Battle of Arctic – Narwhals vs. Orca’s

Following the Skirmish¬†of Stratford where a brave 6 Narwhals battled superior numbers to become victors in December, a pod of Orcas migrated north to take on the Narwhals in their Arctic home to seek vengeance…

10th Feb stats

The match began with some concern for the Narwhals. Having prepared ourselves for the coming battle, we were missing a member of our team. Nick “late for the start” Shute was nowhere to be seen. We could only assume he had developed a funny eye again and had taken a wrong turn in the dark… Still, even though we were short of one, we still managed to push ourselves in a 3-0 lead at the end of the quarter. Dan “last gasp” Bedford even managed to sneak a goal in just on the buzzer!!

The second quarter saw wholesale changes as the Narwhals swapped in 4 subs (an unheard of number!!). This had little to no impact on the performance as we continued to race into a 7-0 lead by halftime. Highlight of the quarter was a cheeky one-two goal between Ed “great lines” Gamble and Nick “thanks for showing up” Shute. The Narhwals were feeling confident having won both swim-offs and finding success with our half-bath press. Of equal joy was the continued success of the “Don’t let Ed score” game… at some point something had to go wrong…

The Third Quarter saw everyone’s favourite ring destroyer win another swim-off which ultimately resulted in Andy “four goal” Ogg grabbing a well taken goal. John “Punchy” Holah then managed to secure his major contribution for the day by clobbering an Orca. He was clearly capitalising on the fact that Gary “up the Shard” Bowen wasn’t playing – looking to put an early claim on what would be a 4th Catas Trophy… Then Rob managed to ruin it for everyone…

In a flowing attacking move that saw the Narwhals race down the pool in a flying wedge formation, Phil “Portuguese Police” Richards was left with the ball cleanly on the left hand side. His options flashed through his mind… a.) shoot b.) pass to Rob c.) pass to Ed. Realising that if he shot the Narwhals would not get a goal, he considered his next two options. “Clearly passing to Rob is the best option here”, he thought, “no one wants to pass to Ed”. So pass to Rob he did. Rob caught the ball with ease, surging out of the water to catch the ball and shoot in one clean motion. Little did we know however that Rob was having an internal monologue too; “Hang on, Phil hasn’t hit the post!! Someone has to hit the post!! I know… I can hit the post!!” – so hit the post he did. Sadly for him, Gimili was floating near by. Like a fat boy on some sweets he quickly scooped up the ball and pinged it into the top corner. 10-0 to the Narwhals, 1-0 to Gamble, Fluffer to Loveless…

Sadly Orca then managed to pick up a goal, the result of a man-down situation caused by Zac’s customary foul in the opposition half. That being said, we finished the quarter 12-1 and went on to win the game 15-3, two further goals conceded by Finch Senior – one a lob from 10m and the other a shot at his near post. Dear oh dear… Nonetheless, the Narwhals again emerged victorious, making it 4-0 for the season. The games will invariably get harder, but it is a good way to build confidence!!

Man of the match this week went Dan “5 goal” Bedford for his goal contribution and penalty winning flair. He also was awarded Moment(s) of the Match for picking up 2 buzzer beater goals. Delightful. It has already been mentioned that Loveless won fluffer (already set a good score ahead of the Christmas Party) but he did narrowly beat Finch Snr for getting lobbed, Finch Jnr for his maddy evading major and Bedford for struggling against their rush keeper (so nearly the triple crown!!!). All that is left for me to say is that Phil has gone missing in Portugal. Worryingly he has taken Charles with him, so we all fear for the young boys safety…

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Until next time – Forza Narwhali!!

A double dose of Stats…

This week saw two games for the Narwhals which resulted in two victories (post truth/fact). A 13-11 win vs. Avondale II’s in the Tom Dwyer and a friendly 14-8 win vs. Guildford II’s. Stats available below:

Feb 3rd Stats

Monday 30th saw an intrepid 10 travel to Putney to begin our defense of the Tom Dwyer Cup. Inexplicably despite having a 2-goal positive handicap last season, we were allocated a 3-goal deficit this year. The 5 goal swing was daunting and unexplained, and our hopes sank as the nominated ref was from Avondale I’s. With the odds against us, we took to the pool.

The game that followed saw a very strong team performance. Our half bath press worked well and after 2 quarters we held a deserved 5-3 lead. We did have a few issues around passing (Rob) and shooting (Rob) but in total we limited Avondale to few chances. There is an argument to say we should have been further ahead!! A strong 3rd quarter saw us open up a 8-4 lead and confidence was high. Sadly we had a mad 3mins in the 4th and let Avondale back into the game. Even so, we held strong and secured the 13-11 victory. In normal Tom Dwyer situations we would be out – but the level of handicap has been challenged and the odds may still swing in our favour!!

For man of the match we actually saw 7 individuals nominated for the award – showing that nearly everyone had a great game. Even so, the MoM for this game was shared between Dan “weak wrist” Bedford and Nick “weepy arm” Shute for their goal contributions. Moment of the match went to Zac “best Finch” Finch who is always good for a goal against Avondale. Fluffer was tightly fought between Oggy and Loveless for some impressive misses, but it was clearly won by Rob “scatter-gun” Loveless for some wayward shooting and a pass to Nick that actually left the pool…

Here’s the maddy… I can confirm Lisbon is lovely this time of year… (#100%record)

Avondale Maddy

Wednesday 1st February saw us take part in a friendly match against Guildford – the return leg from December where a week 3rd quarter led to a disappointing loss. Before the game we lost Matt “baby sitter” Finch and Phil “Simon Tidy” Richards who both took an impromptu trip to the Portuguese coast. They still haven’t come home…

The team were doubly disheartened to hear they would be without their motivational linchpin Ed “heart and soul of the team” Gamble who had to referee for 2 quarters of the game. Nonetheless, the Narwhals raced into a strong lead, with a Loveless hattrick contributing to a 5-1 1st quarter lead. Rob “Gepetto” Loveless quickly ¬†reverted to type however and failed to pick up any further goals for the rest of the game… Noticing that Gary had made an early start to the Major King award, John “slasher” Holah wasted no time in collecting two majors by half-time. There is no way anyone else is winning that prize…

Halftime saw a 9-4 scoreline which quickly raced to 12-7 by the end of the third. We struggled with a touch of selfishness, often reluctant to give that final pass to a team mate. Several opportunities were squandered in the 2nd half and Chris “Where’s Wally” Mann got particularly annoyed with certain team mates who significantly contributed to his interview with Portuguese police. A solid final quarter saw a well deserved 14-8 victory for the Narhwals.

Man of the Match was shared 4 ways, with Oggy, Rob, Dan and Gary all collecting 2 votes. Moment of the match went to Charles for a couple of good goals – especially the one just before the buzzer. Rob “adult industry fan” Loveless again challenged hard for the role of Fluffer, but was pipped to the post by John “ham-fist” Holah who secured three majors in his first game of the season. A solid debut for 2017!!

Next week sees the continuation of the Thameside League and crucial battle against London Orca!!

Forza Narwhali!!