Mr Montgomery had passed his minibus assessment with flying colours and was ready and eager to don his "big vehicle hat". With a bus full of fifth year medics, he couldn't wait to inspire the students to overcome the challenges the Three Peaks had to offer. He didn't disappoint, his courageous leadership was crucial to the success of Tingewick firms expedition. In case you didn't know, Mr Montgomery is associate senior production supervisor for Tingewick 2017.
18th October 2017.
"Don't worry boys, I've driven this minibus for 100s of miles" Mr Montgomery reassured his 13 students as they boarded his minibus ready to embark for the first BUCS away game of the season. Mr Montgomery's bold confidence was definitely, undoubtedly deserved and fully justified by his flawless driving. With a full team armed with hype tunes consisting of Dido and other musical greats, the minibus left Oxford. #nowhiteflag
"Mr Montgomery, are we there yet? I need the toilet!" asked Toby Heartbreaker, the team's resident management consultant . This request was ignored - if you can survive 18 hour working days you can survive a minibus to Bath.
The team arrived at Bath's lopsided pitch as the fog descended. They carried out a swift warm up, which was notably swift for Mr Montgomery, who had spent an extra 10 minutes sitting in the minibus listening to Sophie Ellis-Bexter under the guise of finding a parking space, before parking next to the pitch anyway. Following line drills, the team began running the much-loved-by-BP-BNOC-Matthew-Jamshed fast breaks drill. Pass, pass, slot. Mr Montgomery though it was looking good for the Oxford team.
At 1pm the whistle blew. Ed Smith, OULC face off veteran fought fiercely for the ball, which rolled out towards the wing, resulting in a ground ball skirmish. Jefferson Smith, eager to cement his name in OULC, played a large amount of body, allowing Ed to retrieve the ball. Some would say Jefferson played too much body. Others would say Jefferson played just the right amount of body. What isn't up for debate is that he broke a poor bath player’s collarbone in not 1, but 2, places. (Shoutout to the NHS for having the Bath player’s chest x rayed by the end of the match) Allegedly this is not the first time Jefferson "the Bodybreaker" Smith has broken an innocent clavicle.
After many a dropped pass and scrappy ground ball, it was Gabe Barrie who first put Oxford on the scoresheet. Using almost all of his 60kg hulk, he combated his 80kg defender’s physicality, pushing him back before effortlessly zinging the ball past the keeper. Nice one England Academy. Bath were soon to return fire and the 1st quarter ended 1-1.
Oxford were determined they could win and the 2nd quarter saw many more shots from the Dark Blues (not to be confused with the slightly lighter Blues that were the home team). Cuts and feeds from midfield and attack gave Oxford many shots, however the accuracy of said shots left much to be desired. 10 minutes into the quarter the whistle blew and the match was interrupted by a parking warden shouting angrily at the players. Mr Montgomery, Oxford’s proud captain, strode over to the warden. It turns out that Mr Montgomery’s pitch side parking spot was not a legitimate parking spot, which the warden was adamant was clear from the bright yellow cones Mr Montgomery has displaced when parking the 15-seater minibus. Once play restarted, the £30 fine had clearly rattled the Oxford boys and Bath slotted in another goal. Some scrappy play resulted in a man down situation for Oxford, and Bath ran down the clock, closing out the 1st half 2-1 to Bath.
The team was determined not to be defeated. Inspirational words from current and ex-captains motivated the team and the Blues entered the 2nd half with a completely different game face, which was absolutely nothing to do with OULC’s Women rocking up on the sideline. Newcomer Ryan Power dominated the face off, winning the ball effortlessly. A series of transition plays resulted, with Oxford looking increasingly dominant. A fast break gave Oxford a good shot at cage, which was deflected by the Bath keeper. Co-captain Rob Conway picked up the ball from the crease and popped it over the keeper’s head, equalising the score and leading to the award of cheapest goal of the match.
From here on, Oxford dominated. An alley dodge from Jefferson, eager to further justify Bath’s hatred of him, followed by a zesty bottom corner shot lifted Oxford’s spirits even more.
Oxford were switched on, Bath’s heads were dropping. Any shots that Bath managed to get off were saved effortlessly by GK Ben Reeves, who perfectly fed the ball to Mr Montgomery and his other defenders: Ciaran Gilbride & Alistair Bervan, who proved time & time again that the Bath offensive players could all be stripped. Amazing hustle from the midfield meant face-offs and ground balls were won all over the pitch: freshers Andrew Bithell hassled his man with every opportunity and Theo Hayes ensured his offensive man was never a threat, giving the impression they’d played for substantially longer than 3 weeks. Alex Harbord, as ever led with impressive dodges, causing havoc amongst Bath’s defense, and James Rhodes’ tenacity for ground balls did not go unnoticed. The attacking unit worked well, with feeds to from Gabe and Cob to Rishi Goel finding the back of the net a number of times, atoning for his previous misses on cage (including a btb which was nowhere near going in..).
Throughout the 2nd half Oxford’s superior fitness and drive won them the vast majority of possession and ground balls. Their ability to maintain composure and make clinical decisions meant they were able to pick apart the Bath defence in a match where the first and second halves did not resemble each other in the slightest. It is, as they say, a game of 2 halves.
As the final whistle blew, Mr Montgomery was over the moon with his team’s performance. “Congratulations boys, let’s get some burgers and beers at the SU and I’ll see you all in Park End tonight”
“You’re a legend sir!”
Oxford 9 – 2 Bath
Gabe (2, 2)
Cob (2, 2)
Jefferson (1, 1)
Rishi (2, 1)
Ed (1, 0)
Harbord (1, 0)
Men's Blues - Wednesday 18th October 2017 - BUCS South Prem - Bath Away