Weekend Preview (07/03/2020) – A nice(ish) one

The Future

With all the big varsity games over and CUHC domination on every metric, I might add, we’re back to the usual business this Saturday. There’s a full complement of East Leagues fixtures, while the toxic squanderers are back to targeting a certain not-to-be-named member of the club. 

The only exceptions to normality are that BUCS has now finished (see below), and that Oxf*rd have finally decided to offer something, albeit in the format of an almighty nibble:

Catch: The Os (feat. Leach, Taylor & Francis). All fish caught sustainably
(and Izzy Austin binned one last-minute to win the mentioned game).
Team Position League W/D/L
Men’s Blues 4th (out of 9) Premier South W4D1L3
Women’s Blues 6th (out of 9) Premier South W3D2L3
Wanderers 4th (out of 6) Midlands 1 W2D4L4
Nomads 2nd (out of 6) Midlands 2B W6D2L2

A good season all-round. The Wandies keep their place in their highest possible BUCS league (a first) while the Nomads finished strong to come 2nd. Both Blues stay in the 2nd tier of University Hockey.

At the first instance, it might, therefore, appear that there’s very little to play for. Very wrong. The Nomads will be searching for a few more points in their search for safety, and for everyone else there’s pride. We’re all proud to wear the correct shade of blue. The fixtures this week are as follows:

Team Opposition Time (Home/Away)
Men’s Blues Norwich City 1s 14:30 (H)
Women’s Blues East London 1s 11:30 (A)
Wanderers Old Southendians 1s 13:30 (A)
Nomads Colchester 1s 12:30 (H)
Squanderers St Ives 2s 12:30 (A)
Bedouin Spalding 1s 11:00 (H)

The Past

But enough about the future and this weekend. It’s time to revel in the past. And what a past week it has been. In search of some out-of-character profound words to describe our recent dominance, I turned to Tolkein (an Ox*n who clearly realised he made the wrong choice):

“A light from the darkness shall spring.”

J.R.R. Tolkien, adapted fom the Fellowship of the Ring (he actually said shadows but…)

“The crownless again will be king.”

 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

But searching for quotes is pretty dull. So at some point on Sunday, between my nth and (n+1)th pint, I wrote all this. I feel it’s a pretty fair description of the day:

To the tune of “December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)” by The Four Seasons

Oh what a day
First of March, two thousan’ n’ twenty
What a very special time for thee
As I remember what a day

Oh what a game
Amy Edwards puts us in the lead
Bethan bins the flick they did concede
What a lady, what a game

Oh I, I gotta funny feeling when Sean walked on the pitch
And my, as I recall Oxf*rd ended in the ditch

Oh what a match
Hypnotizing, mesmerizing me
A five nil win I simply could notta dreamed
Oxf*rd panicked, what a match

Seb rinsed the Ox*ns like vanish oxiaction
Spinnin’ their heads around n’ showing them how to play
Oh what a day

Oh I, I gotta tired feelin’ when I walked in the room
Oh Why, did Oxf*rd have a nap for seventy?

Oh what a night
Why did it take so long to goto spoons
Seemed so wrong but we woulda been doomed
What a club, what a night.

Oh I, I felt a rush like winnin’ a game five two
Spinning my head it were n’ taking my body under

Oh what a day
Oh what a match
Oh what a game
Oh what a night

At this late point on Thursday night, as the now-famous “Paddy for a blue” chant dominated my conscious thought, I began to think what else I could write. I could not leave you at a mere 638 words. I play, but also write, with pride in the light blues.

I did start to try and work out all the stats for both Women’s Blues game and the 5-0 thumping of the dark blues, but then I realised this actually is a lot of work. Plus I kept cracking up at the gaffs made by half the commentary team. This makes it really hard to keep track of territory and possession statistics. Apologies, I feel like I’ve let the whole club down.

The Present

Not the present in the time-sense, but the gift-sense to thank all those unsung heroes in CUHC. Being the Webmaster, I undoubtedly have the most power but absolutely no responsibility. If I don’t write one of these or keep the website & social media up-to-date, yes, you’ll have a fewer mediocre-chat-filled weekend, but the club ploughs on regardless. Period.

However, many people in the club do quite important-and-meaningful jobs. Instead of writing 600 words of nonsense, I’d like to write something nice about these people (who do a lot of stuff every week that you wouldn’t necessarily realise). At a glance, you might think their jobs are quite trivial. But if they don’t do them, we don’t play, we forfeit points, or the club would just stop. These are the genuine club heroes:

Our ULOs might honestly have one of the most underestimated jobs in the club. Every week, Bethan & Harry have to find two umpires for the Beds and/or Squandies plus our umpiring pool commitments (neutral games). With a squadron of just 10 CUHC umpires (who also play), they’ve pulled off a miracle this season. Endless emails, negotiations and working around their squadron’s other commitments… they deserve a proper pat on the back.

We all love an away day. In particular BUCS away days. The Transport secs, Julian and Lucy, have been plugging away booking coaches (even with USB charging ports!) to faraway places and administrating the fleet of ZipCars. When there are five teams away on the weekend, this becomes a logistical nightmare, even before cars break down! 

I shouldn’t really bunch the Secretaries and Treasurers together, but I’m tired. Forget Jallen, Han and Faith’s pile of admin is probably taller than our poor man’s Will Rowlands. This includes contacting League Secs, doing admin for results, rearranging fixtures, ordering vegetarian match teas and adjusting our fluid pitch bookings (depending on how big our Sunday night was…)Equally, the treasurer’s, Sean and Monty, make sure that we don’t lose too much money, but the club (and us) pay all our dues. On this note, subs for the term will be coming out soon, so please pay them on time and make their lives a lot easier… It’s annoying for you when someone’s hassling you, but it’s even more frustrating for them if you’re the twentieth person they’ve had to contact that evening.

Our President, Premium Cotton Totton does a lot more than invent storms. The beds may already love him, but everyone else should also probably like him for the time he’s allocated to CUHC this year. He’s been busy liaising with people in Cam Uni Sport, Sponsors and the senior committee (come to the AGM and you can meet them!) while also just keeping the ship sailing. He’s also been busy working on a more long-term club strategy with the senior committee which should hopefully mean we’re fit for the future! A lot of credit should also go to Shears here, or so I believe.

I could go on; Coaches who give up hours of their spare time, the club captains who were instrumental in organising equally fantastic BDotY and Blues Varsity weekends (as well as setting up the Physio spreadsheet, which I will continue to improve!) and the Welfare secs who are always there and go above-and-beyond when you need them. There are many more who do so much, but I promised to stay in 600 words.

So if you (a) read this far and (b) take anything from this weekend’s preview, then the next time you see these people, please just say thank you for all their efforts. 

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