Afternoon all!! Tuesday night saw the mighty Narwhals travel down to Guildford for the second time in less than a week to play in the Tom Dwyer Cup Final – the premier handicap knock-out trophy in London. Our opponents – Avondale II’s – Our Mission – Victory – Our Handicap – Gamble… (course not)
We started the game with a 2 goal head start and the gallant 9 were ready for battle. Things were looking optimistic when Ed “speedster” Gamble won the first two swim-offs. We quickly realised that the halfway was poorly placed… we didn’t win another one… The game was tight throughout – we quickly lost our 2 goal lead, finishing the first quarter 4-3 down. However the remaining quarters all finished tied 6-6, 9-9 and 11-11 respectively. If anything it shows the handicap system worked perfectly!!
We struggled with our Man-ups and Man-downs, but we played some good counter-attacking polo, and Dan “poorly calf” Bedford was once more solid in the pit. For his tremendous display and 4 goals, he was awarded Man of the Match with 8 out of the 9 nominations. Well done Dan – keep it up… otherwise Phil might have to play in the pit…
At full time, the score was 11-11, and the referees offered both teams the chance to share the trophy. After a moment’s deliberation, Matt “Captain” Finch remembered the endless hours of 5-lives we had played and thought maybe penalties might suit us – so a penalty shootout we chose!! The excitement was palpable, the crowd were hushed in anticipation, hearts were in mouths as Nick “wayward” Shute approached the 5m line… and he sky-ed it!!
Fluffer this week was shared by both Shute and Richards for their penalty misses. In hindsight it was probably a bad idea not to give our two least accurate players a penalty, but there you go. Shout out to Holah for being very wayward in his shooting this week, and kudos to Chris Mann for attempting another dribbler from near halfway.
Moment of the match was widely split this week between all the penalty scorers, so I have decided to award the moment to Gary, Tim and Matt for their goals which won us the trophy – it seemed the most democratic way to do it!! That being said, huge shout out to Matt “hero” Finch for crucially saving a penalty before then stepping up to calmly slot home the winning pen. A Manuel Neuer in the making!! The penalties finished 3-2 to the Narwhals, finally giving us victory!!
Stats wise – Bedford storms towards the 100 goal mark, whilst the rest of us linger behind somewhat. There is a lot of crowding around 20 goals, but there are rumours Phil “Poo Corner” Richards has been distracted by his new roaming reporter role and that could lead to a reduction in his productivity!! Holah remains top of the punchy club, still 2 majors ahead of myself. Gary and Nick complete the chasing pack.
With Tueday’s victory, The Narwhals are now the League and Cup champions for the 2015/2016 season. The fight has been long, and the fight has been hard, but here we stand victorious!! The bus has been booked, the crowds have gathered – now we celebrate!! WT Narhwhals – the other pride of South London!!