Fortress Badminton was glistening with the last spurt of summer as the mighty Robbies 3s rocked up with many months of pent up hockey just waiting to be released (to be honest, glistening is a stretch, it were proper dry…redacted). Longer’s men looked suspiciously like last year’s 2nd XI but with added yoof and certainly with an air of certainty about them.

Confidence was high until Longer said he was ripping up Frasers’ manual. Wost thought this is great, ‘I can hit (redacted) it from the back straight to the forwards’, but then Longer proceeded to read out, verbatim, Frasers tactics.

So we started brisk, full of beans, full of energy, looking scarily fit for a 3rd XI and pretty much had them on the back foot from the very beginning. The press working well, no diving in, winning the ball in all the right places and attacking well down the right.

Chances went begging across goal with hardly a worry at the other end, you could almost see Ed dreaming of his first clean sheet in a long time (yes, Smiffy, on or off pitch).
At one point someone shouted panic and the whole team obliged, flapping like a proper flappy thing.

This flapping didn’t last long, as half time arrived. 0-0 with a minor flap was all the club’s chair, master’s captain, 3rd XI captain, fittest man in the club, chap with a more famous sister, could stand…he proper lost his nut(redacted). More (redacted) were dropped in 2 mins than (redacted) during my entire 1s tenure, young faces looked shocked, but realised for all the old bloke banter, hockey, and more importantly, winning was very much part of our club’s DNA.

After some balanced encouragement from Mike and Wost, the 2nd half started with just as much dominance and frustration in front of goal. There were shouts from the sidelines to drop Tom Jarvie further down the club in order to assist. This seemed to be backed up by Oli Fullers attempt to shoot, he was 25m away from the ball, but still connected with the defenders stick! Everyone gasped, including Laura and both his concerned children.

It was all OK though folks, after 237.5 short corners where the ball did not manage to get pushed more than 5 yards, we messed (redacted) around with it a bit before Kirky had decided he’d had enough, shouted ‘Leeds I LOVE YOU’ and mildly hit (redacted) the ball in the back of the net.

From this point on, it was all about managing the game, thank goodness (redacted) Mike was on the sideline as I was too busy stopping Colin from giving the Fuller kids coffee! Jules may have found himself on the side of the pitch for what can only be described as a weak nudge, but in his defence he got a Whitchurch chap sent off too, so all is forgiven.

All in all a dominant performance, the team jellied well, the young chaps like Ollie, Josh and Gabe putting in a massive shift, we will go from strength to strength. We deserved more goals, but most importantly got the win, a fine effort, more to come. Just waiting on a moist Badminton to take it to the next level…

This is how I remember it…
Alex Wost (DOD 25/09/21)

Alex Kirkpatrick

Probably on the physio table