I can't honestly say I was much looking forward to Saturday. I had missed last week's loss at Marlow which made it 4 defeats out of the last 5 games and thus 3 points out of 15 - not exactly form that promised the possibility of promotion.
Add to that catastrophe the fact that this band of numpties (any number of graduates, an engineer, an accountant and just one Brookes student), allowed for the only time this season to travel away on their own, had contrived to leave the main kit bag, the first aid kit and the match balls in Marlow's changing room. Do you see what a cross I have to bear each week. Seriously it's no fun.
Thankfully, and quite fortuitously, it transpired that Mrs Dunn had been selected for Abingdon Ladies 2's and was actually on her way to Buckinghamshire's gourmet haven that very afternoon and she was asked to collect said kit - a task which had proved far too demanding for our collection of academic high fliers.
On any view the 2's recent form was giving rise for concern. A similar run of form in the Premiership had this week cost Marco Silva his job at Everton. I like Marco Silva. He has always seemed to be a decent dignified human being even though of late he has taken on a rather hang dog look- no doubt with good reason.
I also like Dunners. He is also a decent , dignified human being. I expected him also to have a hang dog look about him but he arrived as usual, chirpy, perky and without a care in the world. The children were also in buoyant mood as though losing week after week and leaving Hawks kit all over the Thames Valley was unremarkable - which I suppose it has been of late.
Notably , in the absence of George, Boggs jnr was in the squad for a cameo appearance. Boggs jnr happens to be the treasurer's son, he is also my godson, he is a tax accounatnt and works for Large (Father of Crazy Horse) , he has form as a very entertaining fines master but has to be totally bladdered to fulfil that role, he is the most intolerant man I know which itself is very amusing. He has recently become a responsible father so his opportunities to get completely off his head are now very limited - which is a shame. Taking all those features together he doesn't have much going for him at present.
In the changing room Dunners - apparently oblivious to the fact that he was in the last chance saloon - went through his pre match plan with his customary infectious enthusiasm which involves a lot of geniality and smiling. Dunners doesn't really do "angry" and has never pointed a hair dryer at anyone in his life. He didn't seem to realise the 2's had been plummeting down the league table in the last 5 weeks like one of those scary rides at Alton Towers.
He made a special point of explaining the strategy and tactics to Boggs jnr. Magnetic counters were moved around the small white board at lightning speed.(At this point I maybe should comment that the much larger magnetic board which featured prominently in a recent match report together with the coach's physical limitations seems to have been mothballed). I have to say that Boggs jnr's dull eyes just glazed over and it was only too obvious that he hadn't followed any of it. Neither I may say had my Cocker Spaniel who also happened to be in the room and is a very intelligent dog.
I think Boggs jnr may have naturally dull eyes as a result of his incredibly boring profession.
Mercifully the pre match meeting came to an end and we apparently seemed to have a strategy and the usual commitment from the children to follow it even in adversity.
It was, I think, Mike Tyson who said every boxer has a game plan until he gets smacked in the mouth.
Cometh the game. Newbury (and Thatcham) turned up with 10 players. I assume Thatcham couldn't get to the pitch on time but the 2 Thatcham blokes eventually showed up 10 minutes into the contest.
At the interval the teams were level at 2-2 although I felt we should have had 6 by then. Five minutes later the boys got smacked in the mouth as N and T scored with their first second half attack.
Well let me tell you I was minded then then to pop into Summertown and see if I could pick up a new coach cheaply on a Black Friday deal.
However, instead of going into collective meltdown as they are wont to do, the boys then actually played the hockey they are capable of and scored 5 without reply including a sensational goal from Godders (who was immense) which suggested he must be a member of the Magic Circle.
Crazy Horse picked up a hat trick to make him the League's leading scorer with 13. He then decided to leave early to meet his girlfriend and Boggs Jnr managed to retain his cool throughout.
The story of a rather extraordinary contest is captured in Evelyn Hargraves quality pics for which many thanks
To no one's great surprise one notable name was missing from the scoresheet. In the bar afterwards the said player declared with great pride that he had binned one in the warm up. Not a lot of use I'm afraid but it did occasion collective merriment.
Well done everybody - it was a lot of fun.
Finally the answer to last week's Christmas Quiz crossword question was of course "Water". I'm happy to explain it to any Brookes students who are still mystified and anyone else who is still floundering. I received 4 correct answers from Neil Abbott, Martin Pickup and Scraggy but the winner of the Bottle of Wine is Boots.
I should tell you that Dunners submitted 6 possible answers all of them wrong.
A good day in the end and the coach lives on to move more counters around his small magnetic board.
See you at the Punch Up.