DURING the summer hockey fans followed the discussions about how to reorganise the second tier of ice-hockey in the UK. A month into the new season, we’re beginning to experience the effects of those decisions.

Last weekend, competing in the National Cup, we performed poorly at home on Saturday against Telford. They were short-benched and we took an early lead, but the game drifted away from us. The following day, in Bracknell, we played our best hockey of the season and won narrowly.

We’d already lost Dan Davies and on Sunday were without our captain, Aaron Connolly, injured in Saturday’s game. But we were a different team, keeping it simple and doing all the little things that have given us such success in the past.

Why did we play so poorly on Saturday? Are we taking time to adjust to the new format? I wish I knew. But I do know how pleased we all were on Sunday to pick ourselves up and give our fans a performance to be proud of.

So far, we’ve been competing in the League and in the National Cup. The latter is divided into four groups of four teams, playing two home games and two away games against each other to qualify for the quarter-finals. We’ve won one game out of three but there are plenty of games to come. This weekend we play Swindon away on Saturday in this competition.

On Sunday a new competition begins, called the Autumn Cup. There are two groups of three teams; we are in a group with Peterborough and our visitors, Sheffield. We meet each other once at home and once away to qualify for the semi-final. So a win on Sunday is especially important.

Whatever the competition, you’ll enjoy a great night of hockey.