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Blakemore makes his mark but mens 2's have to settle for a draw

10 November 2018, 12:00, Banbury Road North (Near)

Men's 2s 2 - 2 Eastcote Men's 1s

An eventful Saturday if ever there was one. The 2's welcomed their new coach Mr Drew Blackburn aka Blakemore and, as he never bores of telling me, a future Oxford Hawks President in waiting. If ever there was an incentive to stay in post that is it.

However give him a whiteboard and some coloured magnetic discs and he becomes a man possessed. After meeting the press he addressed the squad with an assurance that beggared belief - the talismanic Tasmanian would have been very proud. The 2's were a much changed side from the previous week but none the worse for the absence of those elevated to the club's premier side. In their stead we welcomed back Knoxy (thought by one member of the squad to be Scottish - really!! have you heard him speak?) and anointed James Lawton Smith. They must have wondered what they had got into with the strains of California Girls and Surfing Safari belting out from Dunny's speaker pre match.

The game itself was not short of incident. The 2's started in some style bagging 2 early goals (Hugo and Freddie) from cultured play which may have owed something to Blakemore's inspirational words - although I'm somewhat reluctant to concede there may have been any nexus between these two quite independent events. There then followed a downpour of apocalyptic intensity, before Hawks threw Eastcote a lifeline with some mistake ridden defending, which presented the visitors with a goal just before half time.

In the second half the 2's play never recaptured the style and incision of the first period and Eastcote snatched another goal to even matters. There then followed the game's turning point when Henry Taylor's shot struck a defender's body on the goal line with the keeper a helpless spectator and, immediately, the umpire understandably signalled a stroke - sadly a millisecond before the ball continued on its path over the line and into the goal. Inevitably the ensuing stroke was saved.

The last 15 minutes of the contest resembled nothing so much as an extract from the bill at the Coliseum in the days of the Roman Empire. Firstly Hugo was felled, (accidentally), in the Eastcote circle where he lay motionless for several minutes before being revived by a cold compress on the head - rather than being despatched where he lay, which someone unhelpfully proposed. The suggestion that his fate should be put to a vote by the baying mob outside the kiosk, while tempting, was ultimately rejected.

Recognising the possibility that he might be concussed led to him being helped from the field of combat to a rather worse fate - namely an assessment of whether he should go to A and E made by our resident Physio and serial Kiwi idiot, Ian Gurden. After a lengthy examination Gurden declared that, in his professional view, a referral to A and E was required. In Gurden's defence determining whether Hugo is, or is not, concussed has proved quite challenging in previous weeks when he has not been involved in any collisions at all. So (there we go again!) possibly I'm being a bit unfair.

Alarmingly Hugo works for a very well known F1 team locally. All I'm saying is I wouldn't let him anywhere near my car, let alone employ him to manage a professional pit stop .

Following Hugo's accident one of the Eastcote boys suddenly fell to the deck as though poleaxed with no one near him. And then another one suffered a head injury - well there was definitely lots of blood which made me feel quite queasy which was rather unsporting of him. I should make it clear, in the interests of accurate reporting, and not wishing to sensationalise these events, that all these injuries were wholly accidental, there was an absence of malice and the game ended entirely amicably. In the end 2-2 was probably fair although the 2's should probably/definitely have closed this game out. Only the mob went home entirely happy led by a huge bloke in a pin stripe suit who looked vaguely familiar. 

That appeared to be that save for two things I have learned subsequently. Firstly, Hugo and the bloodied Eastcote player met up in A and E where they formed an enduring friendship.

Secondly, the woman who runs the Hawks kitchen had received a complaint from a lady whose identity I will not disclose, that a Hawks player had made a pass at her on Saturday afternoon in the clubhouse - a genuine MeToo moment you may think. I considered immediately resigning so that Blakemore, as President Elect, could deal with the fallout of this complaint - believe me it's not all beer and skittles being President.

However preliminary investigation established that Hugo had been sitting outside the kitchen hatch waiting for his lift to A and E. While there, and understandably concerned about himself, he had been trying to establish whether he was, or was not, concussed by closing one eye and testing his vision looking only through the other eye. The lady concerned had simply misinterpreted what he was up, to believing that he was winking at her - entirely understandable and totally unacceptable if true.

You couldn't make it up - and I haven't.

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