Report Author: Alex Wilmshurst
Game: Southampton Men’s 1st vs Aberystwyth Men’s 1st
Score: 13 – 10
Early on a Saturday morning, 8 of SUWPCs biggest boys and 4 loyal supporters made the pilgrimage to our furthest away opponent this season. They had to travel across rivers and borders to make it to this match, but this journey seemed futile compared to the objective in mind – getting that dub.
The journey started at ‘The White House’, the residence of SUWPCs biggest VIP, Samuel Wilmshurst. Other SUWPC members reside there, but who cares. The night before, Samuel and Men’s Captain, Thomas Bragg, had made their own drunken pilgrimage, which included stops at the Mitre, the palace of dreams, and an ex-treasurer’s flat. All of this ending at approximately 4:30am. Many moments of that time were documented and posted in the Facebook event made for the match. These did nothing but impress the boys and understand the sheer might of the president and the captain, and really showed true leadership.
The other members of the team arrived at ‘The White House’ feeling fresh and ready for what waited ahead. Sam and Tom were just still drunk. Fortunately, they didn’t have to drive. Instead, they were left to be co-pilots. The boys loaded up into the mini-bus and left Southampton at approximately 9:30. The car of supporters also making the journey that morning set off at the more sociable time of 10:30. Allowing two of the passengers to shake their hangovers off a bit.
The journey was long but light-hearted. Songs were sung, emails were sent to Tesco, deer were not hit. The boys eventually made it to the pool not much over 5 hours later. This did include two stops, one for food and toilet, and one for Miro Milanov to stop himself from throwing up from car sickness. The boys waltzed into the pool ready for the game. They were prepared for this to be tough, with only one substitute and having had a long journey before, the boys were aware that this may be a physically exhausting game. But, we knew that if we played technically well, we should be able to manage this.
With the absence of resident rager, Oli Dean, captain Bragg and sec Alex Wilmshurst were forced to alternate quarters in goal, with Bragg starting the first quarter in the net and the rest of the boys attacking the shallow end.
The first quarter was played fairly conservatively from the boys. They were conscious of being caught on the counter-attack, so built up the play slowly. The quarter ended 3-1 to SUWPC. Two goals from Alex W playing as a ‘decoy’ pit and one from Mr Samuel Pina, in his first game since nasal surgery. We’ll leave the reason why he needed to widen one of his nasal passages up to you. Mr Pina’s goal came from a man-up, in which he definitely shouldn’t have shot. This prompted the wise words from Mr President of “Well done but don’t f*cking do that again”.
The second quarter arrived with the boys feeling confident. They’d managed to win the quarter attacking the shallow end and now had the chance to attack the deep and play better polo as a consequence. This showed as the boys managed to stretch their lead from 2 goals to 5. The quarter ended 8-3 to SUWPC. 4 of these goals came from balls into pit to either Sam Dalton or the captain; with them splitting them evenly with 2 each. This was good to see as this had been an area which the team as a collective had been working on, so it was satisfying to see the practice paying off. The final goal came from an audacious lob from the president, which meant that the captain then had to down a pint after the game.
Having outplayed the Aber boys in the first half, the boys went in at half-time feeling content and confident. However, fatigue was starting to set in slightly and the Aber boys started to get into their stride. Dan Heilpern, making his first appearance for the 1st team, became more and more vital; giving people the needed time to recover on the subs bench. The second half, Aber started to mount a come-back. The deficit was reduced by the end of the second quarter to 3 goals, with Aber scoring 4 and SUWPC scoring 2. These coming from 2 of the Sam’s – Wilmshurst and Dalton. This did not phase the boys too much, as they knew it was tougher attacking the shallow end and that it would be easier to see out the game attacking the deep.
Going into the final quarter, seeing out the game was the only thing on the boy’s mind. Cramp and stitches were starting to set in from some of the boys. A solid defensive performance was all that was required, as we knew we would score the goals. Two standout defensive performances came from Miro M and Nimrod Abramovich. Constantly being a thorn on the side of the Aber attack. Miro’s defensive performance was rewarded by a goal in the final quarter, with two more goals for Dalton, taking his tally to 5 for the day.
The game ended 13-10 to SUWPC after a hard-fought game. This was rewarded with a trip to spoons with the Aber boys and then a booze-up in treasurer Mary’s family holiday home near Fishwick along with our loyal supporters. This was a light-hearted night, with Pina flaunting his SUWPC baby grow and definitely nothing else, time being spent on the naughty step, and Dalton discovering a ‘biological step-sister’ is not a thing. The team then made their journey back the next day, with energy low after an exhausting day before. Returning to Soton at approximately 18:30, just in time to make it back for training.
Big appreciation to those who made the journey, Mary Perkins, Adele Potts, Rhia Perks and Will Bowden. Big congratulations to the boys who made their first starts for the first team, Nimrod and Dan Heilpern.
Tight one this between Nimrod and Miro, but has to go to Miro Milanov. For an incredibly solid defensive performance and getting himself on the scoresheet.
Dick of the Day
Tom Bragg, because he lost the lob bet today and had very concerning driving when in a fit state to drive.
Sam Dalton – 5
Tom Bragg – 2
Sam Wilmshurst – 2
Alex Wilmshurst – 2
Sam Pina – 1
Miro Milanov – 1
Sam Wilmshurst – 1