On the first day of Christmas Cambridge South gave to me:
A match ban for James Bailey
On the second day of Christmas Cambridge South gave to me:
Two goals for Kemsley
And a match ban for James Bailey
One flick to draw them all, one flick to find them, One flick to bring them all and in the darkness tie them.
And lo Coops commander of the 2nd batallion was summoned by King John Grevious (stick tackle). "Two points were stolen from my domain and I task you with their return."
So Coops summoned his 2nd in command Tom Anns "His man servant" to recruit his party of brave adventurers. Coops donned the armour of Mann for this quest and gathered the strongest of soldiers. The dwarf, Matt of the mountain clan Puddlefoot, Elf Catley from the forest of Walden, the merry Man of the Wandlebury, Chalky, Ash the ent, Jimmy the half ork berserker and four brave hobbits Nik, Walshy, Tom and Frodo Baggers. They named themself the Fellowship of the Panton Arms.
Our brave fellowship then set off on their epic journey deep into the heart of Alf"ordor". On their travels they faced many challenges, including Catley's clutch issues with his trusty horse "Bill" and the million strong cabbage army of the east.
As we approached Alf"ordor", Catley decided take a shortcut through the mines of Skegoria. However the roads of the far North are not as they seem, winding and confusing our brave soldiers, taking them back on themself only to return to the same incorrect gate. The words then echoed out, "The way is shut, it is made by those who are skeg and the skeg keep it, the way is shut". After what felt like an eternity riding, our fellowship reached the black gate of Alf"ordor".
The leader Coops kicked down the gate and was dressed in the armor of Mann, the team prepared for a battle against an army more fierce and Northern than ever before. As the battle began so did the torrential rain, Coops uttered "so it begins, the great battle of our time". Sticks clashed, blood was shed and in the early encounters Anns was felled, but fought/limped on for another 69 minutes.
The fellowship looked to be a stronger army but careless choices allowed the line to be broken by a raiding party, 1-0 Alford. This may have been the inspiration the fellowship needed as they fought harder, with more determination, more grit/sand, however an equaliser would not present itself. The army of Alf"ordor" whilst struggling still mustered some dangerous attacks, in particular causing great threat with a thunderous strike. Coops standing his line struck down his stick, yelled the words "You shall not pass!" stopping it and ensuring the scoreline stayed the same.
The fellowship needed something to help them, Jimmy the berserker was making strong runs, terrifying the opposition, screams were heard "Bring him down!" however a goal could not be conjured. The army of Alf"ordor" were not prepared for Ash the Ent as he hurled a mighty boulder towards their castle's defenses, shattering the leg of the defender on the line. A flick was given. The army argued amongst themselves, with the men, dwarves and elves arguing over who was best suited. Then a voice was heard amongst the shouting "I will take it", "I will take the flick to Alf"ordor"". It was none other than young Frodo Baggers standing braver than he'd ever been before.
Shouts came from the men, "Destroy it! Toss it into the net" and young Baggers did exactly that much to the mighty balrog's displeasure. 1-1.
Attacks continued from our fellowship, threatening the goal time and time again, Baggers once again threatened but was dragged down by the whip of the balrog. A goal could not come from it and the battle finished 1-1.
Suddenly the skies opened and our saviour arrived, "the eagles are coming" the warriors shouted, however the fellowship had only drawn and were not worthy of transport home on such fine specimens. So they had to settle for their trusty steeds.
Our fellowship returned home having not destroyed Alf"ordor" however weakening them and leaving the army behind their black gate.
Hopefully another army will have better luck with the war, maybe the same army will on a later date, but we may have to wait for at least two more films for that.
(Honorable mention to Jack of House Chalk)
Most of the game is much of a blur, however here are some notes from the evening's events:
Kern won himself a mobile speaker which he plans to wire up to his Christmas jumper next year.
JJ had a whale of time and he is a pleasant fellow as he couldn't stop applauding the M3s' class performance.
We got introduced to many of George's esteemed female friends.
Alex drank some alcohol and smashed Joe's glass.
Neil prefers Match of the Day over the M3s' company.
Joe ain't great at squash.
I arrived fresh as a summer daisy and gave one of my star performances.
Ali got a great goal.
Joe scored a shorty.
Seb got his first win for the M3s.
Josh announced he will play an away game at some point.
Snakebite hasn't changed much and is a staple beverage for a hockey social.
