A Roller-coaster of Moments

Putting his GCSE English to good use (someone has to) Charles K-T chips in with a match report…

March 19th Stats

After a long journey, by train or by car, the Narwhals arrived, further North than their regular hunting grounds, at the underground layer of Eastern Otter. The Narwhals started in classic fashion – going 2-0 down in the first 4 minutes… A golden opportunity fell their way early on, with a 2 on 1 against the keeper. Rob ‘long-range’ Loveless executed a superb lob – over both the keeper, and the supporting player: to the dismay of the crowd. Yet with 2 minutes left of the first quarter, the Narwhals staged an impressive comeback with two goals from Nick ‘likes to Shute a lot’, the top goal scorer, and a hat-trick from Dan. The first quarter ended with a blast, as “Long-range” Loveless realised shooting from twelve meters was much easier than two and bounced one in the top corner, with only a second left on the clock to make moment of the match. 

The second quarter saw significantly less goals as we attacked their almost shallow end. Despite losing the second quarter 3-2, we maintained our lead with goals from Tim and Nick, finishing the quarter 5-8. The most notable moments of the quarter was a sudden violent streak from Gamble, resulting in two majors in as many minutes, to cap a slightly underwhelming quarter – and taking his brutality rating to 7… 

Starting the third quarter, the Narwhals found themselves down another goal, in under a minute. Following the decline of the last quarter, real pressure was on to ensure the match didn’t slip away from the Narwhals. A man up, finished superbly into the corner by Phil provided some comfort before a controversial penalty was given against us. Despite a lengthy explanation of the rules from Finch ‘Major’, the penalty was incorrectly given, then scored. The three goal lead was quickly restored as Rob ‘long-range’ Loveless scored again from range, before realising he can also score from two meters too. A brief Otter counter attack, bringing home two goals, was quickly nullified by a rear guard action with goals from Charles and Tim, following some hand magic (almost worthy of moment of the match) from Nick. Mr. ‘likes to Shute a lot’ scored again and brought the game firmly under control. The quarter set to end on a high saw a speculative, long range shot from the Eastern Otters line up. Blockers in place. Keeper set. The Narwhals were ready to defend any incoming fire power. A wide, slow, looping shot was expertly volleyed in by Gamble – past Finch Major – into the Narwhals’ goal. A bizarre own goal secured Gamble the title of fluffer, against the rivals of misplaced passes and shots that threatened low flying aircraft. 

The final quarter got off to a slow start, but with building momentum, goals arrived from Rob, Nick and Phil. With the score at 10-17, the fight to avoid a maddie began. A soft foul was given away by Oggy; it is also currently under investigation by the dubious maddie committee. Otter scored, but the game was won and with a couple of minutes to go, Dan fired a shot from range – high, wide and straight into the changing rooms. Unfazed by this, Dan tried again blasting one in the far post to cap of a comfortable 11-18 win. Man of the Match going to Rob, for finally learning how to score, and doing so in phenomenal style. Notable mention should go to Charles and Nick ‘likes to Shute a lot’, for close runners up. 

Finally the London Metropolitan Police force would like to put out a missing person report for a Mr Zach Finch, who hasn’t been seen since Monday, the 12th of March. He was last seen somewhere in North East London, but also was apparently sighted loitering in Portugal in following days: any knowledge of his whereabouts would be greatly appreciated.

Tales of the Deep

This week’s match report courtesy of Rob “High and Wide” Loveless. Has he “hit the target” with his writing? You be the judge…

