Men's Blues - Saturday 10th February 2018 - SEMLA East 1 - Maidstone Home

12am, 10th February 2018, The Caledonian Society Ball. Captain Monty flies down the steps of Oxford Town Hall, kilt billowing in the wind and glass slippers tumbling off his feet. He leaves Prince Charming (Theodore Hayes) crying down at him from the door, but Monty needs to get home. His carriage is turning back into a pumpkin and he needs to be up early in the morning. He has a big day ahead.

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10am, 10th February 2018, University College. Ben Reeves suddenly awakes; panting and weeping. 
"Ben? Ben? Is everything okay?", his girlfriend asks.
Ben just about manages to compose himself.
"Yeah, sorry. I was having this awful nightmare where I had to do wallball."
"Oh my gosh, that sounds terrible! But don't worry, you know keepers don't have to hit the wall."
"Yeah, you're right."
Ben takes a minute to calm down and hops out of bed. He ponders over which flavour of Huel he will chug for breakfast this morning and goes with the one that most fits his personality: Plain.

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11.30am, 10th February 2018, New College. Andrew Bithell awakes to the sound of groaning. He looks around the room, but no-one is to be seen. He checks the en-suite, but still no-one. Under the bed? Nothing but wine cellar wine (you see, dear reader, Andrew's roommate runs the New College wine cellar).
"Theodore?"
The groaning grows louder. Andrew opens the door to find Theodore facedown on the floor, still in full white tie. Andrew sighs and slams the door. He doesn't have time for this. Unlike the yet-again-injured Theodore, he has a lacrosse match to prepare for.

Like Ben, Andrew also carefully selects the flavour of Huel most suited to his personality: Yorkshire Pudding (a favourite of OULC alumus George Dury).

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1pm, Somewhere in the Oxfordshire countryside. Captain Cob strides off the pitch having refereed the Iroquois victory over Hitchin and looks around to see which of the Blues have arrived for their match against Maidstone. He goes through his mental checklist and ticks all the boxes, but something doesn't seem right. Someone is missing, but Captain Cob can't quite work out who. He sees 4 poles, 3 attackmen and even Ryan Power and Ben Reeves who had been conspicuously missed from the team sheet. Cob shrugs, it must be in his head.

2pm. Faceoff. Power secures possession for Oxford and the team begin a sustained period of possession. Eventually, Rishi '100' Goel(s) finds the net.
"Top cheddar", Alex Foster-Powell mutters from the sideline.
The Oxford gears now begin turning and the goals start coming. Gabe 'why do you keep referring to me as an LSM?' Barrie and Jefferson Smith add to the Q1 tally to take a solid 4-0 lead at the break.

Q2 opened and Power continued to provide possession from the faceoff X, allowing Alistair Berven and his humungous chin to initiate plenty of fast breaks. However, the poor conditions showed and Oxford could only snag two more with another from Gabe Barrie and Captain Cob adding his name to the scoresheet. Strong transition from Oxford middies Power, Smith, Bithell and Alex Harbord helped keep Maidstone's first half score to just 2.

Q3 began how the first half ended, until Captain Cob decided he'd had enough and took a short break. This allowed Ed Smith to slot into the attacking trio and slot two beautiful goals of his own. It was at about this point that Power decided he hadn't done enough defending and took it upon himself to provide Maidstone with some attacking possession. Although not one to lose a faceoff, he decided to withhold possession for a grand total of 5 times in a row. This, however, allowed Oxford defence to get in the mix.

Charlie 'James' Kershaw provided his usual strong transition up to the halfway line but no further. Josh Yeoman also provided strong transition but kept the Oxford middies on their toes by crossing the halfway line every time. Meanwhile, Tim 'The Axeman' Dutch kept his opposite man at bay with strong body and crushing checks to earn himself man of the match, as well as keeping Maidstone's Q3 score to nil and sending Oxford into the final quarter 9-2 up.

Ben reeves had also decided to mix up his game and took to rolling the ball to the middies so they could pad their GB stats. See, who needs to hit the wall?

Power continued his generosity in Q4 and even took the opportunity to come on to the field at LSM, scooping exactly 0 GBs. The scoring finished how it started with goals from Gabe and Rishi sealing an 11-4 win. Oxford extend their undefeated 2018 win streak to 7.

Meanwhile, The Tabs (yes, dear reader, I'm still doing this) went down to Hitchin. Despite imitating the OULC men's instagram earlier in the week, they couldn't find that Dark Blue spark...14 days...

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2pm, Somewhere in Scotland. Captain Monty lines up for roll call at the Scotland development weekend. However, as the Scotland coach makes his way down the register, Monty realises his name has been missed. He approaches the coach and brings this to his attention.
"Cameron Montgomery?", the coach replies, "never heard of him."

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