With a good away win in Exeter and other results in the league going their way, the mens blues were sitting atop BUCS Prem B South going into week three. As is the custom for the BUCS tournament, Cambridge now had the home leg left to play, with the best aggregate score over the two legs advancing the winning side to the next stage of the tournament. Sitting on a 2-1 advantage, Sean Gilmore’s side could even afford to concede a goal and still take the series on away goals. As Exeter arrived at fortress wilby, their driver performed the defensive cliché that Seen Pilmore’s team should surely execute over the next 70 minutes.
Main points to take from the game: Ferg missed lots of flicks so up and coming short corner specialist stepped up Kieran Gilmore and produced two world class saves from the keeper. JP scored two goals, well done Jonny! Sean told us not to force passes out from the back then forced one to their left wing and they ran back at our goal and scored. Final score, 4-3 to Cambridge and advancement to the round of 32 of BUCS Premier league hockey.
As was arranged before the game, the whole team now were allowed to focus on the other important fixture of that evening, Stars in their eyes. VC Edward Sideface had arranged for pizzas to be ordered to the pitch and tinnies would be flowing as the blues cheered on the wanderers. Unfortunately it seemed the team was so excited about stars that they all went home for a little lie down before the evening was due to kick off. After a masterful performance from the wanderers, it was time that Wil Silvester and JuJu Wremeister were also allowed to start thinking about the night ahead.
My phone was taken away during stars so I wasn’t able to continue writing this report during the event but I extend a big congratulations to Will Fresh Silver and DJ Jazzy Jeff for their excellent performance of Boom! Shake the Room. The best I have seen in six seasons of Stars in their eyes.
Saturday came around and the boys were feeling nervous ahead of a big game against Harlston Magpies. With the top four from Prem A getting promoted into national league at the end of the season, this was a clash between two teams hoping to make those top spots. On the day it didn’t work out and Harlston’s tactics made it difficult for the blues to put any meaningful attacks together. A 1-0 loss on the day shouldn’t dishearten Chanister Banister’s side from pushing for a promotion spot come the end of the season and a big bounce back performance next weekend against Chelmsford should set off another winning streak.
Mom: Matt Cockerill
Dod: Kieran Gilmore
Following a solid preseason period, and with Captain Sean back from his Thai antics, the Blues were eager to kick the season off to a strong start against what promised to be a spicy encounter with Saffron Walden at home. With the squad sporting six fresh talents, it was important the team jelled quickly under match conditions in order to come away with a big W – and with the detailed (yet by no means exhaustive) notes from Coach Bannister fresh in our minds – the boys were ready to start their pre-match warm-up routines.
Eager to make amends for his previous absence, and to ensure the Blues were both physically and mentally prepared, Sean’s warm-up boasted several different varieties of a tennis ball game, including right-handed, left-handed and double-handed versions: all of which serving to promote team spirit and ensure collaborative focus for the up-coming game.
Butterflies fluttered in the stomachs of some newbies as they stepped onto the pitch for the first time in a light blue jersey as the whistle sounded, keen not to fall short to ‘a potential banana skin of a team’. With food in mind, the Saffrons sported a rather meaty pair of centre backs and a couple of potatoes at wing-back: a quartet we were quick to pounce on – Jean knocking in a goal from close range following a valiant run from Seb and a fresh-air shot from Ed – admittedly not the most delicate amuse-bouche of all time but certainly getting the job done! With Jean’s appetite wet, he quickly followed with a second for his enterée – a confident start to both the match and the season.
Despite going into half-time with a 2-0 lead, (unlike Cocker’s receding hairline) The Blues showed no sign of slowing down. With the plat principal mopped up by an unsuspecting Ed Sides with his first touch after being subbed on after half-time, Harry Atkins kept a cool head to tuck away a close-range effort to put the cherry on the cake of the team’s dessert. However, Jean was keen to sneak a cheeky petit fours in before the final whistle, dispatching a final goal to secure his hat-trick and the team’s first win of the season – leaving Walden in need of ‘Saffron’s’ healing abilities to recover their pride.
As if a 5-0 triumph wasn’t an exciting enough start to the season, the elder Blues seemed to be equally thrilled by the prospect of freshers making fools of themselves in black tie – an outfit which, in its respectable appearance, unfortunately did not reflect the actions of those who wore them. Upon anticipated arrival at Jesus college, an exotic blend of vodka and ginger beer assisted some smooth interactions between freshers and the more experienced members of the group. However, with the highly allusive rules which accompany these drinking games, it quickly became apparent the less experienced members of the group were beginning to struggle. As such, although The Blues had no problem keeping the ball out the of the goal on the pitch, they somewhat struggled keeping there drinks in their stomachs off it. With a hazy walk to Hawk’s making Gold DofE seem trivial, some members of the group began to be picked off by the dark undercurrents of alcohol, with those who eventually made it to Spoons deserving medals for their courageous efforts on what proved to be a class start to the season. Overall, a mental day filled with plenty of stories to tell.
