08/02/2020 – Mblues vs. East London (W 3-0)
Following a pretty damp win against Chelmsford – Charlie himself didn’t know what to say and rather lazily got us to do that for him – about half the team shot off and missed out a delightfully generic jacket potato. There weren’t many fines that week because we’d all been very boring which is likely because we missed out on a cracking Shallots swap the Sunday before. Nonetheless, with the next day being packed full of fun – SUPER SIXES & KIT SWAP!!! – we were confident that the boring behaviour would soon be long gone. Rumours surfaced of an anon ex captain appearing in a Friday Fez photo – deny, deny, deny! – but it was too late to have an impact on discussions and a cool £6.50 fine was begrudgingly accepted.
I had a shift that night in Hawks, so I begged the youngsters to swing by and keep me company. I did have to promise some unlawful activity to get them to come but luckily my last hour on the bar was warmed by their presence.
I woke up really excited the next day because I knew that evening was going to be very large but before festivities began, I would get to enjoy a day of some top-notch indoor hockey, starring the BUCSMBlues’ very own Moeen Ali(x)! A couple high speeds later and a stroll through Stratford, an area which is an unbelievably cracking piece of urban development, we arrived at the Copper Box Arena to find a sea of light Blue already there cheering on the hockey. We queued up to get our free shots of sweet OJ – cheers Jaffa* – then settled into our box office seats.
Our raucous supporting of the hockey was noticed by the organisers and a generic clipboard male came over to sign up a volunteer to take on a halftime challenge. None other than Sam Pritchard immediately through his hand up without realising what was in store. To cut an arduous tale short, University of Cambridge Undergraduate Sam Pritchard, Squanderers 2019-20, 18 years of age put two p-rollers into the goal and so was defeated by 12 year old Ellie from the ‘Mighty Pinks’ rival travelling support.
There was some pretty flair hockey being played throughout but there was only one player we’d been waiting for all day long – Mr Moeen. Fresh back from his Test Cricket Rest period, Moeeen took to the Copper Box arena like a Hatkins to toxicity. We cheered Alex as much as possible and he did his best not to blush and get distracted. Having single handedly put EG to the sword unfortunately Al used all his energy and couldn’t finish off Surby in the final.
*Jaffa is the world’s leading citrus brand and available throughout Tesco stores nationwide. Other citrus brands are available elsewhere.
Only the true ultras/WAGs witnessed the final – some of us raced off because we didn’t want to miss the highly anticipated box pres – but we managed to have some largers on the train while watching the final on a tablet, technology these days eh?!
Being super organised I raced back from the station, ate my dinner and awaited confirmation of the venue for sipping some delightful elderflower collins alongside the wblues. A worrying message from Muk stated that there were ‘officially people in the CCR’ which we now learned was unbookable! Grimer said he would go chat to them while being ‘intimidating but polite’ as instructed by Bonnie, Stephen and Greg. This seemed to work, and as I arrived in my ingredients carrying contingent the sad colony dwellers trudged out knowing they were outnumbered and unentitled.
As tradition dictates, everyone initially sat around the box in their own teams with communications with the opposite team taking place across the abyss. Eventually, someone made a joke referencing this clear lack of social interaction and got the easiest laugh possible. This triggered people into starting the process of swapping places – that’s why it’s called a swap!!
To save time, here’s a brief summary of swap performance:
Attendance: 7/10 (quite a few boring male oldies)
Punctuality: 8/10 (JP very late but he was wagging moen tbf – living upstairs really helped him here!)
Cocktail: 2/10 (Koffing – ‘add more gin!’); 10/10 (WBlues: ‘You guys have such amazing chat and you’re all wonderful people, there’s no other team we want to swap with!’)
Games: 8/10 (when people start playing table tennis with an actual table you know it’s a belter)
Toxicity: 9/10 (Weezing: “Mate I haven’t pissed myself. I haven’t pissed in time. That’s pure laugh and friends”)
We made it to Hawks relatively late – when you’re having a cracking time with cocktail still left, who wants to leave?! – to find a scene of absolute carnage. Some absolute snake on the Osprey’s committee had pulled out of their shift that afternoon so DJ was overrun on the bar. A couple of us squeezed in to get the Toma supply chain running again and remove the bottleneck that was threatening to derail the night. Unfortunately, this lack of Toma flow was actually the only thing preventing a complete descent into anarchy and soon after our arrival on the bar, the familiar chink of smashed glasses sounded over the loud din of the room. Following a grim accident on a table, CUHC were told to go away and head into the brightly lit disco basement at the very early hours of 10.15.
