Tenacious Tourette’s Tainted Thame Twos Teeter, Toil and Test Banbury 4s

Banbury 4s – 1 Thame 2s – 1 

It’s Thame – so you’re going to get a mix and style of hockey that’s reminiscent of a fusion of the Tourette’s Society Morris Dancing Club and Rural Cage Fighting – stick tackling and four letter infused banter being their forte. Plus it was about time I got hit again as it was 6 years ago a Thame player created a lump on my leg which I christened “Nobby”…..and Lo ! Son  of Nobby was born. Not one to let Matt Allman hog the throbbing swollen appendage crown – I went for a grander design on my shin.

So we started the match in a way which we hadn’t before – we picked up from last week and immediately went on a 20 minute phase of all out pass and move attacking hockey. This match had 5-0 to Banbury written all over it as Thame were pinned down and struggled to get the ball out of their half.

The midfield of Allman , Sam Chadbourne, Jamie Boardman, Noel Britto, Jamal Mourssali and Jamie Marsh dominated and on many occasions Jacob Bucknor Rowner, Ben Reville , Tom Boardman and Ben Clarke got behind the defence to test their goal.

But we lacked one thing and they had one thing – we couldn’t hit a barn door and they had a keeper the shape of a barn door in goal. After peppering most of the Bretch Hill estate with wayward shots (the residents thought they were being shelled by an army sponsored by Kookaburra, Dita, Grays and Slazenger)the break came after 20 minutes – we scored through a great pass and move phase starting with Andy Camp and Felix, through Matt Allman and Jamie Boardman and up to Tom Boardman up front who crashed the ball into the backboard. More Banbury attacks followed and Bretch Hill started raising white flags. Thame hit the swear box big time and the sound of tapped sticks sounded like a night out with Woody Woodpecker and his mates after snorting a mountain of coke.

But we ran out of steam and towards the end of the half Thame scored a scrappy and poorly challenged goal to make it 1-1 before half time which gave Thame heart for the 2nd half.

The 2nd half was a more even affair with keeper Morgan Haylor making some great saves and the back line of Camp, Allman, Felix Webb and Dipak Tandell having to work hard but they defend well and distributed the ball effectively to the midfield. Neither team could find the net and the game turned into a stalemate and at times had the intensity of a granny mud wrestling bout. Thame’s Tourette’s continued as did their stick tickling (not in the Ken Dodd sense) and the game sputtered to a draw, making it the Banbury 4s third draw in a row.

Next week we are playing at Amersham which was worth a few hides, 400 pigs, 7 slaves with a few mid range ploughs thrown in for good measure back in the 11th century – which puts Leighton Buzzard to shame (you’d have been lucky to get one bored slave and a rasher of Lidl streaky bacon for that…..it hasn’t really moved on since then).