MoM: Jean – hat-trick hero!
DoD: Silver – debatable lid and forgot towel.
After a £2.5 million investment into Wilberforce Road’s facilities, it would be fair to assume that everything would have improved at the iconic ground. Confusingly, this did not appear to be the case.
The post 5-0 popping of SW began by cramming into a changing room with two other teams and got even worse due to a total absence of sauce. Silly fresh Silver forgot his towel and combined with a questionable [*terrible] lid, later gained the day’s DOD. The disappointing changes at Wilby were topped off by us going back to basics and making our own sandwiches upstairs while a 10-year-old threatened anyone taking more than their allocated amount of haribo packs.
Food, fines and mom/dod voting completed, the team raced off home to prepare for the first club social of the year, to be preceded by a thirst-quenching box. The fresh turned up extremely late but made up for it by looking resplendent in their dashing black tie. Excessive toasting to the deals and CUHC then followed before the games began. Later we headed to Hawks where a couple Freshers had already fallen asleep, but this was only a quick turnover before Spoons.
I was severely disappointed not to make it to Spoons but Owain, Will Silver and I had instead gone on an adventure! After a cracking four hours at Addies we headed straight back to bed, hopeful that the meet time wouldn’t be missed the next day.
Since Silver won tour DOD, my own account will be kept reasonably brief.
Pathetic fallacy to the max: grey miserable skies as 31 tired troopers travelled to Wilby to make the uncomfortably early meet time. EasyHotel Sheffield, with the most discreet signage, proved impossible to stop by so our driver gave a little tour (twice!) of the immediate local area. See-through bathroom doors and a complete lack of windows and wifi were the room highlights.
Next everyone picked up the weekly travel card which offered unlimited bus and tram travel!! We then hopped on the bus to Abbeydale Sports Complex while Bill and Seb struggled their way around the Land of Confusion to the delight of Harry.
Caught the tram to visit an elusive park up a big hill where we played some rounders and Empires. JParke almost snuck through with King Julian but Hattie Bevan, a random ghost name that I still don’t remember, took the spoils.
After a well-earned draw against Hallam we headed rapidly to the home of obscenely priced £1.25 pints. These abnormal prices would continue to shock us all through the week which amused the native Hallam lot. Multiple pints and joint games sessions left everyone feeling very jolly before moving onto the next place. Ohm, Bloo 88 and Tiger Works (starring a dangerous £6 fishbowl) were some of the fine establishments on show that evening and were perfectly located very close to the easyHotel.
Most people managed to hit the rather early meet time but the bus journey into the hills was a more difficult one to handle. A cracking trek up a couple hills to see some rocks ended in a good old pub lunch before the first bus back decided to ignore us all. Hiding in the long grass proved a highlight with Roberta showing his prowess in the field.
Tuesday evening consisted of some crazy golf at the Paradise Island – a ‘new adventure taking you from the boat at the Caribbean Quay, through mysterious sea caves before being marooned on a desert island full of exotic palm trees and mystical jungle ruins’ – and a sweaty run-about at the Lazer Quest where we experienced the ‘adrenaline pumping exhilaration of stalking your opponents and unleashing a searing volley of laser fire in the battle zone of the 21st century.’
The team enjoyed a final Spoons on tour (one too many to be honest), fully utilising our voucher books. We then headed back to Abbeydale to cheer on the girls and give polite smatterings of applause every now and then. Tiredness and injuries became a real problem in our second and final game and we fell short against Hallam to end tour with a draw and loss. Understandably the hockey had seemed to take a backseat and our freshers lined up for the truly important battle against Hallam, a boat race. This ended in a surprisingly comfortable win and the Hallam boys explicityly vented their rage at their own freshers. We were invited to join in on their cocktail box and after another games playing session, including a tough to crack ‘Simple 20 + 1’, some interesting songs were performed for us. Things became a bit hazy after this point since we all had a pretty large one,. One thing was clear however, nobody was ready to go ohm.
Another difficult coach journey began a very unproductive day, ending with a rather quiet training.
This day seemed to start even worse than Thursday as tour exhaustion and Hallam Freshers Flu kicked in.
There was a slight issue with one of the ZipCars but it was swiftly sorted out and everyone made it on time to St Albans! No further comment.
Straight from the go the Blues charged into the Albans D but sadly a kicked clearance was missed by the umpires. Albans were shaken but after that point took control and put in a couple well worked goals despite Toby making some fine saves. Despite being on the back foot, the team managed to string together some passes in the Albans 20 and from close range Harry stuck in his second goal in two weeks.
