The Artist Formerly Known as Mace
In yet another tumultuous week for the club we find ourselves with a new mascot, a man who embodies everything wrong and everything right with Bankers. Enter the Everly Pregnant Dickie Mason, Richard Mason to close friends Ned Squire and The Underminer, he has previously gone by the pseudonym Mace Windu aka Richard Kirtley aka Our Dear Leader and Club Captain. The week began on a Saturday for our perennial weed (see Dickie Mason's match report to understand the reference). Bright-eyed and with the spark of mischief and romance for which Emma can testify, Everly Pregnant Dick hand-delivered a floral message to the embattled Off. Without a single victory, tie or triumph to his name, the flustered Off graciously capitulated to the warm wishes of the bargain bin bouquet. Rosy-cheeked and with a swell of confidence that touched all of our hearts, he thanked Our Dear Leader for the kindness of His gift. This was the Optimistic Banker, the spirit of the club that goes into every weekend expecting the impossible, glorious victory. The Optimistic Banker soon gives way to The Incompetent Banker, the Banker with which we are all so familiar and cosily-sidle-closer-to as the days grow shorter and the pitches begin to freeze. Without undermining Dick Windu's charming match report, Treebeard's boys found themselves in the miraculous, improbable position of leading York 2s 2-1. An astounded York, who had fielded their strongest side yet, opted to sub off their keeper for an extra out-field player, a tactic that Mythical Relic Wakka has never once seen to be successful. Weed Windu saw his opportunity to strike and immortalise himself as the goalscorer that broke the 3s goal drought. With an empty net in front of him and 5 yards between the ball and certain victory, Mason had a burst of compassion for York and placed the ball superbly wide of the goal, paving the way for a York return to form and a 2-2 draw. As surely as the Incompetent Banker turns up to play at the weekend, The Deeply Frustrated Banker comes to training with all the weight of the world on their shoulders. I, sadly, could not attend due to illness, a self-inflicted malady for which Georges Moss can expound further. Despite my absence, I have it on Good Authority Squire's word that Virtuous Kirtley was an exceptionally naughty boy at training, almost requiring intervention from Dad Platts. Not only did he cause consternation among his cadres by unintentionally forcing hundreds of press-ups upon them, but later compounded each of these errors by repeatedly throwing his stick, a behaviour for which he is now known and marked. Like the club that moves through Optimism, occasional Incompetency, and Frustration (unless you're one of our successful, consistently optimistic teams), Mace Windu will return to play at the weekend with the familiar sparkle in his eyes once more and a stick that won't leave his hand.
Bankers Best Week The spirit of The Banker has awoken and imbued the club with some fight at last. Out of the 10 teams that played last Saturday, 5 of those came home with wins, 2 with draws, and only 3 with losses, and all this on a weekend with poor availability throughout the club!
While I try and cover all the teams in the club with an even hand, I have largely ignored the Men's 1s (they're too great for me to understand) but it's now important to note that they're in a strong position in their league and are locked in a mid-table battle that is currently being decided on goal difference alone. Beating Stockton last week sets them up for a positive result against Chapeltown this weekend, though Chapeltown are only separated from the middle pack by a single point. Best of luck to Captain Chuckle's Crusaders this weekend! From one end of the club to another, the Ladies 3s were inspired by the Men's 1s victory, so inspired in fact that they notched up yet another win. Fruitbat advised the 3s beforehand that Dronfield had been playing together a long time and so it was best to play around them, the insinuation being that Dronfield were... Old? Unfit? Timeworn. Iona continues to strive for Dick of the Season and will no doubt reprise her title of DoD this weekend, probably for some more bad Lost banter. Elsewhere, the Ladies 2s woof game at Mirfield RSPCA turned into a walk in the park, Canalside Terriers constantly chasing their own tail against a superior Banker's team that simply owned them, 3-0. While Iona appears to be running away with most DoD's, I entirely expect Widow to be another contender after her strong challenge this week. Not to be entirely outdone by the other ladies teams, the Ladies 1s earned a 2-2 draw against Leeds Adel 1s in what was a “frustrating” game, seeing themselves concede twice in the latter stages of the second half after leading the majority of the game 2-0. Important takeaway for this weekend is that Emma is now Dimmers and that Mr Dimmers is unhappy with this choice of nickname, Kirtleyers is much smoother. Having discussed the ladies, where was Coach Keys this week? Coach Keys was with Rob Ward's Tough Boys in Newcastle, a long journey for a filthy result, 0-7 to Morpeth Men. An anonymous but grouchy source has informed me that several 2s players were injured within minutes of the game starting and that they are all old men who need more calcium and protein in their diet. Who could this source possibly be... ? Could it be the same man that abused me with a medicine ball?
