The night of the burning eyes…

[EDIT: This is the first of two reports provided by our very own Lord of Chunderville – Charles KT. Sorry for the delay, he’d been hungover…]

Narwhals vs. Otter (06.09.19)

The Narwhals made a rather unsuccessful visit North to the heavily chlorinated seas of the University of London Pool to play Otter. A sad defeat of 13 to 9 left us traipsing back with only fervent hate of Otter Number 5.

The game, however, did not start so poorly with the opening quarter finishing 4-3, in our favour, and the end of the second quarter showing a close 6-6 draw.

The third quarter was more disappointing with us only scoring two goals despite receiving 4 man ups! Clearly, some practice is needed here!

While our defeat was complete in the fourth quarter as we were let in 4 goals only to respond with 4 man outs – and one goal…

Hence a rather lacklustre performance had lead to an exceptionally competitive competition for fluffer. Every single vote going to a different person (or Matt for two different things). So while the team certainly deserved a collective fluffer, Matt is the worthy winner of fluffer for a particularly fluffy all-round performance. The glorious moment came when Gio bizarrely sent himself out, having misheard the ref. Then Matt watched Gio get out rather than watch Otter play and score their unofficial man up.

The remarkably less competitive award for man of the match goes to Rob D for some classy defending (and drowning that f*cker number 5). With a special mentions for Dan, scoring all our goals, and Andy for not only attending when it was inconvenient for him but bringing supporter to cheer on the Narwhals in this challenging match!

Finally, a rather anticlimactic moment of the match goes to the collective effectiveness of Long-Shots with Rob D’s halfway shot being special! I’m glad to see that our Wednesday’s training on shooting from halfway was highly effective? And definitely the best use of our time…

Forza Narwhali

Better late than never…

[EDIT: The editor realises that there has been a severe lack of reports and stats posted recently. This is mainly due to his current employers decision to label the Narwhals website “unsuitable” for current security filters. We therefore have two reports for you – one from Crawley (A) where we were severely “Lenkied” and one from Croydon (H). The stats are from both games. Our newest arrival, Gio, is the contributor for the Crawley game. For everything else you get me!!]

August 16th Stats

Crawley Away – a bad player always blames the ref…

In the wonderful setting of the K2 Crawley 50m swimming pool, Narwhals had to surrender 17-9 to the home team.

Possibly due to the soft and quite relaxing pool lighting, the match started quite calm, with Crawley scoring the first goal of the game only in the late first quarter. We immediately equalised from the pit and then conceded another two goals, before reducing the distance with another goal from the pit – although someone claims that the ball did not cross entirely the imaginary goal line – which set the result to 3-2 for Crawley.

From that moment on, the actual chronological sequence of the goals is not very clear in the mind of the writer and considering that we did not get a copy of the match report from the table, the writer needs to improvise.

This confusion is also partially due to the quite interesting refereeing which followed, almost as “Interesting” as the one of Byron Moreno in the round of 16 match between Italy and South Korea in the 2002 World Cup (the writer is aware that this reference may not be familiar to non-Italians). Some of the “interesting” decisions included at least two goals assigned to the home team, with the ball not even getting close to cross the line (when will VAR be introduced in British waterpolo???), a penalty awarded to Crawley caused by our attempt to play 7-vs-7 (how did we dare?) following a substitution after a goal conceded (with the refs resuming the game when we were only six in the water, with the seventh player who was diving in) and few other penalties and major fouls – for both teams to be fair – which were supposed to follow the new rules, but actually did not really look in line with them.

However, we did our part and went in general confusion, offering too many counterattacks to Crawley which allowed their players to get 1-to-1 with Andrew in goal and set the final result on 17-9.

From our side, the goals were scored by Rob fluffer, including an amazing and memorable first goal from a corner, which deserves to be shown to future generations, 2 by Nick, in his last match as a not married man (CONGRATULATIONS!), 2 by Rob, including a stylish lob from the pit, and 2 by Gio, who also missed an easy chance after one of the many confusing ref decisions.

It’s also worth reporting the missed attempt from 2m by Rob fluffer which kind of balance his goal from the corner. Someone believes his hand was anaesthetised as he shot, although he claimed the ref blew the whistle (which does not seem very unlikely after all).

Other remarkable fact is that this was also the first game for George with the Narwhals – thanks for bringing some support on the stands!

[Edit – from that I can only assume that Loveless won the fluffer and other Rob won moment?]

