Thursday, September 30, 2010

"Old Farts" have some life in them left and start WHA masters season off with a Win!

And so another WHA masters season starts, and thankfully given our age and memory ability its a short 7 game one, otherwise we would struggle to the end!
The Farts have entered a team, with a core of “old Farts players, but bolstered with imports on temporary release contracts from their regular franchises (Northern, Varsity, Hutt, Petone and Eastern Women Men’s Team).
So it was a hastily thrown together mob of players that hit the turf last night for the first up game against their old foes the fire breathing (too many hot curry’s) ” Indian Kings”.
The game was an open and fast moving game (apparently because i wasn’t there so relying on player feedback) and the Farts played a simple hold/pass game that worked from the back, with great running/movement up front (now why couldn’t we do that for the last few real games?)
The final result was a win, either 4-1 or 5-1 win, (Rear end couldn’t remember scores or who scored, probably hard for him to see that far up the pitch anyway) .
Amazingly the “Player of day” as chosen by Indians was Rear end  in goal (wonder how many free Ferry trips he bribed them with?).

Monday, September 20, 2010

The "Great Northern Road trip" - a tail of comradeship, valour and dedication

It was a pleasant and mild Friday morning as across the area the Farts quietly prepared their gear for the “Great Northern Road Trip” to the HB masters.

They mounted their trusty steeds and journeyed away, to congregate at that meeting place of the Legendary Northern Viking ancestors, Dannevirke. After they had sated their hunger and thirst, they set off again in convoy north, on the last leg of the great trek.

Friday afternoon and into the night was spent regaling tales of past conquests, both on and off the field of battle, of battles won, wenches conquered and injuries sustained in the battle and the ensuing feasting.  Zephyrus, the Greek god of the west wind or spring winds was in great evidence, both inside amongst the assembled horde and outside ragging against the battlements (Nuts thought the winds were rather violent in his hut, from both ends – his roommate Rear-end and Trapper)

Saturday morning dawned fine and mild, and after a early breakfast of mainly freshly slaughtered pork and eggs, washed down with gallons of coffee, the horde assembled on the great northern bluff to pay homage to Zephyrus and divine the events that may unfold that day.
Richie Rich had been agreed upon as the leader of this waring party from the south, and he held court at midday to lay out his plans for battle, with discussion of outflanking manoeuvres, fient attacks and holding back reserves for the final thrust

They strode off to the battlefield, heads held high, hair streaming back in the wind, sunlight glinting off their helmets (or was that bald heads), great battle axes in the hands. But the conditions were against the Farts from the start, as the weather had turned on a sweltering day, burning their skin, making rivers of sweat to blind their eyes and wearying their aged limbs.

The first period of battle was ferocious and saw the attack ebb and flow like the waves on the beach, Trapper went down with a blow to his leg (some say he was focussed on the BBQ that was cooking sausages in front of him, when he got the ball suddenly and went down in a heap with a twisted ankle) . The Farts fought on gallantly, even with men dropping like flies. Legs scored and at the end of the first skirmish the “Passmasters” were ahead 2-1. It was an ominous sign that whilst the Farts retreated to the cool and dark of the dugout to prepare for the next onslaught, the Passmasters stood in the blazing sun on the field of battle. When battle re commenced, against the valiant efforts of a flagging defence the Passmasters took out the battle 6-1.

The Farts only had a short respite before the next waring faction, Taradale, took the field of battle to challenge them to a fight to the death, winner to go straight to a final battle against the Passmasters. More valor was shown with Trapper taking hits to the head and chest, and Willy collecting a full force blow to his leg (he got in the way of a Rear-end clearing kick from close range)

Again it was a valiant effort for the men in red, but further injuries and the effects of heat exhaustion from the earlier battle took their toll and the Farts were beaten (8-1). Legs had again scored to restore some Farts honour.

The Farts had undertaken the great trek north, but succumbed to injuries, heat and probably general weariness from a long waring season.

The celebrations that night were long, and the Farts were awarded the inaugural “Tui Trophy” for best sportsmanship (I think, it was rather foggy by then).
Nuts picked up the award for best male under garments (Mr Perfect undies).