In the second half, we were chasing the game and as it became stretched Albans were able to get another early goal before flicking a corner into the net soon after. After that point we seemed unable to fashion some proper chances and the game ended up getting away from us, finishing 4-1 to Albans.
Mom: Toby – saves,
Dod: Sean – handbrake
Wapping Match Report
The morning of the Men’s Blues game against Wapping 1s began inauspiciously: it was overcast; it was drizzling; and I had run out of milk for my porridge. By the time I had to leave for Wilby, drizzle had turned into rain and the day from slightly overcast to miserable, and I still didn’t have any milk for my porridge. [Enough of that joke Mon; you’re milking it. Ed.] Despite the inclement weather, I arrived in good time and had the privilege of watching Cambridge City 4s trial a novel formation, centring on a gilet-clad kicking-back. Clearly the implementation of this formation had caused delays in the game (I think the gilet zip kept getting stuck), as we had enough time for a quick game of Mafia. The important parts of the game were as follows:
- God (Johnny) assigned me the detective role.
- I asked about Matthew.
- With a sly grin, God informed me that Matthew was indeed a Maf.
- Fantastic, I thought. We’ll slay him, I thought.
- The village awoke and I told them that Matthew was Maf.
- Matthew unconvincingly claimed that he was in fact the detective and I was lying.
- All the n00b freshers believed Matthew.
- I was slain.
- With the real detective fuming in Elysium, Matthew commandeered the game and slaughtered the rest of the villagers.
- The mafia won.
Reflecting on the reasons for my loss, I realised that Mafia is ultimately a game of trust, with strong bonds of friendship fundamental to success. My desertion of the Blues had clearly damaged those bonds and Matthew capitalised on this. Alternatively, it may have just been the n00b freshers. I couldn’t reflect for very long however, as soon enough it was time for push-back.
Rudely, the weather refused to improve and the game began in the midst of a torrential downpour. Unconcerned by the rain, the Blues took the game to Wapping and within the first ten minutes fresher Seb calmly lobbed the charging keeper to put us one-nil up. The rest of the first half produced chances for both sides, with the presence of multiple CUHC alumni in the opposition resulting in our short-corner routines being telegraphed on every occasion. Just before the half-time whistle, some poor defending lead to the Blues conceding a weak near-post goal, leaving the score 1-1 at half time.
The second-half started just as evenly balanced as the first, but before too long TJ found himself on the end of an excellent cross to the back post, and in attempt to trap the ball, roofed it into the Wapping net. Nice one TJ. After going 2-1 down, the Wapping boys began to flag, probably owing to their “long city-lunches” and having to carry the weight of their million-pound mortgages. This allowed the Blues to score two counter-attack goals in quick succession. In the first, Campkin found himself in acres of space inside the Wapping D, with two unmarked team-mates at the backpost. James then proceeded to stick two-fingers up at his team-mates and drill a reverse that slipped just below the cross-bar. The second was the result of a brilliant passage of play, building from the back-line and culminating in the forwards passing it round the keeper for fresher Seb to roll the ball into an open net.
Soaking wet and content with a 4-1 win against one of the leagues better sides, the boys headed in for fines. As always, we began with MoM/DoD nominations. MoM was claimed by T Brooks, who clearly shares his brothers lack of shame for the self-nom. As for DoD, I felt that whilst I was certainly in the running, there were surely some more guilty candidates. Take, for example, TJ’s recent exploits: following in the footsteps of the Cambridge five, he betrayed his country for the Soviets by popping a father and daughter in broad day-light. And then he had the cheek to claim he was just visiting to see the 123m spire! How could my actions possibly deem me more DoDable? But in that fine session I learnt an important truth: betraying the Deals is scarcely less of a crime than betraying one’s country.
MoM: Toby Brooks.
Wednesday 10th October
BUCS Wednesdays are back! The Men’s Blues arrived at Wilberforce Road in dribs and drabs from lectures and meetings etc., except Kieran Gilmore who was notably absent. Capitano Sean Gilmore said he (Kieran) would be arriving just before push back, to the indignation of some of the boys who hadn’t realised this was an option. We all agreed there was plenty we could have got done with that hour but decided to let it go. The opposition was newly promoted Plymouth University, who had just completed an eyewatering seven-hour drive for this hockey match. We knew nothing about Plymouth but suspected they would be pretty rubbish because normally teams coming up out of the leagues below are pretty rubbish. The pitch was free so once we were changed we headed out to knock a few balls around.
