This week the stats report has been updated to include three previous games vs. Orca, Avondale and Otter. Match reports are sold separately. The following tale includes heroics, stupidity, cramp and a sublime back shot from the least likely of candidates.
Some things in life are inevitable. Birth, Death, and Matt Finch forgetting we have a game. Last Wednesday was another one of those occasions. A sturdy 9 Narwhals turned up at Whitgift pool for a 9pm training session, all looking forward to what could turn into an early night. Just before we started our swim set, a warning shot was fired across our decks – one member of the opposition wandered cautiously onto poolside. We told him in no uncertain terms there was no game and he disappeared back into the changing rooms. Oh how we laughed…
Led by Rob D, we then conducted a 20 minute swim session where we did sprints, legs and butterfly. Suitably tired, we were then greeted by a full team of London Otter players who arrived on pool side for a 9.30pm game. Brandishing the London League fixture list, it was clear the game was on… With no table, no refs and barely enough players to service both, the Narwhal Horn was sounded into the night – “BADDOOOOOOOOOPPPP!! BADDOOOOOOOOOPPPP!!”.
“Too far, too tired” came the response from Shute. “I’m working” from Holah. A silent void from the rest – the beacons of Gondor well and truly ignored. Luckily President Ogg did come to our aid, importantly brandishing a match sheet as he ran onto poolside. Also buoyed by the long awaited return of Luke “finals and photo shoots” Penfold, the Narwhals were ready for battle.
In honesty, there is not a lot to say about the game. It was scrappy and Otter had clearly brought a mixed strength team including some (a) very good 1st team player. In the first quarter they scored 4 without response until referee Finch Snr rather expertly gave a penalty for an illegal entry. Even more surprisingly, Weeble dispatched the penalty with a bouncing effort into the bottom corner. 4-1 to Otter after Q1.
Quarter 2 ended 8-1 to Otter and we struggled to get into the game. No goals coincided with Gamble doing the refereeing. Read into that what you will. Unfortunately we lost Penfold to cramp at the end of the quarter. His “easy” return to training somewhat scuppered by this unexpected game. Two quarters on the table was his reward!!
Quarter 3 was a little better. We worked a bit harder and they only scored from outside the arc. A few misplaced passes didn’t help our cause and we struggled to slow down the play and use up the clock. Even so, we got a few good shots away and finally got the goal we deserved. A drive from halfway across the goal by Gimli was picked out by a looping pass from Ogg. Aided by a dubious Finch Snr pull-back, Gimli had enough time to put the resulting back shot into the top corner off the post and crossbar. Assists to Ogg and Finch? Q3 ended 12-2.
In honesty, we played quite well despite the situation. Our drop on the pit worked well and most of their goals came from counter attacks or from 8-9m off the arc. Quarter 4 saw goals from Oggy and Finchy, making the score sheet slightly less uncomfortable reading. 15-4 the final score.
Man of the Match went to Gamble as did moment for the back-shot. You flatter me guys. Fluffer unanimously went to Matt Finch, the Incompetence award wrapped up for another year.
Until next time… Forza Narwhali!!