Awards were presented within the team for valor and actions above and beyond the call of duty (MVP's), to Kerry (Shultz) Nitz, Ants (Chicken legs) and Glen (Rearend).

After a rest the weary band travelled home on the Sunday morn, and being the Sabbath, broke their journey for a time of reflection and reverence at that great “god of the Oranges” at Mangatinoka.

At home, they cleaned and then put aside their great battle axes till the next waring season was upon them. 

Monday, September 13, 2010

AB’s win to better the Farts winning streak record – and prize giving results

It was confirmed on Saturday night that the Farts 14 game winning streak is the longest in recorded Farts history (and probably a club record).  However the AB’s came from behind to overcome the Wallaby’s late Saturday night and extend their streak to 15, 1 better than the Farts.
But The Farts management aren’t disappointed to lose this record, Graham Henry rang just before kick off on Saturday night to wish the Farts players well at the prize giving and to get some advice from the management regarding motivating the AB’s. During the  30 min conversation, Ted took copious notes, and came away with a pre-pared half time speech that obviously worked, as the AB’s turned around a 14 point Wallaby lead to pip them at the end.
Ted apologised to the Farts management for not being able to attend and cheer them on in the final, and shared his feelings of disappointment at their final game loss, however he reminded them of the “International Series” coming up at the Masters, and also congratulated them on their  team spirit and camaraderie.
There was some talk of a possible contract for Trapper to be drafted into the AB’s management team as “Oranges” boy.

Prize giving (Pic to follow)
The annual NCOB prize giving night was held on Saturday night, ands was a huge success with the Farts team coming away with three Trophies
Best Overall Club Goalkeeper – Timbo
MVP - Farts team – Cambo
Most Improved – Farts team –Trapper

Monday, September 6, 2010

The final – a bridge too far?

The Farts lined up against the Young Guns on Fathers Day yesterday in the R2 men’s final at NHS1.

The sideline was packed with supporters, including kids of the older players cheering them on.
For most of the first hal the Frats had all the pressure, they peppered the circle with attacking moves, had numerous PC’s and forced pjhil to make some good saves in goal, as time went on they threw more resources into the attack, until the inevitable breakout by the Young Guns down the right flank, eventually drawing Rear-end out of the goalmouth, and with a square pass the Young Guns were ahead on the board.
That was how they hit the sheds at halftime. The Farts weren’t worried, they still had a half to go and had enough pressure to encourage them that eventually the dam would break.

Veitchy equalised not long into the half, and the Frats applied more pressure but it was all to no avail. The Young Guns defended well, getting low in the tackles, and then breaking out quickly into spaces to release the pressure. 

The game took an interesting turn when one umpire called Adrian over to give a team warning, we think for back chatting.  However when Adrian tried to gather the team to communicate this the umpire then seemed to decide this was a pure time wasting tactic and reversed the hit in that he had give to the Farts. The young Guns went to take it quickly, as most of the Frats were still crowded near Adrian at the top of the circle. Seeing what was happening, Trapper rushed over to mark the hit, and successfully deflected the first hit in, however from only about 4 metres. The Umpire seemed to decide this was a consistent breech or something and promptly yellow carded Trapper.  I suppose pressure does interesting things to different people?

The Young Guns held on gallantly, and after 2 more successful break outs had notched up 2 more goals, running out with a 3-1 victory.

They deserved to win the final, they had definitely improved throught the season, with better tackling (much lower) and good situational awareness of where each other were coupled with quick passing, something the Farts failed to do to their own demise.

Hard to pick as well played below our best, but 3 point to Rear-end, not only was this his first game for most of the season,  but he had an injured wrist and still played on.

So another season of WHA hockey closes, and although they lost the final, they had and 18 – 3 win/loss record, with 114 goals scored (and almost everyone getting at least one goal) and getting through to the final.
Certainly a platform to build on for next year.  In the mean time we have the great northern road trip, incorporating what hopefully will be the first of many pilgrimages to that holy mecca of Mangatinoka, and then possibly a short masters season.  Maybe trapper will get to play in goal at some stage!

On the social front, it was a great year, with the re-introduction of Oranges a focus point after games. The number and consistency of the supporters was also heartening.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Final Countdown - 3 sleeps

Only 3 sleeps to go and the tension is mounting. Wicky has even started to chew his fingernails (and thats disgusting cause hes a plumber) .