M3s' poor performance at beer pong was no reflection of their performance earlier that day. With another win under our belts, the South side's fight to remain in the division is looking strong.
Mom - Ali 4
Lemon - Ash 11
Pre match prep was taken more seriously by some (insert picture of Oli S here) but with the commandment of the captain to take our match kit to the next level, the whole team bought into the spirit, taking the team to new, fluffy heights of bonding.
Having played March away as a very close loss, the team geared up for another tough game. However, the hangover was strong with some on the morning and with minimal warm-up time alongside staggered arrivals, South were not in the best mind-set to start the first half. As always a slow beast to awaken, March quickly took advantage with some very impressive forwards skill. Conceding one and then another in quick succession, South heads began to bow and following a short corner strike, the end score by half-time was 3-0 to March despite some very impressive defensive work from the team (special mention to James for MoM). Despite the poor showing, Owen can be quoted from the side-lines (yes, still injured - pathetic, you would never catch me in that situation) saying that it actually looked like a close match with both give and take on both sides, but few South chances in front of goal.
Half-time match talks, JJ gets the now well-rehearsed prep talk ready and with some good feedback points to build on, South felt motivated and ready for a new half of gameplay. Right off the start of the March pushback South pressured back, multiple attacks in the first few minutes seemed to take the wind out of the March sails as their counter attacks proved non-existent. This didn’t last for long (just like my hamstring) as March started to regroup and pushed back, one insane goal from the March centre forward (drag flick into top corner) and one insanely lucky goal which somehow made its way into the goal had March 2-0 up in the second half as well. Through the stoic support from the sidelines, Jelley was inspired to lift the ball over the goal-keeper to score a literal last second goal, with cheers from the supporters.
A disappointing end result of 5-1 to March but with a solid second half showing of 2-1, we need to be more focused at the start so we don’t let the opposition take the upper hand. One last match next week to end the year, make sure you guys get a win! Pleasure playing with you all and hopefully I’ll be around for a few more matches in the New Year!
P.S Finally someone else has to take the lemon mantle, I respectfully pass it on (Dave at least next time mention you’ve run into the post pre-vote)
M5's hockey is not like wot other teams play...
Give the opposition a three goal start
Collect a few bangs and bruises
Attempt to confuse via ever more complex substitution routines
At least we are consistent.
The actual goal mouth action had variety:
The Rock moved, unfortunately to where the centre forward with the ball wasn't. He is allowed one slip up per game, and was otherwise immaculate patrolling the final third and repelling all boarders. 1 nil
Rasping long range effort. Unstoppable, even by MaestroGK Mike, whose gazelle like jumps and dives to thwart other shots throughout the game earned him MoM honours. 2 nil
Goalmouth scramble almost blocked by Luke Bevanwalker flinging himself at the net-bound effort, only to see it dribble over the line. 3 nil
And that was the first half.
Second half goalless, with CSouth unlucky not to get a consolation goal or two; stymied by lack of that final ball into the D. St Neots remained on top though, but couldn't get through the hard working never-giving-up M5 warriors, who showed great spirit sticking close when marking, and hassling St Neots players on the ball whenever we could.
Speaking of which, Sean Gardiner's knee won the LoM plaudits by getting in the way of various opponents (accidentally M'lud), and wiping out a couple of teammates somewhat bizarrely. The rest of Sean was as marauding and effective as ever, striking fear into anyone within 20 yds and constantly trying to turn defence into attack.
When the M5s made space and passed early we showed promise. Sadly not enough to compete with an unexpectedly experienced and confident home team.
After match teas at the Anchor in Little Paxton were good, and St Neots good hosts.
Time for a Christmas break. We look forward to the second half of the season hoping it will reflects our balance of performances in matches and is an improvement on the first.
After a longer than expected drive, the L1s arrived at Long Sutton, with several players at varying states of a hangover and one even having a little mouth vom (Alice Hug).
Once on the pitch, the South Ladies started strong and managed a short corner within the first minute of the game but unfortunately couldn’t make anything from it, a trend that carried out throughout the game. Struggling with the pace of the pitch, South conceded two goals during a matter of minutes, one from a short and the other from a sideline ball. Despite excellent play by the forward line and and several short corner opportunities, we couldn’t convert our attack into points. Our girls prevailed and fought back however with a cracking goal, scored by our savvy center back, Blythe, with her first ever goal! Half time was called with the score sitting at 2-1 to Long Sutton.
