OHC M4s 2-2 Reading University 5s
MBBO Division 4
The Men’s 4s hoped to continue their winning streak at the weekend with a trip to Reading Uni. Going by previous results it should have been a comfortable 3 points for Matt Neville’s team and their barmy army of supporters (Seb’s Dad and Ted’s Mum) Still the biggest away following for an MBBO Div 4 game since records began.
Anybody who got a C or above in year 3 geography (or in those days a gold star) knows that from Brill to Reading is a good hour in the car so it made sense for a 2pm meet at the pitch when Fletch told me he’d pick me up at 1. Unfortunately for me, Fletch thought the push-back was at 3 so wasn’t too worried when he rocked up at mine 35 minutes late, fortunately he has a nice new car so no complaints were made. Having completely missed the warm-up (that’s the posh term for ‘stand at the top of the D and whack the ball at Oz’) Fletch decided to park his car a good 2 miles from the pitch so we could have a romantic stroll through the park to try and find it. We were ably assisted by a member of the netball team who kindly pointed us in the right direction.
The game started in a way that can only be described as a farce, for no reason other than he probably felt sorry that they’ve had nothing to eat but beans on toast for 2 months, Captain Neville decided to pass the ball to them to start the match. Unlike last week, the students could actually put a couple of passes together and definitely didn’t look like a side that were languishing in the bottom half of the table.
About 3 minutes in, the ball fell to stand-in centre back, Timothy Conlon. With the forward closing him down, TC decided to pull out one his trade mark spins. Unfortunately for Tim, ball, legs and stick didn’t all move in the same direction and he ended up falling on his face. A despairing look to our resident doctor and screams of “it’s dislocated, it’s dislocated” forced the game to be stopped so Tim could carry his dislodged thumb to Reading General.
What happened over the next 65 minutes wasn’t ideal, the students took the lead, probably with their first shot, as that’s generally what happens when you find a man on a park bench and ask him to stand in goal for you. Oxford then started to get back into the game, some good running from Seb Fox and Gareth Williams along with good distribution from the back, namely Paul ‘Wilbo’ Wilson, although I wasn’t sure if he was smiling due to being selected in the 4s or whether it was because he had 11 new players to pester for their annual subs. Anyhow, Oxford created a few chances and eventually drew level when Andy Wynd volleyed home from the top of the D sending the crowd wild. Well, when I say wild, Ted’s mum clapped and Seb’s dad was just pleased that his son had the sense to duck out of the way and not join TC in A&E.
Oxford took the lead when the evergreen captain fired low into the far corner and were unlucky not to go further ahead when Jon Bissell burst through but his powerful shot came back off the crossbar. Half time came and the boys had a 2-1 lead.
The 2nd half started around 3pm which is probably why the ‘snake-bite’ swilling grimmonds seemed more awake and they came out playing some good hockey, possibly aided by some dubious umpiring but the less said about that the better. Oz did well to stay on the pitch when he did his best impression of an angry Eric Cantona at Crystal Palace and took out their centre forward but Oxford struggled to create any clear chances. The students pulled level and the remainder of the 2nd half turned a bit scrappy with some poor hockey and poor decisions getting the better of the Oxford team.
The winning streak is over but still undefeated and sitting 2nd in the league.
No showers or post-match food / beer to really make our trip worthwhile so Mr Fletcher and myself had a couple in the pubs of Brill and he is in agreement that we should definitely have our fines session there!
No MOM or DOD vote took place so I get the responsibility of picking them both…..
MOM: Seb Fox
Goals: A Wynd & M Neville
By Andrew Wynd