Croydon – Home

Basically, I can’t remember much of the game other than counter attacks and a few stunning goals. To make matters worse, I only received three votes (excluding my own), making the mandate for awarding the prizes dangerously low.  Dan got man of the match, Zach got fluffer and Loveless/Oggy share moment. We lost 9-19 despite an attempted 4th quarter comeback from 9 goals down… Well done everyone. On to bigger and better things vs. Beckenham soon.

Forza Narwhali!!

His biceps are bigger than my head…

[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!

Forza Narwhali!

Mid-Season Stats Review (oh… and a win vs. Beckenham)

Evening all. As we hid the mid part of the season, it is probably worthwhile giving you a quick stats review for the last 6 months… Drum roll please…


We played a game vs. Beckenham. It was pretty good. We won by 16-11. Bedford showed up and moaned about his knee. It was like we were playing in 2018 again… Nick was Man of the Match for his 7 goal haul. Dan and Nick got equal votes for moment of the match – Dan: for a wonderful lob were he teed himself up and tippity-tapped it over the on-rushing keeper. Shute also got moment for a super length of the pool swim (past 2 opposition players) rounded off with a push shot. Sadly for him, Stef got fluffer for a dreadfully executed man up pass… Tut.

Anyway… Stats.

June 30th Stats (2019) June 30th Stats (2018)

Shute is way out in-front with 58 goals from 11 games (5.27 a game). This means he is ahead of where he was last year (54 in 13 – 4.15 per game) and also by virtue of games played, ahead of 2018 Dan Bedford (64 in 13 – 4.92 per game). Interestingly enough, this is in stark contrast to this time in 2017 when Shute was on 34 in 15 and Bedford was on 23 from 7. Clear year on year progression there.

On the goal scoring charts, Messers Ogg, Finch Snr and Gamble are also out-performing where they were this time last year. Even so, it seems there is little competition for Mr Shute, the Manchester City of goal-scorers. Another year, another golden shower… I mean hand.

Majors wise, the landscape has changed massively since 2018 and 2017. The traditional front runners of the contest John “Punchy” Holah and Gary “Fists of Fury” Bowen are nowhere near the top of the rankings. Perhaps they have cleaned up their act… more likely the Portuguese police have stepped in. The under-performance of these titans of brutality has left a gap for new blood to compete for the Catas-Trophy.

Zac “mid-pool major” Finch has (literally) pulled back the competition to surge up to the top of the charts. His 13 majors in 14 games gives him a Major per Game ratio of 0.93 and a frankly embarassing Brutality Rating of 4.33. Nonetheless, this puts him at the top of the Catas list. Compared to last year, he has excelled himself, beating his previous 8 from 14 (0.57 / 4.00).

The only heavy-weight to be challenging Finch Jnr at this stage is current Catas trophy holder Gimli Weeble, destroyer of rings. This years 10 from 11 (0.91 / 1.00) is a weak performance compared to last years 14 in 10 (1.4 / 2.33) but he is still in second place. New boy and vicious northerner Rob Dickinson is challenging in 3rd with 7 majors in 10 games. He needs to try harder if he wants a trophy this year!!

As a team, we have scored fewer goals vs. this time last year (178 vs. 204) and our goal difference is significantly lower (12 / 70) but I would put that down to quality of opposition. Majors wise, we play 66 vs. 89 – Holah and Bowen’s drop off in form clearly impacting out numbers there. Comparative number of trips to Portugal stays steady at 32 in 6 months.

The challenge for the Fluffer DVD and Where’s Wally stays strong with the usual suspects leading the field. With a busy 6 months of the season remaining, who can “last the distance” and “keep it up” to the finish line?

Until next time…

Forza Narwhali!!

The uniting in (un)holy matrimony of Enfield and TW Narwhals

[Edit: Apologies for the delay… I am sooooo busy. This report is from our epic encounter against Enfield back on June 10th where the mighty Narwhals staged a 4th quarter comeback to win in the last few seconds. At one stage we were 3 goals down in the 4th – a huge effort led to a resounding 12-11 victory.]

[Master Shute this week gives us the match report – a quick practise of his Groom’s speech to thank everyone for their attendance. He would appreciate any feedback you have…]

Firstly, I’d like to thank all of you for attending the game, especially those who travelled from the depths of south London all the way up to the top of the Northern Line. I know it was worth the trip, with an epic battle that went goal for goal all the way to the last 10 seconds, and the Narwhals emerging victorious by a single goal, 12-11.