Rear-end has advised that his kicking is fine, but he’s now working on strengthening his arm muscles to aid in taking out the “Young Guns”, opps that should read  deflecting their shots at goal (although we only expect 2 in the match).  Without access to a gym, Rear-end has had to improvise, and is often seen doing shuttle runs down to “Trax” and using handles as barbells.  The meat pies have helped to up his Carb intake as well.
Legs has been watching too much TV, reruns of the “Tour de France”, and has reportedly shaved his legs decreasing wind resistance  so that he can cut through the air quicker. To be honest his legs created hardly any resistance at all thus the nick name of chicken “Legs”, maybe should have been “lucky legs”, lucky they don’t break!
Veitchy apparently has accepted a contract for next season for a Christchurch based franchise,  and he’s expected to move south at the end of the year.  The final will be his last appearance in an “Old Farts” shirt, so will be looking to score 12 goals to overhaul Cambo as the teams top scorer.

For todays trivia we thought we ask players about their musical tastes. What a variety there was , both between the teams and even within the ” Farts”.
The “Young Guns” almost universally stated that Justin Bieber and with Boy Zone just edging out ABBA as their favourite artists (although Gus preferred “the Wiggles”).
In the Farts camp,
·         understandably the Backs liked anything Heavy,  though Toddy preferred Joe Cocker, his idol (and apparently he’s appearing shortly on “Stars in their eyes” as him, has the hair/sideboards anyway),
·         Legs likes both sorts of music, “Country and Western” and regularly  listens to the Topp Twins and any yodelling artist
·          Veitchy is very obviously into  punk rock (Sex Pistols, The Banshees)
·         and Cambo likes Carly Simon (he actually does this “your so vain” in written about him!)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Final Countdown - 4 sleeps - Live from the TSB arena caretakers changing room

Well sports fans only 4 sleeps to go, and today’s edition comes to you live form the careakers changing room at the TSB arena, were here, only because we are hoping to get a glimpse of some of the Kiwi Netballers practising ion their tight and skimpy uniforms, but that’s another story
Excitement is starting to build with each passing day, Rear-end has been practising his kicking (how’s your butt toddy?), and Gok has  had “her indoors”  tightening the elastic in his pants so they hold up during the final

Some Quirky stats to start us off
A student studying at the Southern Institute in Invercargill has done a thesis on the movement of a hockey ball during a game (well, what else is there to do in Invercargill for a single lonely person during those cold winter nights)
On average the ball
·         Is hit 3756 times
·         Bounces the equivalent distance of falling from the top of the Sky tower
·         Travels 41.789 KMs
No wonder it’s small, hard and white!

Most Memorable sporting moment
We’ve asked a couple of the players to join us  in the Caretakers room this morning for a quick chat about the most memorable moment in their hockey career so far
Firstly Cambo“well it actually was last week in the semi final.  I got the ball somewhere near our 16, dribbled all the way to the oppositions goal line drawing the goalie, and then passed the ball to trapper, he missed the open goal, but, I “passed” the ball, i mean, i actually passed the ball.  It’s something I’ve wanted to do all my life, the Everest of my hockey career, I’ve been visualising that moment since i got my first pair of long trousers”

Thanks Cambo, also with us is Gus, the nuggetty “well rounded” Young Guns player  
Craig “Gus” McWilliams  - “to be honest, this final is the pinnacle of my career, its  hard to believe but it will  surpass that other  most memorable other game of my life, the grudge match last year against the Farts.  Let’s face it, it’s not every [player that gets to line up against the immortal Farts, and last years thrashing has been a memory that i have long cherished.  Just the thill of being on the same field as players such as Nuts, Legs, Rear-end, Gok, to see the sun glinting off Trappers head and Toddy’s ginga mop streaming back in the breeze.  That thrashing is a memory that will be  engraved in my memory for the rest of my life.  I will be able to bounce grandkids on my knee one day and to tell in whispers that i was there.....”

Thanks Gus, well sports fans, it looks like the Silver Ferns are starting their warm ups, so time for me to go.............