*Jelly Baby Interval*
South started the second half fighting, with the front line of Alice Wright, Alice Hug and Annie Quantrill battling hard. This hard work paid off with a goal by Robyn Murray, set up beautifully by Emily Morris (bottom left corner), making the score 2-2. The second half was a lot more organized for the South side, holding structure and controlling the play much better. One side of the pitch causes issues to players by adding an extra slippery challenge to the game, with several players ending up off their feet and on their bums. A tense final 5 minutes ended with Long Sutton winning a short corner in the final play of the game. Excellent defending from Amalia ensured that the ball was cleared out and the game ended a draw of 2-2.
Nichola saw herself sitting on the naughty step not once, but twice, earning her a well deserved lemon title. Honorary lemon mention goes to George for an awkward name muddle at teas... not that I’m mad or anything... or the name Nic is difficult to spell...
Several star performances came from Amalia, Loopy in goal and Robyn Murray but the shiniest star of all was a very humble Blythe for her first ever goal! Robyn Murray also deserves an honorary mention for her excellent baking skills.
The South gals were keen to get on the road post match to glitter up and celebrate the end of the first half of the season. Merry Christmas one and all!
Match report by Karen (obvs) aka Nic
Major shout out to Nic and Karen for being queens at beer pong unbeaten and accepting all challengers.
This week we met Haverhill away. After a series of car troubles, we all made it to Haverhill on time (ish).This week’s lemon came as a result of slight confusion as to which way the sun was shining, and which end we actually wanted to start at. I also may or may not have tried to start the match with my jumper still on...
Anyway, on to the game. We started strong and earned a short corner within the first minute. After a slick routine and strike from the top of the D, I made it one nil to South. Haverhill woke up after this, and started to make life a little more difficult for us. We had most of the possession and dominated throughout the game, but struggled to convert. Our second goal came from a quickly taken free hit inside our attacking twenty-five, a cross from me to an unmarked Eimear who slotted the ball home to make it two nil to South.
The second half came with three further goals. A reverse sweep from me to Izzy E created the third goal, Dani went one on one with the keeper to make it four and Izzy E deflected a cross in from Jess to make it five. Haverhill packed their defensive twenty-five with all but one member of their team, which meant that we had to get creative to create chances. Our defensive line stepped up and handled the switching with ease, feeding ball after ball in to the mids and forwards.
Overall, a strong performance and some of the best passing we have done this season. Man of the Match went to Izzy E for her fantastic runs and goals.
The L3s arrival at Long Road on Saturday was heralded by a freezing downpour and blustery winds. As a result, the team spent as long as possible sheltering in the changing rooms sorting subbing strategies and talking tactics. Thankfully, by the time we emerged from the changing rooms the rain had stopped and we began our warm up. There was a slight panic in the final moments before the start of the match when we realised that Tabby had not turned up. Members of the midfield line were understandably alarmed at the thought of not having a sub. Much to their relief, Tabby arrived before half-time ready to get running.
The beginning of the match looked positive for South and we appeared to have more possession. Unluckily, one of the Newmarket team managed to make a break early on in the match and score a goal in a one-on-one with the keeper. However, we kept our heads up and our excellent forward line managed to manufacture some brilliant opportunities in Newmarket’s D. We were unfortunately not able to convert these chances, despite excellent positioning from Lauren B and some brilliant runs from Jasmine. Our midfield worked hard setting up opportunities for the forwards, with some great distribution from Rhi and Louisa. We went into half-time with the score reading 2-0 to Newmarket.
After an inspirational team talk, we went into the second half determined to pull back some goals. We came incredibly close at one point with some sustained pressure in the Newmarket D. A melee of South and Newmarket players right on the goal line meant that it was hard to tell whether or not the ball actually crossed the line. South were rewarded with a penalty flick, which Charlotte stepped up to take, but which was ultimately saved by the keeper. There was some brilliant, tenacious defending from our backline, with Emma and Ani doing very well to keep up with some speedy Newmarket players! Maria was tackling strongly until she injured herself by accidently doing the splits, for which she was awarded LOM by the team. MOM was Charlotte for taking on and beating a number of Newmarket players during some powerful runs up the wing. Despite some excellent play, South weren’t quite able to convert chances into goals and the final score was 3-0 to Newmarket.