When we stepped outside it was clear that this Wednesday the weather was very hot. We walked passed the Plymouth team who were already warming up. We shared a few glances in order to silently communicate to one another that we thought these Plymouth boys looked pretty average. Still, looks can be deceiving and you mustn’t judge a hockey team by its cover, nor tempt fate, so no one verbalised their suspicions. We had a quick meeting once Kieran Gilmore had arrived where we agreed to switch on and take the game seriously because we’ve slipped up against bad teams before and we didn’t even know yet if Plymouth were bad or not, so it was important to play properly. We went for a jog in the baking heat and then stretched a bit and played with the soft warm up ball then got on the hard hockey balls then did some short corners. I’m not ashamed to admit my flicks were absolutely flying. Then we had some shots at goal and passed it round the back a bit and were ready for this BUCS season to get underway.
The game began and Kieran Gilmore did his usual thing of running straight at the oppo from the push back. Unfortunately he was quickly picked off by the Plymouth centre-forward, who then rinsed a couple of us before losing control and running it off the pitch. This opening raised a few eyebrows but not for long because then we played in neatly down the right onto their baseline and James Campkin put away a ball across the face of goal. Minutes later we scored an essentially identical goal and we were two up. There followed a ten-minute period where we gave the ball away cheaply and Plymouth actually had us under some pressure, but we got through it unscathed and subsequently Plymouth capitulated.
I have never seen a team defend the baseline worse than this Plymouth side. Time and time again we got in behind, played balls across and scored the tap in. There was a trademark Staunton-Sykes miss-trap goal and on two occasions their full back popped it in for us. At half-time we were winning by miles but agreed to keep pushing because it’s all good practise and sometimes goal difference matters in BUCS. The second half brought more of the same but not quite as much as we tired in the heat and got a bit lazy with our decision making. At some point they scored a goal after a cheap turnover and it was tense for a bit but then I calmly slotted a flick bottom left and we settled down again. At the end of the game we counted seventeen goals but the umpires said it was in fact 16-1 so someone was lying to the deals (who/whatever the ‘deals’ are/is).
For some reason everyone rushed straight off after the game so I had a lonely soapless shower before heading back to Bullard Laboratories (my place of work) to hear a talk about the seismological detection of nuclear explosions. It was pretty dry but had its moments and the speaker came to the intriguing conclusion that the final North Korean nuclear test last year may have been big enough to destroy their test facility, which may have affected their willingness to come to Trump’s negotiating table. Hm!
Saturday 13th October
I woke up at about 9am and started getting organised for a big day of hockey. First thing’s first – getting dressed. I carefully selected my blue playing shirt and white playing socks since today’s opposition, West Herts, typically play in dark shades of maroon and black. I had some breakfast and set off for Wilby, but then I realised it was raining, so I went back for a rain jacket, and then I set off for Wilby for the second and final time… Or so I thought!
First on my agenda was umpiring the Squandies against a Wisbech side which had been on the wrong end of some heavy defeats in the previous weeks. My co-umpire, Oliver, had a bit of a swagger which was a concern but he turned out to be a lovely bloke and I thought we both performed pretty well. The Squandies dominated possession but struggled to convert that pressure into outcomes against the agricultural Wisbech. In the end they ran out 2-1 winners which was probably a fair result.
I headed back to the clubhouse to fill in the forms and fill up my water bottle. There was still 15 minutes until our meet time so I settled down to watch the start of the Wandies’ game. I noticed that Matt Roberts and James Campkins were wearing black shirts which got me thinking – could I have brought the wrong kit? A quick check of the email confirmed it, but I maintained I was right because West Herts famously play in dark shades like maroon and black or maybe navy blue. Still, it was obvious what had to be done, and I set off home. I made decent time on the road, quickly located the correct kit, then set off for Wilby for the third and final time… Or so I thought! And this time I was correct.
I was twenty pounds late when I made it back but found multiple cars still at Wilby so I didn’t feel too guilty. In the car with me were Kieran, freshman Ed Tiler and driver Jam Campkins. We set off. Campers was getting a bit stressed out when Kieran was slow to give directions near junctions, and I reckoned he could do with taking a chill pill as they say but it wasn’t too bad so I didn’t say anything and Kieran continued to give directions late and only when prompted. Otherwise the trip was uneventful and soon we made it to West Herts HC. There was a bit of off-roading to be done to find a parking space but we managed eventually and were off to meet the rest of the boys. I noticed that in the game before us a West Herts ladies team was wearing white and I was finally forced to admit that I had gotten my wardrobe completely wrong for this game. We headed inside for a chat with coach Barley Cannister.
During the team talk Charlie said that we had done well last week to get a result and had to look to do the same this week. He reckoned they would be low on confidence after getting pumped in Conference East for a couple of seasons and so they would probably crumble if we put them under the cosh for long periods. This reminded us of a team talk last season when Charlie accidentally said ‘under the cocks’ but this time he executed the phrase correctly. We went outside for a jog then played with our soft ball then played with it some more because the game before was over-running. Eventually we were on the pitch for the rest of our preparations. True to form I was binning flicks off the top. No surprises there. Not long after we were all set and the game began.