Vinyl was pretty eventful for les Blues in the end: Moen, clad in Holcombe stash, secured a WAG for life; JP’s shirt magically changed from blue to black and Campo secured a date to VBall with a married woman! I had some extraordinarily mental antics too, but you probably wouldn’t believe me.
I can’t remember Monday training but I’m guessing it was quite slow and lethargic.
Had a cracking trip to Coventry to DHL’s main delivery depot in the UK. Their parcel sorter was really cool and I love learning!
Der Klassiker/El Classico/The Classic. Wanderers 1s vs Blues. Pretty rubbish game sadly. Everyone was very mean to Henry and Mark, umpiring their first games since their £50 umpiring course. Events of note: I scored an absolute worldy to help the boys win 3-0 and OP got a lettuce for chopping.
Later that evening, a boozed Mr Tickle broke into my back garden and banged on my window at the ripe hours of 1.30am. In fear I gave him a phone and coat which was enough to get rid of him.
I umpired a feisty encounter between the Beds and Nomads. The Beds had ‘em pinned for the first third in their own half but ultimately they couldn’t hold on. It was the Nomads turn to press hard later on which let to a panic slap of the ball up into El Bed Capitan’s knee – OUCH! Luckily, a big load of ice seemed to make a lot of difference and the Bed/Nomads went off happily to enjoy their pizza night. While umpiring I realised the pitch was in danger of freezing so I proactively warned my own Capitan. He informed me that CBan had been struck down by his two kids – Brutal! – and wouldn’t be able to make it tonight. This was welcome news because Charlie wouldn’t have to waste his valuable time driving all the way to Wilby to only have a thirty-minute session with us.
By 7.30pm, the frozen pitch was worse than expected so we did some intense shooting for a bit. We had to stop this when balls started cracking. After some cracking tennis, chucking some bombing aerials we finally found the ultimate game to play – curling. Inspired by the memories of the medal winning GB sides at the Sochi Olympics, the stones were thrown, the floor was swept and tears were shed. Due to most the team having massive arms, the stones were thrown far too far and results were pretty poor.
Some extravagant TikTok filming ended the session and we all headed back to our much warmer beds.
That evening I popped onto the train into London to meet some home pals. We were all seeing our friend do his first gig at the Amersham Arms in New Cross. He’s in a band with two of his older brothers, go check them out here! [https://open.spotify.com/artist/7KasCF2ZfqwGRglWxqPFne?si=ZGoplmJRQpWggoTLsPzv4Q]
Knowing I had a big game against East London the next day, I made sure to only drink lime sodas because I’m a very responsible person. I put up a couple exuberant Instagram stories (only my second/third ever!) because I was so excited to see my friend perform – to confirm, I don’t need alcohol to be excited.
The gig was a cracker and after we headed to a random house party – classic London life init – where I sat in the garden, nibbling on crisps and complaining that I wanted to go to bed because I needed to be well rested for our big match the next day. After doing a socially acceptable amount of socialising, we were free to go and we raced on home.
I’d been really organised and bought myself some spinach and ricotta tortellini on Friday night which I ate just before leaving on my hour-long journey from Baron’s Court to Stratford. The alternative would have been depleted reserves of cereal, so I gave myself a metaphorical pat on the back for planning so well for the match. The boys would surely be hugely appreciative of my efforts. I arrived at Lee Valley 1h20m before kick-off and was the first one there! Yet more evidence of my impeccable preparation for the match. I messaged the boys and was horrified to learn of multiple delays meaning everyone would only arrive less than an hour before the game began. This was true shadmin indeed and would never have happened in my day…
After everyone had arrived and changed we headed over to Shpitch 2 to see the wonderful sight of a graceful Matt Cockerill running the Wapping 3s backline. Someone remarked how it was funny Matt has dropped down 2 divisions since leaving us. I chuckled in agreement. After the game I made an easy for laughs corporate lunch joke which Matt chuckled in agreement at and then triggered him into telling us about the class ‘Katsu Thursdays’ at the APT tour – idea for the future Tyler???
