's lack of substitutes becoming apparent, which resulted in one Invicta player being sent off with a Blue card. This left the remaining three very tired players holding the defence for two minutes, which they did well, not conceding any goals during this period. The game continued with a further three goals being scored by the Titans with none in reply from Invicta, although Invicta created attacking chances and had many shots on goal but were unable to convert them. The four players performed a mammoth task keeping the score line down. Our new season's signing Arran Cathcart, who is only 16yrs old, was a revelation, an excellent player. Our goalkeeper Dave Beeson was outstanding and the other three players, Pete, Rob and Sam, who were also outstanding, provided the experience and energy (the glue) to keep the game together.

Final score: Invicta 2–7 Titans

Team fouls: Invicta 3–1 HBU

Referee: Dave White

Overall Invicta were disappointed that many of their players couldn't attend the game but overall were not unhappy with the players' performance; they were unable to give any more than they did during the game.

Team: Dave Beeson (GK), Arran Cathcart, Sam Fidock, Peter Halvorsen (Cpt) (1), Rob Carnell (1)


RHC Invicta Awards Night

The first RHC Invicta Awards Night took place on 3 August and was well attended by players and family members. Awards were given out in the following categories:

Players Medals
Tilly Viccars, Oliver Hill, Wiliam Longley, Jack Hackard, Harry Pain, Max Sellar, Toby Sellar, Josh Cox, Joseph Peters, Merlin Farrell, Michael Gregory

Individual Achievement
Under 7 – Toby Sellars
Under 9 – Tilly Viccars
Under 11 – Owen Parkes
Under 13 – Max Sellars
Under 15 - Connor Botting
Under 17 – Rob Amos
Under 20 – Connor Hampshire
Senior – Kai Dillon

Under 13 - Dream Team
Josh Cox, Max Sellar, Jack Hackard, Merlin Farrell, Oliver Hill

Club Awards
Most Improved Senior Player - Rob Carnell
Most Improved Junior Player - Connor Botting
Coaches' Senior Player of the Year - Liam Holland
Coaches' Junior Player of the Year – Tilly Viccars
Club Sportsman of the Year – Paul Dalton
Players' Player of the Year - Joel Carnell
Most Outstanding Goal Keeper - Joel Carnell
Top Goal Scorer (Senior) – Rob Carnell
Top Goal Scorer (Junior) – Connor Botting


SECRHA Under 13's (Played: Sunday 8 July)

RHC Invicta's Under 13's played their last Southern Counties tournament of the season at the Arena on Sunday. Their first game was against league leaders Herne Bay United. Despite being strong opposition Invicta were able to hold their own until half way through the first half when HBU took the lead and then added two more before the break. After the restart Invicta again kept a strong defence but HBU added another goal three minutes from time. This seemed to spur Invicta on and they scored twice through Jack Hakkad and Connor Botting but had left it too late to affect the outcome of the match. Final score RHC Invicta 2-4 Herne Bay United.

Next they played an improving Maidstone side but had control of the first half scoring four goals through Max Sellar, Jocie Greenwood, Botting and Owen Parkes. Maidstone then got two in reply to keep themselves in the game at the break. The second half saw lots of chances for Invicta but they were unable to make them count although Maidstone added to their tally with 26 seconds to go. Final score RHC Invicta 4-3 Maidstone.

The final game was against Herne Bay and as with their other matches this season this game was tight. Good defending from both sides throughout the whole match kept either team from scoring although it was still an exciting game to watch. The only goal came from Greenwood finally breaking the deadlock halfway through the second half. Final score RHC Invicta 1-0 Herne Bay.

RHC Invicta finish in second place, an excellent result for a mostly novice team.

Team: Connor Botting (2), Josh Cox (GK), Merlin Farrell, Jocie Greenwood (2), Jack Hakkad (1), Oliver Hill, Owen Parkes (1), Max Sellar (1), Tilly Viccars (GK)


Kent League: Herne Bay 4 - 5 RHC Invicta (Played: Saturday 28 April)

We commenced the game, moving and passing the ball around confidently and within four minutes Liam Holland placed the ball in the back of the net connecting with an excellent pass from Rob Carnell. This was then followed a few minutes later by an individual goal from Rob Carnell, soon to be followed by Liam Holland's second goal of the evening. The team now believed that they were on a roll, but then, with just 50 seconds of the first half left on the clock, Steve Clarke was issued with a Blue Card. The consequent direct free hit was promptly converted by Herne Bay. Invicta went into half time 3-1 ahead.

The second half appeared to start well, but poor discipline in Invicta's play crept in and they conceded a goal to Herne Bay within three minutes of the restart. Invicta held on to their diminishing lead for some time, although their defence was poor. This poor defence then lead to another goal being scored by Herne Bay, Invicta were now even at three goals apiece and had to defend hard to prevent Herne Bay from scoring again. But this was to no avail as Herne Bay again converted another goal with six minutes left on the clock, Herne Bay were now 4-3 ahead. Invicta's Goal Keeper pulled out all the stops by making some terrific saves during the game, especially on one occasion when Herne Bay's Richard Butcher slapped the ball hard, unsighted through three players, with the G/K only managing to see the ball at the very last second, when he headed the ball out, preventing the ball from entering the top corner of the goal.

Invicta, from 3-1 ahead, were now desperate and had to take the initiative by placing three attackers and one defender on the rink and attempting 'full rink' press to bring the score line back into their favour. Then to everyone's relief Rob Carnell had a break away and scored the equaliser, but despite Invicta putting pressure on Herne Bay they held out until Invicta had a second break away with Steve Clarke taking full advantage of this and scoring the winning goal, with just a minute and half left on the clock. During the time remaining Invicta then had to defend hard to hang on to this slim lead.

Final score: Invicta 5 – 4 Herne Bay

After the game Captain Arran Bowyer said: "I was very disappointed with us conceding such a big lead from the first half, but I was impressed with the players, they did not let their heads go down and kept on playing hard until the final whistle. Although, as is our way, we always seem to make things very difficult for ourselves."

Team: Dave Beeson (GK), Arran Bowyer (Cpt), Rob Carnell (2), Liam Holland (2), Steve Clarke (1), Peter Halvorsen, Joe King, Sam Merenghi

Team fouls: Invicta 1 – 6 Herne Bay

Referees: Dave White and Phil McVey


Southern Counties Under 13's (Played: Sunday 29 April)

RHC Invicta's Under 13's team played their second Southern Counties tournament at the Bay Arena on Sunday. Their first game against Maidstone showed some good team work. Connor Botting opened the scoring after 30 seconds but Maidstone were quick to equalise. Invicta then had the majority of possession and Botting retook the lead. The second half continued with Invicta in control although Maidstone did have chances to score. Another two goals from Botting gave Invicta a 4-1 win.

Next they played Herne Bay United in a much tougher game. HBU scored twice in the first half and although Invicta made a number of breaks they were unable to score. HBU scored three more in the second half but some good team defence and excellent keeping from Josh Cox ensured that HBU had to work hard for them. Final score HBU 5-0 RHC Invicta.

The final game against Herne Bay was end to end with both teams having good goal scoring chances. However, by half time neither team had been able to break the deadlock. Just after the restart Oliver Hill chipped in a pass to put Invicta in front and from then on the game became exciting as Herne Bay tred to get the equaliser and Invicta pressed to extend their lead. Despite everyone's best efforts the score remained 1-0 to Invicta.

RHC Invicta remain in 2nd place in the league.

Team: Connor Botting (4), Josh Cox (GK), Jocie Greenwood, Jack Hakkad, Oliver Hill (1), Max Sellar


Eastern Counties Senior Div 1 (Played: Sunday 25 March)

On Sunday the team had to be away from Herne Bay by 6am sharp (5am) and a very tired and somewhat depleted squad travelled to Cambridge for the tournament. The first game was against Cottenham, and Invicta, who appeared to be still asleep, began poorly conceding three quick goals within the first five minutes. But the day dawned and spirits began to rise and the players soon started getting their act together and pulled back three goals, one from Sam Fidock and two from Robert Carnell, with one more in reply from Cottenham, half time Score Invicta 3–4 Cottenham. The second half saw Invicta coming out more composed and organised than in the first half, with passing hockey being played which saw two more goals from Robert Carnell, one more from Sam Merenghi, and another one from Arran Bowyer, with Cottenham scoring only one more. Final Score: Invicta 7-5 Cottenham.

The second game of the day was against Peterborough, this was a somewhat tougher game than the first, with good defending and attacking from both teams, the only goal of the half was gifted to Peterborough by an own goal from an Invicta player (shall we name him?). First half score Invicta 0-1 Peterborough. The second half saw ten minutes of play with neither team being able to put the ball in the back of the net. However Robert Carnell found the back of the goal with five minutes left on the clock, from an excellent pass from Sam Fidock. Both teams continued playing hard and it looked as if Invicta were about to lose the game when Peterborough scored with just 53 seconds left on the clock. However Invicta did not give up and scored the final goal, by Robert Carnell, with just 1 second left on the clock, which gave us a draw. Good results to a tough game, especially as all of the players gave 100% and were all completely drained by the end. (The clock change, early start, a game the evening before and not enough players to share the burden, all added to the tiredness) Final score: Invicta 2–2 Peterborough.

Team for both games: Dave Beeson (GK), Arran Bowyer (Cpt) (1), Robert Carnell (6), Sam Fidock (1), Becca Lawrence, Sam Rowbotham, Sam Merenghi (1), Joel Carnell (GK)


Kent League: Maidstone 2 - 2 RHC Invicta (Played: Saturday 24 March)

This weekend was a busy and very tiring one (clocks went forward on Sunday morning) for the Senior RHC Invicta team. They competed in a Kent League game v Maidstone on Saturday evening, at the YMCA Sports Centre in Maidstone. This game became somewhat scrappy and on occasion ill-tempered, although there was some decent ball movement, passing, and play, Arran Bowyer scoring two goals for Invicta, but Invicta conceding two goals due in the main to poor defending, the game was a decent one.

Final Score: Invicta 2–2 Maidstone.

Team: Paul Dalton (GK), Shane Moores, Becca Lawrence, Robert Carnell, Arran Bowyer (2), Matt Dalton, Sam Fidock, Sam Rowbotham, Kai Dillon, Joel Carnell (GK)


Premier League: RHC Invicta 5 - 11 Grimsby (Played: Saturday 17 March)

RHC Invicta played Grimsby in a Premier League game on Saturday evening at the Herne Bay Sports Arena. The team started out playing good team hockey and playing confidently. Two goals were conceded at 20 minutes and 15 minutes, putting Grimsby into the lead. However not giving up Invicta pulled the game back with a well converted penalty by Liam Holland who then went on to score his second goal from an excellent pass from Arran Bowyer. But that was the final goal for Invicta in the first half with Grimsby scoring a further four putting them into a half time lead at 6 goals to 2.

Grimsby came out strong in the second half scoring two further goals within the first five minutes. However this is not to say that Invicta weren't playing their part in the game, they continued pressuring and came back with a nice team goal placed in the back of the net by Robert Carnell from a well-timed Joe King pass. There followed two further goals from Grimsby, but Invicta continued trying and were rewarded with the flukiest goal of the game from a long shot taken by Sam Fidock at about the half way line, a shot which no one, including the goal keeper saw coming. The final goal of the game came from a direct free hit converted clinically by Robert Carnell. Final score RHC Invicta 5-11 Grimsby.

Although not a win, the team are happy that their score lines are improving and feel that if they train harder they will soon turn a corner and maybe start getting the odd win or so at Premier League level.

Team: Paul Dalton (GK), Joe Fidock (Cpt), Sam Fidock (1), Matt Dalton, Robert Carnell (2), Peter Halvorsen, Joe King, Liam Holland (2), Arran Bowyer, Joel Carnell (GK)

Referees: Ron Barker and Peter Flint

Team Fouls - RHC Invicta 13, Grimsby 15.


Premier League: RHC Invicta 3 - 12 Middlesbrough (Played: Sunday 26 February) and Herne Bay United 11 - 1 RHC Invicta (Played: Saturday 3 March)

RHC Invicta have played two Premier League games at the Arena over the last two weekends, having to compete against the teams holding first and second place in the League. We always knew that these were going to be tough games, but went out to try and play the best that we were able. Our first game was against Middlesbrough on Sunday 26 February. We started the game badly, defending poorly and allowing Middlesbrough to score four very quick goals. There then followed a period of 10 minutes when Invicta altered their defensive not allowing Middlesbrough to score again until the last few minutes of the game where they scored a further two goals. Half time score Invicta 0-6 Middlesbrough.

The second half started with a pass from Joe Fidock to Liam Holland who put the ball in the back of the net scoring Invicta's first goal of the game. This boosted the team and the game continued with Invicta defending very hard. Invicta were awarded two direct free hits which were converted by Robert Carnell, but Middlesbrough continued pounding away at the defence and scored a further five goals. Final Score: RHC Invicta 3-12 Middlesbrough.

Team fouls: RHC Invicta 9-12 Middlesbrough

Referees: Stewart Henderson and Phil McVey

Team: Dave Beeson (GK), Joe Fidock (Cpt), Charlie Pughe, Robert Carnell (2), Joe King, James Sheppard, Myles Tichband, Liam Holland (1), Arran Bowyer, Joel Carnell (GK).

Our second game was against HBU Kings on Saturday 3 March. The first half showed some promise from Invicta, they played some good team hockey and were able to hold the score to Invicta 1–4 HBU at half time, the Invicta goal coming from the conversion of a penalty by Joe Fidock. The second half showed some holes in Invicta's defence and lack of concentration allowed HBU to score a further seven goals. Final score: RHC Invicta 1 – 11 HBU Kings.

Team fouls: HBU Kings 22–22 RHC Invicta

Referees: Mark Greenwood and Dave White

Team: Paul Dalton (GK), Joe Fidock (Cpt) (1), Sam Fidock, Robert Carnell, Joe King, Myles Tichband, Liam Holland, Arran Bowyer, Joel Carnell (GK)

Although the scores against Invicta were higher than hoped for, they are an improvement on those at the beginning of the season and show that Invicta are working hard on improving. And although the team were disappointed that they were unable to convert more shots on target into goals, have enjoyed the games and are optimistic about the future. Well done to everyone.

Next Premier League game is against Grimsby, Saturday 17 March at The Sports Arena, Herne Bay, start time 7.45pm.


Southern Counties Under 13's

RHC Invicta Under 13's team travelled to Maidstone on Sunday for their first Southern Counties tournament. Included in the team were two players at their first tournament and a new goalkeeper.

Their first game against Maidstone was very one-sided with Invicta in control of the game from start to finish. Jack Hakkad opened the scoring soon followed by Jocie Greenwood and then a second for Hakkad. After the break Greenwood completed her hat-trick before Connor Botting added Invicta's sixth. Greenwood got two more, Botting one more and Invicta's tally was completed by Merlin Farrell. Maidstone managed a few chances but Invicta were quick to defend. Final score RHC Invicta 10-0 Maidstone.

Next they played Herne Bay United in a far tougher game. This time Invicta had to play mostly in defence and were pushed hard throughout the whole game. HBU scored twice in the first half with Invicta unable to make their few chances count. The second half continued the pace of the first but good defence and excellent keeping from Josh Cox meant that HBU were unable to add to their score until the final minute of the half. Final score RHC Invicta 0-3 Herne Bay United.

The final game against Herne Bay was played at a slower pace with Invicta having most of the possession. They opened the scoring through Botting with Greenwood netting just before the break. Botting added a third just after the restart. With Invicta working well as a team and some tight defending from Dawson Smith they denied their opposition the chance to score until the final minute when Herne Bay got a consolation goal. Final score RHC Invicta 3-1 Herne Bay.

An excellent first tournament for the team puts them in second place in the league.

