Hockey Blog 8: Welcome mats and mhelliah madness
THERE were mhelliahs all over the place in the Manx hockey world last Saturday.
The massive Valkyrs extravagansa goes from strength to strength with each year and this year’s was no different and an accidentally astonishing total of over £2,600 was raised, all carefully guarded by Andrea Kneen who drew the short straw and stayed sober(ish) to count the money!
High value, high quality purchases were the order of the evening. The bidding started with moot being sold for £16 and then, in keeping with tradition, a bite being taken out of it by everyone in the White House. Lots of cream pies were sold to place appropriately in the faces of guests and players - unfortunately, Pasty was otherwise engaged and was saved the pleasure of the long trip back into Douglas smelling of slightly-gone-off cream this year.
Additionally, chilli eating nominations, an odd but very strong selection of rabbit-shaped vodka jelly and some ‘busy’ stoats (it’s a family paper) were sold at a good price. Nige Cashin never likes to miss a mhelliah and phoned from Guernsey to pay £35 for bonage.
Purchase of the night went to Will Margot who shelled out no less than £35 for his own mother’s roulades - understood to have been purchased at the end of a long bidding war. The party had to come to end around midnight, at the point where it was quite clear that Greg Miller was being kept awake against his will at a stool at the bar...
Even beyond the marvellous cakes made by members and their families, including the ‘disco fudge’ contributed by the person described as Valkyrs ‘most excitable’ member (I saw the pics, it looked amazing!). Massive credit must go to local business for their input - Isle of Man Creameries, Charlie at Intersport, Shoprite, Heron and Brearley and Valkyrs’ very own sponsor Paragon amongst others - all deserve a round of applause outside their respective premises this week. You might look a bit odd if you try though...
Meanwhile, down south Castletown were also kicking off a mhelliah as a tradition of their own and raised a very respectable four-figure sum, much of it from behind the bar of their own generous hosts at The George in Castletown. Monies made were split with the Southern Aquanauts charity and Pasty learned that the key to being an auctioneer is to try and remember what the last bid was for, although only about half an hour from the end of the evening.
Again local businesses - Ramsey Bakery amongst others - contributed very generously. Highest price purchase for the evening was ‘all of the hair from David ‘Rads’ Quayle’s head’ (see above picture) which went for a price of £150. It is believed that Castletown intend to use the hair to make a ‘Welcome Mat’ at Castle Rushen.
More controversy on Monday night’s NSC session at indoor hockey. After the mystery of the dubious fire alarm cutting short the action in September, we were this time plunged into darkness as all the lights at the NSC simultaneously went out.
Donning our Sherlock Holmes deerstalkers, we’ve been busily cross checking the incidents to find any common link between the events and have stumbled across something rather disturbing. Step forward Castletown Hockey Club’s midfield dynamo, Mr Ian Wrigley.
As we reported at the time back in September during the tense Valkyrs vs Saracens mixed game, straight after one particularly well-worked Valkyrs goal, the fire alarm conveniently sounded and we trooped outside. We can now exclusively reveal that Mr Wrigley was umpiring this game and video evidence has come to light which appears to show a nod from Pasty in Ian’s direction just before the alarm went off.
This evidence is currently being reviewed by an independent complaints commission. Suspicion was rife at the time, with Mr Wrigley first to disappear into the dark night after the fire alarm, mumbling something about already having missed the first five minutes of Gok’s Fashion Roadshow.
Despite all this being swept under the carpet at the time, again Wriggsy’s name is being bandied around after the last unsightly incident. Midway through the first half and a few goals down, after a number of pleading looks the ball was dispatched to Wriggsy from the Castletown backline.
He controlled the ball but looked up to be confronted with the sight of five black-shirted Vikings A players between him and the goal. It is alleged that he was then seen to briefly fumble in his pocket as all the lights in the NSC promptly went out. In the ensuing confusion there have been testaments from a number of people present that they heard Wriggsy’s footsteps and barely disguised giggle as he danced round the now static defence, before the unmistakeable sound of an indoor hockey ball being put high and wide of the goal.
Last weekend, Bacchas goalscorer Sharon Pope became the first player to score the only goal in their entire league for a weekend. Even more interesting, Montana mountain goats have been known to butt heads so hard that their hooves fall off.
Paul, Paul, Paul where do we start with this one...? Last year Harlequins were left propping up the team predictions table so we decided to take a sensible approach this year by appointing Paul Gould to forecast the scores on their behalf. With no-one having a better knowledge of the fixtures week to week, surely this was a foolproof system to drag themselves off the bottom. Surely this couldn’t go wrong. Surely...
Fast forward a week and we have the dubious honour of letting you know that predictions records have tumbled as Paul has swept all beside him. His score of three points from 11 games made him the first person to be beaten by Bacchas Bear in the tables. To be fair to Paul, Pasty and Thad only scored four and five points respectively for the week so we can’t entirely blame him. But we will.
In light of this catastrophic performance, at the end of the season we will award a gold medal for the winner of the predictions and it looks like Paul is odds on for the Gould medal for the lowest score...
On to this week and we have our final club represented this season, with young Ramsey hotshot and multiple Premier Division goal-scorer Vicky Garner to put her neck on the line for the mighty greens. Good luck Vicky, you have Tops to top as the most successful northerner from last season’s table.
Have a good ‘un!
Pasty and Thad
Vikings A 1 v 3 Bacchas A
Valkyrs B 2 v 1 Vikings B
Valkyrs D 0 v 5 Saracens Sabres
Castletown Cammags 2 v 2 Harlequins A
Castletown Cosney 1 v 2 Vikings C
Ramsey Rookies 4 v 3 Castletown Southerners
Bacchas C 4 v 1 Castletown Cushag Colts
Valkyrs C 7 v 2 Bacchas Colts
Vikings D 1 v 6 Ramsey Ravens
Vikings A 1 v 6 Bacchas A
Valkyrs B 3 v 0 Vikings B
Valkyrs D 0 v 7 Saracens Sabres
Castletown Cammags 2 v 4 Harlequins A
Castletown Cosney 3 v 1 Vikings C
Ramsey Rookies 5 v 2 Castletown Southerners
Bacchas C 3 v 2 Castletown Cushag Colts
Valkyrs C 4 v 1 Bacchas Colts
Vikings D 0 v 5 Ramsey Ravens
Vikings A 2 v 5 Bacchas A
Valkyrs B 1 v 2 Vikings B
Valkyrs D 0 v 6 Saracens Sabres
Castletown Cammags 3 v 2 Harlequins A
Castletown Cosney 1 v 4 Vikings C
Ramsey Rookies 2 v 3 Castletown Southerners
Bacchas C 1 v 2 Castletown Cushag Colts
Valkyrs C 6 v 1 Bacchas Colts
Vikings D 0 v 5 Ramsey Ravens
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Weather for Isle of Man
Saturday 18 May 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 11 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 8 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 10 mph
Wind direction: East