A win is a win is a win. It doesn't need to be pretty - such was the men's 2's game at Maidenhead.
Thursday had brought news from the skipper that he had spent the afternoon honking in a posh London hotel and had followed up by redecorating a Great Western carriage on the way home. He gave assurances that it was a 24 hour bug and by match day he would be feeling "Olympic" . Such proved to be the case.
However by Thursday evening the squad was one short and needed reinforcement. Brookes fresher Charlie Firth was seen at training and recruited. He was keen to play.
Saturday arrived bright and clear. The 2's arrived in good heart at Altwood School where our 4's were already playing and edging a win over another Maidenhead side. Strangely , however, Exeter (strapline "probably the best University in the World") graduate Toby Blong ( and therefore presumably quite intelligent) decided, for reasons best known to himself, to ignore the clear directions sent out during the week and went straight to Maidenhead's club where no games were taking place.
While waiting for Blongy to arrive at the correct location the chums amused themselves by investigating why Stotty is known as Stotty. For those who have not encountered Stotty his actual name is Tom Lawson and he routinely behaves like a slightly truculent 3 year old. Stotty appeared quite unable to shed any light on this conundrum or - more likely - simply couldn't be bothered so it remains one of life's great mysteries. However like all the best nicknames whose provenance is shrouded in the mists of time it suits him so well that he's probably stuck with it for life. Stotty will forever be Stotty and will never be known as Tom Lawson ever again. Perhaps only his Mum is likely to be really upset.
However rather more extraordinary events were to follow. As is the squad's practice new members of the side are invited/required to introduce themselves and provide details of their miserable lives to the chums. Thus Charlie Firth clambered onto the bench to discharge this obligation and tell the chums about his brief and unremarkable journey through life to date. Despite the fact that for the previous 48 hours he had been answering to the name Charlie Firth he volunteered to the assembled throng that his name was Max Sowter and he had played at Beeston HC. Cue - collective astonishment.( In fact the plot thickens as your correspondent has checked the England Hockey website and found no trace of anyone called Max Sowter on the Beeston registered team sheet.)
The person formerly known as Charlie Firth, however, seemed to know one end of a hockey stick from the other so was included in the line up.
As to the game itself the 2's were not at their best. Having started reasonably well the chums took an earlyish deserved lead through the person previously known as Charlie Firth. This unprecedented development so unsettled the team that they then fell to bits and conceded two penalty corner goals scored by Hawks (brief) old boy Aqeel Hussein. Aqeel was by some distance the home side's best player and enjoyed himself hugely in the first half causing all sorts of problems for the Hawks defence. Half time 1-2 down and in a spot of bother
In the second period the chums showed greater resilience scoing early through Wardy and then snatched another goal from Dom Bennett. Maidenhead continued to press but created very little in open play although they proved very adept at winning numerous short corners. Happily Aqeel had by then lost his golden touch and Hawks defended rather more competently than they had in the first period. Maidenhead were shut out and three points bagged. Not pretty by any means but job done thanks to Fearless in goal and the back four of Sam Clark, Charlie Stoker,Connor Payne and Simon Robinson (who was again immense).
The chums dispersed - some back to BRN to watch the 1's, others to the hosts clubhouse with Blongy navigating and Wardy to London apparently to feature in some sort of a video about which he was understandably coy - don't ask!
Three points is three points.