Men's Blues - Saturday 4th November 2017 - SEMLA East 1 - East Grinstead Home

Saturday 09.00 hours. Protein Shake.
09.02 – flex in the mirror and lock eyes with the bulging Polish Eagle 
09.04 – Huel
09.07 – Ritualistically adore the beauty of his own shaft. Caress it, then a quick routine of invisible ball wallball. 
09.09 – Time to head out to the match
09.13 – Relive the glorious days of OULC and dismantling rage cages with nothing but a 90mph shot and a lacrosse ball
09.14 - Smirk
09.17 – Promise many of his close Facebook friends that if they like and comment of a kiwi bird they will win a free trip to New Zealand (which is apparently known as “Down Under”)
09.22 – Check his email to see if there are any more notifications from OULC about upcoming events e.g. stressy Captains emails, matches, SportsFed Awards
09.26 – Harass any vulnerable target in the OULC alumni group on Whatsapp

This Saturday routine was incessantly followed by Thomas Carver, who today was excited about his big game for Spencer Lacrosse Club. Carver had graduated from Oxford University from Binity college (legend) in July 2014, but had managed to retain sufficient involvement and sway in the club that all current members knew who he was, despite the fact the current freshers were merely 15 years old when he graduated. Once graduated, he spent a year perfecting his shot at Iffley before heading into the real world to find a job. Fortunately for the Oxford Blues, although TCarvs could not be there in person, he was always with the team in spirit, guiding them through the ground balls, adding that extra zing to their shots and reminding them to always celly.

The Blues arrived at Uni Parks at 10am, incredibly grateful to finally have a home game after what seemed to be about 4 seasons since playing on home turf. The usual faces assembled: Gabriel Barrie (of GB-monogrammed towel fame), Cameron Montgomery (bag-piper extraordinaire), Pete “Dad” Barry and Edward Smith, who arrived in the classic grey trackies-blue coat combo. Among the players lining up were a few faces who had thrived from the experience of Carving up the pitch with Thomas. The team spent a few moments distributing pinnies, with the captains desperately hoping there had been enough (a severe bout of 17th week flu had rendered both captains unable to acknowledge that the visiting team played in similar colours to the Blues, something that would have severely disrupted Thomas Carver’s gameplay had he managed to cling on to Oxford long enough to be playing in this game). The team was nearly ready to go, but couldn’t help but feel they were missing one key person. Someone who had played in the distant past. An old face that even Mr Carver knew. A deep rumble was heard from over the horizon.
“Waarom kan niet de mensen flatpack meubels monteren? Het is werkelijk niet dat hard, en voor de zeer redelijke prijs bij Ikea...”

“DUUUUTCCHH!” the team resounded. It was Tim Sweere. This pole-wielding member of the team was eager to swing his axe at the expense of some poor member of the attacking opposition. The team rejoiced. It was great to have an old friend back. Even from his spot on the Circle line, TCarvs felt a pang in his heart and new the team were doing well. Dutch’s appearance was cut short, however, as he (like the other players), was unaware of the need for pinnies for this match, as Oxford would be playing in white.

“I actually have some in my office, I’ll go get them now”. Dutch took off across Uni Parks, 2 gallons of Huel in each giant hand to his lacrosse-filled office. Despite having served his time as captain, he would still come to save the day.

The warm up began and progressed. Pitch jog, stretches, line drills, fast break drills. The usual. We will not patronise you. By now, dear readers, you know all there is to know about the Oxford warm up. This is especially accurate as many of you will be Oxford alumni and some reports suggest this entrenched warm up has not changed (apart from renaming “Sweep the Floor” to “Release the Badger”) for at least 3 score, a time even before that of TCarvs himself.

The match began, like all lacrosse matches with a faceoff. Ryan Power fancied himself for this one. Unfortunately, East Grinstead had a remarkably quick FaceOff man, and today was not a day of winning the ball, despite valiant efforts from Ryan and Alex Foster-Powell. Good movement early on from EG resulted in 3 goals for them, with Gabe Barrie, as per, being the first member of the Oxford team to slot the ball in the goal. NOEA.

The second quarter the Blues hit the pitch with more enthusiasm. Good settled defence from Cameron Montgomery and his team thwarted EG attempts at cage. Tim Sweere as ever terrifying unsuspecting attackmen/midfielders when coming off the bench and Josh Yeoman’s work on the wing was ever-impressive. Outstanding saves from GK Ben Reeves were followed by impeccable clears, allowing Oxford to switch into attack. The slowing flow of East Grinstead goals clearly rattled them, allowing Oxford to capitalise on a man up situation. At the very end of the quarter, Pete Barry again put it in the cooker, but about 300milliseconds too late. TCarvs sensed from his position in London this frustration.

In the second half, Oxford began to show dominance. Great looks from Ed Smith and Rishi “Look Mom, I scored a” Goel added to Oxford’s score. Tensions rose towards the end of the game – it was going to be close and Oxford had to fight hard. More great looks in offense gave Oxford further looks. Rishi dealt a filthy around the world shot. At that exact moment, TCarvs winced with excitement and found he slightly floundered on his dodge against his middle aged opponent from NW London. What a shot this was. TCarvs let out a slight yelp. Unfortunately, the ball passed out of Rishi’s stick and straight along GLE. Thomas was mortified, but had to get back to his own game. Looks in attack became increasingly easier the more Oxford managed to get in the heads of their opponents.

The final whistle blew and the score stood at 9-9 and Andrew Bithell must be commended for an extraordinary run debut as CBO. Lacrosse had been played. Despite there not being a victory, Mr Carver could feel the overwhelming emotion emanating from his old team and he could not escape the beaming smile that emerged on his face (despite the score of his game, which is unknown by this humble reporter and was not deemed relevant, unlike the rest of this report). The Blues had been reunited with the one and only Tim Sweere, who was declared MotM for his sterling (or euro) performance.

Oxford 9 – 9 East Grinstead
Motm: Tim Sweere

Pete 3
Ed 1
Gabe 2
Rishi 2
Harbord 1