[Edit: Despite some artistic license and a rather harsh fluffer nomination (wobble) – this week’s report comes from Messer Finch Snr.]
There are few things in life where you can look back and think ‘that was the best I’ve ever seen’. Last Wednesday was one of those occasions. 9 Narwhals where honoured to witness probably the best Water-polo pass they will ever see, the fact that it was to our resident wobbler, Ed ‘Destroyer of Rings’ Gamble, took none of the lustre away from the quality of the pass.
The game had been arranged as a friendly against a mixed 2/3 Kingston side. A sense of foreboding fell upon us when a strong Kingston first team showed up and then when the talismanic Andy ‘El Presidente’ Ogg failed to show up, we thought we were in for a tough evening. Our team already shorn of Nick ‘Skiing’ Shute, Dr Rob ‘on call’ Loveless and Dan ‘Ironman’ Bedford rallied behind the experience of Chris ‘we’re going to get battered’ Mann and sent Gary ‘oh GAREEEEEEEEEEE’ Bowen out to win the swim off. He didn’t.
Things were looking bleak after we conceded in the first 30 seconds, a back shot from the Kingston pit man nesting in top corner of the Narwhals goal. Phil ‘Philly’ Richards was having none of it though and unleashed his trademarked bicep cannon to draw us level, a couple more goals conceded before a nicely taken Rob ‘Northern’ Dickinson goal brought us within 1 at the end of the 1st quarter.
The second quarter was a bit of a ding-dong, Kingston stretched their lead to 6 – 2 before being pegged back by goals from Phil, Rob, Stef ‘Lob’ Lombardo and Zach ‘Bully’ Finch. Score was 7 – 6 to Kingston at half time.
The third quarter saw some excellent play from the Narwhals both offensively where Rob, Phil, Stef and Ed all scored (more about Ed’s goal below) but also defensively where we restricted Kingston to two goals and saw Zach bully their pitman so much he started complaining to the ref…. As the quarter drew to a close, our “on the ball” goalkeeper (who at this point had been limited to making numerous okay-ish saves and a couple of interceptions) spotted that there was a mere 7 seconds remaining on the clock and put in what can only be described as a ‘sumptuous’ pass to Ed “golden arm” Gamble on our own 5m line. Ed dilly-dallied and then put in a 20m shot, this may or may not have gone in, [edit: top corner, off the inside of the post – a peach] alas the author cannot quite recall as he had been temporarily blinded by the beauty of his pass. The Kingston ref disallowed it despite Ed shooting a good two seconds before the whistle went. Not that I remember him scoring of course. 10 – 9 to the Narwhals at the end of the third.
The final quarter saw the Narwhals tail off a little with only a Charles ‘Mocks’ King-Tenison 2m goal to celebrate, Kingston scored a couple and the game ended with the big Kingston Eastern European slamming another one v one against the outstretched arm of our keeper. Final score 11 a piece. A great result from the Narwhals given absentees and the quality of the opposition.
Man of the match went to our keeper for his glorious pass (and a couple of saves…) and an honourable mention to Zach for his well taken arc goal and bullying the Kingston pitman! Moment inexplicably went to Ed for his goal, I can only think that people couldn’t see the quality of the pass to him from where they were. Fluffer is shared between Oggy (for his no-show) and Ed (for not shooting quick enough) with a whole two votes each. Stef voted for himself (a touch of the Burridge’s I feel). Messers Mann, Bowen and Ogg have gone snorkelling in Albufeira. Oggy enjoying it so much, he went back for seconds.