Surprisingly for an ex-Conference side West Herts didn’t seem very good. Their press was ineffective and we held the ball at the back for the long periods, looking threatening down both flanks. With the ball their forwards didn’t lead particularly well but they did have a few handy players who carried the ball out of defence and midfield. We went one up via a spaffed Campinks reverse, but struggled to consolidate this early advantage. They came back into the game thanks to some poor personal defending on our part and converted two innocuous turnovers to go into the break 2-1 up.
At half-time Charlie said we could do much better so we should do so. We did manage to lift it again and, with improved organisation in the press, started to build up some pressure. For a while we lacked options on the baseline but when we got those T-spot leads going again we started creating outcomes. Somehow Campong squeezed a spaffed push in at the near post and converted a bobbling right 2 from Kieran Gillsmore to make it 3-2 and bag a Darling-Bevan! Nice one Jimmy!
We were back on top but there was still work to be done as West Herts came back at us. They pressed higher and higher and we conceded a couple of harsh short corners. They pinged in a rebound from one of those and it all square again. It remained tense for a while but then up the other end we one another shorty and this time the main man (me) was on the pitch. I stepped up and said don’t worry about this boys I’ll bin it at we’ll win this hockey match, as long as the injection comes out straight. It did and I sent the keeper the wrong way with a slingy flick that went between him and the man on the right post. Striker! My prophecy came true and we were back in front.
There wasn’t long to go and West Herts became desperate. Their pressing got a bit silly and we were able to outlet relatively easily. After winning a free hit out wide on the left K-ron went on a mazy dribble into their D and picked out Roberta on the goal line who made a bit of a meal of the tap in to be honest. But it was 5-3 and the points were ours. Sick!
Back in the changing room Charlie said he was very pleased with the result but I didn’t hear anything else he said because Tylo was noisily drying his hands. After a quick shower we headed upstairs for teas. I sank two lagers (shock) and voted Matt Cockers for DoD because of the lack of hair on his head. In the end though it was a two-horse race between myself (wrong kit) and Eddie-T (interrupting Charlie). The astute among you will have noticed that I wrote this match report and therefore it was me who won this race and received DoD. MoM was Campkins for his three rubbish goals.
We got back on the road satisfied with our efforts. As results filtered in from the other games it transpired we had gone up to second, a great achievement at this stage of the season. Letchworth (H) awaits next week.
After the win last Saturday, many members of the CUHC celebrated by attending the prestigious Hawks & Osprey’s Ball. I regretfully did not attend although Ji-Sung told me it was so good that it should be a staple in everyone’s social calendar.
With the fear of developing FOMO in my mind, I eagerly awaited the swap with the Nomads on Wednesday. However, with academic work taking priority, the Blues’ decided on taking on the task of Reading beforehand. Sean gave us the “they’ve dropped down from the league above so they’ll be good and we can’t afford to be complacent” team talk and after the routine high five’s, the game began.
Notable highlights include:
- Hamez Campkin scoring by hitting the ball harder than the box hit me at the swap.
- Other people scoring to make it 4-0
- A Redding player scoring at the end to make Seen seem very upset
FT 4-1 with Blues defeating Red and retaining the seat at the top of the table. No wonder the Blues are currently in line to earn Team of the Week in Bluebird News with an astounding 57.46% of the votes (thank you to all of you for voting and you can still vote at http://www.bluebirdnews.co.uk/team-of-the-week-week-5-2/)
After the game, we changed into our black tie in anticipation of the swap with the Nomads. Due to the delay from their BUCS game, Sean proposed a game of drinking beers in his gyp. From there, where he led, we followed and to the swap we went. The veterans of CUHC watched the naïve fresh making a fool of themselves before heading to Cindies. Unfortunately, one particular fresh (who shall remain unnamed) was unable to complete the journey as the combination of bouncer and bursting bladder was too much and so he/she ended up back home at midnight. However, from what people tell me, Cindies was really good and so what I had feared about my fear of getting FOMO finally came true.
Come Saturday and the Blues faced another tough game against Ipswich on Pitch 3. Along with the warning of two opposition players from the South of Africa, Charlie added his words of wisdom and we started, determined to continue our rich vein of form. Early on, Kieran starting proceedings with a p-flick to the corner to my left. TJ, back from Russia, then fired in a couple of missiles along with Jean and Campkin grabbing one each. Ipswich scored 2 at the end to make Sean angry.
FT 5-2 and en route to achieve double promotion
Post-game a big Hawk’s session was had where it was discovered that Sean has the slowest nut.
