Thursday, March 24, 2016

A crucial match for the Bulls...

Lo and behold, brave people of the Oxenfurt, and draw in the tales of the Bulls on their foray onto territories uncharted, by which I mean of course their frivolous expedition to the hamlet of Avoidrelegationwithtwomoregamestospare (must be Welsh, by the name of it).

But I’m getting ahead of myself…

Britannia, pragmatic as always, has opted for instant gratification this weekend and simply turned her attention towards the sports she’s actually any good at (rugby and cricket it seems) and has left it to the tired and poor, the huddled masses and the wretched refuse of her teeming shore to defend the honour of her green and pleasant lands on the battlefields of volleyball. A vance made up of mercenaries from Poland (Marcin S. and Arthur), France (Seb, Simon and Chichi), Afghanistan (Jomaeh), South Africa (Corne - although he’s a bit of a turncoat as he’s now also wearing the Union Flag on his boxers) and Switzerland (Dan) travelled to Maiden Erlegh to face off with the two teams trailing them at the bottom of Div 1. Spikeos 2 were breathing down the Bull’s necks, for a victory today would have presented them with the opportunity to overtake Oxford on the league table. Threatened once again by the Damocles Sword that is the relegation triangle, the stakes were all too clear - victories were needed to fend off the usurpers and pad our lead over the trailing bloodhounds to an unassailable level. It would only be the first time ever for the Bulls that we don’t have to save our skins in the final triangular of the league.

I could now go on and on about the epic turn of events that unfolded in front of the eyes of our noble and loyal supporters (Sam and Ania S.), but after a certain M. Buckley esquire has ruined it all for us by setting the bar to an impossible height, I’m just going to leave you with the briefest of summaries. (after all, you have to pick your battles)

The first match against Basingstoke, who were still lusting after the first win of the season, was    handled confidently by putting pressure on the serve and putting their receivers on the back foot, and by managing to soak up the damage by their new Polish mercenary in our block. By out-Polishing them 2:1 we managed to win the game in straight sets (25:13, 25:14, MVP: Arthur Kwiecinski - many thanks for helping us out!).

What followed was an unexpected win by Basingstoke - who were reduced to 5 players after an ankle injury early in the first set - over Spikes 2 in a tense tie-break finale. This not only gave them a commendable first victory of the season (well done chaps!), but also somewhat played in our hands because it deprived Spikeos 2 of valuable points in their chase (commiserations, chaps!).

The final and decisive match against Spikeos 2 started with a bang of Marcin S hammering down 10! jump-serves in a row on the unsuspecting victims. Tears were abound, as of an exploding pressure cooker. (Luckily he then decided to stop because we all know what happens at 12 successive serves…) At this point we decided that our coach Maïté was looking way too comfortable (there was a complete absence of any symptoms of cold sweat, and this just won’t do at a Bulls game), so we decided to start faffing about somewhat and keep the competition open. The net was clearly giving us that look, you know, and promptly got the spanking it deserved! We’ve left Maïté dangling in limbo for a while from 12:12 to 17:17, by which time we took pity on her and finished the first set 25:17. The second set was much the same, unspectacular maybe, with some moments of madness as Maïté tried to persuade Marcin not to wallop every ball as if there was in fact a non-negligible chance that quantum-tunnelling speed through the net could eventually be achieved, but with another 6 point breach opened up on Jomaeh’s serve we managed to cruise home 25:14. MVP was Marcin Swiderski, and well deserved so!

So new grounds for the Bulls who can go into the last triangular of the season with ease of mind (and, dare I say it, maybe even fancy dress?).

But of course the deeper lesson here is that if Britannia doesn’t fancy the prospect of being paraded around the battlefield of volleyball with her knickers around her ankles, then she better not screw up the upcoming European referendum! ;-)
By anonymous

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