New Half Goal Rule Change
Banbury Piranhas – 1 1/2 Milton Keynes Samurai – 0
As from the 1st of April England Hockey introduced the “half goal” rule and Captain Camp of the Piranhas was the first (and probably last) to take advantage of the rule change as it was withdrawn at 5pm on the 9th of April as the Banbury Piranhas registered the world’s first 1 1/2 – 0 win against an unusually strong MK Samurai team.
This was the final match (rescheduled) for the Piranha 2015/16 season and it was against Milton Keynes Samurai who the Piranhas had beaten at the start of the 2025/16 season – but they didn’t bring the same team as the slip date meant selection wasn’t such a problem for them. This was likely to be the last time the Piranhas would see MK Samurai as they were unfortunately relegated and so we say goodbye to any chance of a sumptuous mouthwatering roundabout extravaganza next season – but the good news is that we get Tring and Bourton & Sherborne next season….who couldn’t be farther apart geographically if they tried….apart from West Hampstead who must be over the moon with the prospect of a long haul flight to Bourton on the Water Gloucestershire for a 70 min game of hockey – better get their visa applications in now!! Bourton has officially got even more cow pats per mile and even less surnames than Banbury so the “townies” are in for a shock on that score too.
The Piranhas were unchanged, apart from including excellent young debutante Jamie Boardman in the squad, and started the game well on top with the midfield of Will Eagles, Matt Allman, Ali Nash and Charlie Camp dominating possession. Despite this the piranhas could not convert the pressure into goals with youngsters Thomas Allman and Sam Baldry working really hard to help create chances and James Doran and Lee Allen missing them with the regularity of a Donald Trump gaff.
The defence of Steve Hicks in goal, Captain Camp, Ollie Webb, Mervyn Long and Finley McEvoy remained relatively untouched whilst for the first 20 minutes the Piranhas controlled the game and were unlucky not to be a couple of goals up. The Samurai turned the tide for the last 3rd of the half (if you can have a 3rd of a half – but then I’ve just invented 1/2 a goal so why not?….). Steve Hicks came into his own diving around like a porpoise on heat making numerous saves and Camp, Long, McEvoy and Hornby tackling and intercepting to keep the sheet cleaner than a pair of Royal pants. Ollie Webb worked really well with Will Eagles and Matt Allman down the right to finish the half strong but still no goals.
The half time team talk gave captain Camp his final opportunity of the season (indeed his last ever) to rouse the Piranhas into goal scoring action. He evoked the vision of roundabouts in Milton Keynes being desecrated by yobbish Samurai oiks with no appreciation of their alluring roundness and of decades of public service dedication they have given to the efficient flows of traffic across the land. It was a tearful and yet at the same time stoic and rousing speech which was a heady cocktail of Churchill (not the Dog), Wellington, Frankie Howerd and Finbar Saunders in terms of content and tone. He also pointed out that if someone could mark their cocky petulant and rather gobby midfield play maker then that would be “nice”. The Piranhas wiped salty tears from their eyes and strode forth onto the green sward of NOA to contest the final half of the season.
Well whatever inane nonsensical drivel Camp had uttered worked as the Piranhas attacked the Samurai like a school of rabid…..Piranhas. The Piranha pass and move hockey was back and a flowing move through Matt Allman, Ali Nash, Jamie Boardman and great work by James Doran on the left gave Will Eagles a great opportunity to slip the ball craftily under the Samurai keeper to make it a well deserved 1-0. The Piranhas then dominated with Finley Mcevoy and Ollie Webb working hard down the flanks tackling and distributing and both Will Eagles and Matt Allman smothering the gobby Samurai play maker leaving them no outlet. Charlie Camp, Thomas Allman and Jamie Boardman continued to dominate up front taking on the defence and laying off intelligent passes for the attacking midfield and their excellent work led to a series of short corners.
The last short corner led to the incident which created hockey history and a change, albeit temporary, in the rules of England Hockey. Captain Camp slapped home a goal in his final match as captain and manager of the Piranhas after some fantastic head height 3 D dribbling skills by Will Eagles. The goal was awarded and the stadium was filled with a deafening roar, women screamed with new found orgasmic delight, street celebrations broke out instantaneously in the Bretch Hill estate opposite with Road Kill specialities as the gutters filled with Bretch Hill wildlife in shock at a goal from Camp. The Samurai seemed a tad perplexed at the decision on the basis Eagles had bounced the ball off several Samurai heads on the way to goal – this led to an international debate involving the two umpires on their headsets with umpiring luminaries from across the globe. As it was Captain Camp’s last match ever ever with no chance of him coming back whatsoever with knobs on (hint to the committee) they changed the rules to accommodate a new and innovative 1/2 goal rule (suitably called the “camp”).
The game finished on a high for the Banbury Piranhas with a 1 1/2 to 0 win over the Samurai and another 3 points in the bag. Captain Camp had set the objective at the beginning of the season to NOT get promoted again and to finish somewhere between 3rd and 5th. We finished 4th, which after consultation with the world’s foremost mathematical experts seems to be smack on target. We also finished on 42 points – 9 points clear of Windsor Mens 2s in 5th, and with a goal difference of 34 (or 34 1/2 applying the 1/2 “camp” goal rule – of course).
The teams retired for teas – well the Piranhas did as the Samurai got a whiff of the Bretch Hill stew and made some excuse about the whole team being vegan and having to dash back to shampoo the goldfish. So we all tucked into Allman’s Badger Bolognese and to count the votes for Mr Pants which was touch and go between Clive “Bambi on Ice” Briant and Lee “Hot Shot” Allen – I think a draw was fair.
And so the season ends – the cute furry animals of Bretch Hill can breathe a sigh of relief and will frolic and procreate happily in readiness for another season in Allman’s greasy pot ; the umpire association nod and smile with appreciation at yet another season of insightful observation on the interpretation of the rules of hockey from Captain Camp – no doubt taking them into account as they fiddle with the rules yet again to make sure us oldies remain confused and yearning for the return of the “hand stop”; the Booker prize judging committee will openly weep at the prospect of the literary desert that will be created as a result of this being the very last match report ; the Roundabout Appreciation Society will award life membership and an honorary roundabout to Camp in recognition of his “sexing up” of their subject matter (“Rollicking Roundabouts” now being the UK’s no 1 top shelf mag for any discerning long distance lorry driver); and Clive and Lee can spend the summer walking around together in a big pair of stained sweaty pants (the Mr Pants Award). The Young Piranhas can hold their fishy heads high for playing out of their scaly skins all season against some tough senior teams and achieving our season’s objective spot on!!
Now where’s that horse and sunset?……………
The End !!