Bâle, t’es belle: Servette go 3 for 3 at Stadion Rankhof

Early morning starts on brisk Genevan mornings aren’t usually pleasent, but for HC Servette 2’s, off in search of victory in Basel, they offer a crisp anticipation of things to come. All aboard BaleExpress (via Bienne), 6-fresh faced young hockey players, 3 ringers, along with ‘Head Honcho’ Pierre set forth in both the right direction and right mentality. Naps taken and sandwiches finished, Pierre’s mid-train tactic-talk ensured that Servette were ready for everything that was to come: matches against Luzerner HC, Black Boys HC and Basel HC.

SHC 2 vs BHC 2 – 4:1

The first match is always difficult; provisional tactics, weary but eager legs and needing to establish a rhythm are 3 top obstacles which have to be overcome to ensure a successful campaign. Combining the calibre of excellent youth and experience which Servette boasts, “Les Grenats” shone right from the outset. Defending well, we capitalised on turnovers by dictating play, creating chances from the back, winning short corners and utilising space. Excellent goals from Fergus and Clement ensured victory, and gave an encouraging start to our day. After a concise team-talk from Coach Coppin, we returned to the stands for more sandwiches and to observe our next opponent Luzerner HC play Leman rivals Stade Lausanne.

SHC 2 vs LHC 3 – 2:1

Notes taken, defensive lines drawn, we lined up for what turned out to be the closest game of the day. Servette drew ahead from a short corner early, however Lucerne made life difficult from open play. After some minor defensive errors and with things all even, an outstanding play would be necessary for Servette to prevail victorious. In the closing minutes, nice interplay between JP and Clement gave a golden opportunity to pull ahead. Converting an inch perfect pass into the D, Clement pushed that ball home to give us the victory. Outstanding play and a much deserved goal for the youngster.

SHC 2 vs BBHC – 3:2

The relationship between SHC 2 and BBHC is like that of two brothers; they’re competitive, convivial and always give it their all when they play one another. Our final match was no exception. Set to be tense and tantalising from start to finish, both teams came out of the blocks strong, notching up solid goals before the half-time whistle. Clinical short corner finishes from Mat Gisen, followed an outstanding team goal put the final nail in the coffin, despite BB’s best efforts to equalise. Rather chuffed with our 3 from 3 domination of the tournament, we enjoyed a quick burger and some of Feldschlossens finest to celebrate.

The boys played a stellar tournament, built upon the strengths in attack and refined their defensive tactics. Tactically and mentally we were strong going into the tournament, and so we are seeking to progress further in these areas as we continue to play and train together. When we keep this up, we will continue to excel in the Swiss league.

Gordon Brown