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Chums escape with a draw - just! - in a game of two halves.

18 February 2017, 12:00, Banbury Road North (Near)

Men's 2s 2 - 2 OMT Men's 1s

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It's Thursday afternoon and only now is your correspondent able to bring himself to relive the events of last Saturday without kicking the dog.

OMT at home was always going to be a challenging fixture. Although resembling a loose collection of cosmopolitan and disparate talents they are not to be underestimated. I mean them no offence or disrespect but they don't give the impression of being particularly driven or ambitious.

They arrived at BRN on Saturday, slinking into the clubhouse and apparently without any identifiable leadership or organisation. Their warm up on the pitch seemed to lack focus and worse still they expected to play in all black strip. The league's most respected umpire and legendary figure Mr Jim Patel OBE was less than impressed.

Hawks, however, - mindful of having come a poor second in the corresponding fixture before Christmas - had a detailed plan to overcome the visitors and were well prepared.

Only two issues cropped up on the morning of the match which might derail the chums. Firstly it soon became clear in the pre match briefing that Stotty was very obviously at his most irritating. Regular readers of this weekly column will know already that Stotty is a manager's nightmare who is never entirely happy unless fully and exclusively in the limelight. The only analogy your correspondent can pray in aid is a football one. Stotty is a bit like a combination of Gazza, Joey Barton and Mario Balotelli - he is that challenging. On Saturday he declared repeatedly that he would not be able to give of his best on the field of combat unless furnished with a coffee and a hot sausage roll. Hence the lady who runs the kitchen was later to be seen delivering a warm sausage roll to the pitch to shut him up.It seemed to do the trick.

Secondly our inspirational master of ceremonies called in to say he had been honking all morning but would be fine to play - if a little late arriving. I have to say that, for a captain of industry and celebrated figure in the City, he does seem to do quite a lot of chundering. I can't help feeling he might be well advised to reassess his liquid intake especially where the fruit of the vine is concerned.

Be that as it may, our mighty captain was as good as his word wandering onto the pitch in time for the scheduled push back and looking none the worse for having spent the morning conversing on the big white telephone.

The first half went like a dream and was probably the best 35 minutes of hockey the chums have played all season. The 2's were on fire and scored two cracking goals through Dom Bennett and Jack Knight. OMT looked dangerous on the break and well capable of nicking a goal but were deservedly 2-0 down at the interval. Stern warnings were issued that the game was far from over and there was much more work to be done

It therefore came as a bit of a surprise that the chums' second half performance was so bad as to defy description - but have a go dear reader. Just choose three of the following - woeful, inept, naïve, pathetic, gutless, desperate, careless, spineless, pitiful, awful, shambolic etc etc.

2-2 it finished and but for some stonking saves from Fearless, a desperate goal line clearance from Dubs and the timely final whistle it would have been even worse. OMT were made to look very good indeed and probably deserved to take all three points.

Nonetheless this was 2 points surrendered without so much as a murmur and as a consequence the chums plummet to 4th in the table. A very bad afternoon. I can still hardly believe it. Where's the dog?

 

MoM - Fearless.

 

DoD - don't know.

 

Paddy and Wardy's Wine of the Week - La Chapelle de Bordeaux - one to lay down (just like the chums did last week). Cellar for a couple of years to enjoy its ripe cassis and dark plum flavours at their best. Smooth, rounded and elegantly proportioned on the palate - whatever that means.

 

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