Team: Connor Botting (4), Josh Cox, Merlin Farrell (1), Jocie Greenwood (6), Jack Hakkad (2), Dawson Smith


Eastern Counties Division 1

RHC Invicta's Seniors travelled to Peterborough to play in their second tournament of the season. There was generally good team play from all players, with both goal keepers playing well to keep the score line down. The first game was against Letchworth. The first half saw Invicta playing well and going into the lead with two goals, one from Rob Carnell and one from Joe King. In the second half Letchworth 'came out' fighting and scored two goals of their own, with six minutes left on the clock it looked as if the game would remain a draw, with both teams battling from end to end and team fouls being conceded by both teams. Then gloom, a direct free hit was awarded to Letchworth, but this was saved by Invicta's Joel Carnell. Then with just 2 ½ minutes left on the clock Joe King converted a direct free hit of our own, putting Invicta into the lead. The team then defended well and held the game. Final score RHC Invicta 3-2 Letchworth.

The second game was played against Farnham and should have been an easier game than the team made it. Invicta went into the lead in the first half, with goals from both Arran Bowyer and Sam Fidock. But in the second half Farnham pushed on and, due to defensive errors by Invicta, scored their first goal of the match. Invicta then replied with a goal from Arran Bowyer, but were unable to put the ball in the back of the net again for the remainder of the game, unlike Farnham who scored the final goal of the game with seven minutes left on the clock. Final score RHC Invicta 3–2 Farnham.

The last game of the day was against Grimsby. Invicta took control of the game early on when Invicta were awarded a penalty which was swiftly converted by Rob Carnell, this was followed a minute later with a goal from Joe King. Grimsby came back with four minutes on the clock with a goal of their own, which was closely followed with a good team goal finished off by Liam Holland. The second half started with Invicta allowing Grimsby through their defence to score. There closely followed four more good team goals from Invicta, one from Sam Fidock, two from Arran Bowyer and one from Joe King. Final score RHC Invicta 7–2 Grimsby.

Team: Joel Carnell (GK), James Sheppard, Sam Fidock (2), Matt Dalton, Joe King (4), Becca Lawrence, Arran Bowyer (Cpt) (4), Liam Holland (1), Robert Carnell (2), Paul Dalton (GK)

These games have boosted the player's confidence and given them invaluable match practice. Everyone played their part in all three games. Next Eastern counties Division One tournament is on Sunday 25 March in Cambridge


Eastern Counties Under 15's

RHC Invicta's under 15's travelled to Kings Lynn for their penultimate Eastern Counties tournament on Sunday. Their first game against Kings Lynn started well with George Kohler scoring within a minute. However the hosts were soon even and then drew ahead. Invicta passd well around the rink but lapses in defence allowed Kings Lynn to open up a 4-1 lead at half time. The second half lost a little of the earlier momentum allowing Kings Lynn to add three more goals but as the team settled into passing play again they had numerous shots on goal, unfortunately not scoring through any of them. Some excellent keeping from Rob Amos ensured their opponents were unable to extend their tally. Final score Kings Lynn 7-1 RHC Invicta.

Next they played Ely A in a game where again a few small defensive errors allowed their opponents the chance to score. Play during the second half was excellent and for a time Invicta peppered the Ely goal but, as in their first game, they were unable to make the chances count. Final score RHC Invicta 0-6 Ely A, a result which didn't reflect the even nature of the teams or how good the Invicta play had been.

In the third game against Cottenham Invicta took the lead through Kohler before Cottenham scored twice. Jocie Greenwood then equalised. Cottenham were able to score five more although Invicta continued to work hard, Kohler adding the third just before half time. The second half was exciting to watch with both teams having plenty of chances to score. However the half remained goal-less until Cottenham got one just before the final whistle. Final score RHC Invicta 3-8 Cottenham.

The final game against Bury was the best of the day. Michael Gregory scored the opening goal but Bury equalised soon after. Invicta then settled in to a very defensive game and the tight marking along with some outstanding keeping kept the score level at half time. Bury scored soon after the restart but Kohler got Invicta level again and then put them in front. Bury again equalised and the game then became very exciting as both teams tried to score the winner. It looked as if the game would end in a draw but Bury grabbed the winner 10 seconds from the end. Final score RHC Invicta 3-4 Bury.

Team: Rob Amos (GK), Connor Botting, Nathan Emslie, Jocie Greenwood (1), Michael Gregory (1), George Kohler (5)


Eastern Counties Under 15's

RHC Invicta's under 15's travelled to Soham on Sunday to compete in their next Eastern Counties tournament. The first game was against Norwich and although Invicta had some goal scoring opportunites, Norwich were always the stronger side and defensive errors allowed their opponents to take a 3-0 lead into the break. The second half saw a more even spread of chances but again Invicta's defence was not good enough and Norwich scored a further three goals. Final score Norwich 6-0 RHC Invicta.

Next they played Ely B in a more evenly matched game with only Ely managing to score once during the first half. The second half was played at a faster pace with Luke Latham equalising soon after the restart although Ely soon retook and then extended their lead with three quick goals. George Kohler narrowed the gap again before Ely scored twice more although they failed to convert a direct free hit awarded when Invicta had a player blue carded. A second goal from Latham 30 seconds from the end completed the match tally. Final score Ely B 6-3 RHC Invicta.

The last game was against Bury and Invicta finally began to get their team play working better although poor shot finishing meant that their numerous chances weren't scored. Defence continued to be an issue and Invicta were 4-0 down at half time. Bury scored three more during the second half while Kohler got a consolation goal. Some excellent keeping from Rob Amos kept the score down. Final score Bury 7-1 RHC Invicta.

Team: Rob Amos (GK), Charlie Botting, Josh Butcher, Nathan Emslie, Michael Gregory, George Kohler (2), Luke Latham (2)


Eastern Counties Under 17's

The Under 17's had their second Tournament in the Eastern Counties Under 17's league in Kings Lynn this weekend. Due to illness we were with only six out players and one keeper. First game against Kings Lynn 'A'. Possibly the best team in the League, last time out we suffered a loss of 12–0, so were expecting a hard game. Using a well-disciplined defence and good goal keeping, we held Kings Lynn at half time to 1-0 down. In the second half we lost our discipline for a period of five minutes and conceded four very quick goals, one being a direct free hit. We then held our defence firm until the last two minutes, where we conceded a further two goals. A good result against good opposition. Final Score Kings Lynn 'A' 7-0 RHC Invicta.

Second game against local rivals, Herne Bay. The opening goal of this game was scored by Invicta's Josh Emslie, followed by two more quick goals, putting Invicta ahead by three goals. However, all credit to Herne Bay who came back hard and fast with three goals of their own, the game going into half time level at three goals apiece. The second half started well with Lewis Greenwood slotting home the first goal from an excellent pass by Alex Mount. We then missed a golden chance to get further ahead with a direct free hit, which was not converted, but we then came back with a near duplicate goal to the first. Two quick goals followed from Herne Bay, but Invicta managed to capitalise on their score by slotting home two further goals. A hard and fast contest against a very physical side. Final Score RHC Invicta 7-5 Herne Bay.

The third and final game of the day was against Kings Lynn 'B'. We now felt confident of being able to beat this team, but although we opened the scoring within the first few minutes of the first half, Kings Lynn responded with a goal of their own. It then became an end to end contest, with no further goals being scored in this half. Half time score level at 1-1. The second half began at a brisk pace with Invicta putting home three quick goals with only one in response from Kings Lynn. During this half the players were showing signs of tiredness and frustration, allowing Kings Lynn to come back with another goal, the final goal of the game was scored by Emslie. A good win, but just a little frustrating. Final Score RHC Invicta 5–3 Kings Lynn 'B'.

The Captain Josh Emslie said: "Congratulations to all of our players, they worked really hard to make it two wins out of three games. Let's hope that we can work on getting a three out of three success rate at our next tournament which is arranged for 17th December."

Team: Eddie Mount (GK), Josh Emslie (Capt)( 2 ), Alex Mount (4), Lewis Greenwood (6 ), Angelo Moutinho, Matt Roberts, Max Robson


Eastern Counties Under 15's

Despite being reduced to five outfield players due to holiday absences, RHC Invicta's Under 15's team made a good start at their Eastern Counties tournament at the weekend. Strong work in defence and good passing moves kept Ely at bay and allowed Michael Gregory and Josh Butcher to score before half time. Invicta worked more attacking moves during the second half but two goals against the run of play put Ely level. Nathan Emslie put Invicta in front again seven seconds later and the final score remained RHC Invicta 3-2 Ely, although the victory was marred by an Invicta player sustaining a broken wrist which put him out of the rest of the tournament.

Now with no substitutes the Invicta team began each of their following games well but as each game progressed tiredness became a major factor. The team continued to defend well and produced a number of good scoring opportunities but found it hard to compete against teams who were able to keep fresh players on the rink. They lost all of the other games, 7-1 against Cottenham, 8-0 against Norwich and 11-0 against Kings Lynn.

Team: Rob Amos (GK), Charlie Botting, Connor Botting, Josh Butcher, Nathan Emslie, Michael Gregory


Eastern Counties Under 15's

RHC Invicta's Under 15's began their Eastern Counties campaign on Sunday at Soham. Their first game was against Norwich and the team had to defend for the majority of the first half. Invicta had a player blue carded after four minutes and Norwich opened the scoring from the resulting direct free hit. There were times when Invicta's game seemed to be coming together but Norwich remained the dominant force and scored twice more before the break. Soon after the restart Michael Gregory was brought down in the box and Luke Latham scored the penalty to bring Invicta back into the game. However, numerous defensive errors allowed Norwich the chance to extend their score and the result was a disappointing 10-1 loss.

During the next game against Ely A Invicta began to work more as a team creating lots of chances through passing moves. Latham opened the scoring after just 34 seconds and completed his hat-trick before half time. Chances were falling to both teams and Ely A scored twice to make things close at the break. The second half saw end to end play with some excellent keeping from Rob Amos and there were only four minutes of the game remaining before any more goals were scored. Latham netted again before Ely A closed the gap and then good team passing from Invicta created a goal each for Connor Botting and Gregory although Invicta also added another to Ely's score through an own goal. The final score from a more confident team was Ely A 4 - 6 RHC Invicta.

The last game was against Ely B with the team working as a whole to produce lots of goal scoring chances. George Kohler scored twice before Ely B got one in reply. Nathan Emslie and Gregory added to Invicta's tally before half time. Although the second half was goal-less Invicta continued to work well as a team and show lots of promise for the rest of the season. Final score Ely B 1 - 4 RHC Invicta.

Team: Rob Amos (GK), Charlie Botting, Connor Botting (1), Josh Butcher, Nathan Emslie (1), Michael Gregory (2), George Kohler (2), Luke Latham (5)


National Cup Finals

RHC Invicta's youngsters played their final games of the season at the National Cup finals on Saturday. The Under 13's were playing Herne Bay United in the first game of the day in a match they dominated from start to finish. Alex Mount opened the scoring afte a minute with four more following quickly from Connor Botting, Lewis Greenwood, Michael Gregory and a second from Mount. Keeper Nathan Emslie only had to make one save as HBU worked a break before Invicta added three more through Botting and Mount (2) to give them a commanding 8-0 lead at half time. The second half continued the pattern of the first although some team changes allowed HBU more possession at times. Harry Slack, Greenwood and Mount built up Invicta's score further before HBU scored a consolation goal through Jamie McVey. Slack scored twice more making Invicta convincing National Cup winners. Final score RHC Invicta 13-1 Herne Bay United.

Team: Connor Botting (2), Nathan Emslie (GK), Jocie Greenwood, Lewis Greenwood (2), Michael Gregory (1), Alex Mount (5), Harry Slack (3)

The Under 15's faced Ely in the final in a fiercely contested game. Although Invicta had the majority of possession Ely still had plenty of chances. Invicta opened the scoring just five seconds into the game through Alex Mount but Ely were quick to equalise. A long period of good defence from both teams followed although Invicta had four shots hit the post. Eddie Mount saved a penalty to keep the scores level. Three minutes from the break Luke Latham scored for Invicta, while Mount then added a third to give a small half time lead. Invicta piled on the pressure during the second half with Mount completing his hat-trick early on. George Kohler and Lewis Greenwood added two more within a second of each other before Ely scored again. Latham, Greenwood and Mount all added another goal each and, although Ely scored a third, a final goal from Michael Gregory and a direct free hit saved by Eddie Mount ensured that Invicta finished comfortable 10-3 winners.

Team: Charlie Botting, Connor Botting, Josh Emslie, Nathan Emslie, Lewis Greenwood (2), Michael Gregory (1), George Kohler (1), Luke Latham (2), Alex Mount (4), Eddie Mount (GK)

To conclude a successful end to the season Lewis Greenwood was announced as the winner of the NRHA's Under 13 Player of the Year award.


National Club Championships

inter regional winners

RHC Invicta had two teams competing in the National Club Championsips held at Soham at the weekend. On Saturday the Under 15's played four games starting against Ely Blue in a match they dominated. Alex Mount opened the scoring after three minutes before Michael Gregory and Lewis Gregory added two more within four seconds of each other to give Invicta a 3-0 half time lead. The second half saw another goal for Greenwood before Ely scored an own goal to give Invicta a 5-0 win.

Next they played Ely Green in another show of good possession. First half goals from Luke Latham, Mount (2), Greenwood (2) and George Kohler gave them a commanding half time lead and Josh Emslie added another just after the restart. Ely then found the net almost straight away but no further goals were scored until the final minute when Ely added their second. Final score Invicta 7-2 Ely Green.

The third game was against Bury and this was a tighter match. Neither team was able to break through the other's defences until three minutes from the break when Bury took the lead. Invicta were quick to equalise through Mount to put things even at the break. A goal apiece for Mount and Kohler saw Invicta win the game 3-1.

The final match of the day was against Cottenham who had also won their previous three matches so this match would decide the winner of the championships. Invicta started well with Latham scoring twice in the first three minutes but Cottenham had a flurry of goals in the last six minutes to take a 4-2 lead to half time. They addded another two minutes into the second half leaving Invicta with lots to do. Greenwood and Mount each scored in quick succession but despite their best efforts Invicta were unable to score another goal and so ended as runners up. Final score Invicta 4-5 Cottenham

Team: Josh Emslie (1), Lewis Greenwood (5), Michael Gregory (1), Luke Latham (3), George Kohler (2), Alex Mount (6), Eddie Mount (GK)

inter regional winners

On Sunday it was the turn of the Under 13's and their first match was against Herne Bay with Alex Mount taking the goalkeepers position. End to end play made the game exciting but Invicta's defence was strong and Mount was keeping well. Invicta took the lead after two minutes through Connor Botting, with further goals following from Michael Gregory and Lewis Greenwood (4) to which Herne Bay were unable to find any reply. However, they were quick to score after the restart with no other goals until 15 seconds from the end when Josh Butcher netted. Final score Invicta 7-1 Herne Bay.

Next they played Cottenham with Nathan Emslie in goal. Again this was full of end to end play with Invicta making the most of the goal scoring opportunites. Three from Alex Mount, two from Greenwood, and one each for Gregory and Butcher gave Invicta a convincing half time lead as Cottenham had only scored once in reply. However, Cottenham began to pull back at the beginning of the second half through a goal soon after the restart and then an own goal. Butcher quickly restored Invicta's lead with two goals before Invicta had a player blue carded. Emslie was superb in his save of the direct free hit and the rebounded shot but Cottenham were able to add another during the power play period and a further one soon after. However, it was not enough and Invicta won the game 9-5.

