The End of Season Meal Approaches
Dry your eyes. There's still more hockey to be lost yet. It hurts now, being reminded that you'll spend an entire summer without the delicious sting of a loss, but hockey can still inflict wounds for another 5 weeks. With that said, here is my obligatory pitch to you to prepare for the long, dry summer by attending the EOSM.
Firstly, Dave Easto will hold the raffle in his Spiderman 'costume,' the skin-tight one with urine dampened socks and a minor case of PTSD. To my knowledge, the rapscallion that is Deasto will furtively enter the Sheffield city boundaries within the next lunar cycle, presumably to commit some nefarious deed or attempt to sell actual pyramids or 'borrow' money to replenish what he's spent out of his shoebox on cheap perfume and Stella Artois. Is this the long awaited Dave Easto watch? I may have to interview the man himself if I can pin him down long enough near Lidl's bins. Dave, if you're reading this, we still love you. Maybe one day we'll hold the raffle in Valhalla together.
Secondly, I should point out that the first point is a lie, a wild fantasy of mine, so I need to bait you with something else. Barry Chuckle will down a pint from a shoe, guaranteed. I might be confusing that with some other occasion but I feel like I've seen him drink from his shoe more than once. He resists for a moment but the glint in his eye tells you that he likes doing it. The fact that I distinctly remember Barry drinking from his shoe tells you that he probably enjoys it. I can't confirm whether or not he'll do it on stage or as a fund-raiser for the club, but he will imbibe from a clog.
Thirdly, Mole will do an impression of Donald Trump. I know he's got Trump in the pocket, and that's not a reference to his age and incontinence, though I may now have to use “trump in the pocket” as a kind euphemism for some of my more decrepit customers. In addition to this, Chris Thomas will make smart witticisms and insinuations, though it does usually take him a week to write them. If that's still not enticing enough, Mace Windu will say grace before we eat and simultaneously spare the hockey club from the burning pits of Hell, even the heathens among you will find salvation in his welcoming arms.
And now, the real pitch.
The basics: The EOSM will take place on the 30th of March at Hillsborough stadium. Your captain or Dickie Kirtley will likely have sent you the link to sign up via WhatsApp but, if not, the link is pinned at the top of the Facebook group. The cost will be £30 a ticket, details to follow on what that price includes but with Lost in charge something good.
The plea: Mace's motto is “persistence beats resistance,” so here is the initial persistence. The more members that attend, the more fun the night will be, it's as simple as that. The more members that attend, the more money we raise for the club and the more pressure we can apply to Danjo to bid high on the auction. If any of the teams have fines money that means “FREE” drinks, disproportionately paid for by classic DoD candidates like Jill, Claire, Iona, Ned, Juan, Mace, and CT.
See you all there!
P.S Poptarts afterwards.
The tactic of making the opposition want to lose paid off for some teams. Last weekend saw Bankers come home with 5 wins, 1 draw, and 4 losses on the Saturday, with only the Men's 6s submitting themselves for a tenderising, though the Men's 2s were roughed up a little.
I would usually begin by discussing how our ladies fared or, on occasion, how the Men's 6s or 7s managed, but this week I received a very special request from a very special man. Club Captain Richard Mason messaged me confidentially to ensure that I discussed his goal at great length and, concomitantly, paint him as a striking, virile figure of masculinity; in fact he directly said to me “make sure everyone knows how sexy and strong I looked as I scored my goal.”
Here is his tale.
A beam of light split the sky. On one side Bankers, on the other, Airedale. And in the centre, resplendent in the golden beam, was Mace Windu, naked and gleaming on Airedale's P-spot. The ball, as if preternaturally blessed with a magnetism to Mace's stick, swooped towards the rod of carbon he held aloft in his mighty arms. Birds nested in his hair, babes crying for the milk of their mothers fell hushed, their bellies full, their minds satiated, and the men of Airedale tumbled to their knees in blindness and perplexity at this almighty vision.
Mace strode, glistening, toward where Airedale's keeper knelt in terror. “Do not be afraid, child,” Mace delivered in a rich baritone that placated all that trembled near him, stroking the keeper's shaking head. In a halo of fire he lowered the curved bow that nestled the sparkling, ethereal ball over the line that divided the goal from the field and proclaimed victory over the Godless Airedale Men. The visitation turned, his face tilted skyward in triumph, and struck forth back towards his astonished flock. As he ambulated the muscles along his back rippled and tremors scuttled concentrically through the earth at the press of his feet.
The beam of light dissipated, Mace Windu had departed the earthly realm once more. It is said that at the moment of the ball crossing the line the entire female population of North Yorkshire fell pregnant, the fruit of trees bloomed and ripened, swathes of wheat sprung from the ground, wrongly convicted criminals were granted clemency, and the silence of satisfaction swept across the land, rolling from county line to county line.
Bankers, 4. Airedale, 2.
Onto the other results. Thank you to Claire Louise for consistently writing match reports when she is, consistently, DoD. There are a couple of viable contenders for Ladies Dick of the Season but Claire might be clinching it. It's ok to not know the score, Claire, Jacob D'Souza thought we were 3-1 down at 1-1 and then noted that our second short corner of the day was our first of the season. The final score for the Ladies 3s was 2-1 against Slazengers, though the real winner was Lost for taking her own hot chocolate powder to the pub. I don't know if that's tragic or not.
The Ladies 2s also won, 3-2 against Skipton. I'd comment on the game but Strudders seems to have intentionally drawn the magnifying glass onto herself by referring to herself as one of the top 3 personalities in Bankers. What does that mean for Syph, Pony, and Rupert Till? I find it incredulous that you could be more beloved than Syph. Equally, Ned seems to have mistakenly drawn attention to himself in the comments. If I know Ned, and I know Ned, I'd say that he's likely discovered a soul-mate in Fruitbat's ambitious and slightly aggressive approach to Tinder.
The Ladies 1s were not quite as successful but returned with a respectable 0-0 draw against Halifax, having withstood a wave of short corners before the end of the first half. Man of the Match was awarded to Fingers, apparently for covering for Petit when Petit began to roam, Petit becoming notorious for her lack of positional discipline.
I'll succinctly cover the remaining men's results. The Men's 7s won 8-1 against a Sheffield Hallam, a staggering, almost unbelievable result for a bunch of hungover students, some of whom had never been seen before on, around, or near a hockey pitch. In a contrast of fortunes the Men's 6s were eviscerated 10 goals to nil by Kingston-upon-Hull 2s and their heads placed upon spikes. Disheartening for the remains of JAM but it sounds like a game where the opposition were fundamentally superior.
The Men's 5s also played Kingston-upon-Hull, though their weaker 3s side, and won 1-0. Hardly the overwhelming demonstration of power displayed by KuH 2s but a revenge victory is still a revenge victory.
The Men's 3s suffered their most painful loss to date. The 9-0 loss to Wakefield the previous weekend was particularly jarring because of our strong squad, but to then lose 2-1 against Slazengers, after holding out 1-1 for the majority of the game and looking like we'd score again, felt cruel. Myself and Matt Collinson both helped to secure the loss by hitting their post at crucial opportunities, Alistair Cook was barely aware he was at a hockey match, and Pony wasn't carded.
Finally, the Men's 1s and 2's both lost. The 2s lost 6-2 to North Shields in a game they had hoped was winnable but like the 3s they continue to be punished for some crime in their past life. The 1s lost 2-0 to Wilmslow in what appears to be a wobble in form which they then righted on Sunday by comfortably winning their cup game.
Good luck to everyone playing this weekend and don't forget to sign up to the EOSM.