Working our way back down the club, the Men's 3s secured a much, much, seriously, traumatically, desperately needed draw, 2-2 at York. Read Mace Windu's report to understand why we didn't win 3 or even 4-1. Elsewhere, the Men's 4s suffered their first setback of the season, losing 0-1 to Airedale ones, a strange result considering the tactic of high pressure which is susceptible to quick breaks; score or die. In the 5s, CT is having the season of his life. If he wasn't vice-captain and all-round right-hand man to Rawhide, Moloughney would surely have snapped up this sprightly young tiger of a man. While Rawhide was away exchanging blows with Sri Lankan MPs and chasing weightlifting girls with rugby playing boyfriends, CT led the 5s to a not-feeble win over Doncaster, 3-0 on Forty Norty. In Brigg the 6s discovered that not every success is on the hockey pitch, discovering that petrol in Brigg is cheap and therefore entirely worth the 4-1 pounding by the randy farmhands. Shoutout to the guy with the ginger beard who was swearing and being aggressive, we don't know who you are or where you live and no one's coming to get you, but one day you might get a green card when you least expect it. Finally, the Men's 7s WON. Maybe that's the success story I should have been writing about and not the slowly unfolding narrative of North Conference One. Mr Matt Timms has written one of the finest match reports ever to grace our eyes and gains extra points for his dual reference to the “Calvinistic cruelty of nominative determinism,” combining the predestination of an individual soul by God with the theory that a person's given name correlates with an ingrained bias towards a particular field of study or, in this case, that Unloved with will remain Un-loved. Other highlights abound, though Old Lady Hockey could not be more of an apt name for The Mole, who buy Mr Timm's standards must lead a subterranean life feasting on worms. Vote this guy DoD again.
The Forecast I'm sure the club will post the fixtures so I'll take this space to say good luck to all the teams this weekend. The previous week demonstrated that Bankers at all level of the club can put points on the board, we should go into the weekend confident that even with bad availability we can convert. The long suffering 2s play 4th in the league Leeds Adel 1s, a draw would be a wonderful miracle for them but I wouldn't count them out just yet.
A Moment With Your EC
Last Wednesday the EC met for their monthly meeting, while lots is always discussed here is a fe things we’d like to bring to the clubs attention
- We discussed the arrangements at our new pitch. We considered the move has so far gone well and numbers at training have remained high. However there are some niggling issues that we will be raising with Sport Sheffield. These include: inadequate lighting on pathways after dark, the need for a dugout solution on match days and ensuring football users follow the rules of the pitch (no studs, scrape mud off shoes before entering, don't use the hockey goals etc).
- We discussed the issues around having to travel back to the Dam House for teas. We are aware that this is a far from ideal arrangement and we are actively pursuing other options.
We have received new guidance from England Hockey around head injury reporting and face masks. As a result the club will be providing every team with four face masks so that everyone involved in defensive short corners has some protection available. This will be rolled out over the next month. We will also need a form to record all head injuries.
- We are pleased that the Men’s Performance Squad now have a permanent coaching arrangement in place and we hope that this will benefit the entire men’s side of the club. We would like to thank the ladies for agreeing to move their training to the later Thursday slot to accommodate this.
- We would like to thank everyone who helped the quiz night be such a success and are looking forward to the Beer Pong event on Saturday 17th November. We are pleased that the club has had a more active social calendar this year and are keen to continue the momentum of regular social events.
SAVE THE DATE - CHRISTMAS BAR CRAWL!