The final match was against Ely with Connor Botting in goal and as with the final under 15's match, this game would decide the winners of the championship. Invicta had the majority of the possession and were quick to suppress any breaks that Ely made. Two goals from Mount and one from Gregory gave the team a comfortable lead at half time. Butcher added another two goals at the beginning of the second half but then Ely began to press more and were rewarded with a goal of their own. Mount and Greenwood then added a goal apiece to put the result beyond doubt and give Invicta the championship title. Final score Invicta 7-1 Ely

Team: Connor Botting (1 + GK), Josh Butcher (6), Nathan Emslie (GK), Jocie Greenwood, Lewis Greenwood (7), Michael Gregory (3), Alex Mount (6 + GK)


Premier League: Letchworth 5 - 6 RHC Invicta (Played: Saturday 21 May)

We travelled to Letchworth to play our penultimate Premier League game of the season. Remembering well that we had narrowly lost to Letchworth at our home game, we were feeling nervous, but more confident as a team and hoping to take the game to the opposition. The Letchworth rink is somewhat on the small side and a little darker than most sports centres, but we did not let this deter us. We commenced the game at a very high tempo, possibly too high to pace ourselves properly. However Invicta were fully in control of the game for the majority of the first half, pressing Letchworth hard, full rink. Within three minutes of commencement Charlie Pughe opened the scoring, putting Invicta a goal ahead. Another ten minutes passed before Invicta were able to score again, with a direct free hit conversion, by Liam Holland, followed by a hat trick from Tom White. However Letchworth did not let their heads drop and responded, scoring with a minute left of the first half. Half time score Invicta 5–1 Letchworth.

We now felt that a win was in sight but the second half saw a revitalised Letchworth who began pressing Invicta hard. However Invicta's Alfie Sheppard scored within the first two minutes, but from then onward it was a downhill road for Invicta, as they began to tire, losing concentration and discipline. This led to our goalkeeper, who had worked very hard and effectively in the first half, having to work more than exceptionally hard in the second half to keep the shots out. But due to Letchworth's determination and our players tiring, allowed them to score four goals within a six minute period. This put the score line at Invicta 6–5 Letchworth. We called a time out to remind the players that we must hold on firmly to this very slim lead and that they must work harder for longer periods to defend the lead. They responded well. The remaining thirteen minutes of the game were played frantically by both teams, and we managed to prevent Letchworth from scoring again despite the high volume of shots they made on our goal. When the final whistle, ending the game, sounded we all breathed a huge sigh of relief having at long last won a Premier League game. Final Score: RHC Invicta 6–5 Letchworth

The Captain Peter Halvorsen said: "I am very pleased that we have won this game, it's given everyone a much need boost. But we must be able to concentrate harder and longer, for the whole 50 minutes of the game not just the first 25. That said, well done to all of the lads. The drinks are on me!"

Team fouls: Invicta 12-18 Letchworth

Referees: Steve Taylor and Dave Fothergill

Team: Dave Beeson (GK), Joe Fidock, Charlie Pughe (1), Peter Halvorsen (Cpt), Tom White(3), Alfie Sheppard (1), James Sheppard, Liam Holland (1), Joel Carnell (GK)


Jubilee Cup

inter regional winnersA weakened RHC Invicta under 13's travelled to Soham at the weekend to compete in the Jubilee Cup, missing their regular keeper through other commitments and an outfield player through injury. However, with Michael Gregory stepping into the goalkeeper's pads they were determined not to let this diminish their chances. Invicta were drawn in Pool A and this saw them take on Bury in their first game. They had most of the possession leaving Gregory with only a small amount of work in goal. Alex Mount opened the scoring and Lewis Greenwood added two more before half time. Bury worked more chances during the second half but Invicta were still in control of the game with Mount completing a hat-trick and Josh Butcher adding another. Final score RHC Invicta 6-0 Bury.

Next they played Herne Bay and again Invicta had the majority of possession and their defence denied their opponents any shots on goal in the first half. However, good keeping and strong defence also meant that Invicta could only score twice, one each for Mount and Nathan Emslie, despite numerous chances. The second half saw a few chances for Herne Bay but Invicta maintained their dominance with a flurry of goals, two each for Mount and Greenwood and a hat-trick for Butcher, to leave them decisive 9-0 winners.

The third game against Norwich was more end-to-end but good defence from Invicta protected Gregory's goal. Mount scored a first half hat-trick and Greenwood added another. The second half began with two goals from Connor Botting before a Norwich player was brought down resulting in a blue card for Invicta. Norwich scored their only goal of the game from the direct free hit. Greenwood added another goal for Invicta. Norwich were awarded another direct free hit when Invicta notched up their tenth team foul but this was not converted. Final score RHC Invicta 7-1 Norwich.

The final pool game was against Chesterton and saw Invicta once more in control of the game although their opponents did create a few breaks. First half goals from Mount (2), Greenwood, Botting and Butcher gave Invicta a good half time lead which was doubled during the second half by goals from Butcher (2), Greenwood (2) and Botting leaving Invicta comfortable 10-0 winners. The four wins put Invicta top of Pool A.

In the evening the team took the opportunity of all being away together to have a meal out at a local restaurant which was much enjoyed by players and parents.

On Sunday Invicta lost another outplayer to previous commitments and Emslie took over goalkeeping duties. Having finished top of Pool A Invicta played the second placed team of Pool B which was Cottenham. This game was end to end throughout with lots of chances for both teams. Invicta's movement of the ball was good but they were let down by their finishing. Cottenham opened the scoring after two minutes but Greenwood equalised two minutes later. Cottenham then retook their lead after a shot rebounded off the back wall and increased it further just before half time. The lead stretched to three goals five seconds after the restart but Gregory was quick to reduce this six seconds later. Greenwood then scored twice to even things up but Cottenham pulled away again with just under six minutes left to play. Emslie denied Cottenham another goal when he saved a penalty and from then the game was frantic as Invicta tried to equalise and Cottenham defended to keep their lead. With just 15 seconds left to play Greenwood scored to force the game into extra time. The winner would now be decided by a golden goal and both teams started the extra time period determined to win. A minute into extra time Cottenham were able to score leaving Invicta to contest the 3rd and 4th place play off game later in the day. Final score RHC Invicta 5-6 Cottenham.

Other results on the day meant that Invicta played Bury again to decide 3rd place and for this match Botting was in goal. It was another end to end game but to begin Bury had more chances and they capitilised on this immediately scoring within five seconds of the start. Good defending and keeping then kept out further chances for Bury but it wasn't until two minutes from the end of the first half when Invicta were finally able to equalise through Butcher. The second half began with an early Greenwood goal and was then hard fought for the rest of the match but both teams were denied any of their chances which enabled Invicta to claim 3rd place. Final score RHC Invicta 2-1 Bury.

Team: Connor Botting (4), Josh Butcher (8), Nathan Emslie (1), Jocie Greenwood, Lewis Greenwood (14), Michael Gregory (1), Alex Mount (11)


Inter Regional Tournaments - 30 April and 1 and 2 May 2011

inter regional winnersWell done to all of our players who played some great hockey over the weekend.

U11's

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Noah Latham, Sian Emslie and Harry Slack finished 4th

U13's

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Josh Butcher and Jocie Greenwood finished 5th

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Kai Appleby (GK), Alex Mount, Lewis Greenwood (Cpt), Michael Gregory, Nathan Emslie and Connor Botting finished 1st

U15's

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Michael Gregory (Cpt) and George Kohler finished 6th

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Eddie Mount (GK and Cpt), Ashley Barton, Alex Mount, Lewis Greenwood, Luke Latham and Josh Emslie finished 2nd

U17's

Eddie Mount (GK), George Holmes (Cpt), Alfie Sheppard and Ashley Barton finished 4th

Ladies

Becca Lawrence, Charlie Botting and Emily Sheppard finished 3rd

Well done to all of you.


Inter Regional Tournaments - 30 April and 1 and 2 May 2011

All of the following RHC Invicta players were selected to take part in the Inter Regional Tournament, representing our SECRHA region, to be held next weekend.

U11's

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Noah Latham, Sian Emslie and Harry Slack

U13's

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Josh Butcher and Jocie Greenwood

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Kai Appleby (GK), Alex Mount, Lewis Greenwood (Cpt), Michael Gregory, Nathan Emslie and Connor Botting

U15's

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Michael Gregory (Cpt), George Kohler and Kier Maeers

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Eddie Mount (GK and Cpt), Ashley Barton, Alex Mount, Lewis Greenwood, Luke Latham and Josh Emslie

U17's

Eddie Mount (GK), George Holmes (Cpt), Alfie Sheppard, Ashley Barton, Josh Emslie and Kier Maeers

Ladies

Becca Lawrence, Charlie Botting and Emily Sheppard

Very well done to you all, and the best of luck in your games.


National Cup Qualifier: RHC Invicta 5 - 3 Peterborough (Played: Saturday 16 April)

It was only a fortnight ago when Invicta met Peterborough in the Premier League and this match turned out to be a disaster for Invicta. They knew that they had to win this game to salvage at least some of their pride. However we were still concerned, missing a couple of our senior players through injury, having to field a couple of only partially fit players. But the team were determined that they had to win this game. The game started with both teams being a little nervous, but Invicta appeared to have the edge and were passing and moving the ball quite comfortably, with Peterborough forming a tight defence not allowing us through. However within two minutes of the start Tom White broke free with an individual shot on goal scoring the first goal of the game, settling the players down, which was then followed a minute later with an individual goal from Liam Holland putting the ball under the keeper. The remainder of the half continued with frantic end to end hockey, neither team appearing to be able to break the deadlock, until James Sheppard slotted the ball neatly into the back of the net, receiving an excellent pass from Joe King. At this point the team were ecstatic, being three goals ahead. However as the half reached its conclusion Peterborough were attacking hard and with only 27 seconds remaining on the clock clawed a goal back. Half time score Invicta 3–1 Peterborough.

After the half time talk all the Invicta players were in good spirits, believing that they could widen the gap, if they defended hard and kept Peterborough at bay. However within two minutes of the re-start Peterborough scored their second goal and nervousness began to show. There followed a period of slightly chaotic play, when Invicta had a player blue carded. The team defended well during this period and did not concede a goal during this time. Peterborough continued to push hard and pulled back an equaliser to make it 3 apiece. Both teams were now fighting to win the game. Peterborough reached ten team fouls, giving away a direct free hit, which Tom White took, but was unable to convert. With a minute left on the clock Invicta also reached the ten team fouls point, giving away a direct free hit to Peterborough, and believed that all was lost, but this shot was saved. The last minute of the game was frantic with both teams trying to find the winning goal to avoid going into extra time and 'golden goal'. Full time score 3-3.

The teams then entered extra time, five minutes each way, and both teams pushed hard with numerous shots on goal from both sides, both goal keepers working hard to keep the shots out. Extra time finished with no goals being scored, which then put the teams into having to take penalties to decide the winner. This meant that the penalty takers and especially the goal keepers then had to bear the burden of winning or losing the game. The coin was tossed with Peterborough taking the first penalty. Invicta waited with baited breath as this was taken but was brilliantly saved by Joel Carnell who then went on to defend a further three penalties without allowing Peterborough to score. But with Peterborough conceding two out of the four penalties, one scored by James Sheppard and one by Liam Holland, placed Invicta as winners at 5 goals to 3.

The captain Peter Halvorsen said: "It was absolutely fantastic goal keeping by Joel not conceding one penalty. I would also like to add that our Penalty takers all kept their cool to make sure that the ball was firmly on target. I was pleased with the type of hockey that we played tonight compared to our last encounter with Peterborough, this has given us all more confidence. We now meet HBU in our home leg of the semi-finals."

Final Score: RHC Invicta 5–3 Peterborough

Team Fouls: RHC Invicta 13–12 Peterborough

Referees: Ron Barker and Smokey Robinson

Team: Eddie Mount (GK), Tom White (1), Charlie Pughe, Peter Halvorsen (Cpt), Alfie Sheppard, Liam Holland (2), James Sheppard (2), Joe King, Arran Bowyer, Joel Carnell (GK)


Southern Counties Under 13's (Played: Sunday 10 April)

On Sunday the under 13's played a Southern counties tournament at the Pier. Their first game against Herne Bay United saw Invicta with lots of possession and good movement of the ball around the rink. They were unlucky not to score when Michael Gregory's shot hit the post but Josh Butcher connected with Charlie Botting's pass to put Invicta in the lead. Herne Bay United scored two minutes later to leave things equal at half time. The second half continued as the first with Gregory adding to Invicta's total. Final score RHC Invicta 2 - 1 Herne Bay United

Next they played Herne Bay in a thrilling fast-paced game. End to end play gave both teams chances although Invicta were able to make more of their opportunities. Lewis Greenwood netted three minutes into the game and Gregory added another within 20 seconds. Greenwood scored again before the break. The second half saw Invicta still with the better goal scoring chances. Greenwood scored just after the restart and Connor Botting added another when he chipped in Greenwood's long shot. Herne Bay were awarded a penalty but were unable to net it. Final score RHC Invicta 5-0 Herne Bay

The final game against East Grinstead saw Invicta in control of the game and they scored regularly throughout. First half goals from Connor Botting (2), Butcher and Charlie Botting gave a four goal lead at half time and this was doubled in the second half with two more goals for Connor Botting and one each for Jocie and Lewis Greenwood. East Grinstead were unable to score in reply. Final score RHC Invicta 8-0 East Grinstead

RHC Invicta remain in second place in this league.

Team: Kai Appleby (GK), Charlie Botting (1), Connor Botting (5), Josh Butcher (2), Jocie Greenwood (1), Lewis Greenwood (4), Michael Gregory (2)


Kent League: Keaveneys 10 (2) - 0 (3) Wilbees (Played: Saturday 9 April)

Although this was classed as a friendly game (Wilbee's were fielding a team with players from their other team) Keaveneys were also struggling for players, only able to scrape together five 'out players' and one goal keeper, who was still carrying an injury. The game commenced at a good pace, but Wilbees scored their first goal within two minutes from an individual volley which deflected off the stick of a defending Keaveneys player. This was a setback but nonetheless the half proceeded with some good movement and ball play. Half time score Keaveneys 0 – 1 Wilbees.

The second half Keaveneys upped the pace and were playing well, keeping Wilbees occupied. Five minutes in Emily Sheppard scored the first goal for Keaveneys, slotting home an excellent pass from Joe King. The next goal came from a direct free hit awarded to Keaveneys, which James Sheppard put past Wilbees' keeper. However Wilbees picked up the pace and scored two goals of their own without reply. However Wilbees had conceded ten team fouls and Keaveneys were awarded a direct free hit, but this was saved. Final score: Keaveneys 2 (10) v 3 (0) Wilbees

The captain James Sheppard said: "We were short of players tonight, but I was pleased with the way everyone played and with Joel's performance (goalkeeper) returning for his first match since an injury."

I must also give a mention to Eddie Mount, RHC Invicta's young and upcoming goal keeper, who played in goal for East Grinstead (they were unable to provide a keeper for their match). Eddie had an outstanding game, only conceding two goals, and helping East Grinstead to a win.

