El Classico – Croydon Derby Day

When you think of some of the really big derbies in World sport, Athletico vs Real Madrid, Manchester City vs Utd, Everton vs Liverpool, Boca Juniors vs River Plate… I’m sure you’ll all agree that Croydon II vs WT Narwhals is up there with the best of them. The 3rd ‘South West Croydon Super-Classico’ of the year most certainly didn’t disappoint the massive crowd of 10, 2 of whom were allegedly there to support us (although given Floaters performance I’ll be amazed if they ever come again).

Unfortunately the guts of our team had been ripped out in a post cup win holiday binge but our sturdy 10 were obviously massively buoyed by the absence of well known Portuguese police prank caller, Ed ‘Tour TJ’ Gamble. As an extra bonus, Tristan ‘Yes Sir’ Heath made the second of his usual biannual appearances to help swell numbers.

The game started in our usual fashion, losing the swim off and conceding pretty soon afterwards. Unfortunately Croydon stalwart Hadley ‘angry policeman’ Potter began to terrorise our defence (quite literally in Gary’s case with whom he was exchanging some delightful pleasantries) and a second goal was soon conceded, we were however making opportunities, just failing to take them. Nick did score a nice breakaway goal to leave the score at 2-1 at the end of the first. The second period followed the same theme as the first with Croydon (Hadley) scoring three quick goals followed by a Nick  breakaway, yet again we created enough chances to be leading comfortably but struggled with the concept of hitting the target… This quarter also saw Andy ‘Scoutmaster’ Ogg get himself punched in full view of both refs, inexplicably the culprit was only sent out. At half time the score was Hadley 5, Narwhals 2.

The third quarter belonged to “The Scoutmaster”. Oggy had taken time out from drinking in a field singing dirty songs (leading a scout troop?) to help us out in our hour of need and duly scored two quick fire goals to bring us right back into the game, these coupled with a Tim ‘Patent pending’ Young goal and another fine Nick shot began to put Croydons legendary team spirit under pressure. Needless to say they responded by hurling abuse at each other. Alas it wasn’t to last, Zach got himself sent out for beating up Croydon behemoth Dave Leach and Croydon scored in the resulting man down. Scores at the end of the third, Croydon 8 – Narwhals 6.

The final quarter was a cagey affair with neither side really pressing home any advantage. Unfortunately we were unable to put additional pressure onto the already fragile Croydon concept of team. However Oggy scored two more, including a beautiful fourth goal to cap a fine individual display. The game ended as a creditable 11 – 9 loss but with plenty of positives.

Man of the match was unanimously voted as Mr Ogg for absolutely bossing the Croydon pit. When he wasn’t double marked he either scored or got a man sent out. Moment of the match also went to Oggy for his catch and shot from 7m that smashed in off the post although honourable mentions go to Nick for his recovered one on one miss and Zach for bullying an ex GB international player into moaning to the referee… Fluffer went to Tadija who on two separate occasions dropped the ball on 2m when a goal looked imminent. Catching practice?

Floater, Tadija and Tris all failed to trouble the table this week, Floater’s being terribly disappointing given he’d brought spectators and everything. Tadija and Tris disappeared before we could take photos for our wall of shame… Forza Narwali!


Share the Cup? Nah… We want penalties!!

Afternoon all!! Tuesday night saw the mighty Narwhals travel down to Guildford for the second time in less than a week to play in the Tom Dwyer Cup Final – the premier handicap knock-out trophy in London. Our opponents – Avondale II’s – Our Mission – Victory – Our Handicap – Gamble… (course not)

July 22nd Stats

We started the game with a 2 goal head start and the gallant 9 were ready for battle. Things were looking optimistic when Ed “speedster” Gamble won the first two swim-offs. We quickly realised that the halfway was poorly placed… we didn’t win another one… The game was tight throughout – we quickly lost our 2 goal lead, finishing the first quarter 4-3 down. However the remaining quarters all finished tied 6-6, 9-9 and 11-11 respectively. If anything it shows the handicap system worked perfectly!!

We struggled with our Man-ups and Man-downs, but we played some good counter-attacking polo, and Dan “poorly calf” Bedford was once more solid in the pit. For his tremendous display and 4 goals, he was awarded Man of the Match with 8 out of the 9 nominations. Well done Dan – keep it up… otherwise Phil might have to play in the pit…

At full time, the score was 11-11, and the referees offered both teams the chance to share the trophy. After a moment’s deliberation, Matt “Captain” Finch remembered the endless hours of 5-lives we had played and thought maybe penalties might suit us – so a penalty shootout we chose!! The excitement was palpable, the crowd were hushed in anticipation, hearts were in mouths as Nick “wayward” Shute approached the 5m line… and he sky-ed it!!

Fluffer this week was shared by both Shute and Richards for their penalty misses. In hindsight it was probably a bad idea not to give our two least accurate players a penalty, but there you go. Shout out to Holah for being very wayward in his shooting this week, and kudos to Chris Mann for attempting another dribbler from near halfway.