Thanks to Gary for travelling all the way from Portugal to attend, I hope you had a safe trip home.

Thanks to Matt Finch for a solid performance in goal. A classic combination with Shute to get the winning goal.

Thanks to Geo Demari for bringing some Italian fighting spirit to the game. A punchy performance, with 2 majors to his name and a solid goal to add to his name.

Thanks to Tim Young for a solid performance for the team. Cruelly disallowed a bouncer in off the post by the ref giving a reversal in the pit.

Thanks to Dr Loveless for his goal contribution to the victory. It will go down in history as a perfectly executed palinka penalty, despite your claims it slipped out of your hand. Only losing out on moment due to the circumstances of the victory.

Thanks to Oggy for an excellent performance in the pit. They couldn’t handle it and a big 4 goals for the team.

Thanks to Best Man Gamble for his man of the match performance. 2 goals and some solid defending with no majors was enough to catch the eye of the fans.

Thanks to Shute for his 4 goals. Special thanks for his last second push shot that won us the game, for which he is awarded moment of the match. What a hero – the bride is lucky to have him.

Thanks to Zach for booking the table at Nandos before the game. Your contribution of 1 major, moaning about it and you own team telling you it’s the new rules wins you the award of fluffer for this game.


Forza Narwhali

The Avondale Double Header

We played Avondale twice in the space of two weeks. It was close, with the aggregate score 18-17 to Avondale. At times we played well, at times we didn’t. Our man-ups were awful, our man-downs were pretty good actually. Dubious refereeing on all fronts both home and away made for some interesting games.

The first fixture was the home leg at Whitgift. We snuck a last minute winner after a shot on goal was blocked with two hands by an Avondale defender. Up stepped Oggy to bury the winner with 14 seconds to go. What a hero!! Game was categorised by some great saves from Finchy (including 3 penalty saves) which earned him Man of the Match. Shute and Oggy shared Moment – Nick for a wonderful parabola lob (again) and Oggy for the aforementioned last minute penalty winner. Rob Loveless sadly won fluffer for wayward passing and shooting. (“who me?” you hear him ask…). Gamble was in close contention for a penalty/wobble double whammy – giving one away and then crying about it. Overall, it was nice to actually win a game – even though we made it super difficult.

The return leg game a week and a half later. This game was just as close and was characterised by Bedford getting beaten up in the pit with little/no return. The game became quite scrappy and fighty and despite Mr Shute’s claims of innocence, he probably did punch someone at some point… Sadly we lost by two goals, the final score 10-8. Man of the Match went to John Holah for some good fighting in the pit, moment of the match went to Shute who loves a lob vs. Avondale (you think they’d learn) and fluffer went to Finch Senior for some awful passing from goal…

Also, shout out to new boy Gio who has started his Narwhals career strongly. Our first Italian recruit, taking the Narwhals brand global!!

Until next time – Forza narwhali!!

Viscount Kingsborough vs. Penguin

[EDIT – a short but sharp match report today. The editor recognises there have been very few posts recently and apologises profusely. Finch Senior took time out of his 15 jobs and 32 redundancies to write the short blurb below…]

There was a game at some point last week. I got the dates wrong, it was a shambles. No-one was surprised!!

It was all somewhat overshadowed by the revelation that one of our team members was a Viscount (and had kept it very quiet). We lost the game. By lots. A depleted Narwhals played a 1 ½ Penguin team who had some very handy Eastern Europeans. However in the words of Mr Robert Dickinson, this was the “best 18 – 4 defeat he’d ever played in” and to be fair we didn’t play badly, they were just a lot better than us!!

Man of the Match went to Zach for being for only person on either team that could score a penalty

Moment of the Match went to Andy W in goal for saving what could only be described as a rocket, with his face and then needing a little time out afterwards (not surprisingly either)

Fluffer was yours truly having scored 0.003% of my shots and failed to pass to a wide open Rob D on 3 of them… Shooting practice required!!

For those who are interested:

Stats will be updated in full once all match reports have been completed.

Big Daddy’s Big Send-off

[EDIT – This week see’s the debut of Gary “Garreeeeeee” Bowen, providing his very first match report. The games covered in this report were friendlies and therefore (due to considerable complaints from the voting public) do not contribute towards stats. As a result we only get to enjoy the words of Mr. Bowen.]

