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No clapping as Sonning are sent home pointless

06 October 2018, 13:30, Banbury Road North (Near)

Men's 2s 3 - 1 Sonning Men's 1s

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I find that a lot of  things tend to irritate me these days. Radio 4 is a prime example. I don't know if you listen to the Today programme first thing. I do, but mainly because John Humphreys and Nick Robinson are so smug and pleased with themselves that they make me so angry I find it impossible to lie passively in bed. At least it forces me to get up at a reasonable hour. I should explain that I am retired so lying in bed in the morning is an available daily option.

Then I've noticed recently that seemingly every "guest" who is interviewed begins every answer with the word "so". Why do they do that? It never used to happen but now it is routine and it winds me up. I just can't understand it. Seriously I'm not making this up - just listen to interviews with the media and you'll discover it is commonplace.

Other things occur inexplicably these days. For example people routinely clap themselves - that never used to happen. Just watch Pointless ( never was a quiz show so aptly named) where the contestants actually applaud themselves when they're eliminated. What are they thinking of? I can't understand it. I hear also that clapping is to be outlawed and instead we all have to shake our hands noiselessly in the air to avoid hurting ourselves - seriously!!

Then there are the people who conflate overestimate and underestimate - that really annoys me. As in "We stayed at the most wonderful hotel - it was impossible to underestimate how good the staff were." See what I mean

I'll tell you what has set me off on this tack and you may not be entirely surprised to hear it is Oxford Hawks mens 2nd XI. So, why I hear you ask - what have they done? So - I'll tell you. So -on Thursday night under the watchful eye of our esteemed Antipodean mentor they practised a routine which required them to move the ball quickly and simply, stop it safely and securely and move it on quickly and simply. In my humble view they did it rather well or in his view just about alright.

So on Saturday having collectively decided that this style of play had some merit we spent time in the pre match meeting ensuring that everyone embraced the same strategy. Just bring your Thursday night game to Saturday.

So - what happened? So - in the first half we enjoyed 80% of the possession and territory and scored only one goal (a Thom Sobey tap in) because no one could stop the ball and in the second half - if anything - played even less well as the whole side became afflicted by a form of hand/eye palsy which fundamentally affected their co-ordination. So, in short, despite some decent approach play the 2's squandered multiple opportunities and I found myself getting very irritated again.

In the end (Sonning having plundered an equaliser soon after the interval) it took a penalty stroke and a penalty corner converted respectively by Dunners and Sam Windsor Lewis to secure the 3 points which were on offer. Much more difficult than it needed to be.

The stroke was remarkable as it followed an extraordinary collision between one of the visiting defenders and Hugo Parry which absolutely flattened him and resembled nothing so much as the attack on the underground you may have seen on the telly which catapulted a 90 year old victim onto the tracks. Accidental in this case but extraordinary nonetheless!!

On the plus side that's 9 points from 3 league games - without actually playing to this side's potential. There will be stiffer challenges ahead - possibly starting next week with a trip to Marlow who are also unbeaten in the League thus far. They are also likely to field a couple of familiar faces if le petit entrepreneur's body is still holding together - which , frankly, I doubt. They will be keen to do us. If only we can stop the ball we may be alright.

Many thanks to Clive Jones for the excellent photos - you can even see the rain!

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