Most people know that success is down to preparation and The Falcons are no exception.
This week we were faced with the arduous task of competing with Woking at their home base.
Yes, I do mean arduous. Woking regularly travel to Oxford and completely out perform Falcons on our own home soil.
Many is the time you will find the odd Falcon at the clubhouse bar completely outnumbered by Pitts The Elders.
Thus an impending trip to Woking has to be taken seriously.
Revving up for this commenced on Friday when my best man, Tom Abery, arrived from Bristol in time for supper and
then an expedition down to The Bear & Ragged Staff for some light limbering up on Hampton & Hardys with the best of Cumnor Euth Club(CEC as in Euthanasia): ex village policeman Jimmy May, newly crowned Cumnor Mayor Bob Boyles, OW John Tyrell, John Venables and ex used car salesman John Vincent.
One has to settle for a steady pace to ensure one is suitably compus mentice come circa22:30 when the meat draw takes place.
The ultimate disgrace is not recognising one own number when drawn from the "hat". Our table did pretty well and most of us come away with
something. In my case it was a Breakfast: sausages, bacon, eggs and black pudding whilst Tom opted for the vegetarian option
of a bottle of red wine.
Saturday morning saw us settle for a cheese and onion omelette before departing for the hockey club to watch the Mens 1s play Eastbourne
prior to us taking on Winchester on the top pitch. The post Winchester warm down was conducted thoroughly and seriously as a prelude to
our next fixture (all in the preparation!) before making our way home for a take away and then off to The Eight Bells to complete the warm down on XT2.
A very pleasant walk in the sunshine on Sunday morning was followed by bacon butties and then off to the Kastad to watch London Welsh
out perform Toms Bristol side. If Bristol could defend like Welsh it might have been different. Back home for Sunday lunch and Toms departure.
Mindful of the need to keep up the training I ensured that there was a good turn out of CEC members at The Eight Bells on Tuesday evening by picking up Trigger Gunn and giving him his weekly outing: my care in the community good deed for the week. There we were joined by the RAC (Russell Acott Crowd - the ex owners of that splendid old fashioned establishment in the High Street. Now All Bar One???). Whilst we used to operate on a kitty basis to
float ourselves through these Tuesday nights this was abandoned some weeks ago to avoid mutterings amonst the masses. It seemed some were resentful of
the need to contribute their tenner when they only drank a couple of glasses of red whilst others believed they were being taken advantage of. Can't do with it - buy your own! So, some make do with a couple, others work harder and get through several.... Have to say the Windrush from the North Cotswold Brewery was flowing well until the river dried up on us and we traansferred to XT.
Very limited training over the rest of the week mainly confined to the odd G&T and/or cider at home until Friday came around again.
This is the point at which it is important to start the build up to the "big match". Thus it was off to The Bear at 21:00 to find John Vegetables already had a glass of red in hand and ex mayors Nick Harris and Phil Wilkins and their better halves were established at one of the large tables in the bar. A few Hardys ensured that the evening was covivial as we were joined by The Mayor and others but had a rather disappointing result in the meat draw. I did manage to earn some brownie points by taking home a couple of steaks.
So, the big Woking day dawned with a helping of sausage, bacon, eggs, fried bread and black pudding. Then off to NOSC to watch the Mens 6s and Ladies 2s before assembling for departure. Numbers were confused as was the route with the A34 southbound closed. With Bear requiring rescue from the M40 services we were eventually underway, apart from those awaiting Ellio. Our Bear rescue resulted in Ellio beating us to it and we made it onto the pitch just before an impatient umpire blew the whistle for start of play. One of our number, travelling direct had texted to say he was running late and might not make the warm up!!! It was his first appearance for Falcons, he will learn! We had 13 players and an unusually mobile front line. We won 4 nil in first half, 2 - 1 in second with our guest keeper performing well. Billers was immense and well worth the MOM whilst Bear still owes us a jug for his 4. Off the pitch we soone cleaned them out of Doom Bar which was closely followed by the Dogs Bollocks. We left Pitts The Elders to the IPA and got back in time for H to open up and let us enjoy a jug of Rebellion before home and then the Eight Bells to start preparations for the next match, home next week to Havant.