“IT WILL BE AN ADVENTURE” promised Captain Jimmy Treen ahead of the hockey Mens’ 2nds (a.k.a The Wolf Pack) game against Kings College London. Never had a truer word been spoken. The afternoon began with the wolves striding through campus, full wolf costumes donned, prompting more than a few funny looks. After a train journey with a few alcoholic beverages we invaded Waterloo and after our healthy pre-match McDonalds, we departed for the mythical Catford Bridge. Upon arrival, the team observed their bleak surroundings and concluded Catford looked like it had been made from Lego, providing Lego consisted of grey concrete, smelt of piss and involved no fun whatsoever. After an arduous walk from the station to the pitch, we thought we were ready to do battle. However, due to some questionable navigation, Pedro had guided us into an inner city Arts College, with no discernible hockey pitch but many bemused schoolchildren, who proceeded to bully the entire team except James Landers, who managed to strike up conversation with some thirteen-year old girls. The pitch WAS found eventually but it had been a trying journey, with internal tensions rising with disagreement between Treen and Pedro over whether the clouds were clouds, or “just London pollution.” Rob Burrows then inserted a worm down the back of keeper Alex Jones, earning himself punishment of drinking a can of worm-infused cider, which he refused. Being a true captain, Treen took the challenge, cementing the immortal nickname “Earthworm Jim.” After this inspirational feat, it was our time to shine– the game.
Holloway immediately took advantage; Burrows surged down the right, making passes so clinical coconuts could be cracked with them. Tom Amarnani held the ball up brilliantly, despite being under constant attack with disgusting challenges that are punishable by death in some countries. Meanwhile, Pedro’s marauding runs were emulating Achilles at Troy and Henry Rapley and James Landers’ command of the defence was more disciplined than any Catford schoolchild. Then, midway through the first half, beautiful footwork from Huw Richards and Dylan Jones led to a short corner. The ball was injected and Pedro took the opportunity, slamming home an inch-perfect opener, before sprinting away making obscene gestures with his stick in celebration. Kings responded with pressure. Tempers rose, with Owen Collins receiving a card for a perfectly legitimate challenge (Chuck Norris would have been proud). However, the substitutions of Andrew Anes, Kamran Kaveh and Phil Marks, who came straight on and immediately threw themselves into inch-perfect tackles, secured a half-time 1-0 advantage.
Straight after the break, Kings attacked with renewed vigour. Shot after shot flew in on Jones, yet he managed to beat every last one away to the disbelief of the Kings coach, whose cries of “a score is on the cards!” were clearly wrong, as the Wolf Pack spirit was never going to budge; during one goalmouth scramble, an equaliser seemed certain before Treen evoked the earthworn spirit and made a horizontal dive to tip the ball around the post. The Wolves soldiered on and after some textbook counter-attacking hockey, the ball fell to Tom Ikonen, who drilled the ball home with the drive of a traction engine to seal it for Holloway. The closing minutes were fraught but Holloway held on for an historic victory. Buoyed by success and alcohol, the team began the trudge up Blythe Hill. Reaching the top, they turned and saw the capital beneath them, the city that they had, against the odds, conquered. Whatever it says on the shirts, the Wolf Pack knew that, that night, they were truly the real Kings.