Moment of the match was widely split this week between all the penalty scorers, so I have decided to award the moment to Gary, Tim and Matt for their goals which won us the trophy – it seemed the most democratic way to do it!! That being said, huge shout out to Matt “hero” Finch for crucially saving a penalty before then stepping up to calmly slot home the winning pen. A Manuel Neuer in the making!! The penalties finished 3-2 to the Narwhals, finally giving us victory!!

Stats wise – Bedford storms towards the 100 goal mark, whilst the rest of us linger behind somewhat. There is a lot of crowding around 20 goals, but there are rumours Phil “Poo Corner” Richards has been distracted by his new roaming reporter role and that could lead to a reduction in his productivity!! Holah remains top of the punchy club, still 2 majors ahead of myself. Gary and Nick complete the chasing pack.

With Tueday’s victory, The Narwhals are now the League and Cup champions for the 2015/2016 season. The fight has been long, and the fight has been hard, but here we stand victorious!! The bus has been booked, the crowds have gathered – now we celebrate!! WT Narhwhals – the other pride of South London!!

Forza Narwhali!!

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Gotta Catch’em all…

Last Thursday saw the Narwhals travel down to Guildford – not only to scout out the pool for this weeks Cup Final, but also to play Guildford 1’s. Guildford hadn’t turned up all season, so this week they decided to bring a full squad of 13 to play against our goalkeeper-less 9 – some of whom were more interested in which Pokemon they could catch on the side of the pool… The final score finished in an 11-9 loss.

July 18th Stats

We didn’t help ourselves in the first quarter, with a number of shots going well off target as did a number of passes. We even managed to miss an open goal at one point… more on that later!! I feel we were slightly distracted by the excitement surround Phil’s new “Poo Corner” – so much so that I need 2 pre-match poos… After a disappointing first quarter (3-1), we managed to pull it back, drawing 9-9 at the end of the Third. We then failed to score at all in the 4th, resulting in the disappointing 2 goal defeat.

Man of the match this week went to Dan “solo goal” Bedford, who, in the words of Mr. Young was “better than alright”. Bedford managed to score a delightful goal that involved him stealing the ball and swimming the length of the pool. Very nice. By the end of the game he had managed to acquire enough experience points to evolve into a Charmander.

Moment of the match this week went to Nick “Ash Ketchum” Shute and his audacious lob. There wasn’t much else to praise in this game as by and large we played pretty badly. All I am expecting here is that we are experiencing the calm before the storm – the storm being tomorrow’s final!!

Fluffer this week went to John “missed opportunity” Holah – who despite picking up 2 goals – managed to miss an open goal when their keeper had been sent out. That being said, he did manage to pick up a major so is still well out in front in the battle to be the Major King!!

All that is left to be said is good luck for the Final!! Lets try and be “the very best, like no-one ever was…”

And finally, here is a picture of Nick Shute catching a Pokemon with his penis…


Ealing II’s – the Sequel…

On Thursday a rag-tag 8 man team made the long trip to Ealing for the away leg of the fixture from two weeks ago – its almost like a champions league fixture or something… Here’s the stats…

July 11th Stats

Our light team of 8 included the long awaited returns of Tim “ooo my shoulder” Young, Andy “too many beers” Ogg and Chris “Limocello” Mann. We expected a tough game, and a very physical game we got – not helped by some slightly dubious home refereeing. That being said, it felt like a game we could have won had we had perhaps two more subs to freshen the line-up!!

The game was tight through out and we missed several 1 on 1’s in the first 2 quarters that could have seen us build a lead. We trailed for most of the game but managed to level the match early in the 4th quarter. Unfortunately tiredness then began to show and we eventually lost 11-8. A shame because we could have picked up a win!! We scored some good goals and played some good counter attacking polo at times. We also had long periods of good defense, limiting them to shots from the arc and speculative lobs.

Man of the Match this week went to Tim “bicep cannon” Young for a successful return to the pool – only 6months into the season… Tim marked his return with a well taken goal from the wing – winding up the big bicep for a bounce shot into the far corner!! He was also a brave little soldier, fighting through the pain to make up the 8!!

Moment was hotly contested, with a good goal from Dan (a floated pass into the pit expertly diverted into the net) narrowly beaten by a Nick’s precise lob into the far corner. Both Nick and Dan picked up 3 goals each, with Oggy bagging a penalty to avoid a maddie!! On a positive note, no one picked up a maddie this week, so a strong team performance.

Fluffer this week went to Chris “optimistic shot” Mann who attempted a long range effort that sadly dribbled into the hands of the Ealing keeper. It was the right option to take, as there was lots of room in front of him, but it was a lesson to us all to make sure we take the space that is available to us!! Fluffer was narrowly won this week too, with Phil “punchy” Richards narrowly avoiding the award for his 2 majors and attempts at having a fight… interestingly with the same bloke Mr. Shute had a run in with last time!!

Stats wise, Bedford is still out in front on the goals, with Shute finally breaking the 50 goal marker. Holah is still out in front on the Majors (19), but there is a tight chasing pack, with Gary on 16, Ed on 15 and Nick on 14. With the Tom Dwyer Cup Final just around the corner, the Narwhals are looking to build some momentum – so lets go get a win against Guildford this week!!

Forza Narwhali!!