Sunday March 26th, judgement day for the Worker Bees. After 4 disappointing league meets the boys knew it was imperative to return from Leicester with some wins to keep their hopes of survival alive.
The clocks had gone forward the night before, causing mass confusion in the ranks. Undeterred, the Workers set off on time under the stewardship of Thomas B. Shelbrooke, Welfare Secretary of the Bees and the sort of chap you can trust to know the time of day.
We made good time, stopping off at the Uttoxeter McDonald’s for a coffee to break the journey down. Familiar turf for the boys, frequented after most tournaments in the East Midlands. As deputy social sec I enquired if we could reserve a table for 7pm (BST). Sadly McDonald’s don’t take reservations at such short notice.
Upon arrival at New College Leicester we met up with Akshay “Ashley” Shaw, a member of the Hive who has migrated south for the warmer climes of Birmingham as Royton wasn’t quite cutting the mustard.
It was good to see Shaw as there had been rumours flying around of his impending transfer to London Storm to fill the gap on the wing of their 3rd team.
With the team fully assembled we changed and limbered up ready to take on Hinckley Revolution.
Disaster struck before the game had even begun! Shaw receives a yellow card, after absent-mindedly wandering across a game in progress. Our friends in Italy at the Ravenna Diablos have a phrase for such an act – ‘molto villaggio’. I forget how it translates into English. It should also be noted that David Streather “allegedly” committed the same crime but fled the scene, a real indictment of the Criminal Justice system.
In Shaw’s absence, the famous five got off to a cracking start, taking a 4-0 lead. After Shaw’s reintroduction things got a little shaky but the boys pulled through for a hard fought 9-5 win.
That’s right, we finally won a blinking match!
Next up for the Workers were Cardiff Dragons – the boys were keen to avenge their early season loss. Former Bee and Wales coach, Scott was amongst the Dragon’s line-up and as a former team-mate of both Storey and Barker, they were keen to win this battle. The opening forays of were close with neither side gaining the upper hand. Rising from the mist of old team-mate mind games was Kevin Johnson, wielding the sword of St George, who turned the tide in favour of the Bees. 11-3. Kevin, the Dragon Slayer.
Two wins from two matches! The boys went into the tea break with spirits high. Ash had to teach Barker how to drink juice through a “sippy cup”. Despite the unbeaten record, the boys remained fallible.
Next up were the league leaders, Raiders. A strong outfit enjoying the sort of season akin to Arsene’s invincibles of 03/04. The boys knew they’d have to be at their very best to even take a single game from the league leaders. Against all odds, going into the 6th frame of seven, we were still in it!
Unfortunately it wasn’t to be. A couple of chances were missed, Elliot was caught out accidentally kicking a ball to the opposition and the Raiders triumphed 10-4. A respectable showing against a side who will do well in the DPL next season.
I’d like to take a moment to congratulate Andy “Angry” Lowther on avoiding another booking and thus avoiding a suspension.
Two wins for the day, something to build upon for the next two meetings. Survival is still in our hands.
The post-match shower is an integral part to any game day. It leaves you feeling fresh and ready for a potential lemonade later in the evening. New College’s showers receive a 4 thumbs up rating. Good warmth and power, just what you need after a hard day’s dodgeball.
We made our return to Uttoxeter’s finest eating establishment where much to our horror people were queuing out of the door. If only they had accepted our reservation.
The food was excellent as ever. Mike even managed a third win of the day earning himself a free milkshake on the McDonald’s Monopoly game, much to his delight.
General feelings after the day? Relief, happy and tired.