Team fouls: Keaveney 4-10 Wilbees

Referees: Dave White and Chris Graff

Team: Joel Carnell (GK), James Sheppard (Cpt)(1), Emily Sheppard (1), Sam Boddy, Joe King, Ashley Barton


Eastern Counties Under 15's (Played: Saturday 9 April)

On Saturday the under 15's travelled to Cambridge to compete in their final Eastern Counties tournament of the season. They began by playing Peterborough and had the majority of the possession with a number of good shots on goal. Alex Mount opened the scoring after a minute but good keeping from their opponents meant it was seven minutes before he was able to add another. Luke Latham added a third half a minute later. Peterborough began to work a few chances in the second half and some good saves were needed from Eddie Mount to keep a clean sheet. Lewis Greenwood scored twice in quick succession and Latham added his second to give Invicta a good winning margin. Final score RHC Invicta 6-0 Peterborough

Next was a tough game against Cottenham. Play was fast paced and end to end although Cottenham had the best chances. However, good defending from both teams meant the score was deadlocked until just before the break when Cottenham scored. They added another just after half time with play continuing at the fast pace and Invicta working more chances. However, despite their best efforts they were unable to score. Final score RHC Invicta 0-2 Cottenham

The third game against Kings Lynn was just as tough and to begin Invicta were mostly playing in their own half. Some excellent keeping denied Kings Lynn a number of good chances and it was Invicta who finally managed to score through Greenwood a minute from half time. Kings Lynn scored an equaliser soon after to start the second half level again. They took the lead soon after the restart and gained another through an own goal before Invicta got one back when Michael Gregory's shot went in off the post. Kings Lynn extended their lead again but this time Invicta scored twice in quick succession through George Kohler and Latham to equalise again. The final few minutes were frantic as Kings Lynn scored their fifth but Invicta were unable to find the net again. Final score RHC Invicta 4-5 Kings Lynn

The final game against Letchworth saw keeper Eddie Mount playing outfield while he was replaced in goal by his brother Alex. Letchworth were awarded a penalty early in the game which they scored but after that Invicta had possession of the game. Eddie Mount opened the scoring followed by Connor Botting and Kohler. The second half continued with Invicta in dominance. Latham scored and Botting added two more to give the team another comfortable victory. Final score RHC Invicta 6-1 Letchworth

RHC Invicta are in first place in this league but other teams still have games to play which will affect their final placing.

Team: Charlie Botting, Connor Botting (3), Lewis Greenwood (3), Michael Gregory (1), George Kohler (2), Luke Latham (4), Alex Mount (2 + GK), Eddie Mount (GK + 1)


Premier League: RHC Invicta 2 - 8 Peterborough (Played: Saturday 2 April)

Invicta met Peterborough at the Pier on Saturday evening. The Invicta team were really looking forward to this game believing that they had a good chance of winning it, although not underestimating the opposition. Also Invicta were beset by injury problems, our Premier League goal keeper Dave Beeson having injured his leg and several other players also out through injury. We had to pull in, a not yet fit, injured Kriss White to keep goal. The game started well, but Peterborough scoring after only five minutes from a deflection was a setback. The game progressed at a good pace through the first half with good defending and attacking by Invicta, but we were unable to score despite having many counter attacks and shots on goal. There were also many shots made on our goal, but by some good goal keeping from Kriss White, did not allow Peterborough to score.

The second half started with everyone believing that the game could be salvaged. However due to many elements conspiring in concert there followed a curious and unprecedented half of team fouls and blue cards. The referees awarding four blue cards to Invicta and two blue cards to Peterborough, who were awarded six direct free hits, scoring all but one, with only three goals being scored from open play, with Invicta scoring two goals in the second half, again from direct free hits, although Invicta were awarded a third this remained unconverted. The number of team fouls were also unprecedented as we at Invicta strenuously attempt and train to play 'clean' hockey. However Peterborough made the most of their chances and despite Invicta having many shots on goal during open play they were unable to score. Again a most unusual game, but a very disappointing one. Final score: RHC Invicta 2–8 Peterborough

The Captain Peter Halvorsen said: "Myself and all of the players are bitterly disappointed with both the way we all played and the result. We must go back into training just to practice the basics to ensure that the next encounter with Peterborough, in the Cup game on 16 April, does not result in the same outcome. Also we all need to improve our fitness and game play."

Team fouls: RHC Invicta 16–10 Peterborough

Referees: Ron Barker and Steve Taylor

Team: Kriss White (GK), Charlie Pughe, Peter Halvorsen, Tom White (2), George Holmes, James Shepperd, Liam Holland, Lee Chestnutt, Alfie Shepperd, Eddie Mount (GK)


Southern Counties Under 13's (Played: Sunday 27 March)

After the Eastern Counties tournament on Saturday the under 13's were in action again on Sunday, this time for a Southern Counties tournament at the Pier. The first game against Herne Bay was fast paced and exciting with end to end play throughout. Plenty of chances for goal scoring were matched with some good goalkeeping and the score remained gaol-less until four minutes from the break when Herne Bay scored and they added another two minutes later. At the start of the second half Michael Gregory took the centre and slapshotted into the net. Bouyed by this Invicta upped the pace and gained more of the possession but despite numerous shots on goal they were unable to score. Final score Herne Bay 2-1 RHC Invicta .

Next they played Farnham and dominated from start to finish with play almost entirely in the Farnham half. Nathan Emslie opened the scoring with a shot from the edge of the box before Gregory scored a hat-trick and Josh Butcher added another. The second half continued with Invicta dominating although Farnham did get a couple of shots on goal. Jocie Greenwood scored at the beginning of the half with Connor Botting adding two at the end. Final score. Farnham 0-8 RHC Invicta

Invicta were the dominant team again in the next game against Herne Bay United. They were able to work lots of good passing moves and keep the ball in their opponents half for the majority of the game. Botting opened the scoring netting a pass from Gregory. Butcher added the second with a shot from outside the box and Gregory got the third just before the break. Invicta continued their good teamwork in the second half although HBU worked more chances. Invicta were awarded a penalty for elbowing in the box which Gregory scored, before adding another goal soon after. Final score Herne Bay United 0-5 RHC Invicta.

Their last game agaisnt East Grinstead was played at a good pace. Keeper Kai Appleby saved a penalty before Gregory scored two and Botting another before half time, both of the last two as a result of good team passing. Invicta were awarded two direct free hits in the second half but failed to score from either but Gregory and Botting each added another to the Invicta tally. Final score RHC Invicta 5-0 East Grinstead.

Invicta are currently second in the league with games in hand on the leaders.

Team: Kai Appleby (GK), Charlie Botting, Connor Botting (5), Josh Butcher (2), Nathan Emslie (1), Jocie Greenwood (1), Michael Gregory (10)


Eastern Counties Under 13's (Played: Saturday 26 March)

Having already secured the Under 13's Eastern Counties league title, RHC Invicta's trip to Burwell on Saturday was just a formality. Maybe this feeling of security was to blame for their performance in the first game against Kings Lynn as they were very shaky. Having previously drawn and won against their opponents Invicta struggled to find their form this time. The pace began quite fast but slowed as the half progressed. Kings Lynn took the lead although Invicta were quick to equalise through Michael Gregory. Kings Lynn drew ahead again 30 seconds from the break. The pace picked up again in the second half and, although there were shots on both goals only Kings Lynn were able to score again. Final score RHC Invicta 1-3 Kings Lynn.

The next game against Bury was much faster with a good number of chances for both sides. Lewis Greenwood's shot hit the post but he then scored soon after. Nathan Emslie doubled the lead 20 seconds from the end of the first half. Bury scored 20 seconds into the second half but Invicta had most of the possession and Charlie Botting, Emslie and Gregory added three more. Bury scored twice to narrow the lead again but Gregory made the game safe. Final score RHC Invicta 6-3 Bury.

Next they played Norwich in a game where Invicta dominated the match. Gregory opened the scoring when his shot went in off the post. Greenwood got two, Charlie Botting a hat-trick and Connor Botting one, all before half time while Norwich could only get two in reply. The second half continued the dominance with Josh Butcher adding two, and Alex Mount and Greenwood one apiece. Again Norwich added two to their tally. Final score RHC Invicta 11-4 Norwich.

The last game against Cottenham was played at a fast pace with Invicta having more of the possession and goal chances again. Two each for Mount, Connor Botting and Gregory secured a good half time lead with Cottenham scoring twice in reply. The second half was end to end with lots of chances for both sides. Emslie, Mount and Greenwood (2) all netted with Cottenham scoring five. Final score RHC Invicta 10-7 Cottenham.

Invicta finish the league 10 points clear of second place.

Team: Kai Appleby (GK), Charlie Botting (4), Connor Botting (3), Josh Butcher (2), Nathan Emslie (3), Lewis Greenwood (6), Michael Gregory (6), Alex Mount (4)


Eastern Counties Under 15's (Played: Saturday 19 March)

RHC Invicta's Under 15's team travelled to Soham on Saturday to play their fifth Eastern counties tournament. The first game against Cottenham was evenly matched and play went end-to-end throughout. Tight defending and good goalkeeping from both sides meant the score remained goal-less until 90 seconds from the break when Cottenham broke through Invicta's defences to take the lead. However, 30 seconds later Invicta equalised when Charlie Botting connected with a rebounded shot. Cottenham restored their lead soon after the restart but then failed to capitalise on a penalty chance. It wasn't until three minutes from the end when Invicta were awarded a direct free hit after Lewis Greenwood was blocked, which he netted. Final score RHC Invicta 2-2 Cottenham.

The next game against Bury was end-to-end again although Invicta had more of the chances. Invicta went ahead through Luke Latham halfway through the first half. They added another soon after the break from Alex Mount and he scored again four minutes later. Luke Latham quickly netted the fourth with Greenwood completing Invicta's tally two minutes from the end. Bury were unlucky not to score when their shot hit the post. Bury were then awarded a penalety which was saved by Eddie Mount but the following goal-mouth scramble resulted in the ball being knocked under the keeper. Final score Bury 1-5 RHC Invicta.

The third game against Peterborough saw Invicta with the majority of possession. Latham put Invicta ahead within 15 seconds and Josh Emslie doubled the lead when his shot pinged in off othe post. Connor Botting scored the third before George Kohler added another just before the break. Latham scored two more in the second half to give Invicta a comfortable 6-0 victory.

With Eddie Mount having to leave the tournament early it was down to Connor Botting to don the goalkeeper's pads for the first time for Invicta's final game against Letchworth. The first half was an even affair as every time Letchworth scored a goal Invicta equalised soon after. Two goals from Emslie and a hat-trick for Latham had Invicta 5-5 at half time. Invicta scored three more in the second half, one for Kohler and two from Greenwood but Letchworth scored a further six including a direct free hit. Final score Letchworth 11-8 RHC Invicta.

Team: Charlie Botting (1), Connor Botting (1), Josh Emlsie (3), Lewis Greenwood (2), George Kohler (1), Luke Latham (8), Alex Mount (2), Eddie Mount (GK)


Premier League: RHC Invcita 4 - 13 Bury (Played: Sunday 6 March)

On the Sunday morning we met Bury and although the Invicta players were in high spirits from the evening before, there were many tired legs, Invicta not being used to playing back to back games, but we were confident that we would be able to give Bury a good game. Within a minute of the start Bury were awarded a direct free hit which they converted. However creating a good counter attack, Tom White scored from a well weighted pass received from Charlie Pughe, although Bury came back with another goal of their own. Joe Fidock then equalised with a well taken direct free hit and then with six minutes left on the clock Invicta went into the lead with a goal from Arran Bowyer. There was then a period of poor passing and attacking from Invicta which allowed Bury to readily C/A and score a further four goals before the half time whistle. Half time score Invicta 3–7 Bury.

The second half was a continuation of the first, with Bury scoring within the first minute. Bury were then awarded a direct free hit which was saved by some fine goal keeping from Dave Beeson. Bury scored a further four goals mainly due to poor passing intercepted by Bury resulting in counter attacks. Tom White scored within the last two minutes of the half, Invicta's last goal of the game, with Bury responding 30 seconds later with a goal of their own. The final score: RHC Invicta 4–13 Bury.

The Captain, Peter Halvorsen, said he: "was very disappointed with both the way Invicta played and the result, we expected to give Bury a much harder game. I have to assume that it's our fitness that has let us down, not being used to playing P/L games back to back. There were some very tired legs out there, but it was the same for Bury. We need to improve our fitness so that we can compete."

Team Fouls: RHC Invicta 6-6 Bury

Referees: Ron Barker and Peter Flint

Team: Dave Beeson (GK), Charlie Pughe, Peter Halvorsen, Tom White (2), Joe King, Joe Fidock (1), James Shepperd, Liam Holland, Arran Bowyer (1), Joel Carnell (GK)


Premier League: RHC Invicta 0 - 3 Middlesbrough (Played: Saturday 5 March)

The first game of the weekend was against Middlesbrough, the current league leaders, on the Saturday evening. We knew that this was going to be a very hard game and would require all of our effort to ensure that we gave a good account of ourselves. The game started at a cracking pace, as you have to, against a very fast and fit team like Middlesboro’, both teams matching each other for possession. With only six minutes gone we were awarded a penalty which was taken by Arran Bowyer but was saved. However our goal keeper Dave Beeson was in top form, making numerous excellent saves, denying Middlesboro’ an early lead. However with just one minute remaining on the clock, in the first half, due to a mistake by our player in possession of the ball, losing it to the opposition, who made the most of the counter attack and scored. At the end of the first half Invicta were only one goal down, but remained in excellent spirits.

We commenced the second half of the game in the same manner, with our players having many shots on goal and our G/K making many fine saves, sustained for more than ten minutes, then a poorly placed pass was intercepted by the opposition which allowed them to counter attack and score. Invicta were not disheartened as they were having many shots on goal themselves and this was increasing in number, but they were unable to finish these attacks successfully. With eight minutes left on the clock the final goal of the game was scored by Middlesbrough, due to another, intercepted, misplaced pass. Final score: RHC Invicta 0-3 Middlesbrough.

Despite the score Invicta were very pleased with their performance. The Captain Peter Halvorsen said: "This was a fantastic game and a good display of what, and how we can play. I just hope that we can be more consistent in our game play. I am very proud of the team but disappointed that we were not able to score and this highlights our weakness. The players creating the C/A opportunities for the opposition know what they have to do to improve, but we will all take positives from this game."

Team fouls: RHC Invicta 5-4 Middlesbrough

Referees: Ron Barker and Steve Taylor

Team: Dave Beeson (GK), Charlie Pughe, Peter Halvorsen, Tom White, George Holmes, Emily Shepperd, James Shepperd, Liam Holland, Arran Bowyer, Joel Carnell (GK)


Eastern Counties Under 13's (Played: Saturday 26 February)

RHC Invicta's Under 13's team travelled to Cambridge on Saturday to compete in their fourth Eastern counties tournament. The first game against Cottenham began with the team not working as a unit and as a consequence their opponents were able to take advantage of one of their counter attacks and take the lead. However, as the game progressed Invicta began to gel and worked lots of passing moves to get the ball around the rink and create chances. Lewis Greenwood scored the equaliser before Alex Mount added two more by half time. He claimed another two soon after the restart before Cottenham were able to narrow the lead with two goals of their own. Invicta were then awarded a penalty, slotted home by Connor Botting. Michael Gregory added another soon after before Greenwood added two more. Some excellent work from stand-in keeper Nathan Emslie ensured Cottenham were unable to add to their total. Final score Cottenham 3-9 RHC Invicta.

Next they played Bury in a fast paced game where Invicta saw a lot of the possession. Invicta took the lead after 17 seconds when Greenwood flicked in Mount's shot and it was another six minutes before Bury could equalise. Gregory retook the lead only for Bury to equalise again six seconds later. Bury then had a player blue carded and Greenwood scored the resulting direct free hit. Mount added another before the break. Bury closed the gap immediately after the restart but Mount restored the lead from the penalty spot. Bury received another blue card but this time Invicta were unable to score the free hit. Mount claimed his hat-trick for the game immediately followed by a goal from Charlie Botting trickling in a rebounded shot. Bury scored once more before committing their tenth team foul, Greenwood netting the direct free hit. Final score RHC Invicta 8-4 Bury.

Their final game was against Kings Lynn and Invicta enjoyed the majority of first half possession leaving their keeper with little to do. Greenwood trickled in the the first goal and then got another in off the post. Mount added another two before half time although a penalty was missed. Kings Lynn had more chances in the second half but again it was Invicta who dominated the game. Kings Lynn scored a penalty and added another before Charlie Botting finished off Gregory's pass two minutes from time. Final score RHC Invicta 5-2 Kings Lynn.