20th April 14:19 and the call comes from Matt ‘Million Dollar’ Finch – we have a “friendly polo” event against the Kingston Royal Warriors next Thursday 25th. With hindsight could this be the most miss-sold event of 2019?

One by one the yay and nay messages appear, but all slightly confused by someone [edit: a convict] called Birman who seemed to have hacked into the team WhatsApp group on that Saturday evening and was posting pictures of himself superimposed on images of some of the Narwhals having a quiet evening in Streatham. Birman even posted that Phil ‘Big Daddy’ Richards was having lunch with the in laws – he could have thought of something more original – what a poor excuse to miss some beers! And posting that our team elder statesman was still ill 10 days after attending a stag weekend was just cruel. [edit: I still want to know what happened on that stag do…]

By Wednesday, even with the many nays, Million Dollar had summoned a mighty team of eight. So, game on – but what the team really needed was a bit of pre-match training. What better than an extended Wednesday training session at the Khana Peena ( followed by a heated game of five-a-side Hungarian Dodgeball – not a game that has made Olympic status yet but it could challenge synchronised swimming (or artistic swimming as it is now known). At the end of the game we won and they lost.

Anyway, on to the match day. In spite of his almost agreed transfer to the US league, Big Daddy came through with an early confirmation that he was good to play. No mention of poo, so can only assume that he was still stacking this for a later mighty session. Perhaps as a left-over from the Saturday hacking, Million Dollar completely messed up his liaison with John ‘The Animal’ Holah and arrived at the pool before thanking The Animal for his offer of a lift. Great to see a bit of team coordination.

But what about the game you ask? Well we played, and it did involve a pool, but was it polo? Perhaps there was some rule confusion, should we follow the new FINA water polo rules or should we use the UWW freestyle wrestling rules? This confusion seemed particularly hard for Zac ‘The Undertaker’ Finch who achieved his second exclusion within 90 seconds of the start of Round 1. The rest of the team also struggled to get their holds right and at the end of the round the judges had scored the match as 3 to Kingston and only 1 to the Narwhals.

Round 2 was better as the hold and release training came back to some of the Narwhals, and the judges scored this 4:2 to the Narwhals with Nick ‘The Hacksaw’ Shute and Big Daddy being awarded 2 each.

Round 3 and Kingston had clearly got to the judges, so despite The Hacksaw being awarded 2 more points Kingston were judged as winners of the round by 5:2. Sadly in this round The Undertaker was caught trying an illegal backbreaker move and was eliminated from the competition.

So, into round 4. Could the Narwhals get Kingston onto the floor? The Hacksaw continued with his grip and release tactics to get two more points awarded and Ed ‘The Hulk’ Gamble and Gary ‘Rowdy’ Bowen were awarded 1 each for clearly confusing the opposition. But sadly Kingston were also awarded 2 points and had their hands raised at the final score 12:11.

Despite a severe lack of votes, in recognition of his valiant attempt to be remembered after his transfer to the US, Big Daddy (Phil-adelphia) was awarded the Man of Match award. The Hacksaw was given the award for the best ‘release from the opposition hold’ moment and The Undertaker was nominated as fluffer for his excessive use of illegal backbreaker moves.

Million Dollar, The Animal, Tim ‘Ultimate Warrior’ Young and Charles ‘Ravishing’ King-Tenison have all been sent to enhance their skills at the Portuguese training camp…….

A keeper, a keeper… my kingdom for a goal keeper!!

Last week saw the Narwhals take on Beckenham 2’s in the London League. Our first experience of the new London League rules and our first failure to grasp them. A sturdy 9 turned up for the game, crucially buoyed by the first appearance of the season by Dan “Iron Man” Bedford. Clearly Nick challenging his record for the year was causing him some concern… Rather unhelpfully, both our goalkeepers were on holiday, so Gary “Gareeeeeeeeeee” Bowen, in the style of Shakespearean tragic hero, volunteered to go between the posts.

April 22nd Stats

Pre-game we had a nifty little team talk. “Remember the new rules” we said loudly several times, “don’t let them shoot from corners, don’t foul them from behind. Job done.”. Oh how we wish it was that simple…

In honesty I don’t remember much about the game. They kept beating us on the counter attack and if we managed to get back and defend properly, we were picked off from distance. Whilst performing an admirable job between the sticks, Gary was very unlucky with some heavily deflected shots flying past him. Beckenham were also equally good at finding the top corner!!

