Tales of the Deep

This week’s match report courtesy of Rob “High and Wide” Loveless. Has he “hit the target” with his writing? You be the judge…

28th Feb stats

Tales of the Deep:
The odyssey of the Narwhal horde continues as our intrepid knights of the cool waters headed into the unknown pastures of Walton upon Thames to face another battle. Some compared the battlefield for this bout to the borderline watchable 1999 Renny Harlin thriller “Deep Blue Sea”. More vigilant observers pointed out that this pool was neither deep nor blue, and really wasn’t very close to the sea. 2 shallow ends in fact proved a novelty for Narwhal and observer alike. Genetically modified sharks were nowhere to be seen,  but in their place the formidable Blue Marlin stood in the Narwhals way. The game started much as a trip to the fabled Elmbridge Xcel centre often does, with 14 brave souls splashing about in the shallows waiting for something resembling Water Polo to happen.
“Standing” cried the Narwhal travelling support. “Set up the arc”, “Do something!”. The horde responded to such criticism initially with a resilience unseen before as they avoided anything resembling attacking play. The horde’s defence is where their strength lies, although sadly those championships that many suggest are won on the basis of defence do not appear to include the London or Thameside Water Polo Leagues…
Finally, mid way through the first quarter one Narwhal rose above the rest, and following 3 outstanding assists (which never seem to get credited?), Dan had scored a hat-trick. Attacking the deeper of two shallow ends appeared to suit the Narwhals. A further man up goal from Holah completed the quarter’s attack, but as the spoils appeared plentiful the defence lost concentration and allowed 3 goals in return. 
The second quarter proved as memorable as 2003’s suspenseful bore-fest “Open Water”, to the point where I remember 3 things. Dan scored a second hat-trick, Ed got his first major, and we conceded only once. Evidently defending the deeper shallow end was also to our taste. 
After the customary rousing team talk from Dan (“I know no-one wants to be here but lets not lose”), the third quarter began. At this stage Dan would then go to sleep for the remainder of the game and allow Nick to come to the fore as the Narwhals attacking threat. A fine goal off the right flank for Charles and a particularly well worked lobbed goal under pressure from Nick both gained votes for Moment of the Match, but that crown was to be grabbed with both hands, and the head, by Gamble.
Valiantly defending the pit against a man twice his size (difficult I know…), the referees called major as he battled to regain the ball. He dutifully swam to the corner, not anticipating that the Marlin sharpshooters would prove sharper than usual. The shot cannoned off the back of Gamble’s head, he was felt to be interfering with play (it remains unclear whether he had any idea of what was going on, or any lasting memory of the event), and a third and final major was awarded. Wrapped. Disgraced. Wobble. He earned moment of the match for his troubles. 
By the fourth quarter the game was well in hand, and Nick continued his scoring escapades. This was in stark contrast to Rob, who continued to push the realms of possibility with shots further and further off target in spite of considerably larger goals than usual. One particular effort was so far high and right that landings at Heathrow were temporarily diverted to avert disaster. Shooting practice prescribed, he wraps up Fluffer for another week, extending his streak to 2.
The final score was 19-7 to the Narwhals who returned victorious to deeper waters. Man of the match was awarded to Dan for his 7 goal haul, with special mentions to Nick and Chris Mann in attack and Andy W in goal who made several good saves. No trips to Portugal this week, although Zach’s last quarter major has warranted referral to the DMC, considered very dubious. The Narwhal undefeated run of 2018 survives, as they await their next challengers.
Forza Narwhali

Ad Victoriam! Narwhal Victoriam!

This week’s stats report was provided by guest writer Nick Shute, fresh from the set of Gladiator 2. For those who are uneducated and didn’t study Latin at school, there is an appendix at the bottom for you to work out who the characters in this epic story are…

Feb 7th Stats



5th Februarius

And so we come to the second great battle of MMXVIII. The Narwhal legions amassed at Las Iguanas in Westfield Stratford for a pre-battle feast. Victory felt like an inevitability against the Orca clans of the East, and the soldiers were jovial as Amator Lignorum played out the battle formations with condiments to hand. With no heed to the hour, the sun rose without warning over the waves in the far distance. The faint but distinct drums of the Orcas could be heard, closer than expected. The Narwhals (after paying the bill) gathered their weapons, and with “gaudia certaminis” in their hearts they lined up on the field of battle.

The sound of war horns filled the clear wintery skies, the battle had commenced and the two armies rushed towards each other. Amans Vinum, on his steed Nanti, the fastest of all horses in Londinensi, sped ahead of all others down the left flank. As he reached the middle of the battlefield, he prepared his gladius, however, as he kicked up to strike, an enemy spear was already mid-flight towards him. With no time to avoid the projectile, he closed his eyes and prayed “In Vino Veritas” and thought about the whisky collection he’d never get to drink. However, thank the Gods, the throw was wayward and Vinum was spared.

