Cockfosters, Zimmer Frames and Boat Races
By Adam Cockayne
M4s travel North #KingsoftheNorth
DISCLAIMER - this match report has had to significantly rely on WhatsApp for many details… Any errors or misreporting should be reported to Aspall of Suffolk.
The sun rose over South West London on Saturday 16th March and the air was awash with excitement, anticipation and wonder of what the great day of sport ahead held… Also, it was the final day of the Six Nations and the Calcutta Cup at Twickenham. The long awaited away fixture at Southgate had arrived for the men's 4s and the excitement levels amongst the team were only matched this year by the original #whenwewinweNorth night.
The day begun with the fulfilling of a long overdue bet when the team followed Watto to Cockfosters, only 14 months later than he was meant to go. By the end of the day, this would be the least of Watto’s problems, but more on that later. The walk to the pitch went via a Go Ape in Trent Park, leading the Child to exclaim that we should have a trip to Cockfosters to go to Go Ape, despite the fact that there is a Go Ape in Battersea Park, right next to the hockey pitches… Bloody kids!
The team arrived at the ground looking forward to the day, when suddenly Captain Fat Adam announced to everyone's horror that we actually had a game of hockey to play first. Promotion was secured and 3 points would guarantee a place in the Divisional Cup Semi Finals. The Ed's high spirits continued during the warm up and for the first 10 minutes, they passed the ball around nicely and looked confident going forward with just the finishing touch missing [insert joke about Boring Blake here].
After 10 minutes and with confidence high, Charlie Steele stepped into centre midfield to add to the attacking threat. No one can remember what happened next, but Watto suddenly found himself with 3 attackers running at him and it was rapidly 1-0 to Southgate. This goal only served to fuel the Ed's energy and within minutes, the ball dropped to Ryan in the D and his strikers instinct saw the ball end up in the roof of the net and it was 1-1. Unfortunately, said strikers instinct slightly escaped him a few minutes later and it remained 1-1 until half time.
After a rousing team talk from Fat Adam at half time, the Ed's came out fighting in the second half and Ryan burst through again, only to be denied by a good save from the goalkeeper, but luckily Raz was on hand to score from 2 yards - the furthest out he has been for any of his goals this season. Ryan was not to be denied his second goal for long and he quickly made it 3-1 (that miss in the first half beginning to look like horrendous avoidance).
At this point, Southgate rallied and came out fighting in attack and a strong run by their international player was promptly stopped by the Child with a very loud sound of carbon fibre on carbon fibre. As a result, the umpire invited the Child to have a 2 minute rest, which he duly accepted. Shortly after he came back on, he was the subject of a brutal attack from behind leading him to tread on the ball in the D and a penalty corner was given. At this point, Watto (in his role as Umpire Secretary) decided to have a discussion with the umpire about whether being pushed in the back amounted to a foul. After a lengthy discussion, the idiot with the whistle and Watto agreed that Watto should be substituted for 2 minutes… Although strangely a substitute didn't go on in Watto’s place.
At some point in the last 5 minutes, Southgate got another goal (no idea how, who cares!), but Ed's held on for the victory. And then the real stuff started.
Ryan's goals meant he took Mom and Watto’s discussions with the umpire meant he snuck home to take Dod (by a mere 12 votes to 2). In Southgate tradition, Ryan and Watto then selected sides for the boat race. Ryan predictably picked Charlie Steele and Hutch before Watto selected Matto and Biggsy, Ryan picked the King, Watto took Janners, Fit Rich went to Ryan, Jack to Watto, Alex S to Ryan. This left Watto with the unenviable choice between the Child, Raz and Fat Adam. Watto went with the Child, Ryan took Fat Adam and unsurprisingly Raz was picked last. The boat race was closer than expected but Ryan’s team took it and Watto’s team enjoyed some jagerbombs.
Ryan, Fit Rich and the King then took on Alex S, Ugly Jack (who had told his girlfriend that she had to leave by this point) and Hutch in the “New to Southgate” boat race. This race was a photo finish, but the latter team took it by a nose, although the stewards are still looking at this result.
The next race was between the Fives loser and the first Maxxsch loser. Hutch was on his third down of the day and the Child on his second. Hutch comfortably won this one as it was almost past the Child’s bedtime by that point to be fair to him.
Apparently some sheep lovers had won some rugby tournament by this point as well.
The random pint generator then made its appearance and Alex S destroyed Fat Adam in that race (although Adam was still quicker than the Child). Hutch then did a 4th pint against Fat Adam’s 3rd (no idea why!). Even Boring Blake joined in the fun from afar sending a video of him narrowly beating JCB in their race.
Raz then did a pint. When he started England were beating Scotland 31-7, once he finished Scotland were 38-31 up. Watto then beat the Child in a battle of the green cards. At some other point, the Child did another pint (I presume he lost at Maxxsch again!)
At the conclusion of the Calcutta Cup game, the Ed's headed to the Balham Bowls Club for some more Maxxsch… Hopey was briefly excited by this idea, but it rapidly returned to form where he comfortably lost and ended up having to line up his pints before his trip to Maccies.
A special mention to Annakin who against all odds made his flight skiing in the early hours (mainly thanks to the Child). It should also be noted that by the time Annakin had been put in an uber, woken up, got his flight and landed in France at 7am the next day, Charlie Lester still hadn't made it home the 3 tube stops from Balham (admittedly via the North and the Swan… And East Finchley!) Charlie therefore kept up his impressive record of riding the Northern Line all night after Southgate away despite the fact that he has never actually played in the game.
The Ed's now look forward to the final league game against Pirates and then the Divisional Cup Semi Final against Thirsts. And there is the small matter of another trip to Southgate for Finals Day, if they can get through the game against Thirsts… What an end to the season it could be!
PS Has anyone seen Kiwi Matt?