RHC Invicta are now nine points clear at the top of the table and claim the league title with four matches still to play.

Team: Charlie Botting (2), Connor Botting (1), Josh Butcher, Nathan Emslie, Lewis Greenwood (8), Michael Gregory (2), Alex Mount (9)

drinksProbably not the most health conscious drinks rack but there wasn't time to finish the milkshakes before the match started!











Eastern Counties Under 15's (Played: Saturday 19 February)

RHC Invicta's Under 15's team travelled to Cambridge on Saturday to compete in their next Eastern counties tournament. Their first game against Bury began end to end with both sides putting some passing moves together to create good chances. Halfway through the first half Invicta were starting to pressurise their opponents and they were awarded a penalty for pushing in the box; Alex Mount cooly slotted home to take the lead. The game continued end to end and although Invicta had the majority of chances, keeper Eddie Mount had to perform well to deny Bury some excellent shots. Bury equalised early in the second half through a good team move. Two minutes later Mount restored Invicta's lead before Lewis Greenwood extended it further. A lapse in defense allowed Bury to score again. Then the game became frantic and scrappy for the final five minutes as Bury sought an equaliser and Invicta struggled to contain them; a number of team fouls were committed by both sides. Some good goal keeping was again required to retain the lead. Final score bury 2-3 RHC Invicta.

Next they played Letchworth who took an early two goal lead as Invicta struggled to find their rythym. Mount then scored for Invicta followed two minutes later by Luke Latham after pairing with Mount for a neat passing move up the rink. An energetic last five minutes resulted in two goals within five seconds for Mount and gave Invicta a good half time lead. Invicta then had the majority of second half possession and were beginning to work more as a team scoring twice more when Connor Botting latched onto a pass from Greenwood and then Greenwood finished a saved shot from Charlie Botting. Final score Letchworth 2-6 RHC Invicta.

The final game against Cottenham was fast paced with end to end play although there were few clear chances for either team. Both sides defended hard when necessary and the half ended goal-less. The second half was just as energetic. After three minutes Invicta were awarded a penalty, Mount neatly converting his second of the day. Cottenham then scored two quick goals which unsettled Invicta for a while. Two and a half minutes from the end Cottenham committed their tenth team foul and Greenwood scored the resulting direct free hit to equalise. The final two minutes saw frantic effort from both sides to score a winner. Cottenham had a player blue carded but Invicta were unable to capitalise on the power play. Final score Cottenham 2-2 RHC Invicta.

Team: Charlie Botting, Connor Botting (1), Josh Emslie, Lewis Greenwood (3), Michael Gregory, George Kohler, Luke Latham (1), Alex Mount (6), Eddie Mount


Kent League: East Grinstead 3 - 8 Keaveney (Played: Saturday 12 February)

RHC Invicta playerThe game started with Keaveney appearing a little nervous, but they soon got into their rhythm with some good passing, end to end hockey, with East Grinstead having several shots on goal but being denied by Keaveney goal keeper, Dave Beeson. Then Joe Fidock settled the team down by scoring an individual goal from his trade mark long range slapshot. However, not dispirited, East Grinstead came back three minutes later scoring from a counter attack with a well worked goal of their own. After a good period of play James Shepperd then put Keaveney ahead slotting the ball in the back of the net from a well weighted pass in front of goal. The see-sawing of play continued when East Grinstead scored their second goal of the half, but within a minute Arran Bowyer again put Keaveney ahead. There followed a solid period of defence and counter attack from both teams. Half time score Keaveney 3–2 East Grinstead.

The second half began at a good pace with Keaveney now having the bit between their teeth, but giving away a penalty, for committing a minor foul in the penalty box. This was well converted by East Grinstead. It took until mid-way into the half before Arran Bowyer placed the ball in the back of the net, which was followed by frantic end to end attacking and defending by both teams. Keaveney were now beginning to see East Grinstead tire and forcing them into making errors. Keaveney were awarded a direct free hit for 10 team fouls by East Grinstead, which was well taken by Arran Bowyer, slotting the ball cleanly in the back of the net. There followed three further goals, within a one and a half minute period, the first being scored from an individual move by Shane Moores, collecting a loose ball from behind the East Grinstead defenders, followed by a similar move by Sam Meranghi with the final goal of the game being scored by Joe Fidock. Final score: Keaveney 8-3 East Grinstead.

The Captain, James Shepperd said after the game he was very pleased for the players and believed that they all played well and enjoyed the game. He also wants to thank both goalkeepers for their performance in denying East Grinstead from converting many of their numerous shots on goal. He was also pleased that Shane Moores, back into the game after a fifteen year absence, and Sam Meranghi, back again after a six year absence, were both able to score.

Team Fouls: Keaveney 3-12 East Grinstead

Referees: Ron Barker, Rob Cathcart

Team: Dave Beeson (GK), Joe Fidock (2), Sam Meranghi (1), Myles Tichband, Ashley Barton, James Shepperd Cpt)(1), Arran Bowyer (3), Emily Shepperd, Shane Moores (1), Joel Carnell (GK)


Premier League: Herne Bay United 13 - 0 RHC Invicta (Played: Saturday 5 February)

All the players were looking forward to the game and wanted a good enjoyable clean game and to improve on our play for our first meeting with HBU at the beginning of the season. In our opinion we were not disappointed, however RHC Invicta were without some of our key players, through either injury or work committments, and they were meeting an HBU side at full strength. The first five minutes of the game RHC Invicta had to defend hard to prevent HBU's attacks and there followed periods of good passing and moving off the ball with both teams matching each other for possession. Then there followed two minutes when three individual slapshots from HBU entered the back of Invicta's goal. Then there followed some good counter attacks from Invicta but who, lacking goal scoring players, failed to convert the numerous shots on HBU's goal. Invicta continued to defend well having changed their defensive tactics but could not deny HBU a further four goals, entering half time Invicta 0- HBU 7.

After the half time talk the team were in good spirits and were defending strongly and it took HBU another ten minutes for them to score their first goal of the second half. Invicta then conceded ten team fouls resulting in a direct free hit, which was converted. It was another eight minutes before HBU could score again and this was during power play (three Invicta players v four HBU players) when an RHC Invicta players was sent off for a blue card offence with the resulting direct free hit, which was brilliantly saved by the goalkeeper Dave Beeson. But Inivcta were now down to three players and were defending hard but conceded one goal 20 seconds prior to the expiration of the power play period. With nearly three minutes left on the clock HBU took off their goalkeeper replacing him with an additional out player, Invicta then had to defend hard, but had several counter attacking opportunities and in one episode had three shots on goal at close quarters but were still unable to put the ball in the back of the net. It took HBU up to the last 11 seconds of the game to score their final goal.

The captain Peter Halvorsen said: "Despite the result, which was disappointing, RHC Invicta are improving game on game. This I believe is due to us gaining more experience through match practice and improving our fitness levels. We all enjoyed the game and are pleased with our improving levels of performance. We all realise that this season is all part of the learning curve and are looking forward to our next games when we meet Middlesbrough on 5 March and Bury on 6 March."

Being very mindful of the criticism leveled at RHC Invicta and their supporters, we would like to thank all of our supporters for their tremendous efforts in supporting us, which was good humoured and conducted in a sportsmanlike manner.

Final score: HBU 13-0 RHC Invicta
Team Fouls: HBU 7-11 RHc Invicta
Referees: Steve Taylor and John Milne

Team: Dave Beeson (GK), Tom White, Charlie Pughe, Peter Halvorsen (Cpt), Lee Chestnutt, Joe King, James Shepperd, Liam Holland, George Holmes, Kriss White (GK)

RHC Invicta Seniors 5 February 2011

Eastern Counties Under 13's (Played: Sunday 6 February)

RHC Invicta's under 13's team had another successful tournament when they travelled to Sudbury on Sunday to play in the Eastern Counties league. Their first game was against Kings Lynn and the team took control of the first half opening up a good half time lead through two goals from Alex Mount, and one apiece for Lewis Greenwood and Connor Botting. Kings Lynn began to work more chances as the half progressed but were unable to score. The second half was more end to end with both teams needing to work well in defence. It remained goal-less until Kings Lynn scored a consolation goal right at the end. Final score RHC Invicta 4-1 Kings Lynn.

Next they played Norwich and Invicta had an easy first half opening up an six goal lead through two each for Mount and Greenwood, and one each for Michael Gregory and Nathan Emslie. Norwich scored two quick goals at the end of the half but there was still time for Josh Butcher to add to Invicta's total right on the buzzer. Norwich pressed more during the second half and were rewarded with their third goal right at the start. Invicta pulled ahead again through Emslie and Botting's direct free hit before some good work from Norwich earned them two quick goals. Gregory scored again for Invicta and Norwich netted once more but were unable to catch up with Invicta's lead. Final score Norwich 6-10 RHC Invicta.

The last game was against Bury and this was played end to end with Invicta getting the best of the scoring chances. Goals from Botting and Gregory's penalty gave them a two goal lead at half time. During the second half Invicta pressed their opponents continuously creating lots of scoring opportunities and were rewarded with a flurry of goals; one from Gregory, two for Mount, one each for Charlie Botting and Butcher, before Greenwood sealed the result with a one handed scooping shot. Bury were unable to score in reply. Final score Bury 0-8 RHC Invicta.

RHC Invicta now have a commanding lead in the league with two tournaments left to play.

Team: Kai Appleby, Charlie Botting (1), Connor Botting (3), Josh Butcher (2), Nathan Emslie (2), Lewis Greenwood (4), Michael Gregory (4), Alex Mount (6)


National Cup Qualifers

RHC Invicta travelled to Soham on Sunday to compete in the National Cup qualifiers with teams in three of the age groups. First up were the under 15's who faced Bury in a game played end to end throughout. Invicta took the lead after four minutes when Lewis Greenwood slotted home a pass from Alex Mount. Invicta edged ahead with the possession but were denied on a number of occasions by the Bury 'keeper. They extended the lead two minutes before the break, when Greenwood flicked the ball in from close range. The second half maintained the momentum of the first but Invicta had to defend well as Bury mounted a number of good counter attacks, one of which resulted in a goal to narrow Invicta's lead. However, Invicta claimed the match when Ashley Barton netted his slapshot from the edge of the box. Final score RHC Invicta 3-1 Bury. Invicta now play Ely in the final.

Team fouls: RHC Invicta 5-4 Bury
Referees: Peter Flint and Brian Barrow

Team: Kai Appleby (GK), Ashley Barton (1), Charlie Botting, Josh Emslie, Lewis Greenwood (2), Michael Gregory, George Kohler, Luke Latham, Alex Mount, Eddie Mount (GK + Cpt)

Next the Under 13's played Spen Valley Flyers. Invicta dominated the game, opening the scoring when Mount netted just seven seconds after the opening whistle and Greenwood added another two minutes later. The team were getting numerous crosses into the box but were having trouble finishing although both Mount and Greenwood added another before the break. Again Invicta were in dominance during the second half although Spen Valley did work more chances and scored once through Invicta's lack of defence. However, Mount completed his hat-trick and Michael Gregory slotted home Mount's pass to complete a 6-1 victory. They will play Herne Bay United in the final.

Team fouls: RHC Invicta 5-1 Spen Valley Flyers
John Norton and Carl Gay

Team: Kai Appleby (GK), Connor Botting, Josh Butcher, Nathan Emslie, Lewis Greenwood (Cpt) (2), Michael Gregory (1), Alex Mount (3)

Finally the Under 17's had their match against Peterborough. This was an enthralling game to watch as both sides matched each other for possession and chances. Peterborough took the lead after four minutes and maintained this through a tight defence and some excellent keeping which denied Invicta on all of their attacks. Peterborough extended their lead just before the break. Invicta pressed more during the second half and pulled back a goal when Barton netted a pass from Alfie Sheppard. They became the stronger team as they pushed for the equaliser which would send the game into extra time but depite a huge effort and some good hockey from the team it wasn't to be. Final score RHC Invicta 1-2 Peterborough.

Team fouls: RHC Invicta 4-4 Peterborough
Referees: Steve Taylor and J Boyes

Team: Ashley Barton (1), Josh Emslie, Lewis Greenwood, George Holmes, Luke Latham, Becca Lawrence (Cpt), Alex Mount, Eddie Mount (GK), Alfie Sheppard


Premier League: Bury 9 - 2 RHC Invicta (Played: Saturday 22 January)

The Invicta Senior team travelled to Soham to meet Bury on Saturday evening. The game commenced at an excellent pace by both teams, with good movement on and off the ball by Invicta and within three minutes Liam Holland lost his marker and took a long range slapshot on goal which deflected off the keeper's leg pad and landed in the back of the net. We then pressed the opposition hard, and within another two minutes another individual slapshot from Liam Holland ended with the ball in the back of the Bury net. The team knew that Bury would have to go all out to rectify the damage; if they wanted to stay in the game Invicta would now have to defend hard, which they did. This became physically draining, with Invicta's keeper, Dave Beeson, giving an outstanding performance, denying Bury numerous attacks on goal. This was successful for a further fifteen minutes until Bury counter attacked, collecting the ball from a misplaced pass by Invicta, when they scored their first goal of the game with a second goal following a couple of minutes later. The teams were now even with the game being played end to end, both teams attempting to take the lead. However Bury scored a further two goals without reply, putting the teams at a half time score of Invicta 2–4 Bury.

The second half began the same as the first, but our lack of fitness and match practice began to show yet again, when Bury slotted their first goal of the half within a couple of minutes of the restart. Invicta, with good defending and counter attacking, kept Bury at bay for a further eleven minutes, but then within a four minute period of poor defending by Invicta Bury scored four further goals, with no reply. However the pace of the game was maintained at a very high rate and this was taking it's toll on the Invicta players' fitness but they didn't give up fighting until the final whistle. Final score - Invicta 2–9 Bury.

The team captain Peter Halvorsen said: "This was a much better performance from the players, but we still have a long way to go in ensuring that we maintain possession of the ball for longer periods and we all need to improve our fitness. I am pleased for the lads, the score line does not really reflect the game, we played far better tonight then we have played for a long time. It was a fast paced game but very 'clean' and with very few team fouls, which made it an enjoyable game to play in. All credit to the Bury team on their win."

Team Fouls: Invicta 2-6 Bury

Referees: Peter Flint and Bruno Sousa

Team: Dave Beeson (GK), Tom White, Charlie Pughe, Peter Halvorsen (Cpt), George Holmes, Liam Holland (2), Lee Chestnutt, Joe King, James Shepperd, Kriss White (GK)


Southern Counties Under 13's (Played: Sunday 23 January)

RHC Invicta's under 13's team travelled to Farnham on Sunday to compete in their second Southern Counties tournament. The first match was against Plymouth and the game started with an early shot on goal by their opponents. However, the defelected ball was collected and taken up the rink by Connor Botting to open the scoring for Invicta. The game progressed with Invicta having the majority of possession and with plenty of crosses into the box. Unfortunately, they were denied by some good work from the Plymouth 'keeper. Plymouth had their own chances and equalised before the break. The second half was a little more disjointed from Invicta but they still continued their good passing and Sian Emslie scored the winner from a perfect pass from Michael Gregory. Final score Plymouth 1-2 RHC Invicta.

Next they faced East Grinstead in a match where Invicta dominated the first half. The team scored three excelent team goals; two from Josh Butcher netting home passes from Nathan Emslie and Botting, before Botting finished a pass from Gregory. The second half was more end to end with plenty of chances for both sides. The game became more physical but neither side managed to break through their opponenet's defences. Fianl score East Grinstead 0-3 RHC Invicta.

The final game against Farnham again saw Invicta in command of the play. Sian Emslie opened the scoring after being supplied by a pass from brother Nathan. Botting then added a second connecting with a pass from behind the goal from his sister Charlie. The second half continued in the same vein with Invicta pressing continuously and adding to their goal tally. Gregory began with a hat-trick which was then added to by one apiece from Harry Slack and Nathan Emslie. Secure keeping from Kai Appleby ensured another clean sheet. Final score Farnham 0-7 RHC Invicta.