The Narwhals were bemused, “how did the enemy get a spear away so quicky?”. “Neptune! Neptune!” Finchus Maximus cried from troops in reserve, “they have summoned the help of a God!” And so they had, the lumbering form of the God of the Sea could be seen prowling the side of the battlefield, giving advantage to all Orca troops. With the help of his son, Finchus Minimus, Maximus started the ritual to summon our own Goddess, Edesia, God of Food and Rings. Alas, try as they might, she was at a work function she couldn’t get out of. All thoughts of a quick and easy victory were dashed like the terrible ocean waves onto the Eastern Londinensi cliffs.

Battle raged, blood was spilt like wine at a Narwhals Christmas Party, the sound of men screaming and dying filled the air. At midday the tides were even, with Neptune concentrating his power on stopping the Narwhal captains from slaying their enemies, whilst giving his Orcas easy kills. However, Amator Lignorum, with his love of the forests, kept Neptune from his mind and slew 2 Orca captains with his spear in quick succession. He rallied to him Brutus, Vorago Scaenicus and Multis Proposita who along side him slew at will. Brutus slew a man with his bare fists, Scaenicus got in close and took off a man’s head with his axe, and Proposita put his sword through a mans heart after Scaenicus had twice laid glancing blows. Hiems Inferus held the back line well, however could not stop the slaying of 4 of the Narwhals best men, leaving the outcome of the battle known to only Apollo himself.

All of a sudden, Neptune seeing some of his best go down, unleashed a torrent of terrible reffing decisions. Lignorum, Brutus, Scaenicus and Proposita took grave wounds and had to retreat, taking no part in the rest of the battle. Inferus was called into action again, and kept the losses down to 2. Vinum, enraged by what he was seeing, jumped from Nanti into the head of the fighting and slew 2 men where they stood. Finchus Maximus brought in the reserves and rallied Sordidum Balneo and Iuvenis Vir to him. Together they slew a further 3 Orca captains, Maximus with a well aimed spear, Balneo twice with his poisonous arrows. Vir twice had easy kills with his slinger, however shot above target. 3 more of our best men fell, however Neptune was waning as successive blows from Maximus and Lignorum were aimed towards him. Finally, Vin slew the last Orca captain and victory was secure.

Many Narwhal captains took grievous wounds from the work of Neptune, however none were slain and they quickly marched back down the Grey road to the South to heal. Finchus Minimus, despite his good work and many assists, took no wounds, killed no men and failed to summon Edesia, so was banished to find a new home in far Western Europe.

At the post battle council, it was agreed Vorago Scaenicus was most influential in the eventual victory. Moment of the battle was shared between Vorago Scaenicus, who whilst battling a man at close quarters, got 2 glancing blows on Multis Propositas man allowing him to get the killing blow. Other moments included Maximus and Balneo for a man up goal, Vinus for his final push shot kill, Maximus for shouting at Neptune and not being wrapped because he knew he was wrong and Lignorum for distracting Neptune while Propositas dived back into battle. Fluffus was awarded also to Multis Proposita, who on a hattrick of kills and with his spear aimed at an unarmed man, just threw the man his spear. A week to recover from these wounds, then those brutes in Kingtonian. Narwhal Victoriam!

Notes on the soldiers: 

Finchus Maximus –  Finchy “the biggest”, named so as the father of Finchus Minimus and because he’s the biggest lad.

Finchus Minimus – Finchy “youngest”, Son of Maximus. Banished from Londinensi after the Battle of Londinensi Aquatics Centre, rumoured to have founded Lisbon, Portugal.

Brutus – The name might seem hard, but it actually translates to irrational, or dumb/imbocile. Brutus loves battle, but isn’t very good and is regularly wounded.

Amans Vinum – Literally translates to “lover of wine”. Amans is the old Latin name for Amy. His horse Nanti translates to swimmer, as the quickest horse in the battle due to Monday swim training attendance.

Multis Proposita – “many goals”. Given the name after the Battle of Londinensi Aquatics Centre due to his prolific start to MMXVIII.

Sordidum Balneo – Literally translates as “dirty bathroom”. Because there’s no latin word for poo.

Hiems Inferus – Heims is the season Winter, and Inferus can translate to lower or below as in bottom of. It can also in context mean hellish. The rear guard of the Narwhal legions.

Iuvenis Vir – translates as “a young man”. Youngest(ish) captain of the Narwhals, his potential can be seen despite lacking a finishing move.

Vorago Scaenicus – Vorago meaning abyss/chasm, used to describe the pit in the heart of battle. Scaenicus translates as “player” or “actor”, depending whether he wants to score or win a major.

Amator Lignorum – Literally translates as “lover of wood”. He insists the other captains heed his advanced planning on the battlefield, but once all hell breaks loose it very rarely (never) happens.


Maddy Club: