Bowdon IXs 11 - Chester VIs 1
The day began inauspiciously. As the troops waited for our Gallant Leader, Admiral Hawkins, to arrive a newsflash appeared on Sky Sports News. “Bees Lose Two Players Before Kickoff” Apparently Admiral Hawkins was somewhere on the road to Nottingham (or more likely if he was in the Batmobile, by the side of the road awaiting recovery). As if that was not enough super Pritch the 4 goal hero of the great victory against Lymm (OK then Lymm seconds) had hurt himself during training. Much muttering ensued – mainly along the lines of “What do you expect if you go to training?” No matter; the cavalry arrived in the form of Jamie and Nibble meaning that the Bees were back up to full strength. They say that bad things come in threes and it was with baited breath that we awaited the final instalment of bad luck.
In the meantime, how would we fare without the leader of the Good Ship Bees? That well known hockey pundit Confucius says that even a rudderless ship can reach its destination if it sets off pointing in the right direction. The team talk from Rear Admiral Yokker therefore took on great importance. Unfortunately this was the occasion for the 3 rd piece of bad luck to strike. Hockey fans were stunned to learn that your correspondent had been asked to ‘take a breather' before the game had even started. Word had obviously reached the clubhouse, meaning that the crowd of approximately 200 who had intended to make the short trek to the Dev to watch the Bees against Chester decided that this was the last straw and they would therefore watch the firsts play against Southgate on the wet pitch instead.
And what a hockey lesson they missed. The Bees played liquid hockey from the outset, doing all the ‘proper hockey' things that Admiral Hawkins always encourages. When he is around the Bees pretend not to know what he is talking about but in his absence hitherto unseen talents were demonstrated. Forwards played unselfishly and with delicious skills, the midfield ran the game and the defence were watertight, which was a good job as the rest of the team spent the whole game inside the Chester 16. By half time we were 7 goals to the good. The Lazy Barman, not wishing to be left out of the excitement, managed to time a perfect challenge on a Chester forward, taking the ball fractionally before the poor forward's legs. He was unable to repeat the trick in the second half getting more legs than ball much to the understandable displeasure of the Chester team. Admittedly this would have been funnier had the victim on both occasions not been qualified to play for the Vets by a good 20 years.
Matters improved further when Pritch and Mrs Pritch arrived at half time, both moving very slowly, hopefully for different reasons. To make the experience of watching the Bees even more exciting they promised, your correspondent understands, to name their firstborn after the next goalscorer. No doubt they were hoping for an Andy, traditionally a safe bet for the Bees. However sport plays funny tricks on people so we all look forward to the christening of Yokker Pritchard.
The final score was 11-1. All of the Bees midfield and forwards managed to score at least once. Jug buying duties fell to Rear Admiral Yokker for his hat trick. Lazy complained that the Chester goal came off a foot but your correspondent, along with the rest of the Bees team were still in the Chester D so we'll have to take his word for it. Special mentions to Andy ‘Seaman Staines' Braithwaite and Andy ‘Roger the Cabin Boy' Marshall for their contributions to an excellent display by the whole team.
After the game, talk in the bar inevitably turned - once we had got past detailed descriptions of our respective goals - to the Bees end of season celebration. Good news here too for Bees fans. As your correspondent left, Yokker was on the verge of exclusively and very generously confirming that the Bees bash could be combined with the wedding of the year at Peckforton Castle in June. Morning suits all round for the Bees – just make sure your squad numbers are on the back. See you in Cheshire Life.
Awesome. What better way to spend a Saturday afternoon. Well deserved. Overwhelming. Conclusive. It was never going to be any other way. These are just a tiny fraction of the many ways to describe my feelings upon getting back into the Marcos after five months of it being marooned oop north in Todmorden. Trust the Bees to put a sting into my afternoon's pleasure by playing such an excellent sounding game! The seeds are sown... let's see what Jamie & Nibble can take back to the VIIth team. Well done to all the Bees who played, & I've no doubt that my absence from such a decisive win won't be mentioned again. Right?