MOM – TJ
DOD – That’s NumberWang! (apparently its funny because it’s a game but I haven’t actually played it yet so I don’t really know)
Saturday evening –
Headed down to Hawks to see how the evening would unveil after a big win vs Chelmsford during the day. Matt and I had a friend from home up to see us (Anna) and so we decided to bring her along to get a taste of what a night out in Cambridge would be like. When we arrived, the boys were just chatting, but it soon escalated as the games begun. We began with a couple of rounds of box with Robbo popping his box into the jug midway through – a costly mistake to make leaving him incapacitated for a good few rounds. Ferg then introduced a game of racing nuts – If my memory serves, Kieran kicked us off with a race over 4 furlongs handicapped and over hurdles – an extreme course to begin the evening’s races. The game proved to have many facets most notably being able to crush your opponent’s nuts with a penalty of 6 fingers incurred to the crusher but at a cost of 4 fingers per new nut to be bought it becomes ‘well worth it’ once more than 2 nuts are crushed. When the factors affecting the buoyancy of the peanut were being discussed, it obviously dawned on Anna how nerdy people can be with drinking games. Hawks ended playing a horrendously complicated game of alpha plus (right wink) with two invisible men which really finished us off. We then headed to spoons where, as always, my memory gets really hazy, but I’m sure all CUHC members were killing it.
Wednesday evening –
After watching the girls play and flinging some really bad side-line chat to the Oxf*rd team I headed to the octagon with Jparke and MTMR. I decided I was going to take it easy after having a big night out on Saturday and swearing to never drink again. So, I cautiously sipped my wocktail, and settled into an evening of hotly contested debates on many important, contentious issues. After W’s welcome drinks I headed to J-bar with Bobberto to join the Blues swap as we sadly didn’t have cindois tickets. We were greeted by Sean who attempted to dance with us and then stole alcohol from around the swap to give to us. He then got grumpy when we said we would not be present in the cloob that evening and wanted us to give excuses – I said I had a job interview which was a bad idea as it led to me being ‘interviewed’ by the PhD members of the team. When most of my answers were ‘I actually have no idea’ (emphasis on the no), it was deemed I would not be proceeding to the next round of interviews at BCG – oh no!
The pre-match team talk was probably the quietest yet this year with many big names missing from the table. Most notably Cockers and Minty who decided to desert the deals to separately go and watch some rugby in London somewhere. Also missing was Jean Staunton-Psykes who reportedly got pretty battered the night before and decided the meet time was too early for him. Once he eventually rocked up, we were able to get started with the match. We initially struggled to make connections in the first half, going into half time 1-0 up from a well finished rebound from Jean. At half time C-Ban calmed us all down with some wise words, eventually telling us simply to just go and run them off the pitch. I think we all took his advice to heart, performing pretty solidly for the second half with Ferg boshing a swanna-bot in the left corner and TJ delivering a good R2 for me to put in. Many of the team decided to leave early from fines so we only had about 11 and decided to whizz round – notably spending 5 minutes on some really bad chat about Kieran’s initials being the same as a kilogram. I was awarded Dod for my questionable interview preparation on Wednesday evening.
Dod – Campkin
Mom – Campkin
Wednesday 21st November
It was the first round of the BUCS National Cup and the boys travelled down to Canterbury. A delayed meet time of 10:45 gave some sufficient time to attend their morning labs whilst it gave Campkin long enough to cook up 5 kilograms of couscous. Everyone found their seats, with no one sharing a row because this is strongly frowned upon, with badman Sean at the back of the bus in the prime position to fling some chat around. The majority seemed to be engrossed in their work rather than engaging in conversation on the journey down so three lecture notes later we arrived. We got there in relatively good time, which was lucky as it allowed us to locate the pitch without cutting it too fine as there was some difficulty in navigating our way round the misleading signposts. Luckily for all of us, we had Sean who fulfilled his role as captain by quite literally leading us in the right direction. After Monty eventually decided it was about time to get changed we discovered the pitch was three so we thought we could begin our warm up. As ever, Kieran provided the pre match tunes consisting of Chunky (eeexxxxttttteeeennnnddddeeeedddd mix) and Tricep.
Obviously Sean lost the toss as expected and before we knew it the whistle blew and Kieran was running off with the ball from the start which really took the opposition by surprise! The first half was dominated by us, with the first goal coming within the opening 5 minutes thanks to an absolute rocket from Campkin which the keeper had absolutely no chance of getting to as it trickled into the bottom corner. This set the tone for the game as we sank into complacency assuming the game was going to continue as suit. However, it took a rather long period before the second came, again from Campkin before the opposition bagged a goal much to the delight of the hordes of spectators.
