I've sometimes wondered whether some weather forecasters have a better strike rate than others and , yes, I do know they don't make up the forecast themselves. I particularly like Tomascz Schafernaker whom I shall refer to as TS from now on. He tends not to take himself too seriously - just as well because he seems to me to have a higher failure rate than others. This week was a good example. His forecast for Friday night - declared with some confidence after the early evening news on Wednesday and delivered with his familiar impish grin - was for a heavy frost followed by a dull cloudy Saturday morning.
TS will not have known that this occasioned some panic in these parts as Hawks 2's game against Witney was scheduled for the crack of dawn on the very sheltered pitch at Wood Green School - there being no other venue or time slot available. So it was that, by dint of numerous emails between the two clubs, and a hugely generous offer made by Witney to surrender home advantage, the game was transferred to Banbury Road North at the more agreeable time of 12.30.
As it happened Friday night passed without so much a hint of sub zero temperatures and Saturday morning dawned bright and sunny for the time of year. Tell that to the coiffeured lunatic who sits in the White House denyiing Global Warning and , apparently, eating numerous cheeseburgers in bed ( I have his 2019 annual - a treasured Christmas present).
TS had, thus, proved to be wrong again.
The 2's were in reasonably good fettle with excellent availability , on the 11th day of Christmas 4 Sams were playing , Sam Chilvers and Kit Cutter returned from injury and we had a squad of 14 - riches indeed. New joiner, but former Hawks junior, Sam Mallinson, made his debut despite having deposited most of the contents of his nose on the astroturf on Thursday evening in a collision with Dunners. Dunners was not so fortunate and was a late cry off.
The match was very much a Chilvers family affair with Dad, Neil, coaching Witney and elder son, Tim, captaining the visitors. Five minutes into the contest it was clear that the Chilvers family had been watching too many re runs of The Dambusters over the festive period as aerial balls from the Witney half rained down on Hawks back four. Happily our astute sideline strategist Mr Drew Blackburn devised one of his cunning plans to nullify the threat which was, essentially, to let them keep doing it - pretty smart, you may think, and in fairness this tactic seemed to work tolerably well. Chilvers junior plundered 2 decent goals for Hawks in the first half to secure family bragging rights and Sam Windsor Lewis converted a stroke in the second. 3-0.
Fearless back in goal for us had absolutely set his heart on a clean sheet - seriously he had. (Unless you've spent a Saturday afternoon at BRN with Fearless you can have no perception how ferociously he approaches every game - it is the stuff of legend. He is beyond belief.) All was going well till the very last minute when a bloke in Witney colours ran onto a through ball through a freeway the boys had left obligingly open and then lobbed Fearless irresistibly to give them a deserved consolation. Fearless, utterly distressed, poor chap, had a major breakdown, had to be helped from the field and we have arranged special counselling for him.
Pretty much everyone else was happy with the result againt a Witney team who are nothing if not well organised and resolute.
Oh - and even our coach managed to avoid making a substitution by shouting "Sam off" which would have reduced us to 9 outfield players at a stroke. A very acceptable day and thanks to everyone who made it possible.
25 points bagged now and a firm handle on 4th place is decent enough.