AFTER a fairly heavy festive season, the Manx Hockey Blog is finally back online.
Ok, it may be four weeks late and it may be almost as close to Easter than it is to Christmas but please bear with us, it really was a heavy festive season...
Thanks to all the fan mail flooding our inbox (not so much a flood...that one email from Iain Wrigley kind of dripped in) but wait no longer, we are back now for the foreseeable future of Manx hockey. We’re pretty sure that’s the first time Iain Wrigley’s name has been in the same sentence as the phrase ‘future of Manx hockey’.
So what’s been happening in the hockey world since our last irrelevance? If there are any stories in the past month you think deserve to be covered online please let us know. The more unsubstantiated rumours, hearsay, skeet and scandal we receive the better and the more implausible and tentative they are the better, they are our favourites!
For example, whispers have been flying all over blog HQ this month that there’s a certain whiff of a scandal concerning those Bacchas A boys emanating from Cronkbourne. Now the whites have certainly been on fine form this season, racing to five victories in their first five games and scoring 39 goals in the process.
Their second-half performances in particular have been terribly impressive and the rate at which they have been still tearing around the pitch have left many opponents standing. Well, we can now exclusively reveal that none other than our blog hero Jon Whiting leaves the NSC at half-time to pop down to a big brand supermarket to pick up some of their value burgers as a half-time snack.
So we ask you dear readers, could there be any truth in the rumours that Bacchas A’s success this season is due to the fact that they are actually 29% horse? We’re not sure, but we’ll leave you with this leaked excerpt from Jamie Brown’s half time team talk against Vikings B on Saturday and we’ll let you be the judge.
‘Hay guys, really strong half and we’re looking like we’ll gallop to victory from here. The mane thing is to not let up in the final furlong and keep jockeying them for position. I’ll trot a little further up the pitch and we should whinny this at a canter. If we concede I don’t want to see any long faces. Ah here comes Jon with the burgers’.
Call us ‘Quiztopher Colmubus’
Valkyrs Hockey Club are the most intelligent club in the Isle of Man. You disagree? Your club needs you to prove it. We’ve left it hugely late to publicise this but this Saturday, February 10 starting at 8pm at Cronkbourne we’re aiming to find out who the cleverest club in the island is. Cost is a fiver per person (but the beer is cheap), a small price to pay for the opportunity to prove yourself as the Stephen Hawking of Manx Hockey at the most intelligent club.
As always there’ll be a few novel twists, some Manx hockey rounds, spot prizes to be awarded and rounds between rounds to keep everyone interested. It should be a top night so please try to attend if you can. Plug done, hopefully see you on Saturday!
Castletown Hockey Club are the most intelligent club in the Isle of Man.
Vikings A are gelling nicely
Interesting words at the Birch-Tarpey household before Alex Birch stepped onto the pitch for Vikings A against Castletown’s top string a couple of Saturdays ago. We join the action at approximately 7.30am as Birch rises to do his pre-match preparations - a testing hour of lunges, followed by a testing set of morning workout Mr Motivator VHS recordings which Jess Tarpey purchased from ebay several Christmases ago.
Shortly after noon, Alex starts preparing himself to leave for the pitch. Jess asks him: ‘Al, why are you gelling your hair, you have hockey today?’. Al’s considered response: ‘Hey, you never know, I may score a hat-trick today and I want my photo to be nice for the paper.’
It’s nice to know that hockey players are making an effort to look nice for these hallowed pages. Sadly, wind the clock forward four hours and, despite seven goals for the All-Blacks first squad on the afternoon, every scoresheet was entirely bereft of reference to an Alex Birch. Rumours that his forays towards the Castletown D were delayed by significant wind resistance persist.
Three Legs of Valkyrs
Several weeks ago, while we should have been writing blogs but didn’t quite get round to it, a fairly sizeable contingent of Manx Hockey were in Douglas town in celebration of the birthdays of Kirsty Bowley, Dani Kelly and Pasty. The entire evening was badly misjudged.
A group of around 40 gathered at the beginning at the Prospect and were issued with a list of 10 bars to visit over the course of the evening in any order - the first to arrive at Rendezvous having the honourable, if somewhat meaningless, title of being a massive winner.
The plan was that this event was intended to take place over the course of an evening. The plan, however, had not considered the ‘abilities’ of Manx hockey players and the winners timed into Rendezvous just 49 minutes later, complete with pictures of themselves with a drink from each bar.
To be quite honest, we don’t really remember what happened at the end but have put the results together with the assistance of Rendezvous’ CCTV. Amazingly, there was a head-to-head finish. Saracens’ Phil Riley and Castletown’s Katy Stopford had dropped Pasty and his third leg, Emma, at the ninth pub and were three legging it down Strand Street convinced of a victory. Having looked behind themselves somewhere around M&S and realised there was no competitor in sight, they were on the home straight to glorious victory.
However, neither Phil or Katy had considered the considerable training undertaken a Valkyrs to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat and, as they approached the finishing line, Donna Harrison and Michelle Poyzer nipped out of a side passage, just behind them, setting a fine pace, grabbed the inside line around the corner into Rendezvous and snatched victory on the line.
Congratulations to both Michelle and Donna on a glorious victory and thanks to everyone else for a great night!
Two weeks ago, we were proud to have written a blog absolutely bursting at the seams with hilarious content which would have you bent over double chuckling and giggling for weeks and would be so funny it could have genuinely split your sides. Because this is against our health and safety policy we had to obtain something to add a certain amount of gravitas to the piece and thus we let Valklyrs’ finest Jonny Cain loose on the predictions.
Sadly, in the past couple of weeks Pasty’s non-existent dog ate our brilliantly amusing blog, leaving you only with this bewildering imposter. He then promptly spat out Jonny’s indigestible predictions, which you can view below. The good news is that we can review Mr Cain’s forecasts against the actual scores, showing that he gained a total of nine points from the 16 games. It should also teach any would-be predictors not to bet on draws or our own clubs...aren’t you glad to have us back Jonny?
Have a good ‘un!
Pasty and Thad
Jonny’s Predictions (two weeks ago!)
Men’s Premier Division
Valkyrs B 3-1 Vikings B
Actual result: 0-1 (0)
Bacchas B 2-6 Valkyrs A
Actual result: 1-6 (1)
Ramsey A 3-3 Bacchas A
Actual result: 0-7 (0)
Vikings A 4-1 Castletown A
Actual result: 7-1 (1)
Men’s Division One
Castletown C 1-4 Harlequins A
Actual result: 2-4 (1)
Ramsey B 2-2 Bacchas C
Actual result: 4-2 (0)
Castletown B 0-0 Vikings C
Actual result: 3-1 (0)
Valkyrs C 2-1 Saracens A
Actual result: 0-11 (0)
Women’s Premier Division
Bacchas B 1-3 Bacchas A
Actual result: 0-4 (1)
Valkyrs B 3-2 Castletown A
Actual result: 2-8 (0)
Castletown B 0-9 Vikings A
Actual result: 0-12 (1)
Valkyrs A 4-0 Ramsey A
Actual result: 4-1 (0)
Women’s Division One
Valkyrs C 4-1 Bacchas C
Actual result: 6-1 (1)
Saracens A 2-2 Vikings B
Actual result: 0-8 (0)
Castletown C 1-0 Vikings C
Actual result: 1-0 (3)
Harlequins 3-2 Ramsey B
Actual result: 3-3 (0)