Comprehensive Victory by Men's 4s to win League
Graham White's unbroken run of 50 consecutive seasons for Henley; Simon Taylor cruelly substituted denying him the chance of a hat-trick.
With a comprehensive victory, Henley 4s ensured they finished the season as Champions of their league on Goal difference from Slough 3’s. Scoring an amazing 93 goals in 20 games and finishing with a +69 goal difference. With goal difference being the key factor key to Henley’s’ success was the amazing strike rate of 37 goals in 19 games scored by Tim Cima plus 5 in 2 games for the 3rd XI leaving him with a total of 42 in 21 games.
The game also marked an end of an era with Graham (Chalky) White playing his last competitive game for the club and marking 50 consecutive seasons of playing, a run he started as a 19 year old back in 1967.
Knowing that a good win was key so as not to open the door for rivals Slough, Henley set an aggressive pace from the off, with sustained pressure on the Oxford backline. The pressure duly delivered with Tim Cima picking off a poor 16 yard clearance and drove into the D slotting the ball past the stranded keeper, Oxford’s heads dropped and from this point forward there was only going to be one winner. Minutes later with good work from Andy Green, Tim Cima found himself again clear on goal and easily made it 2-0. Seconds before half-time Rupert Wiseman displayed great control as he drove from the half way line down the right wing and from an acute angle scored the 3rd.
The second half was all Henley with home 'keeper Bobby Boydell in his last game for the club a spectator, shielded by the Team’s player of the year Adam Warner as usual excelling as sweeper. Home goals came think and fast with the highlight being an D to D move involving Warner, Ed Newbold and James Lane who rolled the ball into Phil Biggs path to score a delightful goal. Tim Cima then scored from a short corner which was followed quickly by another converted Corner from Martyn Watkins showing fine control and accuracy with a well-placed far corner shot. With the clock ticking down there was still time for 2 opportunistic goals from Simon Taylor who was subsequently and somewhat controversially substituted shortly after thereby denying him of a hat trick.
A fantastic season from Henley, and a fitting finale as joint captains James Lane and Simon Ward step down to make way for younger men to fill their shoes. Next season will bring new challenges but with the core of the team still hungry for success and committed to a winning team it promises to be a challenging but exciting 2017-18 season.