28th Feb stats

Tales of the Deep:
The odyssey of the Narwhal horde continues as our intrepid knights of the cool waters headed into the unknown pastures of Walton upon Thames to face another battle. Some compared the battlefield for this bout to the borderline watchable 1999 Renny Harlin thriller “Deep Blue Sea”. More vigilant observers pointed out that this pool was neither deep nor blue, and really wasn’t very close to the sea. 2 shallow ends in fact proved a novelty for Narwhal and observer alike. Genetically modified sharks were nowhere to be seen,  but in their place the formidable Blue Marlin stood in the Narwhals way. The game started much as a trip to the fabled Elmbridge Xcel centre often does, with 14 brave souls splashing about in the shallows waiting for something resembling Water Polo to happen.
“Standing” cried the Narwhal travelling support. “Set up the arc”, “Do something!”. The horde responded to such criticism initially with a resilience unseen before as they avoided anything resembling attacking play. The horde’s defence is where their strength lies, although sadly those championships that many suggest are won on the basis of defence do not appear to include the London or Thameside Water Polo Leagues…
Finally, mid way through the first quarter one Narwhal rose above the rest, and following 3 outstanding assists (which never seem to get credited?), Dan had scored a hat-trick. Attacking the deeper of two shallow ends appeared to suit the Narwhals. A further man up goal from Holah completed the quarter’s attack, but as the spoils appeared plentiful the defence lost concentration and allowed 3 goals in return. 
The second quarter proved as memorable as 2003’s suspenseful bore-fest “Open Water”, to the point where I remember 3 things. Dan scored a second hat-trick, Ed got his first major, and we conceded only once. Evidently defending the deeper shallow end was also to our taste. 
After the customary rousing team talk from Dan (“I know no-one wants to be here but lets not lose”), the third quarter began. At this stage Dan would then go to sleep for the remainder of the game and allow Nick to come to the fore as the Narwhals attacking threat. A fine goal off the right flank for Charles and a particularly well worked lobbed goal under pressure from Nick both gained votes for Moment of the Match, but that crown was to be grabbed with both hands, and the head, by Gamble.
Valiantly defending the pit against a man twice his size (difficult I know…), the referees called major as he battled to regain the ball. He dutifully swam to the corner, not anticipating that the Marlin sharpshooters would prove sharper than usual. The shot cannoned off the back of Gamble’s head, he was felt to be interfering with play (it remains unclear whether he had any idea of what was going on, or any lasting memory of the event), and a third and final major was awarded. Wrapped. Disgraced. Wobble. He earned moment of the match for his troubles. 
By the fourth quarter the game was well in hand, and Nick continued his scoring escapades. This was in stark contrast to Rob, who continued to push the realms of possibility with shots further and further off target in spite of considerably larger goals than usual. One particular effort was so far high and right that landings at Heathrow were temporarily diverted to avert disaster. Shooting practice prescribed, he wraps up Fluffer for another week, extending his streak to 2.
The final score was 19-7 to the Narwhals who returned victorious to deeper waters. Man of the match was awarded to Dan for his 7 goal haul, with special mentions to Nick and Chris Mann in attack and Andy W in goal who made several good saves. No trips to Portugal this week, although Zach’s last quarter major has warranted referral to the DMC, considered very dubious. The Narwhal undefeated run of 2018 survives, as they await their next challengers.
Forza Narwhali

Ad Victoriam! Narwhal Victoriam!

This week’s stats report was provided by guest writer Nick Shute, fresh from the set of Gladiator 2. For those who are uneducated and didn’t study Latin at school, there is an appendix at the bottom for you to work out who the characters in this epic story are…

Feb 7th Stats



5th Februarius

And so we come to the second great battle of MMXVIII. The Narwhal legions amassed at Las Iguanas in Westfield Stratford for a pre-battle feast. Victory felt like an inevitability against the Orca clans of the East, and the soldiers were jovial as Amator Lignorum played out the battle formations with condiments to hand. With no heed to the hour, the sun rose without warning over the waves in the far distance. The faint but distinct drums of the Orcas could be heard, closer than expected. The Narwhals (after paying the bill) gathered their weapons, and with “gaudia certaminis” in their hearts they lined up on the field of battle.