Congratulations if you’re still reading this match report despite a distinct lack of match reporting thus far. Not to fear, here it finally comes:
Lee Valley’s pitch 2 is shite,
It’s a really horrible sight.
You want to be class,
You try to pass,
But you can’t play left to right.
Lee Valley’s pitch 2 does sap,
It really is quite crap.
When you go for a wobble,
It takes a big bobble,
So the crowd will never clap.
Lee Valley’s pitch 2 is toss,
It made us all quite cross.
We had to work hard,
Sprint every yard,
To give East London the loss!
Following our 2-1 win, far more comfortable than the scoreline suggests but well ground out, we headed into the changing room to enjoy our very cold showers, thanks again to our hosts LV. We went upstairs to munch our veggie pastries, top notch potato wedges and token leaves of salad. Despite my impeccable prep for the game – arriving very early so I could get in the right mindset [Quote from Charlie’s notes: “Prepare well (e.g. all get there on time!)”] – I was handed DoD based on purely circumstantial evidence of possible pmbing and arrogance regarding this. I actually drew on MoM votes with Campo which further emphasises my superior level of preparation compared to the rest of the squad but being a kind soul, I transferred Campo my MoM vote.
22/02/2020 – Wandies vs. Waltham Forest (L 3-1)
After playing hockey for 70 minutes in front of a large crowd including 16 Os, a non-cleansing shower and an eye-closing experience of a ‘crew-date’, we got on a bus. Sadly, I got on the wrong bus. Tempted to go and switch bus to save Shears from sitting next to Ajason, a request for RJ to sing Ludovico Einaudi came and the new club captain told me to sit down. I sat down.
90 non-match day pounds after X 0-0 bouteilles o‘clock, I wanderered home past X 0-0 R’s road block with Jiminez Dickinsoné and Eduardo Sideo. I then made the somewhat logical decision to sleep.
Another 180 pounds later, I woke up, got myself into a state approaching sobriety and made my way to study. After four quarters (with time not stopped for short corners), I realised that I was going to offer the irrational surd of a non-PG piece of the anatomy. I, therefore agreed to spend a lengthened lunch hour in Spoons. Now well within the state of sobriety, but heavily restricted volume, I made the questionable choice of fish and chips. I cycled back, tried but failed to show that the surd was irrational and went back to bed.
Now feeling closer to sqrt(0.64), the Blundies asked if we were running training. In short, no. Reasons: 1) The club has insufficient funds. 2) Commitment would be too low as they‘d probably be going to their Nan‘s sister‘s mums birthday.
In other news, I intentionally dissolved some metal in acid, but intentionally dissolved too much. Once I realised that this could be easily explained, I started writing the weekend preview (circ. 200 words).
Because there are 24 hours in a day, every day is quite similar. I did some work and restrained myself from firing hockey chat at people who, on the balance of probabilities, would not understand that they don’t like it. It turns out that a BUCS-free BUCS Wednesday is somewhat unmemorable. I think I wrote some more weekend preview (circ. 600 words)
Open your newspaper – any day of the week – and you will find a report from somewhere in the world of someone being imprisoned, tortured or executed because his opinions or religion are unacceptable to his government. Peter Benenson.
When it‘s Thursday, there are only two days of work until the weekend. For this we once again thank the North in the early nineteenth century. More specifically the industrial heartlands of the M62 corridor, which until 1960 was just a corridor. It was originally a voluntary arrangement between factory owners and workers allowing Saturday afternoon off from 2pm in agreement that staff would be available for work sober and refreshed on Monday morning. I realise this now makes my Match report appear somewhat contradictory, but I‘m sure my ancestors were also self-proclaimed breakers of verbal contracts.
With only 16 office hours left in the week, an Oxon would simply panic. But fear not, the tab steps up in the lab. I bashed out some words, ground some more metal and took some pretty pictures of non-pretty things.
