Sports

“All over Battersea, some hope and some despair…”

…So sang Manchester’s musical miserablist Morrissey on his 1992 Number 19 hit, “You’re The One For Me, Fatty” and for The Wolf Pack, there was an equal measure of each. The task was simple, the plan was set, the brief was… brief. Take on the hockey equivalents of Canary Wharf, with ourselves resembling more a small pop-up shop selling seedy DVDs under the A40. It was clash of the titans. Battle of Gallipoli. Last tango in Paris. London School of Economics’s First Team versus The Wolf Pack.

It should no doubt be made clear from the offset that we were expecting to lose. Not just that, we were expecting to get hammered. So, with commendable foresight, we got hammered on the train with the aid of some 5% ABV “energy drink.” So it was that by the time we arrived at Clapham Junction (not used as a communal bomb shelter during the Blitz owing to the fact most Londoners thought it had already been hit) merriment and confidence was in high flow, and we were ready to take on anyone, not least the two infants in tracksuits who foolishly chose to start a skirmish with the Wolves. However, strength in numbers easily saw them off, with the intervention of Henry Rapley making sure they wouldn’t be sleeping so easy from now on. After that, it was just a case of a proud walk through the pleasantly leafy Battersea Park to the coliseum, upon which we were greeted by the South London equivalent of the Gestapo, who made it clear alcoholism in any form would not be tolerated. Good job we were all 100% sober then…

The game started well for the Wolves, with the unexpected success of two short corners in the first five minutes. It was like Christmas come early. Within seconds, however, the realisation dawned that perhaps we had peaked too soon. Having experienced the dizzy heights of delirium, things all too soon unravelled like a jumper knitted by a Granny with only one finger on each hand. Without warning, goal after goal after goal flew past Alex Jones, who was subject to more male force than his alluring Welsh One Show namesake. Holloway’s nadir was typified by the tragic-comic moment when defender Henry Rapley gifted the LSE attacker the ball, and then, as said forward advanced, in a bid to tackle Rapley fell in slow-motion, hitting the astro-turf with all the grace and dignity of a nuclear cooling tower being demolished with explosives. Unsure whether to laugh or cry, Rapley’s team-mates offered the sympathetic reaction of collapsing to the ground in hysterics. Bored with the inevitable defeat, the ever creative Moralee and Cooper looked to new fun, namely the smattering of Harry Potter references inserted into the game. No tackle was complete with a shout of “EXPELLIARMUS!” , no aerial without “WINGARDIUM LEVIOSA” and “ACCIO BALL!”

However, while the Wolves indulged in such whimsy, LSE continued to totally alohamora our defence, meaning we went in at half time losing twelve nil. But after a motivational, nay inspiring, nay epoch-defining team talk, the Wolf Pack came out fighting, and without reply struck in 14 goals to finish the game 14-12 to the visitors. Not really. However, we did come out fighting in the second half, none more so than Rapley, who, determined to atone for earlier sins, took balls to the face, head, and nearly every other orifice of his soul rather than let a goal in. Despite putting his body on the line more than a man jumping in front of a train between Feltham and Winnersh Triangle, his heroics were not enough to overturn the deficit, and eventually another 13 goals slipped past Jones, who saw his clean sheet not so much spoilt, as menstruated on, to finish the game with a respectable 25-0 scoreline. Then, it was time for a graceful defeat and a reconciliatory 5% ABV “energy drink”…

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