For the majority of the second half, no hockey was actually played. Instead, an impasse was achieved as somehow the ball had gone out of bounds (no one can quite recall how) and at that moment all players mutually agreed to not fetch it and take the opportunity to discuss more important issues, such as potential future job prospects. The crowd looked in awe, although not one of them thought it might be wise to go and get it themselves. After enough time had passed for Cocker’s hairline to recede by a further inch, they then gave in and one by one they would walk just shy of the ball, taunting us; trying to force us to break the stalemate. Eventually the deadlock was broken when one of Christchurch’s players made the expedition to the ball. Soon enough, the game was over and we’d somehow come out with a 4-1 victory. Credit must be given to Christchurch for they only hockey player who had kept his filthy reverse in the locker till it was a little too late. A special mention must also go to their manager who was graceful in defeat despite mistaking the first round of the BUCS Cup for the Champion’s League Final.
After the game, Sean gave a very insightful team talk albeit somewhat positive much to the surprise of the team. Following this, maybe not quite as surprising, Sean was seen to be hugging some strangers although Sean emphasised the fact that they had given consent. Eventually we’d managed to drag Sean away, although he did emphasise the fact that they’d given consent, and Sean was then rumoured to have complained about the lack of intimacy of the changing rooms. Further complaints followed, with a notable one being the lack of warm water as the showers only offered VERY HOT water. Campkin, understandably being very pre-occupied with his interview, had forgotten to bring sauce so team members had to improvise, adapt and overcome.
Eventually we all boarded the coach back home where we quickly realised we wouldn’t be getting back “around 6” like Sean had promised. This infused outrage from Cockers who was fuming he was having to miss his very important meeting because it is vital you are prompt to any meeting. I quickly then joined in the feud as I realised I was going to miss my supervision which I had already rearranged but this was futile due to Sean’s shadmin and the abundance of traffic on the M11 on a Wednesday evening at 17:32. A second debrief to last weekend’s pub golf meant we arrived back in Cambridge before .
Saturday 24th November
The Blues faced a tough outfit this weekend, who called themselves Bedford H.C. The usual pre match routine followed suit, with a quick 10km run to a pole and of course the main highlight, american netball. We then paired off, depending on who you were most attracted to in the team. Sadly Tony, despite being moderately good-looking, was left all alone until JP-the-man spotted a prime opportunity and took advantage by throwing some balls at Tony. All warmed up, we were ready to go for what looked to be a tough encounter.
Within the first 5 minutes, we weren’t certain if they were playing the right sport as could easily have been mistaken for a football team after the amount of crying and screaming that occurred every time the umpire took a breath. Notably, one claimed that our player had picked the ball up with his own hands and threw it at their head when actually in reality all that happened was it was a foot.
By the end of the first half it was 1-0 but sadly they then converted early on to double their lead. They then doubled it again to win the game 4-0. Unfortunately we couldn’t get a consolation goal despite 20 plus 1 short corners in the final minute.
A very quiet team then left the pitch before being greeted by an even quieter Charlie. A depressed changing room was then uplifted by some Christmas tunes pro-tem before I had to leave to begin my shift on the bar. Well, I was supposed to be on bar duty but thought catching up with a friend was more important. Poor Hantian had no idea what was going on and gave me a dumbfounded look when one customer asked for a Shandy. Sadly I was unable to help as I was preoccupied doing what I do best. Meanwhile, the team enjoyed a true feast of bangers, mash and Yorkshire pudding. A match made in heaven that is sure to help heal the worst of wounds. Accompanying this was so-called Gravy with a viscosity of of 88 cP (To give an idea of how much like cement this was, water has a viscosity of 1cP). Eventually rush hour at the bar came to a close and we could join the team for the weekly fines.
A quick run through from some of the highlights of Pub-Golf from the weekend gave us a better idea of what actually happened that night. Mr tickle was involved in some Sharking and Harry nearly started on me for still being tied to Mollie in Hawks. Thankfully I was able to diffuse this as a quick rendition of Piano Man allowed everyone to join in and vent their anger. Among those were Sean who wouldn’t stop complaining at the amount of foul play as players were seen to be “sipping” which is not in the rules. Anywhere. Anyway, the majority of people made it to Fez except for Jean who no one can be quite sure if he was actually there or whether he is just lying to the deals?
A 4 way DoD followed which was decided by a classic game of Fives. Sean, El Capitan, an experienced second year demonstrated he was still a fresh by failing to start. Harry and I followed in his footsteps until elder Ferg showed how it was done. Sean recovered from his earlier mistake to make it down to three. Surprisingly Sexy Harry managed to say the infamous line “thank you very much for a lovely game of fives” without smiling at the thought of all his girls. This meant the final countdown was between Ferg and I. Knowing I was up against one of the best I knew it was going to be a tough game and so I believed the only way to win was to try a new tactic. Obviously no one has mastered the skills of telepathy quite as well as I have so unfortunately I had to pay the penalty for not saying anything and consequently Ferg came out on top.
