Storm Piranha Hits Eascote

Banbury Piranhas 9 Eastcote 0

So far this winter we’ve been hit by Storms Abigail, Barney, Clodagh, Desmond, Eva, Frank, Henry and Gertrude. Storm Imogen is next apparently……then in 3 or 4 storms time the Met Office have come up with “Nigel” – somehow “Storm Nigel” doesn’t sound like it’s going to rip your roof off ?! I want a “Storm Nobby” which would sound worrying or better still “Storm Donald” (which originating in the US would target ridiculous hair pieces and be super powered by arrogance & flatulence). Actually even as I write this report the BBC headlines are “Storm Imogen Lashing Parts of UK”….oooo errr missus !! as Frankie Howerd would say – is Cynthia Paine alive and well??

Anyway on Saturday at 3.30pm in Banbury it was Storm Piranha. To be fair this wasn’t the Eastcote team we played and defeated before Christmas as they were short of players but still came with a team to honour the fixture – a situation the Piranhas were well familiar with over the previous 2 weeks.

The Piranha team were strengthened by the absence of some key influential players – Andrew (The Black Spot) Jeffrey was in Cornwall – spreading the luck, and Clive Bambi Briant decided it was too wet and cold for him and his hooves and so skipped off to the meadow for some frolicking and hunter dodging. But as luck would have it Matt Allman sporting his new knee brace contraption filled the void (something he excels at). We were also graced with the presence of Scottish International, Gary White, who was just commencing an intense “iron man” training schedule in time for his Australian Vets Tournament in 6 weeks. The schedule is a bit vague and patchy – which reflects his playing style funnily enough.

The first half was dominated by Piranha pass and move play with the young Piranhas feeding off the solid base Gary White, Ash Laverick and Will Eagles provided. Charlie Camp and Sam Bracke particularly doing well off this service. The first goal came from a great run behind the Eastcote defence by Camp who was found by Laverick on the base line with a long ball from inside the Piranha half. Camp provided the perfect pass across the D which Bracke finished with a great flick into the Eastcote goal.

The Piranha flanks worked well with Ollie Webb and Finley McEvoy storming down the right and left and linking well with Allman, Laverick, Ali Nash and Eagles in midfield. Youngsters Thomas Allman & Sam Baldry rolled on for the forward line (yes we had subs this week!!) and created lots of chances. Goals then flowed from Charlie Camp (a great volley into the net), Gary White (a flick high into the net which would’ve put the fear of God into any dwarf), and 2 from Will Eagles who was fed with great passes by Sam Baldry and Charlie Camp.

The only other event of note in the half was the strange effect the ghost of Clive had on Matt Allman who, despite sporting his Knee Fetish catalogue (“Hot Knees”) order, spent most of the half falling over and throwing aerials into players midriffs.

The weather got steadily worse as the half closed as Gertrude blew her hardest – I don’t often get the chance to say that in a match report. The halftime team talk resembled a scene from the Antarctic with the Piranhas huddled like penguins in the teeth of Gertrude’s wind (I’m getting the hang of this now). Captain Camp emphasised the need to keep our structure and passing play and all will be well – and the good news was for this half we would be playing into Gertrude’s gullet…….Matt looked fulfilled.

The second half was more testing though as Eastcote changed formation and, as a result, the Piranha defence had to work harder. But Steve Hicks in goal was more than a match for their forwards as he deployed a range of kicks and stick saves to keep a clean sheet. Ollie Webb and Finley McEvoy had particularly good games at the back.

Then the Piranha pass and move hockey commenced again and with two identical moves Laverick found Charlie Camp up high on the base line and young Camp fed both Thomas Allman (who’s shot splintered the backboard with the impact of a soft cushion) and Sam Bracke for his second of the game with inch perfect passes to put 2 more goals on the score sheet. To be fair the resilient Eastcote never stopped playing and pressurising the Piranhas and their heads never dropped to their credit. The last 2 goals were converted by Ali Nash who hammered the ball in from a short corner switch and Laverick with a fearsome strike from the far right of the D.

The game finished much to the relief of all (especially the umpires who looked like they’d been 10 rounds with Gertrude). The Piranhas bagged the 3 points and left Gertie still doing a great job of blowing for all she was worth……oooooo missus ! (A tribute to Frankie Howerd). Next week we face the tough test away to top of the league Maidenhead Magicians – here’s hoping they’re all Paul Daniels and Debbie McGee’s had an off night…..