This match report is in three parts. I write this bit on Thursday evening two days before the visit of Ashford on Saturday having just observed mens training when we were graced with the attendance of the German National Ladies Hockey Captain.
Quite why she decided to come to Banbury Road North on an inhospitable, random, Thursday evening in January I never discovered, but she was very welcome . I did , however, learn from the antipodean maestro who oversees every aspect of our training sessions that, quite apart from her on field achievements, she is also a serious figure in world hockey administration and vastly more important than he is. Good to know.
I also learnt that the Tasmanian and his family has recently acquired a small black dog which he has seen fit to name Audrey - I don't think any further comment is required. However that was not the only event of note which occurred at training and about which I think it is also advisable to say nothing further.
Those of you who are interested in fashion and particularly the increasing popularity of Apres Sport clothes will want to know that the GNLHC (I'm becoming quite fond of acronyms) arrived very professionally kitted out (as one would expect) in a distinctive tangerine top, black leggins and shorts and white socks. She very much looked the part and there was no doubting her exceptional ability with a hockey stick in her hand - very impressive.
Imagine my surprise ( and I may say that of many others who will attest to the reliability of this report) when Blakemore ( probationary coach to the mens 2's and aspiring future president) rolled up 10 minutes later also dressed in a distinctive tangerine top, black leggins and shorts and white socks. As I said I' not going to make any further comment as this bizarre behaviour raises many more questions than answers. However I did feel it was very odd and I know I was not the only one who felt very unsettled by it. What was he thinking of?
So - to Saturday. Suffice to say that the 2's surpassed themselves.Things started somewhat unpromisingly in that everyone turned up to the pre - match briefing on time and everyone paid their match fee before the game. That in itself was so unprecedented that I thought it likely they would all be exhausted by the exceptional effort required of such compliance to standards of reasonable behaviour..
Blakemore - apparently unfazed by his performance on Thursday - made an impassioned plea for the ball to be moved quickly and spent a lot of time talking about cutting and pressing (more evidence of an unhealthy interest in Women's fashion?). I didn't really understand it but it had the usual effect because within 5 minutes of the start of the match Ashford had scored to go 1-0. Ashford also scored in the last 5 minutes and managed another as well in between these 2 efforts. Meanwhile the 2's scored 8 times which was a very satisfactory state of affairs especially as some of the goals were jolly well crafted and 3 of them came from short corners. A good showing overall against a team just below us in the League - or they were.
Sunday morning - I've cleared out the shirt bag and all the shirts are there. Admittedly some are inside out but there are 16 - a full complement. It doesn't get any better than this - believe me.
Till next week - what has Blakemore in store? - I can hardly wait.