Winter weather hockey | GALLERY

The weekend bore down on us like the Polar Express, bringing it’s polar weather with it.

It has been cold, wet and windy through much of the weekend, making the spectators huddle together like a bunch of penguins under the Stocky Shed; and given me a brisk trade of sly fivers and tenners in the corner of the shed that I have marked out as my own.

My glorious moustachios kept my face warm enough, but we definitely couldn’t say the same about the weekend warriors on the pitches in shorts, skirts and t-shirts. Hats off to you, our champion athletes, in trying conditions.

Huge congratulations to Barney, the stalwart AMU goalkeeper, for reaching his 300-game milestone; and to all the juniors who come back slowly from their state competitions.

The canary men ran away with the win over the parrots in a strong game in the top grade, sealing top spot and thus go straight through to the Big Dance. This is an upset on my books, as I was backing the parrots and just proves that anyone has the chance with determination.

I don’t think that the maggies have enough firepower to overcome the parrots, but their form has been on the improve lately and I’ll be watching next week’s game with a lot of interest.

In the top women’s grade the Redleg girls stamped their authority over the pies and will go through to the Major Game. I expect that the piebalds will beat the canaries and face them off again, with the next couple of rounds really just filling in time and game practice.

Some interesting results in the B women’s grade: the Old Collegians came out to play against the canaries, and proves that they will not be a pushover in the finals race; My Stripey Mates from Up North beat the maggie’s second team; and the beady-eyed girls in the first team took on the redleg girls and came up grinning.

The parrots had the bye. This result will make the girls from the impossible main street a bit nervous and makes me very excited that this grade is totally up for grabs with the fight for the trophy. Any one of the top four can take this one on the day and I wish them all well.

The B Men saw the Old Collegians with a strong victory over the older canaries; the young maggies squeaked a win over my Stripey Mates; the Redlegs stole the points against the younger parrots in an upset; and the old piebalds played the older parrots for pride and equal points.

In this grade also we can see any of the Top Four take the points on the day, even though my money is firmly on the younger beady-eyed boys; they have not had the strong wins at the wrong end of the season to predict a whitewash and any of the other contenders can beat them on the day if things fall right.

Thrilling stuff!

The maggies could not overrun the fortress at Clare in the rain in the 18’s comp; and the canaries had a strong win over the parrots. Nothing changes with these results.

In the 15’s: My Stripey Mates defended the fortress in the rain to seal their spot in the top three against the maggies. The canaries beat the parrots in an upset and trilled for joy.

The 13’s results were interesting as well: the older piebalds had a strong win over the Young Collegians; the young Redlegs had a strong win over the younger canaries, whilst the parrots had a strong win against the younger maggies in a game that wasn’t as one-sided as the scoreline suggested.

There is some shuffling going on in the top four here and I look forward to next week’s results to see how it pans out, with top three all playing teams below themselves.

Well there it is, folks. The finals dance approaches; the reason we all come out to play and watch and cheer the warriors in their weekend pursuits.

Thrilling stuff indeed!