The sound of war horns filled the clear wintery skies, the battle had commenced and the two armies rushed towards each other. Amans Vinum, on his steed Nanti, the fastest of all horses in Londinensi, sped ahead of all others down the left flank. As he reached the middle of the battlefield, he prepared his gladius, however, as he kicked up to strike, an enemy spear was already mid-flight towards him. With no time to avoid the projectile, he closed his eyes and prayed “In Vino Veritas” and thought about the whisky collection he’d never get to drink. However, thank the Gods, the throw was wayward and Vinum was spared.

The Narwhals were bemused, “how did the enemy get a spear away so quicky?”. “Neptune! Neptune!” Finchus Maximus cried from troops in reserve, “they have summoned the help of a God!” And so they had, the lumbering form of the God of the Sea could be seen prowling the side of the battlefield, giving advantage to all Orca troops. With the help of his son, Finchus Minimus, Maximus started the ritual to summon our own Goddess, Edesia, God of Food and Rings. Alas, try as they might, she was at a work function she couldn’t get out of. All thoughts of a quick and easy victory were dashed like the terrible ocean waves onto the Eastern Londinensi cliffs.

Battle raged, blood was spilt like wine at a Narwhals Christmas Party, the sound of men screaming and dying filled the air. At midday the tides were even, with Neptune concentrating his power on stopping the Narwhal captains from slaying their enemies, whilst giving his Orcas easy kills. However, Amator Lignorum, with his love of the forests, kept Neptune from his mind and slew 2 Orca captains with his spear in quick succession. He rallied to him Brutus, Vorago Scaenicus and Multis Proposita who along side him slew at will. Brutus slew a man with his bare fists, Scaenicus got in close and took off a man’s head with his axe, and Proposita put his sword through a mans heart after Scaenicus had twice laid glancing blows. Hiems Inferus held the back line well, however could not stop the slaying of 4 of the Narwhals best men, leaving the outcome of the battle known to only Apollo himself.

All of a sudden, Neptune seeing some of his best go down, unleashed a torrent of terrible reffing decisions. Lignorum, Brutus, Scaenicus and Proposita took grave wounds and had to retreat, taking no part in the rest of the battle. Inferus was called into action again, and kept the losses down to 2. Vinum, enraged by what he was seeing, jumped from Nanti into the head of the fighting and slew 2 men where they stood. Finchus Maximus brought in the reserves and rallied Sordidum Balneo and Iuvenis Vir to him. Together they slew a further 3 Orca captains, Maximus with a well aimed spear, Balneo twice with his poisonous arrows. Vir twice had easy kills with his slinger, however shot above target. 3 more of our best men fell, however Neptune was waning as successive blows from Maximus and Lignorum were aimed towards him. Finally, Vin slew the last Orca captain and victory was secure.

Many Narwhal captains took grievous wounds from the work of Neptune, however none were slain and they quickly marched back down the Grey road to the South to heal. Finchus Minimus, despite his good work and many assists, took no wounds, killed no men and failed to summon Edesia, so was banished to find a new home in far Western Europe.

At the post battle council, it was agreed Vorago Scaenicus was most influential in the eventual victory. Moment of the battle was shared between Vorago Scaenicus, who whilst battling a man at close quarters, got 2 glancing blows on Multis Propositas man allowing him to get the killing blow. Other moments included Maximus and Balneo for a man up goal, Vinus for his final push shot kill, Maximus for shouting at Neptune and not being wrapped because he knew he was wrong and Lignorum for distracting Neptune while Propositas dived back into battle. Fluffus was awarded also to Multis Proposita, who on a hattrick of kills and with his spear aimed at an unarmed man, just threw the man his spear. A week to recover from these wounds, then those brutes in Kingtonian. Narwhal Victoriam!

Notes on the soldiers: 

Finchus Maximus –  Finchy “the biggest”, named so as the father of Finchus Minimus and because he’s the biggest lad.

Finchus Minimus – Finchy “youngest”, Son of Maximus. Banished from Londinensi after the Battle of Londinensi Aquatics Centre, rumoured to have founded Lisbon, Portugal.