Shute and Bedford shared the pick of the goals with Gamble and Richards chipping in with their own efforts. Holah made a triumphant return with a typical major and Finch Jnr gave away a spectacular penalty, absolutely nailing the pit man after being turned. Congratulations on putting yourself in firm contention for the Catas!!

Scores were 6-10 at the half; 10-18 at full time.

Man of the Match went to Bedford for his first appearance of the year. He did all the things we expected – growled grumpily from the pit, told us we were all rubbish, questioned why he played with us in the first place and scored a few goals. He also won Moment of the Match for a delightful lob into the far corner (of the goal). Not to be confused with one of my shots that went into the far corner of the pool…

Fluffer this week could have been a close run thing with the award being shared. Sadly for one of the pair, we were sympathetic to the one who took the bullet and went in goal. Despite having been warned of shots directly from the corner, and with Weeble’s shouts of “watch him, don’t let him shoot!!” still ringing in his ears, this member of the team decided to turn his back on the Beckenham player swimming to take a corner. Within a moment, the shot was taken and the ball was in the net. The narwhals fall foul of the new rules for the first (and definitely not the last) time this year. Congrats Charles, you win!!

Hopefully we will do a better job of trying to win the game next time.

Forza Narwhali!!


The Inevitability of Life…

This week the stats report has been updated to include three previous games vs. Orca, Avondale and Otter. Match reports are sold separately. The following tale includes heroics, stupidity, cramp and a sublime back shot from the least likely of candidates.

April 14th Stats

Some things in life are inevitable. Birth, Death, and Matt Finch forgetting we have a game. Last Wednesday was another one of those occasions. A sturdy 9 Narwhals turned up at Whitgift pool for a 9pm training session, all looking forward to what could turn into an early night. Just before we started our swim set, a warning shot was fired across our decks – one member of the opposition wandered cautiously onto poolside. We told him in no uncertain terms there was no game and he disappeared back into the changing rooms. Oh how we laughed…

Led by Rob D, we then conducted a 20 minute swim session where we did sprints, legs and butterfly. Suitably tired, we were then greeted by a full team of London Otter players who arrived on pool side for a 9.30pm game. Brandishing the London League fixture list, it was clear the game was on… With no table, no refs and barely enough players to service both, the Narwhal Horn was sounded into the night – “BADDOOOOOOOOOPPPP!! BADDOOOOOOOOOPPPP!!”.

“Too far, too tired” came the response from Shute. “I’m working” from Holah. A silent void from the rest – the beacons of Gondor well and truly ignored. Luckily President Ogg did come to our aid, importantly brandishing a match sheet as he ran onto poolside. Also buoyed by the long awaited return of Luke “finals and photo shoots” Penfold, the Narwhals were ready for battle.

In honesty, there is not a lot to say about the game. It was scrappy and Otter had clearly brought a mixed strength team including some (a) very good 1st team player. In the first quarter they scored 4 without response until referee Finch Snr rather expertly gave a penalty for an illegal entry. Even more surprisingly, Weeble dispatched the penalty with a bouncing effort into the bottom corner. 4-1 to Otter after Q1.

Quarter 2 ended 8-1 to Otter and we struggled to get into the game. No goals coincided with Gamble doing the refereeing. Read into that what you will. Unfortunately we lost Penfold to cramp at the end of the quarter. His “easy” return to training somewhat scuppered by this unexpected game. Two quarters on the table was his reward!!

Quarter 3 was a little better. We worked a bit harder and they only scored from outside the arc. A few misplaced passes didn’t help our cause and we struggled to slow down the play and use up the clock. Even so, we got a few good shots away and finally got the goal we deserved. A drive from halfway across the goal by Gimli was picked out by a looping pass from Ogg. Aided by a dubious Finch Snr pull-back, Gimli had enough time to put the resulting back shot into the top corner off the post and crossbar. Assists to Ogg and Finch? Q3 ended 12-2.

In honesty, we played quite well despite the situation. Our drop on the pit worked well and most of their goals came from counter attacks or from 8-9m off the arc. Quarter 4 saw goals from Oggy and Finchy, making the score sheet slightly less uncomfortable reading. 15-4 the final score.

Man of the Match went to Gamble as did moment for the back-shot. You flatter me guys. Fluffer unanimously went to Matt Finch, the Incompetence award wrapped up for another year.

Until next time… Forza Narwhali!!