Following a busy day, my reflexes took me to Wilby. Here I gladly umpired 20 plus another hockey players take part in a constructive training game for the WBlues plus anon. Harry Cox. Despite obvious differences in physiology, the WBlues played very well. They got a significant number of D penetrations, transferred it well round the back, and Hat-trick Darling even scored a third of a Hattie. We then did some shuffles. Sadly I’m not sure how good these were because as FIH protocol states, I wasn’t allowed to watch anything but my watch. I counted out 8 seconds as accurately as my watch did, and then blew a whistle, each and every time. Perfection.
Worried I was late for training, I ran the long distance from P2 to P1. A mere 2 minutes later, I arrived before training. Surprised that I had arrived on time, I then remembered we had just beaten Oxf*rd 5-2. Always a good memory. Hence, there wasn’t really much rush. Ollie Ollie Rose, Ollie Rose, Ollie Ollie Rooose then decided that we would have a ‘short-but-intense’ session. Premium Cotton Totton then claimed he had a fun drill from his time with the Nomads. In all honesty, it was more Fruit of the Loom than Ralph Lauren Pima, but we nonetheless continued with it. We also did another more-Egyptian-cotton drill, attacking the baseline and intermittently putting the ball in the goal hole.
When Friday arrives and I haven’t published the weekend preview, a productive day ensues. Thankfully, St John’s College biggest asset had upped my word count from 600 to 1300 words. I liked his additions and added additions to the additions. The additions to the additions added an additional 1400 words, meaning the weekend preview once again surpassed the length of most essays submitted by the Wanderers. Job done.
I then spend the rest of my Friday grinding. While most choose to grind later in the day, I prefer a morning grind when I’m really concentrating and feeling good. I had to grind quite sensitively because the subject of my grinding was relatively long, thin and flexible. Borderline toxic. Play through.
The rest of the afternoon passed, and my thoughts turned to BQOTY. I arrived full of knowledge, sat down at table 1 and tucked into a poppadum. The rest of the committed Wanderers subsequently arrived, and we had a delightful curry with rice, naans, onion doughnuts and Filo pastry turnovers. It was a proper spread that brought great shame to the value-based advertisement of the Boots meal deal and accompanied Australia’s finest export delightfully. Good call. Stag was undoubtedly killing it.
Soon after the quiz began. The format was seven rounds, six of which eligible for the Joker (a double points powerplay). The Wanderers began well, scoring 7.5 out of 10. We hope Joedan Speithler no longer continues to break the rules of golf, and I’ve learnt that if a photo has a goal and a ball in it, then there’s a good chance it’s called goalball.
Round 2 (“Guess me quick”) was pretty straight forward. While Julian was remembering the names of all the cool kids he tried to hangout with at school, we identified everyone from their wrists, limbs and complexion. 10/10.
The observation round came and was focussed on a previous shkit supplier. While Sam Pritchard’s nemesis scored another screamer top bins, the Wandies got very excited about the release of Women’s Shootout 2020. It looks class! Meanwhile the misogynist Mblues were busy swearing in church and intending to buy poor man’s FIFA instead. 6/10.
As we began to nurse our second tinnie, we were brought ice cream with Hawks’ flapjack topping, and listened to an insightful small talk about Christianity. Having been dabbling in this alongside King Julian myself, I was keen to listen. Sadly, an anon. squanderer was beatboxing with a poppadum.
With the fourth half of the quiz underway, a novel round for 2020 was introduced. We had to listen to a load of sportspeople and name them. We learnt a lot about ourselves in this round. SpongeBob square head is infatuated with a tennis playing girl of GCSE-sitting age (we knew he was a shark, but not to this extent) while the wanderers’ French connection believes the Germans are ethan quicker than the Kenyans in the marathon. 8/10.
With two rounds left, we had to play the Joker in one of the two remaining rounds. Logic. Having been manning the pen throughout, an honour I did not take lightly, it fell upon myself to put the Wandies indecision aside and play our joker. As convention dictated, I drew an upwards down A with a vertical strikethrough by the name of the round, and our joker was played.