Brutus – The name might seem hard, but it actually translates to irrational, or dumb/imbocile. Brutus loves battle, but isn’t very good and is regularly wounded.

Amans Vinum – Literally translates to “lover of wine”. Amans is the old Latin name for Amy. His horse Nanti translates to swimmer, as the quickest horse in the battle due to Monday swim training attendance.

Multis Proposita – “many goals”. Given the name after the Battle of Londinensi Aquatics Centre due to his prolific start to MMXVIII.

Sordidum Balneo – Literally translates as “dirty bathroom”. Because there’s no latin word for poo.

Hiems Inferus – Heims is the season Winter, and Inferus can translate to lower or below as in bottom of. It can also in context mean hellish. The rear guard of the Narwhal legions.

Iuvenis Vir – translates as “a young man”. Youngest(ish) captain of the Narwhals, his potential can be seen despite lacking a finishing move.

Vorago Scaenicus – Vorago meaning abyss/chasm, used to describe the pit in the heart of battle. Scaenicus translates as “player” or “actor”, depending whether he wants to score or win a major.

Amator Lignorum – Literally translates as “lover of wood”. He insists the other captains heed his advanced planning on the battlefield, but once all hell breaks loose it very rarely (never) happens.


Maddy Club:

The Battle of Croydon Fields

It has been a cold and miserable winter for all you Narwhal’s fans out there. Two long months of darkness without the shining light of a stats report to brighten your days – but the wait is over – the first game of 2018 came like a guiding star, shining bright in the sky, drawing us closer to an epic tale of brotherhood, bravery and betrayal…

Jan 26th Stats

It had been exactly a year since the now legendary navigation of the Victoria Line by Sir Amy of Winehands and Bronn Weasly his ginger gardener, who led the raid on the homelands of the Eastern Otters (who strangely live in the north). The heroic actions of the Narwhal warriors held back the northern hordes but with the coming of winter, the hordes of the Thameside league managed to cross the great river and swarm across south London. It was time for our champions to reassemble.

Observing the Otter horde cut a swathe across Thornton Heath (we assume they were responsible for the fires and chaos) Lord Oggy, now several stone lighter having been to a boxer-cise class, lifted the ancient Narwhal horn to his lips and blew – “Badeeeeeerrrrrpppp” “Badeeeeeeeerrrrrrpppp” “Badeeeeerrrrrrp”.

The Lord of Limoncello lifted his head to a sound he had not heard in months. Knowing what he had to do, he quickly stuffed two bottles of liquid gold into his bag and ran from his house. He jumped onto the steed that had pulled up outside – his travelling partner was to be the feared Champion of Catas(trophy) – three-time winner of the most brutal of tournaments. They were quickly joined by Finches major and minor, bringing together the Knights of Redhill for the first time in 2018. Sadly, Scooter King-Tenison misheard the Narwhal horn and ended up in Lisbon…

Lord Oggy had blown so hard on the horn that it could even be heard in Germany!! Upon hearing the summons to defend his homeland, Tim the Bicep knight promptly dropped his wurst and stein and rushed to find his buried speedos.

Eventually the whole motley crew were assembled and the Nation of Narwhals took to the pool, a merry band of 11. As we prepared for battle, we heard a creak behind us and the sound of a cane banging against the floor. Grand Master Bowen had also heard the call!! Limping from an injury sustained during a previous fight, he took up a spot high above the pool to watch the fight unfold – occasionally oiling his bionic hip.

We took to the water and engaged our foe. The fighting was fiercest in the opening stages, with losses tied at 6-6 at halftime. Bronn and Amy brought the goals whilst Finchy of Many Colours made many miraculous saves – including one from a penalty. It was then in the second half that the Narwhals showed their strength and fitness, opening up a lead in the 3rd quarter which turned into a rout in the 4th – 5 goals without reply left the Narwhals standing in a field of fallen foes. Victorious at last, ensuring that their homelands were safe again. Despite his reputation as a brutal fighter, the Champion of Catas was nowhere to be seen after the battle. It is believed he faked his own death and fled to Portugal.

