Marlow beat MK in a roundabout way
Report by Ed Tyler
As I lay awake on Saturday night, pondering Marlow’s mixed plate campaign, I ground my teeth to dust with worry about how the team would perform, as surely Andy Barton’s back physically couldn’t take the weight of carrying the team for much longer? On Sunday morning I woke in a cold sweat, shivering in the same manner that Graeme quivers when facing penalty corners. A quick check of my phone and the terrible nightmare I had suffered that night was confirmed: that BA would be unavailable due to a minor (read ‘utterly trivial’) injury, of the sort that any other player would just deal with, and play on. Even as I was supposed to be coaching the U18 boys in their national indoor finals, my mind drifted incessantly and, perhaps unnecessarily, to the mixed plate (sorry KP).
A cursory glance at some statistics that Opta had just released as part of their increased coverage of hockey should have put my mind at rest. But reading that “Graeme Cooke hasn’t kept a competitive clean sheet in [error: number too large] days” wasn’t particularly encouraging. Neither was “Marlow have failed to win any game without Tyler 1 or Tyler 2 since 2017” nor “Pat Shtal (unavailable for this game) is Dutch, and therefore must be their best player.”
So I thought that maybe I could look at SkySports for the team news: “Josie Nash is in the team for today’s fixture.” As my nerves rapidly worsened I turned to weighing up the pros and cons of the fixture, creating a rather comprehensive list:
They are “the best mixed team we’ve played” [A. Barton, 2019]
The mixed plate is a serious competition and there are no ‘easy’ draws.
Marlow has just 5 roundabouts, compared to Milton Keynes’ 1.3 billion thousand million.
Laneo has recovered from her paralysis
Laneo is off on a gap yaaah so can’t actually play
It’s at home. Dreamy.
The match itself though. What a thriller. Left me utterly speechless. So good I can’t even put it into words. Honestly, speechless. Attempting to describe the match would be heresy, and I’d hate to get on the wrong side of the Spanish Inquisition.
There’s no scoreline better than 2-1, and with this victory Marlow march onwards to the next round of this prestigious competition, having maintained their unbeaten run at Pound Lane (not since 2017 have they lost there). As the only remaining team from last year’s semi-final stage, they can continue to showcase their inimitable style and skills to an ever greater audience.