Last week while watching the chocolate fondue that is our first team (you know, things dipped in chocolate with sticks) we feared for this week.Gareth Mckeown looking like C-3PO after a Sand People attack, Steven McGimpsey stretching his groin, Michael Black prodding his hammy whileStephen Dalzell perused next week’s work rota. Injuries/AWOL-ness above mean raids below. Back room simulations suggested that this week would be the hockey equivalent of taking a French-tickler to a thermonuclear war, for that is the nature of hockey at Stormont, home of North Down’s local nemesis NICS.
We needn’t have worried – Black recovered enough to drag his sorry Snoop-Dog carcass to the bench, we all know about McGimpsey’s Wolverine like powers of regeneration (remember last season’s hamstring incident?) and while Chewie is still working on McKeown and Dalzell had to punch-in, luckily draft-dodging birthday boy Kai Jenkins was available to return to the mother-ship.
So how’d it go then? 2-0 up! That’s good. 3-2 down! That’s pants! 4-3 up! Hey, that’s good again! 4-4, 5 minutes to go! We’re a bit sad. But hey, NICS! We’re North Down and we’re going to score one more that you*! 5-4 win courtesy of The Buddha – Christmas might still be ruined!**
Yee haw and all that.
Other moments of note:
Andrew Boyd made his first foray into real estate picking up a couple of “ache”ers (geddit?) in the first half that limited his participation in the second. Luckily there was plenty of room on the bench thanks to the unexpected absence of local bromancing cat-fancier Mr. Adam Tate. Don’t worry Tatey we’re keeping you seat warm.
Aerial-throwing-recently-hitched-drag-flicking-centre-back-a-bit-like-a-desktop-Mockey Keith Conway makes his debut! Good range and nice goal Keefie. Quakers are definitely on the menu in the Conway household!
Josh Gilmore – last year’s life size mannequin is this year’s dynamic man of action. Off the ball running, passing and goal scoring (twice!) – well played Josh.
And last, but in no way ever least, Jim Patterson for manning the whistle and saving us from having to pull Laura Clarke from the playing roster. Objectivity scaled back to suit the situation but not enough to let crimes from his opposite number go un-equalised. No deaths or hospitalizations either despite the presence of the fearsome Wurzel. Perfect. Can you do it next week Jim? We’re at home, time TBC.
Next week, we avenge our Chocolate Overlords and put the Harlequins powder-puffs second string to the sword. You will be entertained! That is why you will be there!
* Contrib. Paul Adjey, variation on a theme by Fat Les (Vindaloo, 1998).
** The final’s on December 27th – grim.