As our heroes emerged from the field of battle, bloodied and bruised, they made their way to local Inn to sup beer and share tales of their deeds. Little did one of their party know that the Crown and Sceptre would be the scene of a final betrayal. Despite having slain many foes and grabbed himself a (stunning) goal, Gimli, the destroyer of Rings was ambushed by the Knights of Redhill. They beat him down and released the foul Fluffer Troll from its cage. He fought valiantly, protecting his comrades from the foul monster (“Flee you fools!!”), but sadly, despite his efforts, everyone’s favourite Narwhal eventually fell to the assault. Down into the bottomless depths of the Wobble pit Gimili fell, continually wrestling with the Fluffer troll. I suppose he will probably be re-born with new super powers in the next instalment…

Despite fearsome perfomances from Amy and Bronn, the bards will be singing Finchy’s name for the weeks to come. The heroics in goal earning him the first Man of the Match of 2018. It was widely agreed that despite Sir Tony of Popovic’s fumblings in front of goal being superb, Bronn had several incredible moments (goals) – for which he wins that award.

After the victory at the Battle of Croydon Fields, the Narwhal Nation moves on to the Battle of the Arctic. An epic showdown with the Orcas of Stratford.

Forza Narwhali

The return of Thameside

The return of the Thameside league sees a reversal in our fortunes. Like the monsoon rains revive the plains, so the Thameside league helps to rejuvenate our faltering scoring and end the harsh realities dealt to us by the London League. Due to the delay of a detour via Budapest, I bring you two games against opponents who also have staring roles in Blue Planet 2… Blue Marlin and London Orca.

Nov 20th Stats

Frankly – I forget what happened in the Blue Marlin game… we won it 12-5, making much harder work of it than we should have. A disappointing 2nd quarter saw a 5min period where no goals were scored by either team – riveting stuff!! Nick “counter-attack” Shute got man of the match with 5 goals, putting some distance between himself and the chasing pack. Zac got Moment of the Match for scoring despite regular emails between the Stats Department and the Dubious Maddy Committee (DMC) at Narwhal HQ. Fluffer was shared between Matt “poor push shot” Finch and Gary “dodgy lob” Bowen for some combined bad shooting. Regardless of the awards, we got the result and recorded a win. Back on track for the Narwhals.

Last week saw a visit from our Arctic adversaries – the London Orca. It is often documented that Narhwals are difficult to find in the wild – none more so than the legendary ginger narwhal – who hadn’t been spotted in months. That being said, the prospect of a feast meant that Dan “flat track bully” Bedford made a rare appearance – dominating our opposition and picking up a solid 5 goals. This was despite Gary stealing his no.8 hat… This time around Rob “there’s a snake in my boot” Loveless won man of the match for his 5 goals, narrowly beating Andy who made some good saves (and very nearly conceded from half way…). Moment of the match went to Phil “baby daddy” Richards for a cheeky back shot lob. The game was not close, with Narwhals winning 19-2.

Fluffer was well contested this week – Rob missed a one on one but his blushes were saved by a terrible miss from Ed “too many waggles” Gamble in the last minute. It would have been assumed that Fluffer was nailed on – but the voting public were far kinder than expected. Fluffer was shared this week – with Gamble getting his inevitable just desserts, but sharing his punishment with Zac “lazy major” Finch who was picked out for giving away a major whilst we had the ball. Wobble avoided for now…

So, with the Christmas dinner not far away, our attention turns firmly to the stats. It is tight at the top of the scoring charts, with Rob and Nick still in contention. Despite the number of majors being relatively low, it is still all to play for with Phil and John tied on 12 – not far behind on 10 are Ed, Chris and Gary. Could we be getting a new name on the Catas Trophy? I know Mrs. Holah hopes so…

Meanwhile, we have ties for Man of the Match, Fluffer and Moment of the Match. It is all very exciting and will definitely come down to the final games. Expect some fancy skills and outrageous passing to try and secure those final votes. Can the Finch’s make it a Father Son double for Fluffer? I’m pretty sure that is the easiest way to share that DVD…

Until next time, FORZA NARWHALI!!

