11.30am, Wednesday 31st January 2018. Mr Brightside starts playing and Theodore Hayes awakes from his slumber. He is startled to find he is alone in the bed.
"Bithell?", he cries and a muffled voice from the en-suite replies,
"I think I have tonsillitis, I'm not gonna play today."
Poor Bithell, in months he and Theodore have had only one game together and they grow tired of being without each other on the pitch.
12pm. Theodore quickly chows down a litre of Huel and the remains of last nights Caviar and begins getting his kit together. He rummages under the bed, sliding the cases of Veuve Cliquot aside to get to his bag. He runs through his mental checklist and gets ready to set off to face the international opposition: Cardiff. Today is a big day for Theodore, only his second game in as many months and Varsity around the corner.
12.30pm. Theodore arrives at Uni Parks, but Theodore is surprised to find the team is severely lacking in numbers. Suspicions begin to arise that there may have been a repeat of Thursday morning, which saw various players scattered round Oxford, seemingly having been incapable of finding the way home after a quiet shandy at Ye Olde Park End.
1pm. The last of the stragglers arrive and swiftly being warming up. The team slip into their sparkling new kit, Theodore wearing 21 - the number of his hero and OULC alumnus, Max Wintle.
1.30pm. Face Off. The first quarter is tight and Oxford finish with a slight 2 goals lead. All three attackmen and LSM Gabe Barrie get on the board early, but Oxford don't look comfortable yet. This theme carries into the second quarter. However, pole goals from Alistair Berven and LSM Gabe Barrie, as well as a crease dump from the formidable Cob Ronway, maintain the lead for the Dark Blues - who for the first time this season are actually all wearing dark blue (apart from Ben Fleenor who decided to wear his swimming trunks).
The second half sees the addition of Tom Munro, who seemingly inspired the team to switch on in both O and D, conceding just two goals in the entirety of the second half and racking up a huge 10 goals in the half. Great dodging from Ed Smith and Alex Harbord setting up the attackmen and LSM Gabe Barrie on numerous occasions.Despite the surge of goals being fired past the Cardiff keeper, FOGO Ryan Power failed to find the target on numerous occasions, much to the delight of Theodore.
Meanwhile in defence, Captain Monty had decided he no longer wanted to pick up ground balls and resorted instead to randomly attacking members of the Cardiff team. Fortunately, MOTM James Kershaw was hoovering up at the back and providing superb transition (although still refusing to cross the halfway line at any cost). The usual punishing checks of Tim Sweere and unbeatable reactions of Charlie 'The Wall' Wall also making sure the scoring remained low.
Oxford finished up 17-6 winners and maintained their undefeated start to 2018.
Meanwhile in the other place, The Tabs pipped Birmingham in their BUCS match. Which I'm sure, as is typical down in the depths on Midlands 1A, saw some high quality lacrosse being played.
23 days... #ShoeTheTabs
Oxford 17 - 6 Cardiff
MOM: James Kershaw
DOD: (Dubiously) Ryan Power
Berv (3, 0)
Cob (3, 5)
Gabe (7, 2)
Rishi (2, 3)
Theo (2, 1)
Men's Blues - Wednesday 31st January 2018 - BUCS South Prem - Cardiff Home