Man Down!! Man Down!!

Monday saw the Narwhals take their first trip to the London Aquatic Centre (Olympic Pool) to play our first Thameside League game of the season – the traditional curtain raiser against London Orca. What followed was truly an effort worthy of Olympians… true athletic heroes…

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With a 8pm kick-off time, the Narwhals began to assemble from far and wide. Shute, Finch Snr, Oggy & Holah found themselves in a pub, Weeble journeyed the length of the Jubilee line, Loveless drove (bringing the travelling support), but Bowen, Finch Jnr and new boy Charles got caught up in what can only be described as a Southern Rail shambles. #southernfail

As 8pm came and went, the Narhwals prepared to play the game with 6 men – their additional 3 no where to be seen – and come 8.15pm, we were forced to bite the bullet and take on the Orca’s a man down. It took us a few moments to get to grips with our situation and Orca quickly shot into a 2 goal lead, but we very quickly got the hang of it and raced into a 3-2 lead at the end of the quarter. A combination of fast counters and scramble defence helping to break down the opposition.

The second quarter saw another herculean effort as we pushed ahead into a 6-2 lead. Nick “counter attack” Shute picked up a brace, the highlight being a delightful push shot lob, whilst Rob “Love wood” Loveless grabbed a goal too, with a little help from the post (of course he did). Despite having a double mark in the pit, Andy “fighter” Ogg, in a period of superb play, managed to get not one, but two Orca’s ejected – giving us an unexpected man-up opportunity which we were happy to put away.

As we started the 3rd quarter, our spirits were lifted by the arrival of our missing compatriots. Back to a full compliment of 7, we took to the pool confident of a securing the win. Sadly our confidence was misplaced as Orca scored 3 goals on the bounce. We struggled to get a goal in the third, a combination of tiredness and wayward shooting affecting our game. This was typified by Rob “show-off” Loveless, who in an attempt to impress the Mrs. took a big wind-up, only to sky the ball and almost put the ball in her lap… 7-5 at the close.

The 4th quarter was much better and we found our composure. More goals from Mr. Shute were followed by a bundled short rage goal by Gimli (doing his best to avoid destroying any rings) and another by Ogg. Final score was 11-7. A superb victory given the circumstances!! Certainly deserving of the celebratory Wagamamas afterwards!!

Man of the match this week went to Nick “goals” Shute, re-finding his form and bagging 4 goals. Moment of the match was shared between the 6 mighty narwhals who held the fort whilst reinforcements arrived. The mighty resistance was reminiscent of the stand at Helms Deep – epic. Finally, fluffer this week is a shared award. Despite Southern Rail being voted for 3 times, it was not a match event so did not count. Therefore we move to the next 2 individuals – Rob “shit shot” Loveless for trying to pass to his wife, and Andy “shit shot” Ogg for his terrible penalty… terrible…

Onwards to our next battle – away at Blue Marlin!!

Forza Narwhali!!!

A Spook-tacular Halloween trip to the end of the Northern Line

Monday 31st October saw an intrepid 8, journey to the furthest end of the Northern Line to face Enfield for our final game of the season. Messers Shute, Gamble, Ogg and Richards┬áhad some perfect pre-match preparation in a cheeky Nandos, whilst gents Bowen, Mann, Holah and Finch jnr braved a half lap of the M25. Ghosts of matches past suggested any result between a thrashing and a victory – only time would tell!!

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Having had a halloween nightmare of his own, we were without Finch Snr – a match day maddy to add to his woes – so Gary “Banshee” Bowen stepped up to the mark and went in goal. A strong display as always from the Narwhals number 2!!

The game kicked off superbly, with Ed “Ghoulish” Gamble winning a swim-off (miracles do happen – I won another one as well!!). We had a strong first quarter, with Chris “Mummified” Mann re-finding his form and grabbing a superb goal from the top of the arc. It seems all those “King-Pin” sessions have helped!! Chris continued to be a threat from the top of the arc all game as Enfield double marked Oggy to try and stop him scoring 6 goals like he did in the home game. They sadly succeeded, with Andy “Ogre” Ogg only getting 2 goals on this occasion. By the end of the first quarter the score was 4-3 to Enfield, but we had worked hard to get those 3 goals.

The remaining 3 quarters saw the lead see-sawing between the two teams. Phil “Repulsive” Richards picked up 3 goals, whilst Nick “Spooky” Shute grabbed himself 2. Zac “fiendish” Finch also managed to get on the score sheet with a delightful lob to the far post. It is never fun to travel so far, but when you put in a good performance, it certainly makes it worth while!! Sadly we eventually sank to a 13-11 defeat – but with league survival secured, we were only playing for pride – and I think we did a good job at that!!

Man of the match this week wend to Chris Mann for being a constant menace from the top the arc. A near unanimous vote coincided delightfully with his birthday!! Hope you had a good one Chris!! Moment of the Match also went to the king of limoncello for a wonderfully well taken goal in the third quarter (an assist from Ed Gamble fyi…). A double whammy for the birthday boy!!

Fluffer this week should have gone to Finch Snr for his nightmare of an evening, but as he wasn’t at the game, we couldn’t give it to him. Fluff this week went to Andy “punchy” Ogg who ruined a well planned man-up situation by having a fight with a member of the opposition. We took a time out and everything and even told Phil not to shoot after 3 seconds. Little did we know Oggy would get a reversal within 5… Cheers Oggy…

Bringing this London League season to a close, we now have the delights of the Thameside League to look forward to. See you at the LAC on Monday!!

Forza Narwhali!!