[EDIT: Sorry for the delay. I blame Mr. M. Finch who has been very busy doing many many jobs. Still, at least we have the report now. Stats will come with the next report (gripping encounter vs. Croydon II’s).]
Nobody doesn’t enjoy a cup run, especially the Tom Dwyer where our glorious Narwhals have recent history in winning it. So you can imagine that the crowds rocked up for the eagerly anticipated semi-final against a strong looking Guildford team, who included in their squad a Spanish international goalkeeper and a pit player who to quote our esteemed Gimli “has biceps bigger than my head”, but then Ed always did have a bit of a pin head so it could well have been true….
We had a three goal head start due to the handicap which on initial team match-ups looked exceptionally light, we expected to be in for a tough night!
The first quarter certainly seemed that way, Guildford racing into a 2 – 0 lead on the night before a well taken Rob ‘whippet’ Dickinson goal and a further Guildford goal left the Narwhals 4 – 3 up with three quarters to play. The Narwhals played well but were constantly thwarted by the Guildford keeper, making some excellent saves from Rob ‘no more exams’ Loveless at his near post.
The second quarter saw Guildford change keepers, inexplicably removing their Spaniard and replacing him with a keeper on par with Nick ‘4th warning’ Shute. Initially we were unable to take advantage of this (primarily due to us not realising quite what a step down he was in quality). The quarter was a ding-dong affair, Nick bagging a brace and a rare Gimli goal seeing the Narwhals go in 7 all at half time.
The third quarter saw our best polo, Nick bagging another 3 with useful additions from John ‘Catas’ Holah and Oggy scoring from a ridiculous angle, helped by the keeper pushing it into his own net. Guildford bagged 4 themselves but the Narwhals went into the final quarter 1 goal ahead and things were looking up.
Unfortunately Guildford switched keepers again in the 4th quarter. Despite this we continued to play some very good polo for 4 of the 7 minutes, a very well taken goal by your author and part time keeper, showing Rob L how to score at the near post against this keeper, coupled with a glorious Oggy goal made by Nick taking out two defenders and the keeper leaving Oggy with the easiest goal he will ever score, this was voted moment of the match. Alas it was to no avail the last three minutes saw the Narwhals fall asleep at the wheel and drive into a ditch. Two very soft Guildford goals saw them win the tie by one, the final score being 15 – 16 to Guildford.
Man of the match went to Oggy by one vote, honourable mentions to both Nick, John and Rob D. Fluffer went to John for dropping the ball with three minutes to play resulting in Guildford scoring. Messers Loveless, Finch (mi) and Mann seemed to have gone on holiday early, no doubt enjoying the Portuguese sun!