Men's 2nds - Saturday 24th February 2018 - Varsity vs Cambridge Eagles
Friday 23rd February
OULC Second team prepare to face Cambridge in the 3rd Annual 2s Varsity, here are some of their stories
Alex ‘Frostie’ ‘AFP’ Foster-Powell
Alex lay down in bed practicing Alistair Bervens visualisation technique. He imagined himself in his perfect moment, winning the face-off and charging down field with seconds on the clock. Right hand shot, off-hand high. The net bulges and he turns to run, jumping into the arms of his one true love, Josh Yeoman to celebrate, the in-laws he failed to impress the week before looking on approvingly. ‘Top cheddar’ he whispered to himself.
Josh ‘Welsh’ Yeoman
Josh lay down in bed after his usual night-time ritual, messaging all 514 facebook friend to remind them he is an international athlete. He too thought of Alex that night, wishing Alex had made the wales squad so they could combine their off pitch love on the pitch. As he fell asleep he looked at the picture of his inspiration, Hadleigh Parkes, and mumbled in his thick Kiwi accent, ‘Rwyf wrth fy modd â chymru’.
Matthew ‘Pipe-city’ Stamp
Matthew fell asleep in his monogrammed Williams pyjamas, thinking not of the lacrosse he should have been, but of his adventures in Mexico the following week. In his dreams it was his innovative design that brought victory to Williams in Matthews second favourite niche sport that no one else cares about.
Captain Robert ‘Choker’ Smillie
Robert went to sleep uneasily, his phone with alarm locked away from all water sources. His room was illuminated by the phosphorescence of his five mickey mouse alarms clocks, all purchased in a panic, after missing the first half of a match due to his trust in his precious alarm. They couldn’t all fail, could they?
Captain Ciaran ‘Mum’ Gilbride
Ciaran settled down for a nice comfortable sleep, having hydrated himself with an extra glass of cranberry juice that evening. He also tried thinking of the wise words of his defensive mentor Tim Sweere. He thought of Tim’s motto, repeating it to himself, ‘Hallo mijn naam is Nederlands en ik ga graag naar de bioscoop’. Ciaran did not speak Dutch, but a man who was almost a Doctor must have a wise motto.
James Rhodes sat in the back garden of St Leonards Road. Under the cool moonlight he strung and oiled his weapon, the midnight moon glistening on the grass. Bringing his battleaxe close to his face he whispered, ‘Завтра, мой милый принц, мы рухнули’ throwing a few practice swings.
24th of February – Game day
Mercifully Captain Smillie arrived on time, bright eyed and bushy tailed, on a cold and frosty morning. The Oxford team gratefully moved into the heated changing rooms, pump up music beginning. Though in hindsight, ‘Lose Yourself’ Probably wasn’t the most optimistic first song
After a warm up where the team proceeded to destroy a pitch it was time to play. As the whistle blew Alex, being ever the generous soul, allowed Cambridge to win and take possession. However, despite long periods of possession Cambridge couldn’t get through the impenetrable Dark Blue Wall, with Oxford scoring the first goal through Matt Stamp. But 2 goals on a man down situation turned the tables, and Oxford were trailing 2-1 at quarter time.
Oxford offered consistent attacking threat in the second quarter, with Ben Fleenor growing into the game. Rock Solid in settled D, the Oxford defence of Ciaran, David Will and Alistair repelled all comers. Forcing outside shots, the hero of the day rose, with Charlie ‘the Wall’ Wall gobbling up the ball when it came near his net. Oxford were broken however by man down and fast breaks, conceding two more goals, to go with the 2 they scored to trail 4-3 at halftime.
Despite inspirational word from Brucie and Carver, Oxford entered the second half looking second best. Time and again giving up fast breaks, Cambridge had numerous shots in goal. But cometh the hour, cometh the man as Charlie ‘better-than-Trumps’ Wall rose time and again to get anything on a shot, keeping Cambridge to two goals for the quarter. Inspired the attack rose up, forcing numerous mistakes on the ride from Cambridge, but always just a few centimetres from perfection. 6-4 at the break and game still on.
In the fourth quarter Oxford looked more up for it, riding hard creating chances, but unable to find that killer touch, James Rhodes senses his moment to bring out his signature move, the battle axe he became known for last season. The stage is set, James lets the midfielder dodge round him, then gets to work. Once, Twice, Thrice, the stick comes down, each time attempting to separate the Tab from his stick bearing arm, around James flags fly for a 2 minute penalty. On one knee James comforts his stick with the words, ‘Наша работа здесь выполнена’
After losing another goal to the subsequent man up, Oxford step it up, with the re-introduction of 2s captain and match report writer Ciaran Gilbride, shoring up the defence and providing forward drive. Three goals down, inspired play by Alex and Ben drive Oxford back to level. With three minutes to go oxford feel an opportunity brewing. Some staunch defence keeps Cambridge at bay, and with 41 seconds on the clock they throw an outside bounce shot. Defence stops to watch as it flies towards goal, expecting to bounce as it has all game on the relatively frozen turf. But alas our boots were our own downfall. The ball hits a divot and dives low, despite the best efforts of Charlie Wall, ending in the back of the net. Heartbreak occurs as Cambridge see out the game for a dramatic 8-7 win.
MotM Honourable mention: Ben ‘Petch’ Fleenor, for 4 goals for the second week in a row and an all round star performance
MotM: Charlie Wall
DotD Honourable mention: Alex Foster-Powell, Robert Smillie, and Affie Otunla, for allowing Cambridge FOGO to go 19/19
DotD: James Rhodes, 2 minute penalty, need I say more