DoD – Bill for not fulfilling his full potential as a bartender
MoM – Brooks
Sunday 25th November – BRIDGEMAS
1st notable event of the day was cuppers vs Robinson. Tony Brooks straight up refused to save anything so one of the opposition asked him if it was his first time between the sticks. This must’ve really knocked his confidence; it is rumoured to be the predominant factor leading to his drop from the training squad by Thursday. Fortunately, we were still able to grind out a 3-2 win with Harry Fatkins making no apology for scoring a vicious dragflick that deflected in off a girl’s face.
S&C came and went at 2pm and 3pm respectively. We learnt that none of us are as strong as gymnasts and, in the most likely case, none of us will ever be as strong as gymnasts.
We reconvened at CiS mince pies and mulled wine before heading to carols to sing our hearts out. Hans Numberwang particularly enjoyed screaming his heart out. Spoons followed for some large beers before we descended on cindies for 6:45pm sharp. And Christmas dinner did not disappoint.
The second knock to Tony’s confidence came when an anonymous club president decided to stop kissing him and start kissing the Wacky Wavy Inflatable Men instead. In other news I hear that Santa was good to all that had signed up.
Notable absences were Jonny-Staunton-Staunton-Sykes (had friends visiting), Tomás TJ Jackson Jackson (too busy spying for the Russians in London) and Montague Singent Python Taylor Fynn (technically present but offering nothing).
Wednesday 28th November – BUCS WEDNESDAYS
I successfully made it to Wilby for our 6am meet before returning to my slumbers on the coach. The journey was really long and really slow which meant we didn’t arrive until 1:58pm. Fortunately, Captain Seen had foresean our late arrival and so did the starting line up on the bus instead of the usual 15 seconds before pushback. This saved some time but clearly not enough as we only had 7 players on the pitch when the umpire started the game at 2:00pm on the dot. I told him this was really silly and asked if he had checked if our keeper was ready as umpires usually do and he said that he had places to be after the game so if we were late that was tough. Plymouth also thought the umpire was being silly so they very kindly kept possession in their half while Tony put his pads on and the rest of our team ran onto the pitch. Despite the fiasco we managed to win 7-2 with me filling in at half back as Hans Wangernumb forgot how to play there as well as forgetting the whole day because he got concussion even though he doesn’t remember how.
We picked up the girls in Exeter on the way back and motored on towards Cambridge, abandoning Han in the Far West. Take me out proved to be a great way to pass the time and encourage mingling between those who had played in Plymouth and those who had played in Exeter. By the time we got back it was pretty late so I went to bed but I am told some soldiers made it to cindies to celebrate an epic day of journeying across England.
Saturday 1st December – PINCH PUNCH 1ST OF THE MONTH
Ed ‘N Shoulders’ Tyler declared he had 5 jars of award-winning homemade honey going spare and was willing to share these with the deals. A shotty race ensued with all members of the team keen to get their paws on a jar. The honey also provided a great conversation starter for our drive to Norwich as Thom Jackson, Kieran Kilogram Gilmore and I took it upon ourselves to work out how much honey Ed’s 2 hives would produce in a year. Our raw data (perhaps quite far from the truth) was that each bee produces a teaspoon of honey in its lifetime; each bee lives for one year; there are 5 thousand bees in a hive but remember that the queen bee does not produce any honey. Our conclusion: 50 jars. When we arrived in Norwich we asked Ed what the real figure was and he told us it was 65 kilos (!). I was worried that this would spark another healthy debate into how the kilogram is measured and how it had very recently been redefined but fortunately the team were too preoccupied thinking about the sheer quantity of honey being produced. Instead, the conversation moved onto the possibility of swimming in a pool of honey. Apparently, some studies have been done looking into this and the conclusion is that you should be able to swim in honey as you do in water provided that you are strong enough. Unfortunately, no one is strong enough (not even gymnasts). For those interested in the mathematics behind it, I direct you towards this link: https://www.dedoimedo.com/physics/honey.html
With the honey chat drying up, it was decided that it was time to focus on the match ahead. Kieran told us that as they were near the bottom of the league we should make sure to put the bed to game early. I wasn’t really sure what this meant but I was certain that if we could do as he said then we would come away with all 3 points. I’m pretty sure that none of us took Kieran’s well offered advice which meant that the game was pretty close and we only just won by 2 scorepoints to 1. Most of the team then rushed off to Heathrow to go skiing somewhere leaving just 7 of us at teas. In a hectic week with many strong DoD shouts, I was surprised to find a number of votes bearing my name. This appeared to be because I was wearing shorts instead of trousers as my post-match attire. MoM went to Tim, son of Jack, because he scored a couple of goals.
I’d also like to extend a special shout out to George Aylard for his cracking performance in goal. With Will Cotton skiing and Tony Brooks dropped we needed someone to step up to the task at hand. Thank you, George.
MoM – TJ.
DoD – Roberts.