These results move RHC Invicta to within one point of league leaders Herne Bay.

Team: Kai Appleby, Charlie Botting, Connor Botting (3), Josh Butcher (2), Nathan Emslie (1), Sian Emslie (2), Michael Gregory (3), Harry Slack (1)


Kent League: Herons 0 - 5 Apex (Played: Sunday 15 January)

Invicta's Herons team played only their second game of the Kent League on Saturday evening against HBU's Apex. The game was, from a spectator's point of view, an exciting game to watch. There were periods of good passing hockey with good movement both on and off the ball. Herons were awarded, very early on, a direct free hit for a blue card foul, but were unable to convert this. Both teams kept the goal keepers busy and the Herons defence held firm for approximately fifteen minutes when Apex scored their first goal, with their second goal coming just three minutes later with no response from Herons. Half time score Herons 0–2 Apex.

The second half began well but Herons conceded two goals within the first five minutes. Although they were counter attacking regularly, they could not convert the numerous shots that they had on goal. With just eight minutes left Apex scored their final goal of the game. However, during this time frustration and niggles began to show and within the last few minutes of the game, an Apex player, unseen by the Referee, ‘slashed’ his stick across the forearm of a Herons player, requiring him to seek medical attention. This was unnecessary and uncalled for and soured, what was up until that time an enjoyable game. Captain Peter Halvorsen stated that he was most upset with the off the ball injury sustained by the Herons player. He was also disappointed with the score line, but considered Apex's goalkeeper's performance outstanding. Final Score Herons 0–5 Apex

Team Fouls: Herons 10 Apex 5

Team: Kriss White (GK), Peter Halvorsen (Cpt), Charlie Pughe, Becca Lawrence, George Holmes, Tom White, Liam Holland, Sam Fidock


Premier League: RHC Invicta 1 - 2 Letchworth (Played: Sunday 9 January)

The team were smarting somewhat from the previous evening's performance but were determined to give a better performance in this game. The first half was played at a far better pace and with more constructive hockey than the previous night's performance. Invicta, apart from a few counter attacks by Letchworth, which were prevented by good defending, were attacking for most of the half and kept the Letchworth goalkeeper busy, but we could not score or didn't appear to have sufficient fire power in attack, therefore could not net any of our opportunities and went into half time at a draw - RHC Invicta 0-0 Letchworth.

The second half started well with the team in a much improved frame of mind. There again followed a period of good fast paced hockey by both teams with our goal keeper denying Letchworth any chance of scoring. Then with fourteen minutes left on the clock Invicta were awarded a direct free hit, which the Captain Joe Fidock took and firmly placed the ball in the back of the net. We then felt that we could improve our score and were then defending and attacking in equal measures until, due to the open play, an undefended counter attack by Letchworth resulted in a goal. We were then pushing hard for the winning goal and trying to keep team fouls to a minimum, but we reached ten and Letchworth were awarded a direct free hit which they promptly converted. The remainder of the game was played franticly with end to end hockey both teams not wanting to concede, Invicta attempting to score and Letchworth attempting to hold on to the their one goal lead. The final score RHC Invicta 1-2 Letchworth.

The Captain Joe Fidock said after the game: "This was a far better performance by the team than last nights, and the players lifted themselves up to play much better hockey today, although we are disappointed with the result we are more satisfied by the way we performed and look forward to the away leg."

Team Fouls: RHC Invicta 12 – Letchworth 7

Referees: John Milne and Peter Flint

Team: Dave Beeson (GK), Joe Fidock (1) (Cpt), Charlie Pughe, Peter Halvorsen, (VCpt), Alfie Shepperd, George Holmes, Lee Chestnutt, James Shepperd, Tom White, Kriss White (GK)


Premier League: RHC Invicta 2 - 14 Manchester (Played: Saturday 8 January)

The team appeared composed and confident although we knew that we would have a tough game, knowing the Manchester team to be strong, being in the top four and now being reinforced by their two new foreign signings. We started the game confidently but within two minutes Manchester had scored the opening goal, directly due to a mistake by Invicta’s defence. However at this stage the team were not downhearted and scored their first goal three minutes later with a well placed strike on goal by Tom White from a perfectly weighted pass from Joe Fidock. However, Manchester then began to dominate and scored three more goals at regular intervals with no response from Invicta, although they were working hard in defence. At this point the Invicta players were always playing catch-up and with their spirits slightly down allowed Manchester to score four more goals without reply. Half time score RHC Invicta 1 - 8 Manchester.

After the half time talk the second half began a little better with more enthusiasm by the players, but Manchester scored their next goal within four minutes of the restart. Invicta were then awarded a Penalty which was converted but then inexplicably disallowed by the Referee; this had to be re-taken but was saved. Manchester then went on and scored a further five goals, but Invicta managed to claw back a second goal when they counter attacked with Peter Halvorsen slotting the ball into the back of the net, from a perfectly placed ball, from a one/two exchange of passes from Charlie Pughe. The game then was played end to end in a frantic bid for Invicta to close the gap. Although Invicta were unable to score any further goals they also denied Manchester any further goal scoring opportunities during the last seven minutes of the game. However this left Invicta defeated. Final score RHC Invicta 2 - 14 Manchester.

The Captain Joe Fidock said after the game: "I'm bitterly disappointed for the lads and our supporters, not necessarily with the score line, but with the performance of the team. The players are all choked, because we know that we can do better than this. When we met Manchester on the away leg we only lost 5-10, but beat them in the second half of that game, and to add insult to injury we beat them the last time we entertained them at the Pier. We know that we have a very hard road to travel this season but hope for a better performance from the team on Sunday."

Team Fouls: Invicta 18 – Manchester 18

Referees: John Milne and Steve Taylor

Team: Dave Beeson (GK), Joe Fidock (1) (Cpt), Charlie Pughe, Peter Halvorsen (1) (VCpt), Alfie Shepperd, Liam Holland, Lee Chestnutt, James Shepperd, Tom White, Kriss White (GK)


Eastern Counties Under 13's (Played: Sunday 9 January)

It was three wins out of three for RHC Invicta's under 13's team on Sunday when they travelled to Norwich to compete in their second Eastern Counties tournament. The first game against the hosts got off to a good start when Alex Mount slotted home two goals in the first two minutes and he completed his hat-trick following some good passing from the whole team. Michael Gregory got Invicta's fourth 40 seconds laters to give the visitors a commanding 4-0 lead at the break. Although both teams had chances in the second half only Norwich scored a goal but they could have had a couple more if their shots hadn't hit the post. Final score Norwich 1-4 RHC Invicta.

Next Invicta played Bury and spent most of the first half pressuring their opponent's goal. Lewis Greenwood opened the scoring for Invicta within 30 seconds of the start and Mount and Connor Botting added their own before the break. Some great goalkeeping from Kai Appleby denied Bury's best chance of a goal when two of their players broke free of the defence and had a clear shot on goal. The second half saw Bury having a few more chances at goal, scoring one, but Invicta continued to have the upper hand and continued good passing moves ensured the goals kept coming. Two more for Greenwood, two for Gregory and one for Josh Butcher ensured a runaway victory. Final score RHC Invicta 8-1 Bury.

The final game against Cottenham proved harder with both teams working well against the other. Invicta opened the scoring through a Mount hat-trick before Cottenham pulled one back. Greenwood restored Invicta's three goal lead before Cottenham scored again with 30 seconds remaining in the half. An own goal moved Cottenham closer to Invicta again but Gregory, Mount and Greenwood were all on target to stretch the lead again. Although Appleby saved a direct free hit, Cottenham pulled two goals back in the last 90 seconds but it was not enough to defeat Invicta in this exciting game. Final score Cottenham 5-7 RHC Invicta.

These results put RHC Invicta three points clear at the top of the table.

Team: Kai Appleby, Charlie Botting, Connor Botting (1), Josh Butcher (1), Nathan Emslie, Michael Gregory (4), Lewis Greenwood (5), Alex Mount (8)


Southern Counties Under 13's (Played: Sunday 28 November)

RHC Invicta's under 13's played their first Southern Counties tournament at the Pier on Sunday. Their first match was against East Grinstead and they started well with the majority of possession. Invicta took the lead when Connor Botting slotted home a pass from Nathan Emslie. East Grinstead were allowed a few shots on goal but some good keeping from Kai Appleby ensured they were denied. However, East Grinstead were quick to equalise after the break netting just 30 seconds into the half, but Invicta were back in the lead when Sian Emslie scored. East Grinstead pulled back again after they got a penalty but Invicta took the points with Botting netting after a solo run up the rink and then completing his hat-trick after connecting with a pass from his sister, Charlie. Final score RHC Invicta 4-2 East Grinstead.

The next game was against Herne Bay United and this was an exciting end to end match. HBU had the best of the early chances but as the half progressed Invicta began to get lots of good passes into the box but were just unable to finish. Two minutes before the break Connor Botting was brought down in the box and then scored the resulting penalty. The second half was goal-less although there were lots of chances for both teams. Final score Herne Bay United 0-1 RHC Invicta.

Finally they faced Herne Bay in the most thrilling match of the day. Both teams were evenly matched and were creating lots of chances at either end. Herne Bay were unlucky not to take the lead in the first half when their shot crossed the line but the referee was unsighted and not able to give the goal. It seemed that the match would remain goal-less as despite enormous effort from both teams none were able to break the others' defence. However, right at the end a lapse in Invicta's concentration allowed Herne Bay to break and score right as the buzzer sounded. Final score Herne Bay 1-0 RHC Invicta.

Team:
Kai Appleby, Charlie Botting, Connor Botting (4), Josh Butcher, Nathan Emslie, Sian Emslie (1), Noah Latham, Harry Slack


Eastern Counties Under 15's (Played: Saturday 27 November)

RHC Invicta's under 15's team travelled to a snowy Soham on Saturday for their third Eastern Counties tournament. The team were missing three players due to illness and injury and the club's rookie under 13's keeper had to be drafted in to enable the team to play.

The first match against Letchworth started cautiously with both teams matching the other for chances on goal. As the first half progressed Invicta began to press more but the closest chance was Luke Latham's shot which hit the crossbar. The team upped the tempo at the start of the second half and Ashley Barton boosted their confidence when he scored in the top corner of the goal with just 15 seconds gone. He got a second three minutes later before Letchworth pulled one back. Invicta sealed the match with a Lewis Greenwood goal, shot from outside the box. Final score RHC Invicta 3-1 Letchworth.

Next they played Cottenham and this game was much faster paced and very defensive. The team produced a number of good breaks but were unable to finish. Although the team's defence had been strong an error allowed Cottenham through to take the lead. Barton equalised two minutes later when his pass trickled in between the keeper's foot and the post. Some excellent keeping from Kai Appleby ensured no more goals were scored in the first half and although Cottenham were awarded a penalty their shot went high. The second half continued the team's good defensive work and they also put together some good passing moves. Latham retook the lead for Invicta when he netted from the corner of the box only for Cottenham to equalise a few minutes later. However, with 90 seconds remaining Barton received the ball and dribbled through a number of defenders to score the winning goal. Final score Cottenham 2-3 RHC Invicta.

The third game against Bury was an exciting end to end game with plenty of chances for both teams. Invicta took the lead when Josh Emslie slotted in a pass from Barton who then scored one of his own. Invicta scored a third through Connor Botting. Bury then got two before half time although they were denied their penalty by an excellent save by Appleby. The second half was played with the same enthusiasm. Bury scored two goals through defensive lapses to take the lead but Invicta scored three in the last three minutes, two from Barton and one from Latham, to take the points. Final score RHC Invicta 6-4 Bury.

The last game against Kings Lynn started at a slower pace than the other matches but was just as keenly faught. Invicta opened the scoring through Barton before Kings Lynn scored two penalties. Barton equalised only for Kings Lynn to pull ahead again before Latham levelled the scores to set up an exciting second half. This began at a faster pace which increased further as the game progressed. The team had to defend much harder but were still able to create chances on the break. However, despite good play from the whole team, Kings Lynn scored four unanswered goals to win the match. Final score Kings Lynn 7-3 RHC Invicta.

Team:
Kai Appleby, Ashley Barton (9), Charlie Botting, Connor Botting (1), Josh Emslie (1), Lewis Greenwood (1), George Kohler, Luke Latham (3)


National Cup Draws

RHC Invicta have teams in five of the National Cup competitions this season. The qualifying rounds will be held on the weekend of 29 and 30 January with the under 13's playing Spen Valley Flyers, Under 15's facing Bury and the Under 17's against Peterborough. The Under 20's team have received a bye straight to the finals which take place on 23 July. The senior team play Peterborough in the first round with a provisional date for this game being 19 March.


Premier League: Grimsby 10 - 3 RHC Invicta (Played: Saturday 6 November)

RHC Invicta travelled the five houhrs to Grimsby, early on Saturday morning, to play in this Premier League fixture. The game commenced at a good pace with plenty of movement, both on and off the ball, resulting in some good periods of possession. The deadlock was then broken when Invicta were awarded a penalty, after just four minutes of the game, which was taken, and well converted, by Arran Bowyer, the ball hitting the back of the net without a movement from the goalkeeper. The team then played a good period of physical competitive hockey, matching their opponents in both pace and passing, with both teams having many shots on target, until Grimsby levelled the score, but taking a further ten minutes of the game to do so, due mostly to effective defending and good goal keeping, by Invicta. There followed an uneasy period of unstructured play by Invicta, and Grimsby capitalised, scoring a further three goals without reply, one being scored with one second left on the clock for the first half. Half time score, Grimsby 4-1 Invicta.

The second half commenced at an excellent pace with Tom White scoring within a minute of the restart, netting an excellent pass, delivered by Joe Fidock. We were then awarded two direct free hits but both remained unconverted. Grimsby also failed to convert one direct free hit, being well saved by Invicta's Goal keeper, Kristoff White, but Grimsby then managed to convert another. Grimsby then found the energy to up their pace by a gear, or even two, and scored another goal. Invicta replied, within a few minutes, with Charlie Pughe's shot on target, deflected into the top corner of the net, off the body of a Grimsby player, a sore back was in evidence. The Invicta players then began to suffer, as they have done during most of their games of this early part of this season, with their lack of fitness. The players were suffering and defending frantically with the goal keeper's work rate having to increase to compensate. Grimsby scored two goals within a two minute period but Invicta were dogged in defence and Grimsby had to wait to score their final goals within the last minutes of the second half, assisted by an own gaol, deflected off an Invicta player's stick. Final score, Grimsby 10–3 Invicta.

The Captain Joe Fidock stated: "that he was disappointed with the result as he felt that the score line didn't reflect the team's work rate, although he agreed that fitness, or lack of it, is a problem. Also we need to ensure that we take our chances more and convert any, or all, of the direct free hits and penalties we are awarded. We are, as a Club, learning and although it is a very tough, hard learning curve, we are gradually improving."

Team Fouls: Grimsby 9 - 12 RHC Invicta

Referees: Stewart Henderson and Dave Fothergill

Team:
Kriss White (GK), Joe Fidock (Cpt), Charlie Pughe (1), George Holmes, Tom White (1), Arran Bowyer (1), Peter Halvorsen (VCpt), Lee Chestnutt, Eddie Mount (GK)


Fireworks Party

RHC Invicta playerA large number of RHC Invicta's members, friends and family attended the club's first fireworks party. With the rain holding off until late in the evening everyone was able to enjoy the huge bonfire and a firework display, as well as tucking in to a selection of homemade soups, jacket potatoes, sausages, toffee apples and cakes. An excellent evening enjoyed by all.