What happened again?

Apologies for how late this post is… I have been very busy digging caves and destroying rings and so haven’t had much time to “mine” the depths of the stats report. As a result I am struggling to actually remember what happened in the game… although to be honest, that’s probably a good thing!!

October 27th Stats

October 18th saw a Narwhals team low on fitness and match practise come up against Avondale 2’s. Thankfully Nick “20/20” Shute had recovered from his eye surgery and so was actually able to find the pool (on time). The first quarter was slow and painful (2-2) with an equally awful second quarter (1-2) leaving us a goal down at halftime. The 3rd quarter went terribly as we shipped 5 counter attack goals without response and finally we finished the 4th (2-2). As a result we sadly lost the game 11-5. A not so perfect way to start the Thames League season…

From what I can remember, the high(low)-lights were as follows:

  • Phil “Daddy” Richards was wildly off target with none of his shots going anywhere near the goal
  • Andy “Spring Break” Ogg bagged himself 4 goals
  • Finch Snr missed a sitter
  • Charles “poorly leg” K-T couldn’t make the game as he had got lost in Portugal
  • He was joined by no less than 7 other Narwhals…
  • Nick “eye of Sauron” Shute got sent out twice. So violent…
  • We were very poor…

As a result, the awards this week were:

  • Man of the Match: Unanimous vote for Andy Ogg
  • Moment of the Match: R.O.N (so poor…)
  • Fluffer: Phil and Finch Snr share the responsibility – both for some dreadful misses

Only positive from last week was that we finally got a new member to the Narwhals family. Mr. Richards can confirm that mini-Richards will be at training next week and will start paying his subs with immediate effect. That will be one hell of a kitty… Other positive is that Baby Phil now shares his birthday with a certain stats report writing dwarf…

Forza Narwhali!!

Can we ignore the first quarter?

The day of a game is always fraught with tension. Finchy posts the team and then we have the inevitable nervy wait before a flurry of disappointing messages come in. Some running late, some stuck on trains, others pretending to tend to the medical needs of the UK. This time it took less than an hour before a number of our team declared their late arrivals. Nick “Laser” Shute sadly hadn’t quite recovered from surgery and accidentally ended up on a plane to Lisbon… Even so, we looked to begin the game with a plucky 12 – with Finch Snr looking to make amends for fighting a 12yr old… we were  also still awaiting the arrival of Andy “poor timing” Ogg.

September 22nd Stats

Sadly it wasn’t just Oggy who turned up late to the party in the first quarter. We quickly raced into a 0-3 scoreline, dampening our spirits somewhat. Despite some battling in the pit, majors were few and far between and so we had to up our aggression levels if we wanted to get ourselves back in the game. Buoyed by the arrival of El Presidente for the 2nd quarter, we re-group and began our fight back into the game.

The second quarter ended much better, a 5-2 scoreline showing we were at least getting some traction. Tris and Charles popped up with two good goals whilst our scramble defence kept Enfield to two goals from distance. Highlight of the quarter being a superb face block by Charles which sent the ball flying back into the oppositions half. Surprisingly Ed “speed merchant” Gamble managed to collect the ball and launch a counter attack. Sadly the rest of the team didn’t fancy joining him.

The third quarter saw the start of our comeback. The tone of our play was set by Weeble superbly winning the swim off. This was in no way related to the fact that the halfway marker was in the wrong place… Matt “flailing arms” Finch managed to bag himself two identical  goals, leaving his defender for dead and burying the ball into the goal from close range. Phil “Baby Daddy” Richards finally managed to find his range too. After two quarters of “wayward” shooting, he finally managed to find the top corner from 6m. At the close we were 5-7 down – but the momentum was in our favour.

