O Captain! My Captain!

Tom Anns

It would not be representative of the Cooper era to concentrate too much on the actual match in this report – a more muddled and incoherent, Hugh Grant-esque babble of events will probably suffice.

Before any hockey was played, Colgate’s own, Shin Kim, spent twenty minutes in pure wonderment at the concept of catching. It is understood that no chemicals were inhaled at any point by the perpetrator and there will be no further investigation into the matter.

Similar to the recent goings on with Brexit and the political decision making of our dear country, the match began with a push back. Actually, again similar to the current political climate of our nation, before this the leader of the home team decided to change ends - no-one quite knows why (attention/one last gasp effort to showcase power, maybe?)

The start of the actual hockey commenced with good intensity from South who took control of the first portion of the game, defending confidently, moving the ball around the midfield and attacking with pace and movement. This resulted in the first goal which was finished off by a greying James Menzies after a delightful bit of pass-and-move build up play by the team. One-nil.

Midway through the first half Spalding started to work their way into the game, asserting authority from there on until the half time break. Within this period of play they began to build pressure on South, forcing a couple of smart saves from Gower and some good defensive work at the back. Alas, this did not stop the men in white scoring a deserved equaliser. One-one.

A bit of argy bargy late on in the half and some not-so-eloquently-put feedback led to Anns having an extended half time break - one extra minute before and one afterwards (probably a good idea as he was quite stroppy at this point).

After a rousing half time team talk and some big names saying some of the same things that they have been saying for the last however-many years, the 2s were ready to take back control of the game and ensure third place in the league.

The last goal of the era could not have been more representative of the M2s:

Short corner…
Cooper injection…
Anns stop…
Manny slap to the right post…
Menzies deflection…

The match ended with South having most of the possession and defending solidly. A great match to end the season on and – hopefully - earn us a place in the division above again if the rejig of the divisions above us goes in our favour.

Post-match activities did involve beer and fizz - partly to toast the outgoing skipper, partly to toast the end of the season and a good performance, but mostly to remind Paresh that he prefers playing for us.

Cooper may have topped the ball to more centre forwards than anyone in the club’s history (there definitely should be a tally of assists for the opposition), committed some of the most heinous stick tackles that Long Road has ever seen and got his luminous yellow astros in the way of more hockey balls than the fence behind the goal when he is practising his shooting, but he has managed (with some help from his more attractive and loveable sidekick) to get a group of blokes - most of whom should be spending their Saturdays with their wives and young children - to trek up to the seaside towns of Lincolnshire and the faraway fenland fields to run around on a pitch for seventy minutes and then drive home again. The final match of his reign summed it up quite well: a team that played and worked for each other, enjoyed playing (and showering) together and could dig deep and get a result when they needed to. In order to redress the balance a bit, as this is starting to become a little too positive, he also has some pretty bad back hair…

Anyway, now that the season is over here are some statistics - the majority of which are true:

  • Man of the matches for the season (not bad for the old guard):

    • 1st S Cooper with 4

    • 2nd T Anns and T Steed with 3

    • 4th A Artaman, C Walsh, J Menzies and M Puddefoot with 2

  • Lemon of the matches for the season:

    • 1st D Reeve with 6

    • 2nd M Rosenvaig, N Patel, T Anns, M Allsopp and J Chalk with 2

  • Goals:

    • 1st J Chalk with 9

    • 2nd J Menzies with 8

    • 3rd A Artaman with 7

  • Clean sheets:

    • 1st T Anns, J Chalk and J Mann with 5

    • 4th C Walsh, D Reeve, M Puddefoot, J Menzies and S cooper with 4

  • Appearances:

    • 1st T Anns and J Chalk with 24

    • 3rd S Cooper with 22

    • 4th C Walsh with 21

    • 5th D Reeve with 19

  • S Cooper has spent 14% (to 2 significant figures) of his life as captain of the M2s.

  • T Anns has spent 21% (to 2 sf) of his life as M2s vice-captain (17% under Cooper).

  • D Reeve has spent 38% of his hockey career as an 8/10 on the anger scale.

  • S Cooper has spent 72% of his adult life as a virgin.

  • C Walsh has spent 38% of his adult life trying to read the first half of ‘Biff and Chip Go For a Walk’.

  • M Saint-Gower has spent 100% of his life being a lovely bloke.

  • A Artaman has spent 56% of his time in a South shirt being slightly underwhelmed.

  • When off the pitch, J Mann has spent 76% of his time with his hands on his hips and a slightly disappointed look on his face.

  • N Patel has spent 83% of his time at South being a massive, massive lad.

  • 100% of the time, Shin has been a social schmoozer and all round cool party guy.

  • Cambridge South M2s finished third in the league; third place is often referred to as the bronze medal position. J Chalk has a bronzed statue of himself which is hidden behind a curtain in the residence of fans’ favourite, H Chalk (unbeknownst to him).

To ensure that this match report is not lacking in length, here are the lyrics to ‘Under the Sea’ from ‘The Little Mermaid’ to play us out:

The seaweed is always greener
In somebody else's lake
You dream about going up there
But that is a big mistake
Just look at the world around you
Right here on the ocean floor
Such wonderful things surround you
What more is you lookin' for?

Under the sea
Under the sea
Darling it's better
Down where it's wetter
Take it from me
Up on the shore they work all day
Out in the sun they slave away
While we devotin'
Full time to floatin'
Under the sea

Down here all the fish is happy
As off through the waves they roll
The fish on the land ain't happy
They sad 'cause they in their bowl
But fish in the bowl is lucky
They in for a worser fate
One day when the boss get hungry
Guess who's gon' be on the plate?

Under the sea
Under the sea
Nobody beat us
Fry us and eat us
In fricassee
We what the land folks loves to cook
Under the sea we off the hook
We got no troubles
Life is the bubbles
Under the sea (Under the sea)
Under the sea (Under the sea)

Since life is sweet here
We got the beat here
Naturally (Naturally)
Even the sturgeon an' the ray
They get the urge 'n' start to play
We got the spirit
You got to hear it
Under the sea

The newt play the flute
The carp play the harp
The plaice play the bass
And they soundin' sharp
The bass play the brass
The chub play the tub
The fluke is the duke of soul
The ray he can play
The lings on the strings
The trout rockin' out
The blackfish she sings
The smelt and the sprat
They know where it's at
An' oh that blowfish blow

Yeah, under the sea (Under the sea)
Under the sea (Under the sea)
When the sardine
Begin the beguine
It's music to me (It's music to me)
What do they got? A lot of sand
We got a hot crustacean band
Each little clam here
Know how to jam here
Under the sea
Each little slug here
Cuttin' a rug here
Under the sea
Each little snail here
Know how to wail here
That's why it's hotter
Under the water
Ya we in luck here
Down in the muck here
Under the sea


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Simon Cooper
Man of the Match

Signed off as skipper with a fantastic win.

Tom Anns
Lemon of the Match

The lady doth protest too much, methinks.