18 months ago…

18 months ago your brave Narwhals played a competitive polo game, I cannot recall the score or indeed the result as it was not a particularly note worthy thing, not unusual or strange in any way. Little did we then know that we would all be taking a forced 18 month hiatus from polo, our only competitive sport being ritualistic clapping for the NHS and the 100m loo roll dash. We are however back, fatter and greyer but oh so keen and adorned with some very fetching new stash!

Our first test was away at Putney to play Avondale (so called because they used to play on Avondale Road in Battersea, the author is not aware whether there was a pool there or not). We had a strong 12 (although without “Mr Ironman at the third attempt”) and we were buoyed by the savageness of Gio’s haircut and the fact the he looked like a Cosenza Ultra out for a bit of biff.

The Narhwals took the lead (shockingly, what were we thinking???) with TJ scoring from a well worked man up routine, a mix up in the back let Avondale equalise ten second later though before two very well taken Amy Shute goals gave us a very healthy two goal lead. Amy completed is hattrick with a glorious lob before Avondale got a couple back, the quarter was rounded off by George “new boy” Adam who inexplicably found himself two metres out from goal with the ball passed to him and couldn’t miss. 5 – 3 to the Narwhals at the end of the first quarter, it was looking like the break had done us the world of good… but alas the next two quarters were not quite so spectacular!

We scored first in the second quarter with our returning ‘hero’, Dr Woody, uncharacteristically shooting between the posts rather than directly at them. Avondale then proceeded to score 4 unanswered goals as we struggled to get our shots on target and our defence struggled with their very big no. 7. 7 – 6 to Avondale at half time.

We very much carried on our form from the second quarter in the third quarter, conceding a further three goals without reply and at 10 – 6 down things looked very bleak for our glorious Narwhals, TJ had other ideas though and managed to pull a goal back to make it 10 – 7 to Avondale going into the final quarter.

Amy then took the game by the scruff of the neck, all be it without the accuracy required, missing an easy one on one and a penalty and with three minutes to play and the quarter goalless it was looking like too much to do. TJ and the Cosenza Ultra scored twice in the next 90 seconds to leave us with a goal to get in the last minute or so. Two missed opportunities later and with three second left to play, Amy received the ball on 6m and proceeded to lob the Avondale keeper to draw the game for the Narwhals! Hurrah!! Never has a draw felt more like a victory. All in a good first swim out with some nice goals despite the obvious lack of match sharpness.

Man of the match went to TJ for scoring a hattrick with three shots plus turning up to the right pool at the right time. Honourable mentioned to Amy for his four goals, but the 42 missed shots and penalty counted against him in the final vote.

Amy did win both the moment for his glorious match drawing lob and fluffer for his penalty miss at a crucial time. Honourable shout out to Rob D for a shocking lob and sitting with oppo when we got to the pub.

 Messers Gamble, Young, Dickinson, Holah and Ogg have been closely monitoring Boris’s traffic light scheme and hopped on a short break to the Algarve as soon as Portugal turned amber!

 Until the next time.

 Forza Narwali

(*NB. – Stats will be coming. Something to look forward to… a bumper two game stats haul including a double hattrick from a certain someone…)