ECRHA Under 15's (Played: Saturday 30 November)

RHC Invicta's Under 15s played their second Eastern Counties tournament at Peterborough on Saturday. Their first game against Bury was played at a good pace and initially the teams were evenly matched, sharing a good number of scoring opportunities. However, during the second part of the half Bury began to pressure more and were rewarded with a goal with three and a half minutes to go. Invicta responded two minutes later with Alex Mount's equaliser and took the lead just before half time when Mount scored from the penalty spot. The second half began at a faster pace and Mount completed his hat-trick with just six seconds gone. Again there were plenty of chances for both teams with Invicta extending their lead when Michael Gregory finished a pass from Mount and then Luke Latham found the top corner. Some excellent goal keeping from Eddie Mount ensured Bury were unable to add to their total. Final score Bury 1-5 RHC Invicta.

The next game against Cottenham began with fast-paced end-to-end action, both keepers having to make good saves. However, the teams remained equal until an action-packed 18 seconds which saw four goals scored, firstly two for Cottenham before Mount scored two to equalise. Just over a minute later Invicta took the lead through Gregory but had to accept a draw at the break when Cottenham scored three seconds before the whsitle. The second half saw both teams putting everything into the game, Invicta stringing passes together to make chances as well as having to defend strongly. Cottenham took the lead again halfway through before Mount completed his second hat-trick to equalise again and then clamined the points for Invicta when he slotted home Latham's pass. Final score Cottenham 4-5 RHC Invicta.

The final game against Peterborough began comfortably for Invicta as Latham scored twice within the first minute. They enjoyed the majority of possession with the some good passing manouvres resulting in two more goals, one apiece for Gregory and Connor Botting, while Eddie Mount saved a penalty for Invicta to lead 4-0 at half time. Peterborough pressured constantly during the second half forcing Invicta to defend for long periods of time. Invicta were also able to get shots on goal but despite both teams' efforts neither were able to score and the match finished Peterborough 0-4 RHC Invicta.

Team: Charlie Botting, Connor Botting (1), Josh Emslie, Michael Gregory (3), George Kohler, Luke Latham (3), Alex Mount (7), Eddie Mount


SECRHA Under 10's and Under 16's (Played: Sunday 24 October)

RHC Invicta's Southern Counties campaign began on Sunday with tournaments in the Under 10's and Under 16's leagues. The under 10's took on Herne Bay in the first competitive match for the majority of the team. Although Herne Bay took the lead in the second minute Invicta were not disheartened and displayed some excellent passing as they put together a few chances on goal. Herne Bay extended their lead but Sian Emslie netted to keep the scores tight at half time. The second half began with another early goal from Herne Bay quickly replied to by Emslie. Again Herne Bay extended their lead only to see it brought back to one goal as Emslie completed her hat-trick. However, Invicta's inexperience began to show as Herne Bay took hold of the game towards the end scoring two unanswered goals. Final score RHC Invicta 3 - 6 Herne Bay.

RHC Invicta Under 10's 24 October 2010

RHC Invicta's second match was against Herne Bay United. The two teams' play was evenly matched and both had chances to score but it wasn't until near the end of the first half that Emslie put Invicta into the lead. United equalised before the break setting up an exciting second half. United then had more of the chances forcing Invicta to defend for long periods and took the lead with six minutes left to play. However, Merlin Farrel equalised with two minutes to go and although both teams battled to score a winner the game finished even. Final score RHC Invicta 2 - 2 Herne Bay United

Under 10's team: Kai Appleby, Saffy Elysee, Seb Elysee, Sian Emslie, Merlin Farrel, Marcus Graham, Freddie Hillier, Noah Latham, Harry Slack

RHC Invicta's Under 16's played Herne Bay. Alex Mount scored for Invicta with less than a minute gone and the pace never let up throughout the match. There were lots of chances for both sides with the 'keepers needing to make some good saves. Herne Bay equalised with five minutes left but Mount replied before the break to keep Invicta in the lead. Herne Bay equalised soon after the restart but Luke Latham was quick to restore Invicta's advantage. The play stayed fast paced with some good passing moves from Invicta enabling them to extend their lead through Mount's hat-trick. Herne Bay quickly reduced the lead but Mount scored again with a minute to go to give Invicta a clear lead. Final score RHC Invicta 5-3 Herne Bay (team fouls RHC Invicta 4-7 Herne Bay)

RHC Invicta Under 16's 24 October 2010

Under 16's team: Kai Appleby, Connor Botting, Josh Emslie, Michael Gregory, Luke Latham, George Kohler, Alex Mount, Eddie Mount


Movember

Charlie Pughe, Lee Chestnutt and Peter Halvorsen have signed up for Movember. Movember challenges men to change their appearance and the face of men's health by growing a moustache. The rules are simple, start November 1 clean shaven and then grow a moustache for the entire month. The moustache becomes the ribbon for men's health, the means by which awareness and funds are raised for cancers that affect men. Much like the commitment to run or walk for charity, the men of Movember commit to growing a moustache for 30 days. The funds raised through Movember's UK campaign benefit the The Prostate Cancer Charity (TPCC), the UK's leading prostate cancer charity

Growing a moustache for Movember

If you would like to sponsor them or join the team please speak to Charlie or visit his Movember page.


Premier League: Manchester 10 - 5 RHC Invicta (Played: Sunday 10 October)

We travelled the two and a half hours from Middlesbrough to Manchester on the morning of Sunday 10th to play our second Premier League game of the weekend. Although the game against Middlesbrough had been both a physically and mentally tough and draining affair the team were in good spirits. We began the game against Manchester well, with the first goal going to Invicta, after just two minutes, with a well placed shot, scored by Charlie Pughe. However Manchester came back within a minute to score the equaliser. There was then a good period of play, with both movement and a display of good ball control before we conceded the second goal. The team play and movement was much improved, with the team adopting a different approach on how they would play, but we allowed Manchester too much room and most of the Manchester goals came from rebounds, which the Invicta goal keepers and the out players alike, were not been able to defend correctly. Half time score: Manchester 8-1 RHC Invicta. Team Fouls: Manchester 8-5 RHC Invicta.

After the half time team talk we fielded a rejuvenated team, tactics were altered and we proceeded to defend well and to score goals. The first goal of the second half coming from Tom White, converting a good pass from Lee Chestnutt, followed by a goal from Lee Chestnutt, assisted by an excellent pass from Tom White. However Manchester came back and responded with a quick goal, but then due to good team play, Liam Holland then scored two further individual goals, with only one in reply from Manchester. We were uplifted, knowing that RHC Invicta had won the second half, 4 goals to 2. Final score: Manchester 10 – 5 RHC Invicta.

The Captain, Charlie Pughe said that he "was very pleased with the whole team, although we could have allowed the first half to depress us all, we came back in the second half with vigour and won the half 4-2. This is very encouraging for the future. After our previous two games we now feel that we are now growing in stature and confidence with each other's play. We are now very much looking forward to our next outing."

Team Fouls: RHC Invicta 14 – 11 Manchester

Referees: Chris Freeman and Stewart Henderson

Team: Dave Beeson (GK), Peter Halvorsen (VCpt), Charlie Pughe (Cpt) (1), Danny Butcher, George Holmes, Liam Holland (2), Lee Chestnutt (1), Tom White (1), Kriss White (GK)


Premier League: Middlesbrough 17 - 4 RHC Invicta (Played: Saturday 9 October)

We travelled to Middlesbrough for our second Premier League match of our first season to compete against the NRHA's National Cup Champions of last season. As in our last game, we began somewhat shakily conceding six goals within the first eight minutes. We then began to bring our game together when we displayed some periods of good defence, winning a penalty in the 19th minute, which was well taken and converted by Danny Butcher, followed three minutes later by a direct free hit, again well taken and converted by Butcher. Half time score: Middlesbrough 10–2 RHC Invicta. Team Fouls: Middlesbrough 7-9 RHC Invicta.

The second half saw the team settling, defending well and counter-attacking effectively, but not being able to convert our goal scoring opportunities, which were several. We were then awarded a penalty after five minutes, which was taken by Tom White, who despite failing to get it past the keeper at the first attempt, kept his composure and converted it on the rebound. We were then awarded a further penalty, which was again well taken and converted by Danny Butcher, his hat-trick. We then changed tactics, which kept Middlesbrough at bay for a short period of time; however Middlesbrough were awarded two consecutive penalties which were both converted. By this time tiredness and the team's inexperience began to show through allowing Middlesbrough to score three more goals before the final whistle.

The final score Middlesbrough 17-4 RHC Invicta.

The Captain, Charlie Pughe commented: "I am very disappointed with the result, as are the team. However we can take positives from the fact that Middlesbrough are the National Cup Champions, and they will be a very tough team for any of their opposition to beat this season. We know what aspects of our game we must improve on if we are going to compete and this will be taken in to our training. Well done to all of our players for keeping their heads high and for battling on, and to both goal scorers, Tom and indeed Danny for his hat-trick."

Team Fouls: Middlesbrough 23–17 RHC Invicta

Referees: Chris Freeman and Bruno Sousa

Team: Dave Beeson (GK), Peter Halvorsen (VCpt), Charlie Pughe (Cpt), Danny Butcher (3), George Holmes, Liam Holland, Lee Chestnutt, Tom White (1), Kriss White (GK)


Eastern Counties Under 13's (Played: Saturday 9 October)

RHC Invicta had their first Under 13's Eastern Counties tournament this weekend. The first game against Cottingham started slow but there was some good defending by Cottingham. Kai Appleby made his debut as Invicta's goal keeper and made some great saves throughout the game. Nathan Emslie scored his first goal in Eastern Counties followed by Michael Gregory scoring and then Lewis Greenwood from the half way line. Alex Mount's penalty was saved but in the second half Mount scored from the half way line and Greenwood got a hat-trick Gregory scored the last goal making it 9-1 to RHC Invicta.

The second game was against Norwich and the goals were thick and fast. In the first half Greenwood scored from the halfway line and Mount got a hat trick. Gregory and Emslie also scored. Greenwood was injured towards the end of the first half and Invicta carried on with three players, Mount scoring six goals and was on fire with Gregory and Emslie scoring again making the final score 18-0.

The final game against Kings Lynn was very even to start; RHC Invicta had several shots at the goal that hit the post or were saved by the goal keeper. Kings Lynn defended well making the final score a draw 3-3. Overall a good performance by RHC Invicta for their first match as a new team.

Team: Kai Appleby, Nathan Emslie, Lewis Greenwood, Michael Gregory, Alex Mount


Eastern Counties Under 15's (Played: Saturday 2 October)

Faversham based RHC Invicta's under 15's team played their opening tournament of the Eastern Counties league at Kings Lynn on Saturday. The opening match was a tough game against the hosts played at a fast pace. Invicta opened the scoring with a shot from Alex Mount taken from near the half way line and then defended well for the rest of the game to prevent their opponents finding anything in reply. There were plenty of chances for both teams but the final score remained Kings Lynn 0-1 RHC Invicta.

Next they had an easier game against Letchworth where Invicta enjoyed the majority of possession and were able to display some good passing. Two goals from Mount and one from Luke Latham gave a good half time lead which was extended in the second half as Invicta's experience enabled them to dominate the game. Mount completed his hat-trick, Latham scored his second, Lewis Greenwood scored a hat-trick and Josh Emslie and Connor Botting added one each. Letchworth scored a consolation goal near the end of the second half. Final score RHC Invicta 10 - 1 Letchworth.

The third game against Bury was another tough match resulting in two blue cards for either team. Mount scored from the half way line again and then slotted home a penalty only to have it over-ruled. With Bury equalising there was everything to play for in the second half. Invicta pressured their opponents and scored twice, Greenwood from a direct free hit and Mount once more from half way. Final score RHC Invicta 3-1 Bury.

The final game saw Invicta playing Peterborough. Mount and Michael Gregory scored for Invicta during the first half and Peterborough got one in return before Invicta took control of the second half. Emslie, Botting (2), Mount and Gregory all scored, several of the goals coming from some really good team moves. Eddie Mount saved Peterborough's penalty to give a final score of RHC Invicta 7-1 Peterborough.

The Under 15's next tournament is at Peterborough at end of the month.

Team: Charlie Botting, Connor Botting (3), Josh Emslie (2), Lewis Greenwood (4), Michael Gregory (2), George Kohler, Luke Latham (2), Alex Mount (8), Eddie Mount


Premier League: RHC Invicta 2 - 18 Herne Bay United (Played: Saturday 2 October)

RHC Invicta played in their debut Premier League game at the Pier on Saturday evening. This was RHC Invicta's first Premier League game since the Club's formation nearly a year ago, having been denied any competitive hockey until now, this new season.

RHC Invicta met HBU, the current Premier League Champions. The game started with all the Invicta players being somewhat nervous, this nervousness reflected in their game, in the first half in particular. It would appear that the Invicta players were like rabbits caught in a car's headlights. They did not seem to have taken any note of the pre-match talk and neither did they implement any tactical play developed during training. Most players were static with no movement off the ball, most of the players appearing to lack energy and stamina. We are aware that these players are far better than the performance they delivered during this game. The only highlight of the half was an excellently struck free hit taken by Arran Bowyer who slotted the ball into the back of the HBU net without the goal keeper moving. The team went into half time 11-1 down.

The half time talk was both an attempt to raise their spirits and to encourage the players to play the hockey that we know they can. The second half started well with HBU taking ten minutes before they scored their first goal of the half, due in part to the RHC Invicta players settling with improved defending and movement. However the only highlight of the second half for Invicta was a brilliant individual goal scored by Danny Butcher. There were some flashes to emerge of the real RHC Invicta team but to little effect. There was not enough movement off the ball and not enough structured play and the players offered too much room to the opposition to allow them to play their game. The game was a very disappointing event for players, management and supporters alike.

The Captain, Charlie Pughe stated after the game: "I am very disappointed with the play and the result, we are a far better team than this and believe that this was just an off night being the club's first outing into Premier League. Despite the disappointments we will take positives from this game knowing where we will have to improve both tactically and fitness wise. We hope that when we meet HBU again, during the return leg, we will be able to give a better performance of ourselves."

Final score: RHC Invicta 2 – 18 HBU

Team Fouls: RHC Invicta 15 – 13 HBU

Team: Dave Beeson (GK), Tom White, Arran Bowyer (1), Charlie Pughe (Cpt), Peter Halvorson, Danny Butcher (1), Lee Chestnutt, Liam Holland, James Sheppard, Kriss White (GK)

Referees: Peter Flint and John Milne


Kent League: Keaveney 2 - 5 Ultras and The Herons 9 - 2 MCE Fire (Played: Saturday 25 September)

This season's Kent League commenced on Saturday 25 September, at The Pier, Herne Bay. Both of our teams, Keaveney and The Herons, took part, Keaveney meeting HBU's Ultras and The Herons meeting Herne Bay's MCE Fire.

Keaveney played well holding the game for ten minutes before the opening goal was scored by Ultras, with Ultras' second goal coming four minutes later, both due to defensive errors. However with only 19 seconds left on the clock Keaveney’s Danny Butcher placed the ball well in to the back of Ultras’ net. Keaveneys went into half time 1-2 down.

The second half again started well but this time Ultras scored after only five minutes. Keaveney’s began to up the pace and counter attacked well but were unable to convert several shots on goal. Keaveney’s were able to claw only one goal back from a well taken penalty, converted by Arran Bowyer.

Final score - Keaveney 2 – 5 Ultras. (Team Fouls: Keaveney 5 - Ultras 7)

Teams:
Keaveney: Joe Fidock, Lee Chestnutt (Cpt), James Sheppard, Tom Hawkins, Danny Butcher (1), Ashley Barton, Arran Bowyer (1), Dave Beeson (GK)

Ultras: Jon Barton; Karl Smith, Steve Clarke, Joel de Figuieredo, Neil Austin (5), Matt Barton, Jamie Williamson (GK)

The Herons, in the second game of the evening, took on MCE Fire. The game started on a lively note with MCE Fire scoring the opening goal after just four minutes. It then took the Herons some considerable time to settle into their game with them scoring three times within the last eight minutes without reply going into half time 3-1 ahead.

