[EDIT: Live from Lockdown, this week’s very (very) late report comes curtosy of Mr. “Punchy” Holah. A man who very much started where he left off – disappearing for many months to play guitar, only to return for two games and accumulate three majors. So, so punchy.]
A very late report from our double visit to face Blue Marlins at Xcel Walton back in the good ol’ days when we were able to participate in team sports, and society. A report made significantly easier by our impressive effort to match our first poor performance with a carbon copy a mere one week later, even down to last-minute absenteeism. So really what you have here is a one-size fits-all assessment of both matches. It most definitely isn’t simply light on content due to a tardy author who can’t remember anything of significance given it was so long ago, if indeed there was anything notable to write about.
tl:dr: Average for 3 quarters, terrible in the fourth.
Xcel is a difficult pool to play due to its (very) shallow end, and Marlins are quite adept at utilising this home advantage. However, we approached the games by identifying the known threats from our opposition and chose to double the pit or press on the danger men. A tactic that brought dividends for as long as we maintained it and we kept them out whilst the scoreboard slowly ticked over in our favour. However, in the 4th quarter of each game we implemented some very effective pre-emptive social distancing, maintaining a safe 2m from any wandering Marlin. This tactic proved to be extremely effective as, at the time of writing, no Narwhal has suffered from Covid-19. (the lateness of this report can be attributed to this experiment and a need to ensure statistical significance). One Narwhal chose at the last minute not to be present at all and I am pleased to say remains in good health. However, this selfless act from the Narwhals did offer Marlins an open season on our goal. In both games, our final quarter was a disaster: of 16 goals conceded across the two games, 10 were in the final quarter. In the first game, this resulted in a loss; and the second we won but could not overcome a 6-goal handicap, it being a cup game or something.
The most significant item of note from either game is the fluffiest absence witnessed in modern history. Our resident Viscount attained this dubious award, together with a spectacular Maddie, by failing to turn up at the agreed time and place, causing other team members to be late. With no hats. A no-show compounded by his maintenance of radio silence until sometime after the game upon which the excuses were too feeble for vivid recollection, especially as we had finished, left the venue and were in the pub by the time he piped up. For a while all was forgiven when he mentioned something about PPE, but alas this was not a well-forecast mission to equip our heroic front line key workers but transpired he was meticulously deliberating his next pathway through the rigmarole of academia – PPE or finger-painting. Decisions, decisions.
Nominations were few and far between, and of those, some did not refer to either game, but given the similarities of the games, I don’t suppose that matters a great deal. Here is an aggregated summary:
Man of the Match: Oggy and Nick share this accolade
Moment: Chris’ goal, Rob’s 4th quarter back shot (a rare moment of beauty in an otherwise tragic 4th quarter).
Fluffer: Many and various nominations here, including CKT, obviously. But also shared with Ed “I’d expect nothing less” Gamble and Rob (“for his shooting”. So presumably Rob L – no distinction offered). [EDIT: Unacceptably harsh given how useless TJ has been recently]
Of course, due to the current situation with this whole lockdown malarkey, the next match report may be some way off yet as all training and matches remain postponed and we must indulge in solo pursuits like “running”, since swimming, I am told, cannot be done via Zoom.
Stay safe out there, people.