Yogi super show sadly can’t stop the Edge scoring
By John Harrison
M4 see the blues (but at least one of us is happy…..)
Before starting, I can’t help but notice that the M3 match reporting system is suddenly ‘up and running’ when they have a 7-0 win to shout about…. (just saying…). Meanwhile, the Mighty Fours continue to be the team that keeps on giving (reports-wise), whatever the match, and whatever the result. Just so you know M3 (and others), we stand loud and proud.
So, this week - the last before Christmas so we were due some kind of a present – the fixture list took us to Birmingham Uni (and it took some of us a long way round to get there due to road closures, but let’s not get into that), to face Edge sevenths. And WOW!! In fact, WOW and WOW again!!…. a BLUE pitch – in fact TWO blue pitches…. and they’ve moved, turned 90 degrees to confuse the easily confused, like me and Yogi. And they’re all watery and bouncy too. But nice, in fact, very nice, and even when it started raining, those of us who play despite not being able to see orange on green, could actually SEE the ball! Amazing. In fact, potentially game changing. We were on international standard turf, and could look to show our skills to the max.
Sadly, our ability to start slow had not left us, and with 53 seconds on the clock (thank you Pat) we were a goal behind. A series of small errors, but enough. Edge seemed to sense a glut waiting to happen and pushed forward continually, but Sils, having woken up, defended strongly with the back line of Charlie R, Skipper Dave and Laney joined by hard man Chris Smith making his M4 seasons debut all standing firm throughout the half. When rounded by the younger and faster Edge team (Charlie is naturally excluded from this sweeping M4 generalisation), Edge found Yogi in inspired form. Despite his claim that he still couldn’t see the orange ball (thus proving that you can never please all the people all the time) he pulled off a series of blinding saves ensuring it remained 1-0 at the interval.
More resolute defending in the second period, and we would still be in this, but with just a couple of minutes played, the home side doubled their lead with a well struck penalty corner. A double blow, the ball went in off Mick’s ankle, and off he went for treatment. With no subs, we were down to 10. Worse followed - when their inside right performed a twirl straight out of Strictly, Chris Smith did what any fan of the 60’s Chelsea or Leeds team would instantly recognise – a comprehensive ‘taking out’ of the 'fancy Dan' with no questions asked and no prisoners considered. A yellow for Chris. Swiftly followed by JH seeing green for swearing (sorry guys, but thank you Charlie for pointing out that their swearing went unpunished – you’ll go far, as long as the umpire doesn’t hear you!). The team was down on numbers but the fines kitty was swelling rather quickly.
A re-juggled 8 and then 9 men saw out the Edge power play until Mick had been patched up by nurse Pat and bravely returned, but in the sleet and the cold we were fading and to be honest, despite Keith’s willing running and good positional play we never really looked like testing their keeper. A couple more fantastic saves from Yogi ensured his Man of the Match award, though all of our back line were in the frame for some excellent defending throughout. The third goal was almost comical as a shot came back off an unsighted Yogi and dropped like an early Christmas present to their centre forward. 3-0 it finished, and on to the evening’s entertainment…
…. which was greatly enjoyed by around 14 of us at the Sils bar, then in the Forest in Dorridge (BIG THANKS for Gary Perkins for providing the pizzas which helped wash down the early beers), then at Saleem Bagh where nearly all of us enjoyed our curry (ask Dave for further details…..).
And for the record, the mid-season awards went to…
* MVP – Andy Rush (obvious really)
* Top scorer in fantasy league- JH (who still can’t remember who he picked…)
* Moment of the season so far – shared by Charlie for physically taking out two big 6-footers at Worcester, and Yogi for some amazing technicolour bruises won on his thigh (pictures are available but not recommended…)
* And the two additional ‘Andy Rush awards’ went to Dave for being a generally all round Captain Fantastic, and
* to his Charli, for being “the most pregnant team supporter” – an announcement which was wonderful news and all the M4 squad offer sincere congratulations and look forward with great anticipation to further celebrations in 2018 …!!!