I'm starting to get a bit concerned about the 2's. Last Saturday's improved performance against Amersham promised better things to come and there was a good buzz in the changing room pre game. We all agreed that moving the ball and not running with it had worked well then so there couldn't be any argument against doing it again - could there?
No one suggested otherwise.
This week's opposition were the bouncy fresh faced students of Oxford University who arrived with a less than impressive League record so far. Significantly, as it turned out, our resident academic Henry, warned that we shouldn't pay too much attention to their unimpressive start to the season as he felt they were now a different proposition and had begun picking up points recently. Everyone felt we should take some notice of this opinion as Henry is ferociously intelligent and has already collected more academic qualifications than the entire opposition team could possibly have mustered. In fact Henry is probably the cleverest person who has ever played for Hawks - not such a great achievement as the previous holder of that title was probably Stotty or possibly TPFKACF (the player formally known as Charlie Firth). Anyway it is definitely now Henry. I digress.
Two other events of note occurred in the changing room. Firstly Ollie's speaker was banned on a unanimous vote (unless he gets some Beach boys music) and Freddie collected the match fees. Freddie later told me that his dad - who you may know is an accountant, the bigger part of Little and Large, and favours very sharp pin stripe suits - advised him to send in a bill for the work involved. No change there then.
So (there it's happened again) - to the match. In the first half we started sort of OK without setting the world alight against the students. They were jolly enthusiastic and really quite good but neither side was able to get a goal. The 2's started by moving the ball around quite well but managed to mess up at crucial moments and then started to get bored. Quite why that should happen I couldn't quite understand. By half time neither side had scored and the game was there to be won.
We identified the principles we needed to observe to pouch the three points which - strangely - were exactly the same ones we had agreed to adopt before the game - (I should say I've a strange sense of Deja Vu here - it's as if I've written this before on one or more previous occasions) - and during the second half almost totally ignored them. Apologies for the length and grammatical complexity of that previous sentence - I used to be a lawyer.
So (I can't seem to help it) I stood on the side line watching players in magenta and black dribble up their own backsides or simply surrender the ball to the students. These failings were exacerbated (Henry please translate) by an ineffective penalty corner routine, the squandering of some gilt edged chances in the Blues circle and collecting needless cards of green and yellow for unforgivable chat to the umpires. A bit of a Rocky Horror Show I'm afraid and 3 points down the toilet as the students scored the only goal of the game.
It left me wondering why we have a team chat at all.
Thanks to Evelyn Hargraves for the photos.