PASTY and Thad serve up a festive feast of Christmas delights - YULE LOVE IT!
Here it is, just what you’ve been waiting for...the Christmas special! Let’s forget about the morning pleasantries, the stocking has been torn open, the sherry has been opened, you’re sitting in front of the Christmas tree, wrapping paper strewn about all around you, the Queen’s speech has been muted in favour of your recording of James Shimmin’s last Manx Hockey awards do speech.
All there is left to do is open that one big main present; you know that one in the gold paper, which looks like it might be a bike? Well wait no longer, your eagerly-anticipated favourite present is here, all that it needs to be is to be unwrapped...our Christmas pun teams.
After being overwhelmed by suggestions, which ranged from ridiculous to the sublime and straight back to ridiculous and the extremely tenuous, we were going to cut them down into one Christmas-based team. In the spirit of Christmas, though, and in the spirit of two presents being better than one, here in an entire match worth, umpires and all! Merry Christmas...
CHRISTMAS PUDDINGS XI
Tony TINSEL (Harlequins)
OLD SAINT NICK WHITE CHRISTMAS (Ramsey)
Emma K-EGG NOG (Castletown)
SNOWY Carney (Vikings)
NOEL Crowe (Vikings)
ANÉE IN A MANGER Du Toit (Saracens)
Paul GOLD (Harlequins)
Karl MYRHH (Bacchas)
Rob MylCHREESTMAS (Valkyrs)
Chris DING DONG MERRILY ON HYDE (Vikings)
Dave DECK THE HALLS (Valkyrs)
CHIRSTMAS TURKEYS XI
Kt Er-ROCKING AROUND THE CHRISTMAS TREE (Vikings)
Ali HEROD (Harlequins)
Sarah JINGLE (Castletown)
WREATH Corkill (Ramsey)
ROBIN CHRISTMASson (Castletown)
Alex CHRISTMAS BELL (Bacchas)
James B-RUSSELL SPROUT (Saracens)
CHRISTIAN Davis/Steriopulos/Forbes (Castletown/Vikings)
HOLLY Webster (Valkyrs)
Paul/Dave/Nat/Elaine WISEMAN (Castletown/Ramsey)
GOOD KING WENCELASLAS-ley Shimmin (*sorry...)
FRANKINCENSE Tinkler (Castletown)
Mark EntWISTLETOE (Valkrs)
12 LOOKALIKES OF CHRISTMAS
As a special further Christmas treat on our Facebook page, we’re also going to have our own special advent calendar, with a different look-alike every day to open, a total of 12 until Christmas Eve. First one will go online tonight so keep your eyes on the page!
We’ve got some crackers (pun intended) lined up courtesy of some fantastic contributions and good sports, but if there’s anyone you can think of who looks like a celebrity, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ve put them behind one of our doors!
THE FURTHER ADVENTURES OF GIGGSY
Interesting times at Ramsey last Saturday afternoon, as blog favourite Giggsy tested out some new hockey rules derived from a football/hockey cross-code rulebook which none of us have yet seen.
The first rule to be tested was the introduction of the ‘football header’ to the game of hockey. Having intercepted a speedy midfield ball, Giggsy determined that the best way to progress into the attacking 22 was to flick the ball up into his own head and head the ball on.
As regular readers will know, Giggsy is fairly resilient to pain and suffered no injury, but the umpires were unaware of the new rules and blew the whistle against him.
Convinced it would be ‘second-time lucky’ for his new rule, Giggsy subsequently put the ball at head level into the Ramsey D where it was more than adequately bought down by the head of Lauren Brew.
A marvellous peace of defending under any circumstances, although possibly not one worth the painful face. But full credit to Lauren for taking part in Giggsy’s hockey experiment. The ‘header’ rule has now been ruled out...
Later in the game, Ramsey literally found that the goalposts were moving for them. A critical equalizer two minutes from time came from Ramsey Ravens by virtue of a fine shot. Giggsy temporarily drifted into football rules once again, kicking the ball on the line from one foot to the back of the other, as he fell into the right hand goalpost, moving the goals by some considerable distance.
As Giggsy hit the floor slumped against a post (for Giggsy, a scene more reminiscent of 3.15am than 3.15pm) the ball somehow crossed the line into the space where the goal used to be.
