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Mens 2's can't handle Chiswick's penalty corner routine

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

Men's 2s 2 - 4 PHC Chiswick Men's 1s

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I don't know about you but I'm pretty sure that there's a lot about this world that we don't understand.

Our house is a good illustration. When I say "our" I mean me and the woman who runs the Hawks kitchen with whom I have a loose relationship. When I say "relationship" what I actually mean is an "arrangement" - it suits us . When I say "us" I really mean "me" because she works and I don't, so in that sense, it's ideal.

But what I'm getting at is we live in an old farmhouse. When I say "live" what I really mean is "co-exist." It may not actually be living as you might understand the word.

So, (there I'm starting to do it now! - please see last week's diatribe), strange things happen in our dining room. Sometimes the curtain tie backs come undone spontaneously. Often the room feels very cold - although that could be because I turn the radiator off. And, more spookily, the chairs sometimes get moved when no one's in there. It's certainly not due to any cleaning. She (the woman who runs the Hawks kitchen) hasn't done any cleaning since she served Ed Sheeran with a baked potato at the club last season. She just thinks it's now beneath her. So (there we go again) it's an arrangement - it's definitely not living as we know it.

All these inexplicable events have caused me to review my approach to Saturdays and I've become quite superstitious - because there are clearly forces at work that we don't understand or over which we have any control. So I now have a set routine (or did have - see below)  which involves wearing a particular pair of kecks, listening to the Beach Boys (don't scoff!!) on the way to the match and ,at all costs, avoiding doing anything significant at 11.11.a.m. The last because I've noticed how many times (and believe me it's loads and loads) when I look at my watch or a clock in the house it shows 11.11. - does that happen to anyone else I wonder. It is very unnerving. For the first three games of the league these preparations worked like a dream although I wasn't exactly salivating at the prospect of having to listen to the entire Beach Boys back catalogue through the winter months if the 2's kept winning.

However last Saturday I made the mistake of leaving for Marlow at 11.11- very bad error - with the direct result that the 2's were beaten by Marlow even though I had Sloop John B and Surfing Safari on repeat all the way there in attempt to nullify any negative vibes - but obviously to no avail.

So (Oh dear!) this week I changed my routine although the basic elements namely (1) set underwear, (2) listening to music and (3) avoiding 11.11 remained the same. I won't trouble you with the precise nature of (1) but I went for Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention at (2) and had to spend time driving with my eyes studiously avoiding the clock in the car for what I estimated to be a minute but was probably at least 5 minutes to be on the safe side at (3).

The effect was immediate and dramatic but not at all what I had intended. Chiswick turned up to play the 2's and executed the most effective penalty corner routine in the history of the developed world. All 4 Chiswick goals came as a direct or indirect direct (if you get my drift) result of penalty corners - in fact I'm not sure I remember them fashioning a shot from open play even though I'd have to concede they were a decent side and will likely be there at the kill when the league reaches its climax. The 2's, after 5 games still have to do themselves justice , but did manage 2 goals of their own from Sam Chilvers whose personal menace in the opponent's circle will hopefully rub off soon on his forward colleagues. 4-2 to Chiswick and the 2's could hardly complain.

I think I'll stop dabbling in the occult for the time being, change my underpants, go back to the Killers and keep my eyes on the road.

Thanks to Evelyn Hargraves for the photos - seriously we must have the best hockey website in the country.


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