At the start of the 4th, Weeble once more carried the team forward with a great win at the swim off. A mere 15 seconds later the Narwhals had a man-up and the ball was in the back of the net thanks to a Loveless-Gamble combo. 6-7 and the pressure was on!! Moments later, Oggy superbly won a penalty which Right-post Loveless managed to keep inside the woodwork. At 7-7 the “crowd” were going wild… We then managed to shoot ourselves in the foot. With a counter attack on, Andy W attempted to pass the ball out to Phil – sadly, the ball bounced off the back of Phil’s head and into the waiting hands of the Enfield attacker who had been left behind. He gladly took the opportunity and took the goal. Phil and Andy successfully share Fluffer this week…

Then came a gripping finally. With 2mins to go, Chris Mann ghosted in at the back post to finish a great attacking move and leave us tied at 8-8. A draw would have been a fair result but we could not hang on. A last attack gave Enfield a one goal lead and with 5 seconds to go, the responsibility fell to Rob to bring us level. Sadly the ball went the wrong side of the post. Bar the first quarter it was a good performance – we just need to make sure we turn up for the whole game!!

Man of the Match this week went to Andy W for some great saves which helped keep us in the game. After a long absence his return is very welcome, despite it allowing Finch out-field… That being said, Matt “Inhaler” Finch managed to pick up Moment of the Match for his two goals – glad he is finally finding the net and not pick on a people a third of his age. John Holah, despite a strong defensive performance was quickly escorted from the pool and dropped off at Gatwick to catch his flight. He is yet to return.

Hopefully we can beat Avondale next week!! Forza Narwhali!!

Matt Finch playing outfield… what could go wrong?

Wednesday 13th September saw the Narwhals take to the pool for the first proper game in about 2 months. As you can probably guess, we had all been training really hard over the summer, with a pre-season victory over a group of 17yr olds filling us with false optimism that we were “alright”. If the realisation that we were incredibly unfit and out of practise hadn’t caused some doubts, the promise that Matt “one minute special” Finch would be returning to an out-field position sucked away any of our remaining confidence.

September 18th Stats

We took to the pool against a 12-strong Chelmsford side. Elder team members continued to reminisce about a game about 20 years ago where there was a bit of a fight, but they were asked to actually focus on the game at hand… The first quarter started well, with the game at 1-1 after 6mins (and Ed Gamble scoring an awesome goal…). Sadly within the final minute we shipped 3 goals and finished the first 4-1 down. The second quarter was a physical affair but finished 3-3 – no majors to be seen and Oggy grabbing a brace. After 14 minutes of polo, Matt “inhaler” Finch was yet to make his mark on the game. Little did we know he was saving himself for the 2nd half…

Rob “right post” Loveless grabbed himself 2 goals in the 3rd quarter – the pick of those being a delightful left-handed back shot from 7m. Sadly, our fitness (or lack of it) was starting to show and Chelmsford began to break off us; 11-6 at the end of the quarter. At the start of the 4th we held our own for a full 2.30 minutes. A brief burst of energy let us keep up with the Chelmsford swimmers and keep the score as it was. We even managed an attack or two. It was during one of these attacks that suddenly the whistle went – holding the ball I expectantly looked at the pit hoping for a man up… how wrong I was.

To my dismay, the referee was pointing towards the top of our arc and a floundering (flouncing) Matt Finch. With three shrill blasts, he was excluded and wrapped. No more polo for Matthew. It turns out Matt had been “punched” by an 18yr old. He was then caught punching him back. Not only did he lose that fight, he also picks up fluffer… (unanimously).

The final score was 15-7. For our lack of match practise it wasn’t a terrible result, but it could have been better. Man of the match went to Rob “left hand” Loveless for his 3 goals whilst moment was shared between Rob and Ed “2m slap shot” Gamble. Race is on for Most Magic Moments!!

Special shout out to Andy Winterbotham who has returned to the club after a 5yr hiatus. It is a shame his return has meant Finchy has to come out field, but he did make some good saves – so welcome back.