The second half started well with The Herons scoring a goal within the first twenty seconds, but MCE Fire responded well, scoring their second goal of the game. By this time The Herons were getting into their stride and scored another five goals by the end of the game.

Final score - The Herons 9 - 2 MCE Fire. (Team Fouls: The Herons 7 - MCE Fire 4)

Teams:
The Herons: Tom White (2), Charlie Pughe, Peter Halvorsen (4), Becca Lawrence (Cpt), George Holmes, Liam Holland (2), Sam Fidock (1), Kriss White (GK), Eddie Mount (GK)

MCE Fire: M. Stone (GK), N Sainsbury, P. Hougham, J. Stone, M. Holness, J. Corris, D. Todd (Cpt), L. Moseley, G. Osborne (GK)

The next Kent League games at the Pier are on Saturday 13 November, commencing 7.45pm


September Player of the Month

The September Player of the Month award was a very difficult decision for the Coaches to make. However on his progress and effort, we decided that this should be awarded to Freddie Hillier (Goal Keeper).


Club Barbecue

The Club BBQ held on Sunday 5 September at the Abbey Sports Centre, turned out to be a fantastic success. The weather was sunny, dry and warm and we could not have wished for a better afternoon. We joined with Invicta Artistic and combined three hours of fun and light hearted games of hockey, which included players, parent members and artistic members alike. There were approx 100 people who attended, it turned out to be a very enjoyable, fun day.

Thanks to everybody who just 'mucked in' with the BBQ and the organisation.

A truly enjoyable afternoon was had by all.


RHC Invicta Player's Success

Lewis Greenwood, aged 12, has won the top two awards at this years National Roller Hockey Association's (NRHA) Summer Camp. The camp was attended by over 50 of the most able young players in the country aged between 12 and 20. Four long days of intensive training resulted in Lewis being voted both best overall player of the camp and also professional roller hockey player, James Taylor's, personal choice as his player of the camp.

James Taylor, England Senior Squad captain, who plays professional roller hockey in Italy, said: "Lewis is a brilliant young player. He always puts in 100% effort and then tries to incorporate all that he learns in his training, into his competitive game."

Lewis said: "I'm particularly pleased to be James Taylor's choice, he's an awesome player." Lewis lives locally in Faversham and attends Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School. He has been playing roller hockey for seven years and plays in the England select under 13's and under 15's team, having captained the under 13 team in a trip to Portugal earlier this year. Lewis now plays for the recently formed Roller Hockey Club Invicta, who are based and train, at the Abbey School Sports Centre, Faversham.

Lewis is pictured with James Taylor (left) and Carlos Amaral, National Roller Hockey Association (NRHA) Coaching Director (right).

Player of the camp

Debbie Pughe, General Secretary of RHC Invicta, said: "We are thrilled with Lewis's success, he is an outstanding player. We are fortunate to have lots of great young players, all with considerable potential, at Invicta. We would welcome any new players to attend our regular Friday evening 'Beginners' session which starts at 5.30pm."

The club enjoyed additional success at a second NRHA summer camp held for younger players when Lewis' under 13's team-mate, 11-year-old Connor Botting, won a Player of the Day award.


August Player of the Month

Each month the young players at our Friday session will be competing for the 'Player of the Month' medal. This is awarded to the player whom the coaches think has shown the most committment, enthusiasm, or progress and has great attendance. The first winner was Harry Slack and he was presented with his medal after the training session on Friday 27 August.


AGM and Players' Meeting

RHC Invicta held it's first AGM commencing at 8.15pm on Wednesday evening the 18th August 2010, at the Heron PH, Herne Bay. The meeting was a very successful affair attended by 31 members, including players. There were some topics that precipitated healthy debate, and all who attended considered it to be a good meeting. Various, willing? Club Members were elected as Members' Representatives, filling a variety of roles. See our Officials page for their details.

Prior to the AGM, and commencing at 7pm, we held a Senior Players' meeting attended by 18 players, with 4 apologies for non attendance, due to holidays and work commitments. This meeting was a lively affair promoting considerable, and surprisingly sensible, debate on input from the floor. All the players confirmed that it was an excellent evening and an insight in to how much work is carried out behind the scenes, also allowing them all to have a voice and an opinion on how the Club should be run and upon its future direction.

The Players' meeting concluded with the annual Players' awards: 1) Most improved player - George Holmes; 2) The Player's Player - Becca Lawrence; 3) Coaches' Player - Danny Butcher; 4) The President's, Club Sportsman of the year, award - Charlie Pughe.


National Cup Final: RHC Invicta under 17's 2 - 4 Bury

RHC Invicta under 17's met Bury in the finals of the National Cup, this weekend. We had always been concerned that RHC Invicta, having not been able to take part in any competitive hockey this season, and therefore lacking match practice, would find it hard to reach the necessary level of match fitness to compete adequately.

The game started well, with Invicta moving and passing the ball well and maintaining possession. It became an exciting evenly drawn match, with good team play and excellent goal keeping from Kriss White who, due to penetrative attacking by Bury, was kept very busy, making some excellent saves keeping Invicta in contention. Ten minutes into the game, Danny Butcher broke the deadlock with his trademark slapshot, the ball entering the back of net without a reaction from the goalkeeper. Then with three minutes left on the clock in the first half Sam Rowbotham made a clever shot scoring Invicta's second goal of the half. Half time score RHC Invicta 2 – 0 Bury.

The second half started in the same manner as the first, Invicta knowing that they had to extend their lead or hold their defence to maintain it, but after eleven minutes of frantic end to end play by both teams, and despite Invicta being awarded two direct free hits, both remaining unconverted, Bury clawed a goal back through Liam Conroy, who then after a further two minutes scored his second goal of the game, due to a mistake in Invicta's defending. The game was now drawn at two goals apiece. Invicta knew that they now had to take the game to Bury in an attempt to regain the lead and they started to push hard, but with only two minutes remaining in the second half, this tactic allowed Bury to counter attack, but Invicta were defending well, Bury only scoring their third goal from a direct free hit. Invicta were now showing signs of tiredness and having to chase the game and this was allowing Bury to counter attack, scoring their fourth goal of the game with only one and a half minutes left on the clock. However the Invicta players did not let their heads drop or give up on their effort and pushed the game right up to the final whistle.

The Coach, Manager and Invicta's Club Captain, Joe, all commented that they were very pleased with the excellent team play exhibited by the players who all worked well for each other in what became a good team game. The final score RHC Invicta 2 - 4 Bury. Team Fouls: RHC Invicta 10 - Bury 14

As a club we are very pleased and very proud of our U17's team who earned their place in the National Cup Final, despite their lack of competitive hockey this season, and with the players keeping their focus, which has been very difficult for them. We look forward to having a successful and competitive 2010/11 Season.

Team: Mike Back, Alfie Sheppperd, Sam Rowbotham (1), Emily Sheppard (V Cpt), George Holmes (Cpt), Becca Lawrence, Danny Butcher (1), Kriss White (GK)


Emily Sheppard selected to play for England

RHC Invicta playerEmily has been selected to represent England in the Senior Ladies squad who will be attending the World Senior Ladies Tournament to be held in Alcobendas, Spain, from 25 September to 2 October 2010.

Emily is a very competent and talented player who has been playing roller hockey since the age of eight years. Emily is a very valued Under 17 player for Invicta. As can be seen, Emily plays in the national senior leagues. She also brings a good sense of humour (sometimes) to any squad and provides a dedicated commitment to the team.

She is one of only eight out players (ten including two Goal Keepers) selected for the England squad and we wish her all the best. She has earned and deserves her place. As with all those selected to represent England at Roller Hockey, Emily will have to support herself financially. Currently Emily has a weekend job, as she is still at school, and is attempting to save the £850 approx that the trip will cost, ao if there is any possibility of some help out there with these costs please call Debbie, Secretary RHC Invicta on 01227 860 616 to discuss. Any help, no matter how small, will be appreciated.


Open Day - 29 May 2010

It was hoped that the weather would be warm and sunny to ensure a good 'through put' of people but, as forecast, the weather was not as good as we would have hoped but, although not too good for most of the day, many braved the conditions. We had been allotted two, one-hour sessions by the organisers, 11.00–12.00 and 2.00-3.00 p.m. And none of us were too sure how things would work out.

Both Artistic and Hockey mixed in well together to make it two very successful sessions. We were greatly assisted by Invicta Artistic and conversely we assisted them, as and when required; from the Player perspective they enjoyed the experience. We split the rink into two sections, one half for the real beginners, skates provided by Invicta Artistic, and sticks and balls by RHC Invicta, and with our new little goalkeeper fully kitted, were providing them all with dribbling practice. In the other half of the rink we had the more experienced players, helping the slightly less experienced players, in carrying out drills. This session concluded with a game with mixed ages and abilities – great excitement and fun.

During the first session we attracted between 30–40 people both participating and spectating, and during the second session of the day we attracted between 40-50 people participating with a great number of spectators. It turned out to be an exceptionally enjoyable experience from which hopefully we will attract a few new members. We all agreed that another event of this type should be held soon.

We must provide our thanks to the Abbey Sports Centre and School, to all of the helpers from both Invicta Artistic and RHC Invicta, and to all of the Hockey players who came along and gave of their time to assist us with the new skaters and hockey players alike. Well done to you all for making it such an enjoyable day.


Senior National Cup Semi Final: RHC Invicta 4 - 14 Herne Bay United, played 8 May 2010

RHC Invicta recently formed at the end of last year, but denied participation in any competitive hockey this season, had recently defeated Herne Bay in their debut appearance, in the first round of the National Cup Qualifiers. This second round saw them drawn against HBU 1, current Premier League leaders, who were only missing one of their main team players. RHC Invicta knew that due to their lack of match practice, this was going to be a tough game. However all the players were excited and looking forward to taking part.

The game started well with Invicta moving the ball around and remaining patient with their build up and defending any breakaways by HBU. Many of Invicta's players appeared initially nervous but soon settled when their patience was rewarded, after five minutes of play, with a well struck shot by captain Joe Fidock, resulting in the first goal of the game. However HBU responded after just two minutes, equalising the score, and then creeping ahead with another goal. This spurred Invicta on who rallied and equalled the score with a goal from Charlie Pughe. However the teams' lack of match practice began to show and Invicta began to concede goals, to the two normal goal-scoring payers of HBU, but then managing, within the dying seconds of the first half, to bring a goal back, with a well taken penalty by Danny Butcher. Invicta went into half time, down 3-8 to HBU.

Senior National Cup semi-final - 8 May 2010

The second half started well, with Invicta holding their defence solid for the first six minutes, before HBU could score the first goal of the second half, and it was a further nine minutes before HBU were able to score again, but then followed three goals in quick succession, without response from Invicta, and then conceding two more, but the Invicta players kept their heads high and within the last minute of the game Invicta were awarded a direct free hit, which the captain Joe Fidock failed to convert, but he kept his cool to collect the ball on the rebound, and with the Invicta players out-skating HBU from the opposite penalty box, passed it to Charlie Pughe who scored the final goal of the match.

Both goal keepers were kept very busy and placed under great pressure but, despite the score line, both delivered excellent and outstanding performances. All the Invicta players thoroughly enjoyed the contest and we believe that the HBU players did also. Invicta took a lot of positives from the game, knowing that there is considerable potential for us next season, when we hope to be able to compete more fully in National and Local Leagues. Both teams enjoyed the game, played in front of a large audience of in excess of one hundred and fifty, very noisy and supportive, spectators from both Clubs.

Invicta would like to give a BIG thank you to all of their supporters, they were a great inspiration to the players and they made everyone aware of their presence. All the players thought it was fantastic to play in such a vibrant atmosphere. If more games were to be played in front of this type of enthusiastic and noisy audience, our sport would surely grow.

The Captain Joe Fidock, said: "It was a great game to play in, it was played with passion, pride and was very physically demanding, and with great support from the spectators. I am aware that after the game there were one or two spectators who thought us too physical, but our players also have cuts and bruises to show, but the team fouls indicate the equality of the game and, although matters got a little heated in the last 27 seconds, what happens on the rink is left on the rink. We all at Invicta look forward to many more games like this one, but hope to be winners next time."

Team fouls: RHC Invicta 17 - 20 Herne Bay United

Team: Dave Beeson (GK); Joe Fidock (Cpt) (1); Charlie Pughe (V/Cpt) (2) Tom White; Danny Butcher (1); Richard Butcher; Myles Tichband; Liam Holland; Lee Chestnutt; Joel Carnell (G/K)


Senior National Cup First Round: Herne Bay 5 - 6 RHC Invicta, played 27 March 2010

This game had been eagerly awaited by RHC Invicta their debut game since formation and all knew that it would be a highly charged affair bearing in mind the history of both Clubs. However Invicta were adamant that this exuberance would not over spill into the game.

The game started with both teams appearing tentative. However the first goal was scored after three minutes by Invicta's Captain Joe Fidock and assisted in settling the nerves of the Invicta players. There followed some tough play with Herne Bay responding after two minutes with a goal of their own. Spurred on by conceding a goal Invicta began to play good passing hockey but from a poor pass Herne Bay counter attacked and scored. Invicta then pushed hard to respond but it took another four minutes before they equalised, again the goal coming from their Captain. The coaches rotated players continuously to change pace and tactics but this was to little effect. The game continued at a good pace for the remainder of the half but due to a lapse in concentration Herne Bay's Peter Taylor flicked a shot on goal unsighted by the goal keeper and scored. At half time the score was Herne Bay 3–2 Invicta.

The second half began as the first had finished. Within seven minutes Liam Holland scored an equaliser. Invicta were now being 'pushed' very hard by Herne Bay but were managing to keep possession of the ball and within a further minute Joe Fidock scored his hat-trick placing Invicta in the lead. However Herne Bay were not to be denied and after another five minutes of fast play Herne Bay's Peter Taylor scored his hat-trick of the evening. The teams were now even at 4-4 apiece; nerves were now beginning to show but Invicta managed to go ahead again with a clever move from Charlie Pughe placing the ball in the back of the net from around the goal post. Invicta were now one goal ahead and desperately attempting to hold the score line but within a minute Herne Bay evened the score. Both teams were determined not to concede further goals and both defended hard. The game reaching full time at 5-5 apiece.

As this was a Cup Qualifier game there had to be a winner so the game entered extra time five minute each way and subject to Golden Goal. The first five minutes were played hard with both teams defending their areas all knowing that if they finished extra time with no goals being scored this would then go to penalties. Then with only 22 seconds left of the first half of extra time on the clock Herne Bay made a defensive error allowing an opening for Invicta, a well timed and placed attack and pass from Joe Fidock in front of goal to a well positioned Tom White who clinically slotted the ball into the back of the net. Invicta had won. Result Herne Bay 5-6 Invicta.

This was the first match that Invicta have played since the club's formation in December of last year and both the coaches were pleased with the performance of all the players who all contributed fully to the teams success. Although the game was relatively clean there were more Team Fouls than either Team would have liked. A big thank you to all of Invicta's supporters who helped create a positive and exciting atmosphere for the players.

Team Fouls: Herne Bay 17-12 RHC Invicta

Team: Dave Beeson (GK); Joe Fidock (Cpt) (3); Charlie Pughe (1); Lee Chestnutt; Tom White (1); Liam Holland (1); Richard Butcher; Myles Tichband; Arran Bowyer; Joel Carnell (GK)

Invicta now play HBU in the semi finals. This game will be played at the Pier Pavilion Herne Bay at a date and time yet to be confirmed.

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