Report by: Christian Laurent
We departed so early it was still dark. The brave men in Anton’s car were understandably on edge, travelling in such treacherous conditions. The dark literally scared the shit out of Anton such that he needed a poo at the Shell Garage just 1 mile from campus. Luckily, Anton’s car is made from sturdy metal, so it should do pretty well in a crash.
Now a kilo lighter, Anton made good time all the way to Swansea (with another wee stop) and successfully delivered the team to the welsh national pool. We descended upon the recently promoted team and immediately began psychological strategy. Phase 1 – A team stretch to intimidate and impress, follwed by and a few quick lengths. Phase 2- the handshake, the poor guys didn’t know what was happening and panic was apparent.
The blonde bombshell in the schoolgirl skirt definitely noticed.
The welsh tried to call our bluff and pretend like the psychology hadn’t rubbed off on them and held us off for a full 2 minutes, before the Captain fired in the first goal. Malaka followed with goals 2 and 3 and lived up to his greek heritage. The welsh side got a cheeky goal past Phil about halfway through- more to do with luck than skill. Perry got the first major and Malaka countered their efforts with another goal. The first quarter looked to be put to bed already.
With already dented prides, and their female spectator looking on, the Welsh tried to even the score. The ref’s did their best to help and awarded them many fouls. Perry got another major and a penalty given against Charlie resulted in another welsh goal. Being the sporting gents we are, we let them have another two goals. After all, we were here to win, not to embarrass. The quarter finished 4:3 with no major fuck-ups.
The second quarter began in a different tone. Dangerous Drew Turner is from the midlands, and in line with his provenance he feels strongly that there is a time and place for violence. Upset the welsh had the audacity to score, he felt punishment was required. Drew’s (first) major was a fair attempt at teaching them a lesson but the glory was short lived because they got a penalty and snuck it past Phil.
The score was now even (4:4), so Charlie un-evened it with two more goals. Unsure if the lesson had sunk in, and just two minutes after his first major, Dangerous Drew dispensed another violent lesson. Strike two. Lesson still not learnt they scored another goal, and Charlie scored one in return (7:5). Drew took a chill pill and scored a great goal with a big shot to let them know their indifference to him was misplaced. Charlie underlined his message with another goal. Surely they must understand now, but best to be sure so Drew dispensed a final violent lesson and got wrapped.
However, the quarter finished 10:6. The third quarter started badly, they won the swimoff and managed to get a penalty awarded against Nosebleed. Saved! – Phil was all over it. However the team spirit had now begun to disintegrate. Christos majored and they called a time out and went on to score. Anarchy had now set in, Charlie and Anton both majored and the Welsh scored another 2 amongst our incoherence. Our lead was now lost and the third quarter finished even at 10:10. Both teams knew they had everything to lose in the final quarter and individually, we gave it our all but they played as a more coherent side and made the most of some small mistakes, which lead to (undeserved) two welsh goals. Charlie scored another from the pit after a textbook man-up situation and then another from a penalty (this time in our favour!). The match finished 12-12. Glory awaits us next time we play Swansea on our home turf later in the year.
On the way home the Captain proffered some constructive critiques:
1) We need to instruct more and blame less. The blame game just isn’t helpful.
2) Keep calm- we smashed them in the first half, and we play better polo. It all went to shit when everyone lost their cool.
3)Holding the ball confidently- sometimes we try to take the foul when we should just be confident and dominate them.
4)Anton needs to eat more fibre before game-day.
Anton had to stop again for a poo which made everyone in his car late home… and we all finally got back to not-so-sunny Southampton in time for the mainstays of the club (Phil and Chris) to play for the seconds.
Lets finish with a quote:
“We didn’t lose we just ran out of time”
Vince Lombardi, Green Bay Packers Coach (1971)
Quarter: Score: Goal Scorers:
1st Quarter 4:3 Charlie x1, Malaka x3
2nd Quarter 10:6 Charlie x5, Dangerous Drew x1
3rd Quarter 10:10
4th Quarter 12:12 Charlie x2