Tadija, Gary and Zac are still missing in Portugal. Their next of kin have asked us to call off the search.

Until next time – Forza Narwhali!!

Floater – the Goal Machine Poo

A tale of 2 contrasting games this week. One so well organised it completely threw the team, the other so last minute it was organised 48 hours in advance in the pub after the first. One journey to the far north, one in our favourite local. One agonising defeat, and one steadying win. However both with distinct lack of players as has become too comment in recent times.

4th August Stats

Game 1 – a lovely 40 minute tube to High Barnet. Plus a 20 minute (30 if you include going the wrong way) walk from there. Or the age old question, clockwise or anti-clockwise on the M25? It makes little difference this far out.

There was a highlight for a lucky few though. Games where we leave straight from work mean we can have a Cheeky Nandos and a McFlurry. The food of Gods (champions). The Galaxy Caramel McFurry  was definitely the evenings high point, especially for one well known toilet connoisseur.

The man of experience did his business pre-match as usual – the whiff of medium-spice peri-peri wafting through to poolside. That’s more than can be said for Shute – whose Nandos promptly decided it had had enough time in the intestine just as the ref blew the whistle to line up. Needless to say missing the start of the game because of poor pre-match preparation wins him fluffer in game one before he even touched the ball.

We were under pressure straight away, but battled very hard and traded blows for the first half. We went in 9-7 down, their 9th being a shot from half way a good second after the clock had gone to zero. Spending most of the 2 minutes of half time complaining to the ref, he proceeded to let them kick the shit out of us for the second half, our tiredness kicked in and we went down 15-9 (or something like that, no one got the match sheet).

Highlight of the day was Floater, who pre-loaded his bicep cannon with ice cream, caramel and chocolate and banged in 5 to pick up man of the match. Moment went to Zach, who was left to shoot from the wing and gobbled it up with a lovely lob into the far corner. No travelling this week due to lack of known goals and majors.

Game 2 – Still recovering from getting home in the early hours on Monday the team were bolstered by Mr Punch confirming his attendance, but a last minute emergency for Finch meant Robo-Hip had to take one for the team and put the red hat on. Oggy was absent due to the 48 hours notice, Phil hadn’t loaded his cannon (which was a worry), but Shute’s dads risotto was not giving him the same jip as the nandos so he was able to start the game. With Holly heavily pregnant and still showing more commitment than most of our team, we had to help the table so were left with no subs. It wasn’t looking good…

But what a bunch of heroes. Super solid defence in the first quarter left us 2-0 up. We went in at half time 3-2 up, but only thanks to lack of juice in the cannon and their keeper somehow managing to guess where Woody was going to shoot every time. Again, and again, and again. It’s almost as if he always shoots at the same corner…

We ran away with it in the third. The cannon started firing, the keeper didn’t pay attention for one of Robs shots (that was mean, it was a good shot), Shute finally put it in from more than 2 inches (whey) and Holah noticed the keeper doing a Finchy and looped it into the top corner from 9 meters. A 4 goal lead was unassailable, and the Narwhals battled to a 9-7 win.

An almost unanimous MoM this week for Gary in goal, some cracking saves with his hands, arms and head! Hats off to Bummage who made the trip for the second time in a week and put in a cracking performance in the pit, they got 12 majors!! Moment goes to Holah for his lovely 9m goal on the man up. Special mentions for Gary saving with his face, Zach for his telling off by the biggest, fattest man in the pool he was bullying. Fluffer was hotly contested this week. Richards and Loveless get a vote as of the 12 man ups at least 5 were ruined by them. Shute gets a couple of votes for passing straight to the other team blaming his “eyes”. But taking the award today, along with a self nominated vote, is Zach for receiving the ball on 2m during a man up, catching it, pirouetting, then passing it rather than just putting it in the goal. Even the other team couldn’t believe it or you’d have got pummelled. A goal, major or quarter on the table means everyone stays clean this week.

There’s probably a game tomorrow, so see you there!