While we did score a respectable 6/10, a 10/10 performance in the Team Emoji round could have been 20/10. It was this four-point swing that was ultimately our downfall to third from a potential first. Alas, it wouldn’t be the CiS Sports quiz if ARU didn’t beat the entirety of Cambridge uniwho?
The risky play ultimately turned out to be my downfall. At this point, I knew there was no coming back from being announced unaniDoD on a Friday night. Contrary to popular belief, it is not my first rodeo. I therefore took this as a free pass to Hawks. And Hawks we went.
Already two tinnies into a PMB, I bought a jug of Harrier. As we quietly supped away, the blues arrived with their dates. It was fair to say that half the dates were punching well-above their weight. As we eliminated a jug, Andy arrived. We love Andy and Andy may love us. Being a top bloke, Andy offered us another jug. It would have been rude to say no.
In the interest of brevity, I summarise the rest of the evening’s findings:
- Moen doesn’t know how to play in BWB. As a result, he still chops around at Holcombe. Ethan Francis is considering a transfer.
- Moeen’s favourite bed has pinned the Super 6s programme on the wall in her shrine (*room).
- Phil has a ripped forehead.
- All CUHCers are going to Lord’s on 7th June.
I arose fresh and awake ready for a big day at Lee Valley. I then remembered I was DoD. At this point, I realised that the usual pre-match requirements were no longer necessary. I did not wash my kit from last weekend, polish my shoes or pack a belt as I wanted to look Dodshevelled. I then found the most questionable shade of blue shirt I could, with as many buttons and pockets as possible. I realised that I had the excitement of filling out my personal finances spreadsheet later that evening, so I felt this was appropriate attire regardless. Saturday night is always spreadsheet night. What. A. Life. I. Live.
I also remembered that the rents were popping in to say ‘reet’ on the way home from visiting some friends in the south. My dad played a lot of sport so is familiar with the concept of DoD. Revelling in the opportunities that we now had open to us, he suggested we go for a “spoon brekkie wit’ pint”. My mum then reminded him that he was driving. Thou shalt not break the law.
Anyway, we had a lovely walk around Cambridge, chatting about hockey and how our lives were going. My answers did repeat themselves significantly. Not in a rush, because I was already DoD, we had a quick look in the wine merchants. Excited to find a bottle of 2017 John Duval Entity (99pts in James Halliday), I told my dad I’d try pick it up come pay day. Given that pay day is in the future, I’m not sure why I’m writing this on such a popular website with only one bottle left. But hey, what done is done.
At this point it was getting late. I still needed to pack my kit so I said ‘ta da, luv ya et cetera’ and wanderered on back home. I packed my kit. I cycled. Slowly. I arrived at Wilby 13 minutes late. My dad was furious that I was late. We are not a family that rocks up late or unprepared. Fortunately, the family motto is ‘if you’re 15 minutes early, you’re late’, so I was the median arrival.
We drove to Lee Valley and played hockey. We didn’t play very well at first. The pitch was unhelpfully not very wet, but this wasn’t our biggest problem. A shorty, a mis-trap and a middle-left flick saw us 1-0 down. We then looked quite good in 75% of the pitch. Half-time. Luce rocked up so Jim suddenly got interested, and we started to play more hockey. At this point, Première Totton de Coton wanted to live life like Roi Julienne. 2-0. Soon after 3-0. Final Whistle goes and it’s 3-0. Final score 3-1.
At this point, we were all sad so we went to Macclesfield. It was a very nice Macclesfield. It looked like Old Macdonald’s farm’s barn conversion. Knowing I was DoD, I wasn’t worried about the impending votes. I wrote most of this on the way to the match. However, some last-minute efforts to usurp me got me worried. Ollie Ollie Rose, Ollie Rose, Ollie Ollie Rooose has decided he doesn’t like to dress his wanderers (or answer/use his phone) and if he does the theme is lime-blue Chameleons. Anon. transport sec. cannot drive and does pirouettes on slip roads. Rush and Jengland clearly broke the drinking ban, Totton made up a storm to make his job as president sound like it is really stressful, Jim sacked the boys and fresh Jamie visited Sidney Sussex College Bar. After some well-strategised lobbying, I secured my election. A job well done.
For previous match reports, please see each team’s individual pages: