Monday, 27 September 2010

Dorney Lake 3.8k Swim - 26th September 2010

Stop Press!... Jonnie B finally overhauled by 'The Ripper'.

Poor Jonnie, seen here recovering after his narrowest of defeats at the hands of Dave ' The Ripper' Brooks, more mackeral for tea!

In a quality-packed field of 130 elite endurance swimmers the boys managed 14th, 15th and 25th and Robyn 54th. Focco's wet-suit let him down by failing to provide the additional support required to overhaul the two youngsters. And what a battle for the Avondale top slot.

They said it couldn't be done - there was even a rumour that his pre swim sprat snack might have been tampered with.. but in the end no amount of squeeking and clicking could hide the fact that neoprene clad Ripper had pipped him fair and square at the line. A single second separated the battling duo, with Focco sliding across the finish just a couple of minutes later.

Well done lads, lass (and cetacean).

Results Pictures

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

International Tour to Oostende 3-5 Sept 2010

Another successful international tournament for Avondale... see the images here.

Here's a lovely picture of some locals helping Louis to his feet after he stumbled in the street.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Sutton - Avondale - Sutton Wednesady 18th & Monday 23rd August 2010

A report from the South London Correspondent

I don't get to see as many games as I used to.. the arthritis, you know, it's not worth getting out of my comfy armchair for most games. I viewed the results and fixture list a couple of weeks ago and this pair of home and away fixtures looked like they might be worthy of my time.

Chalk and cheese you might say. I found myself, last Wednesday evening, in the relative antiquity of the Cheam Baths. Hardly a venue for a London Premier match, but the newer Morden pool has apparently sprung a leak.

Well, it was all a bit of a muddle to begin with. The referee failed to materialise, (for only the 386th time at S&C) and Avondale contrived to misplace their hats... In the end both issues were remedied, but now the visitors had only seven players and their injured captain, stood in as referee. Avondale were without their entertaining Hungarian (to the evident relief of the younger Sutton players, who tend not to enjoy the close encounters with 'The Beast From The East'). However, they had on show their most recent South African signing, by co-incidence another left hander to complement the Bond, Jacobs offence. The combative Pink Parkin and the stalwarts Eakins and Brooks made up a mixed team sheet, with the old bald boy waving his arms at the back.

I've seen nearly 30 years of matches between these two teams and at the start of that period Sutton were a far stronger team than Avondale. They won year in year out without breaking sweat. The teams are rather more evenly matched these days, witness this season's Surry League win for Avondale by a single goal. I don't know what happened this evening, but the wheels came off for Sutton almost from the start. I've rarely seen a more one-sided game in the Premiership. Sutton set up their attack and passed the ball competently, but seemed unable to make a dent in the Avondale defence. At the Sutton end, Bond, Jacobs and O'Brien just seemed to take turns to score as they pleased.

I must say, I rather gave up counting the goals, although I believe it was 2-10 at half time. The steady rain of goals continued in the second half and then to add insult to injury Eakins had to sit out the last 3 minutes with a dislocated finger. Avondale managed to score another three goals during this final interlude, without resonse from the increasingly ragged Sutton team. The final whistle sounded above the home team's bickering. Not much of a game for the impartial observer. I heard somene say the final score was 3-15, but it certainly seemed like rather more than that to me.

Let us fast forward to this Monday evening. It was obvious from the outset that although they had only one or two additional players, the Sutton team did not intend to be on the wrong end of the second drubbing in a week. They were much more agressive from the outset, posting their intentions large. Avondale were as laid back as they usually are, but this time their initial bombardment was wide of the target while at the other end Sutton seemed to have finally found their touch, hitting the corners of the net rather than the old boy flailing around in the Avondale goal.

In just a few minutes Sutton were three goals ahead and there they stayed throughout most of what became a rather fractious encounter. A scuffle escalated into some fist waving and each team lost a player to the dressing room.

Meanwhile a rather odd combination of refereeing changes did not seem to be calming matters. Both teams initially contributed a referee as the designated official arrived after the match had started. He joined in for the second quarter and then the Avondale referee stepped aside for the middle quarters before resuming his duties for the final quarter.

One can accuse the Avondale Captain of many things (his ability to drive a car safely, his penchant for lurid internet content, his inability to remain relaxed and easy-going after consuming large quantities of alcohol, are but the start of a significant list...) but when refereeing his own team he is always slightly biased in favour of the visiting side. Would that this were a universal trait. My eyesight isn't what it used to be, but I was rather perplexed at one or two of the decisions I saw this evening. One cannot know what a referee sees or more importantly thinks he sees in each encounter - we all tend to see what we want to see after all. However, I was surprised at the very defensive attitude of one of the officials in resonse to the rather gratuitous cheering that greeted the award of a 5 meter penalty to the home team, an event they clearly thought long overdue. My intuition was that an official feeling more sure of his ground might have reacted with more control... Had there been a pram nearby, many of the brightly coloured articles therein would have found themselves on the pool side!

Throughout the second and third quarters the teams marched their goal count forward almost in step. Avondale managed to miss even more of their chances than they normally do and the formidable 'Tank' playing in the pit seemed only to be able to hit the Sutton keeper in the face. It seemed that Sutton would weather the storm and even as the final quarter started they stayed out of reach.

And then a strange thing happened. Perhaps for dramatic effect, perhaps a victim of an overly complex integrated transport policy by successive governments, I know not, as the final quarter began Sutton's nemesis from the previous match appeared on the pool side. With about five minutes remaining and with Sutton the same comfortable three goals to the good, the deceptively long O'Brien slipped into the pool.

A frisson of excitement rippled through the crowd, were we in for a dramatic finish. It hardly seemed plausible. And yet, something indeterminate but almost tangible changed. I could not see the difference, could not detect the shift in the balance of the game, but three minutes later the scores were level. It seemed that Avondale only had to finish the match off in the final two minutes... but there's many a slip 'twix cup and lip. Somehow the final blow never fell. An open goal missed, a shot to the post that was easier to score and we were suddenly in the dying seconds. Sutton's last attack with the match clock in single figures and for the third time in the game the blocked shot went to their hand and the ball was flicked into the corner of the net. The visitors cheers rang loud around the hard walls.

Sutton left having avenged their heavy loss of only a few days earlier. Avondale have only themselves to blame. Regardless of the shenanegins that took place on the pool side they had chance after chance to win the game. But that's sport; if it was predictable we would have to invent it all over again.

Friday, 6 August 2010

Avondale 8 - Ealing 4 (London Premiere 1st August 2010)

***** News Flash *****

Engineers were called to the Putney pool following a break in on Monday evening. "The only damage was to the water polo goals which appear to have been the victims of a sustained attack with a heavy but blunt object." said the pool manager Deirdre Pend (known to her friends as Dee).
"Why would anyone want to do this?" She continued, looking mystified. "We'll do our best to have them ready for those lovely Avondale boys next week."

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Avondale 9 - Croydon 8 (26th April 2010 Surrey Div 1)

Had this been a ball game played in a suburban garden the Avondale team would have spent most of the game knocking on the neighbour’s door… “Can we have our ball back please?”. It’s surprising how high a polo ball will bounce if it’s propelled at ‘Bond-like’ velocity. Ball traction was definitely an issue too and some of the usually slick control was absent.

There was disproportionate amount of whinging at the referee. He was a late draft after the designee failed to turn up, but both teams have suffered considerably worse refereeing performances, and as proceedings approached a gentle simmer he had the authority and confidence to cool things down and to silence the mutterings before they became anything more.

While Croydon did not really ever look like winning this game, Avondale failed to convert many of their opportunities and the score remained close throughout. Avondale defended well in the second half, keeping the shots from the arc and Croydon needed to find the corners and they did not have enough quality on their shots to score consistently. In attack the home team failed to keep the width required to allow their hole-man time on the ball. As ever the accurate sniping of Jacobs and the occasional Bond thunderbolt kept the score ticking along and there were a couple of good team efforts on passing breaks. But when all’s said and done it’s just about how many goals you score and Avondale had to hold onto possession in the last two minutes to secure the win. Far from a classic, but a good, close, entertaining match for the modest crowd of 42,377.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

OMW 9 - Avondale 10 (Surrey Reserves 7th April 2010)

This was the first match of the new Surrey "Reserves" league. The natural divide caused by the gap in standard between the first teams of Avondale, Sutton and Croydon and the remainder of the original Surrey first division proved unbridgeable. The answer is perhaps this device of playing a league where these three clubs put up teams of second team players plus up to three first team players....

On the showing tonight it should work. It was a close game throughout with Avondale threatening to string together some consistent play from the start. The visitors did manage several well organised attacks, but their shooting let them down and their usually reliable homophonic goal scoring duo have yet to hit form.

Having trailed by a goal three times, OMW rallied well in the second and third periods. With some help from the Avondale Captain, who finding it hard to score in the oppositions goal managed to take his own keeper by surprise with a flick shot from short range, OMW started the final quarter two goals ahead at 8 - 6 and looked to be in control of the game.

Avondale seemed to surprise even themselves in the final quarter and began to hit the target, scoring 4 unanswered goals before OMW responded early in the last minute. In the absence of a shot-clock, possession would guaranteed a win, but Louis eschewed such negative thoughts and finding himself in the opposition half and unmarked went for glory... and shied his effort several meters high. OMW broke and with only a few seconds remaining were unlucky to end up with one of their weaker shooters close but wide of the goal. The resulting lob, under pressure, never looked like beating the somewhat lacklustre old keeper and Avondale ran out winners by the single goal.

Friday, 5 February 2010

Blue Marlin 4(+23=27) - Avondale 21 (Tom Dwyer Cup 3rd February 2010)

This entry should really be in a very small font as a footnote somewhere. The fixture had disappointment written across it in the league's handbook, and so it came to pass. Both teams walked up and down the Walton paddling-pool for 45 minutes and the visitors, other than in the third quarter when they managed to build a little momentum, never looked like overhauling the home team, who dug in well and weathered the assault with room to spare. Well, assault is perhaps too strong a word... it was more akin to leaning heavily against a stubborn door in the hope that it will swing open.

A couple of well placed lobs, at which the visiting keeper waved rather ineffectually as they passed - seemingly close enough to head clear, bolstered the home team's confidence. At the other end the shots failed to find their target with the precision that they might have done.

It's one way to spend a cold wet Wednesday evening, and the two pints of Tanglefoot that constituted the post match refreshment were probably justification enough for the trip.

Friday, 29 January 2010

Top Eye Injuries

While not wishing to suggest that anyone derives any pleasure from these unfortunate accidents, it is nevertheless emerging as a frequent diversion from the main game.... both in the water and out. In a bold move, it would appear, to the casual observer that, what goes around .... (where was Steve Eakins when this happened?

It seems to be the price of playing against an aggressive hole-man; although, arguably (and that was a key feature....) the daddy of all eye injuries (not documented here) did occur off the pitch...

So who do you think qualifies for the most sublime shiner: Feel free to vote with your comments :

Friday, 8 January 2010

Killer - 2010

Dave (the fox) Brooks took the final crown of the year in a star-studded Killer Comp. Despite his awesome firepower, the pre-tournament favourite, Mike Bond, was tricked by the wily old players ... all's fair in Killer.

Happy Christmas Everyone

* JK - The Konrad version of killer where only back-hand shots are allowed (named after the legendary Hungarian player Janos Konrad who can thread the eye of a needle with his back-hand from 25m).

Monday 20th December - Winner Dave Brooks - runner up Titanium Pete
Thursday 16th December - Winner Titanium Pete - runner up Steve
Thursday 9th December - Winner Thorpedo - runner up Big Greg
Thursday 2nd December - 4 way tie (no ball!)
Thursday 25th November - Winner (?)
Thursday 18th November - Winner Big Greg - runner up Pink Parkin
Thursday 11th November - Winner Angoose - runner up Fish Boy Beder
Monday 8th November - Winner Martin Brooke - runner up Titanium Pete
Thursday 4th November - Winner Dave Brooks - runner up Fish Boy Beder
Thursday 28th October - Winner Pink Parkin - runner up Focco
Thursday 21st October - Winner Focco - runner up Pink Parkin
Thursday 14th October - Winner Titanium Pete - runner up Big Greg
Thursday 7th October - Winner Titanium Pete - runner up Dave Brooks
Thursday 30th September - Winner Titanium Pete - runner up T-Bone
Thursday 23th September (*JK) - Winner Titanium Pete - runner up Steve
Thursday 16th September - Winner Titanium Pete - runner up Steve
Thursday 9th September - Winner Louis - runner up Dave Brooks
Thursday 2nd September - Winner Titanium Pete - runner up Dave Brooks
Thursday 26th August - Winner Big Greg - runner up Angoose
Thursday 19th August - Winner Titanium Pete - runner up Big Greg
Thursday 12th August - Winner Titanium Pete - runner up Focco
Thursday 5th August - Winner Lele runner up Steve
Thursday 30th July - Winner Big Greg - runner up Wayne Gibson
Thursday 23rd July - Winner Wayne Gibson - runner up Thorpedo
Thursday 16th July - Winner ?
Thursday 9th July - Winner Titanium Pete - runner up Dave Brooks
Thursday 2nd July - Winner Titanium Pete - runner up Allan Vitus
Thursday 24th June - Winner ?
Thursday 17th June - Failed to finish before the pool staff ejected us!
Thursday 10th June - Winner Titanium Pete - runner up Pink Parkin
Thursday 3rd June - Winner Lele runner up Maarten
Thursday 27th May - Winner Steve Eakins runner up Titanium Pete
Thursday 20th May - Winner Steve Eakins runner up Dave Brooks
Thursday 13th May - Winner Dave Brooks runner up Sean Donnelly
Thursday 6th May - Winner Steve Eakins runner up Titanium Pete
Thursday 29th April - Winner Focco - runner up Lele
Thursday 22nd April - Winner Focco - runner up Spud
Thursday 15th April - Matches
Thursday 8th April - Winner Allan Vitus - runner up Steve Eakins
Thursday 1st April - Winner Titanium Pete - runner up Allan Vitus
Thursday 25th March - Winner MKB - runner up Spud
Thursday 18th March - Winner Thorpedo - runner up Pink Parkin
Thursday 11th March - Winner Titanium Pete - runner up JP
Thursday 4th March - Winner Lele - runner up Thorpedo
Thursday 25th February - Winner Titanium Pete - runner up MKB
Thursday 18th February - Winner MKB - runner up Titanium Pete
Thursday 11th February - Winner Pink Parkin - runner up MKB
Thursday 4th February - Winner Titanium Pete - runner up Louis
Thursday 28th January - Winner Dave Hansen - runner up Focco
Thursday 21st January - Winner MKB - runner up Miguel Valentim
Thursday 14th January - Winner MKB - runner up Titanium Pete
Thursday 7th January - Winner MKB - runner up Titanium Pete