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Sunday, 6 September 2009

Beauties, elephant men and double entendres

OC 4th XI 4-3 OC Ladies

Well dear reader, Harmer’s column is back and it has been some time since we last met. I believe it was when we celebrated the departure from these heavily debt laden and credit crunched shores in May of the one and only Nicholas Herbert ‘Bertie’ Bance. Who has done a bunk to South Africa to sit out the global recession and the international warrant for his arrest, something to do financial irregularities with his hair stylist! While the rest of the OCHC sweat out the financial roller coaster, you will be glad to know that Bertie is ducking bullets, purchased his and her Kevlar vests and has attended numerous anti carjacking courses in down town Jo’burg!

It is in fact Bertie’s departure from these shores that allows this column to report on what will hopefully become a regular fixture. The last time the Mighty 4th team played the ladies was back in 2004 on a very hot day in May which ended in the men sneaking a last-minute winning goal and El Bance getting so sunburnt he spent a week looking like a Wimbledon tennis strawberry (bright red and covered in cream!). We never did get around to organising another game, mainly due to a certain member of the squad continuously dribbling (due to the sun and heat) whenever a member of ladies team came near them on the pitch! Harmer’s Column is never one to out, anyone, for anything but the ladies put it simply, "Get rid of the dribbler and we will play you again!", So now that Bertie has left ... game on.

And so it came to pass that the Mighty 4th Team gathered pitched side at TD after a summer of weddings, engagements, BBQ’s and job worries to dust off their hockey sticks and remember how to run! That Sunday morning saw the opposition arriving in fine fettle looking toned and focused for the match ahead. Beautifully commented upon with the sound bite "the ladies looked fit!" quote Chris Bents. Alas the Mighty 4th team looked worried, Robin Crumby looked practically petrified and Armo remained hideously elephant-man ugly!

In the first half, the 4th team proved that no fitness, skill or tactical training over the summer months will ultimately end up in the team being crap! In the mid-morning sun we sweated and toiled with the ladies asking many questions of our back line, that we did not want to answer. The Mighty 4th team find it hard enough to concentrate on a match during the league season but as Robin Crumby had declared this event National WAG day, the wives, girlfriends and significant others were also heard commenting that we were rather poor! Of the few goal attempts we did produce Armo managed to spray his shots around like Jenson Button with a bottle of champagne on the F1 podium.

How we managed (most likely through Nick J) to be 3 – 0 at half time we shall never know. The ladies had been unlucky not to score themselves but the 4th team had an evil plan. Half time Buck’s Fizz served to both teams should have pushed the majority of the ladies back into the alcoholic daze they had awoken from a few hours earlier. Alas it had the opposite effect and inspired the girls in the second half to score three well worked goals, even with the massive drag factor of having Armo the Ewok seconded to their team for the last 35 minutes.

With the clock counting down, it was 3-3 and someone had to produce the magic. Come’ith the moment, come’ith the man, well Grant Archer at least! Inspired by his baby daughter cheering from the side lines our left back suddenly found some pace (not seen since 1992) and burst into the D from the left wing position. According to him, he finishing was like Michael Owen scoring that last minute winner against Man City. For those not using recreational drugs that day the reality was somewhat different, some might say divine intervention helped Iceman Archer push the ball into the net as he had all the grace, style, meaning and impact of a Gordon Brown Labour Conference speech!

At the final whistle the 4th team could not really celebrate as the ladies almost achieved revenge for the match five years ago. The only solace that we took was Armo standing on the halfway line looking like Wayne Rooney chewing a wasp, incensed because his presence had not inspired a world-class fight back!

Fear not ladies, you have chance for revenge as a possible post season fixture in April has been pencilled in the diary which is being billed as either "Steve Harmer’s Testimonial" or "Bye Bye Oxo" as he may well be leaving for a warmer climate down under.

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