He did, one and a half minutes later, score a scorching winning goal at the other end but that’s not as funny so we’re probably best off not mentioning it.
IT’S CUP FINAL WEEK
As everyone is aware, this week sees the dramatic conclusion of the Wi-Manx Mixed Cup and Plate Finals. In the Plate, Harlequins A get some justice for their season by winning the opportunity to face Vikings C at the NSC at 12.35pm on Saturday. Having qualified for the final by beating three of the top four teams in league, it remains to be seen whether Harlequins will be able to deal with Dani Kelly’s speed.
Dramatic news in the cup final where Castletown Celts were, of course, clear favourites at the beginning of the week. However - here on the blog, we can bring you an exclusive - Thad will be unavailable for the fixture this Saturday owing to an unfortunate incident last Saturday where he attempted to play hockey. Obviously, Thad’s loss is a bitter blow for the Celts team and it’s just possible that it might give Bacchas an opportunity to sneak a win.
Initial reaction to the news from Bacchas suggests that the loss of Thad has changed their tactics completely and they may now attempt to play the match with as few as five outfield men.
CLUB CHRISTMAS CELEBRATIONS
Here at the blog, we’d like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and hope you all enjoy your club celebrations. Ramsey have a big night out the Friday before Christmas at the golf club, Valkyrs will finish up their 50th anniversary year with the traditional Styx Cup on Boxing Day, rumour even has it that some Vikings players might be going to a few pubs...
Sad news coming from Castletown, though, where the annual Castletown Hockey Club nativity has had to be cancelled this year due to casting problems. Having put out a call for participants, with Paul, Elaine and Nat the club had successfully sourced three Wisemen, but had drawn a blank when it came to finding a virgin...
When there aren’t many games in the week and less to call, there’s always an opportunity for big points to shoot up to the top of the leaderboard...eh Ben? Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case for Ramsey’s finest who only managed to grab three points from the eight games on offer, one point behind Thad and three behind Pasty.
The difference appears to all relate to Thad’s aforementioned injury in the semi-final between Ramsey A and Celts. The game finished 2-1 to Celts, with Thad forecasting a 3-1 victory, clearly taking into account the goal he would have scored if he hadn’t been off the pitch nursing his twisted sock. Ben, however, predicted 2-2 taking into account the Ramsey goal Thad would have doubtless been liable for if he’d remained on the pitch. Pasty had the last laugh, however, forecasting that Thad’s influence on the pitch amounts to a net effect of zero.
No predictions this week, so we thought we’d give you the current prediction league tables below and it’s our hero Giggsy sitting proudly on top, with Bacchas having the team bragging rights sitting atop yet another league table...plenty of time for things to change for the men’s and women’s teams.
Merry Christmas for any blog readers still left, have a good one and we’ll be back in January with more hockey-based total irreverence. Stay tuned to Facebook for the advent calendar look-alikes!
Have a good ‘un!
Pasty and Thad
PREDICTIONS LEAGUE TABLES
1. Michael Moore (Vikings) - 0.93 ppg (points per game)
2. Phil Riley (Saracens) - 0.87 ppg
3. Niamh Goddard (Bacchas) - 0.86 ppg
4. Vicky Garner (Ramsey) - 0.78 ppg
5. Jon Whiting (Bacchas) - 0.73 ppg
6. Pasty (Saracens) - 0.66 ppg
=6. Thad (Castletown) - 0.66 ppg
8. Sam Spooner (Vikings) - 0.60 ppg
9. Conor Byrne (Vikings) - 0.54 ppg
10. Katy Stopford (Castletown) - 0.50 ppg
=10. Kirstie Powell (Saracens) - 0.50 ppg
12. Andrea Kneen (Valkyrs) - 0.42 ppg
13. Ben Curtis (Ramsey) - 0.38 ppg
14. Paul Gould (Harlequins) - 0.27 ppg
1. Bacchas - 0.79 ppg
2. Vikings - 0.70 ppg
3. Saracens - 0.67 ppg
4. Castletown - 0.65 ppg
5. Ramsey - 0.59 ppg
6. Valkyrs - 0.42 ppg
7. Harlequins - 0.27 ppg