Rudolph’s Not Very Well

Piranhas 2 West Hampstead 0

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Allman had been busy cooking up his festive roadkill offering for the hardened Londoners of West Hampstead to savour. He’d been busy decimating the local robin population for his Festive Robin Pie and Captain Camp had made a significant contribution to the festive teas  (to match the significant damage to his car) by providing a readily tenderised Rudolph for the Allman Reindeer Pasta – having only ran over him the evening before as he lay legs up and nose turned off in the middle of the road (had his nose been turned on – which is actually a reindeer euphemism – then perhaps he’d have avoided lying on a bed of pasta 12 hours later…..but then that’s probably better than the Tarmac bed he had only recently vacated… ..possibly?
So the game started with both teams fighting hard for possession and territory – West are a tough senior team lying 4th in the division and certainly aren’t a push over – especially their centre forward who resembled Erik the Viking on steroids. James Clement made a welcome return  to the hockey family and with his first touch in the game embraced the Viking theme and hammered the forward’s stick with his mighty mattock (or so he would describe it….) – so handing the oppo a penalty corner within the first minute of the match. Welcome back Clemmy….you haven’t lost your touch!
The back 5 of Morgan Haylor, captain camp, Finley McEvoy, Mervyn Hughes and Ollie Webb defended stoutly and after 10 minutes the tide turned. Clemmy holding the middle of the pitch feeding the young legs of Laverick, Fraser and Charlie Camp the Hampstead team didn’t quite know what had hit them – but they’re an experienced and resilient team and rebuffed all attacks until after great pressure from the midfield and “the Allmans” up front that led to a string of short corners. One corner that broke led to Laverick unleashing a strike which gave the Piranhas the lead after 20 minutes.
The Hampstead team then came back hard though with Erik and his band of marauders putting pressure on the Piranha defence  but all raids were dealt with well – especially by Ollie Webb and Finley McEvoy who worked their socks off and tackled like resolute Anglo Saxons. Mervyn Long dealt with Erik well and when Simon Atkins came on to bolster the defence the Piranhas took control.
Fraser ran amok like a berserker down the left and Laverick stormed the right with Charlie Camp twisting the Hampstead defence inside out and winning more short corners. Joe Whinmill took over up front with Young Sam Baldry and started to turn the screw. Whinmill made it 2-0 with a great instinctive rebound shot off the keeper after Laverick had hammered a great strike off a perfect Charlie Camp short corner stick stop.
The last ten minutes of the half was all Piranha hockey as the oppo worked hard to stem attack after attack.
Half time came much to the relief of the Opposition. Clemmy looked reinvigorated and commented how much he was enjoying the  brand of attacking hockey –  attacking being the operative word for him given the score of notches he’d created down his stick in the first 35 minutes.
The second half was much the same with the Piranhas turning over the ball and attacking the flanks at pace. Unfortunately the game ended with a West Hampstead player receiving a head injury from a strike off one of his players and the game finished with the piranhas having secured the win. Luckily the player was well looked after and I’m pleased to say his captain says he’s back playing albeit with a dodgy Jonny Depp style head bandage.
The team retired to the Allman Roadkill Cafe where Rudolph and his feathery friends were the teas – it was a bit like a roadkill version of the spring scene from Bambi …..where instead of all the little animals skipping and frolicking around merrily singing before they got stuck into their seasonal procreation orgy….this lot bedecked the plates of the Allman Cafe – their skipping, frolicking, singing and procreation days gone long ago and instead filling the tummies of the grateful shoal of piranhas…..so sort of “Bambi Meets Jaws”….a new franchise?
Next week the shoal swim their way down to wallingford for the penultimate match before the league finishes for Christmas. Santa meanwhile is now feverishly searching for a red nose replacement for Rudolph as otherwise the little expectant kiddies will be disappointed……but hang on – Clive’s back next week – there’s an idea…..