[EDIT: Another slightly late entry, this time provided by Mr. Shute. This report was provided in a somewhat more timely fashion, but sadly just after Dr. Loveless’, thus allowing our resident doctor to avoid any fineage. Seems like a good game.]
The mighty Narwhals, depleted by the missing Gimly, Woody, Oggy, Punchy, Floaty and Gingy, travelled to Putney for arguably their first real challenge of the season against Avondale. With so many star players out, victory was but a distant dream, but the Narwhals ploughed on with thoughts of a London Pride that took 10 minutes to pour keeping them interested.
Their hopes were lifted however, when Shutey won the swim off, went in the pit, “turned” his man and slotted in all within 25 seconds. Blows were traded over the next 6 and a half minutes, neither team taking control of the game. With 13 seconds remaining, Avondale took a 5-4 lead and the Narwhals looked like they would be going in behind. But, with 2 seconds left on the clock, Shute went for the audacious parabola from half way. It sailed through the air, rotating majestically, the buzzer went, but it carried on, the keeper could only watch as it sailed into the goal. What was he doing? 5-5.
In the second quarter we really showed what an absolute pile of rubbish team we can be at times. Slack passing, poor balls into the pit and bad shooting, combined with lack of fitness and awareness, allowed Avondale to score 3 unanswered break away goals. The one man up we did win came to nothing, and we went in 8-5 behind after losing the swimming race.
We contained this for the first 2 minutes of the 3rd and found ourselves 12-6 behind with a quarter and a half to play. What happened next can only be described as a Monday night miracle. To sarcastic shouts of “shoot!” from the opposition bench, Timmy “cannon” Young smashed the ball into the bottom corner from 5m. Some clever play (slash slack defending) from Dicky Dickinson and good saves from Andy got us 2 more, with one another lob from half way as the keeper rushed out to try and fill the gap left by the defenders. Another break away goal from Shutey to give Avondale a taste of their own medicine and take the score to 12-10 at the end of the 3rd, the come back well and truly on!
With their horns up, the Narwhals continued to push and Finchy chipped in with another goal, before a sublime blind back hand pass whilst being drowned by his defender found Shutey to slam home for 12-12. Shutey then added another to make it 13-12 to the Narwhals, the come back complete. Could the Narwhals see out the game?
The effort it had taken to get us there was too much. Chrissy Mann couldn’t help but drown his man and they scored from the resultant man up. 3 more fairly sloppy goals in the final 2 minutes saw us slip to a 16-13 loss. Not a bad effort considering, a shame about the absolute collapse in the second and half the third quarter.
Man of the match this week goes to Shutey for his shooting. Another 8 goals to add to this seasons tally as he chases down Bedfords scoring record from the previous year. Moment also goes to Shutey for his audacious lob on the buzzer, their keeper certainly taking their fluffer for letting that go in. Shout out to Finchy Snr for his blind back hand pass. Fluffer was pretty unanimous this week with Finch snr picking up all but one of the votes, and that wasn’t even his own vote… Fair play to Charles for voting the whole team for the second quarter.
If we could all work on our fitness and awareness for future we’d win that game. Alternatively let’s just get Woody, Oggy, Punchy, Floaty and Gingy back in the pool.