The Struggle

Term 3 is a never-ending trough. The copper rooms are desolate; fortress Westwood a ghost town. A time when more books are smashed than purples. A time when our only fines come from the library. A time to question how we’re charged thousands for no lectures, no hockey and no hope. A time when every man would prefer the block, to one more hour on floor 5. A time when Patches gains 7/8 kilos. We dominate the grid, not Rouge Bar – circle seems but a distant memory. Despite all this, a true Magman always finds time for fun and games. So aside from 18 hour campus stints, let’s see what the boys have been up to…

Hockey largely takes a back seat in summer term, and a plethora of charity tournaments give a chance to showcase talents in other sports. Perhaps none more so than the annual rugby 7’s competition. Captained by failed rugger man, Ralph Haville, the boys looked in good shape after a promising training session the day before. A strong group stage saw squash dispatched and only a narrow defeat to an all-rugby side – Casey Dennis making ladies weak at the knees with some monstrous tackles. A couple of wins and losses later, we were in the plate final facing a team of rugby fresh. Some liquid play, one off-load from Ed Zeidler in particular, lead to a 31-7 spanking – the first, and last, UWMHC silverware of the summer.

The boys also tried their hands at some netball, way back in week 2. Although seen by many as an opportunity for chirpsing rather than chest-passing, money raised is money raised. The summer cricket league was, as per, terribly disrupted by weather – apparently even an astroturf crease is capable of waterlogging. Unfortunately the only completed game vs “Snurf CC” ended in heavy defeat. Despite some spirited batting from Eeyore and Oli Palmer plus expert field setting from captain Simple, rusty bowling was put away.

El Classico, the Old Firm, Derby della Capitale; there are many fierce footballing rivalries. On June 16th 2014 another was born: Top pitch vs Bottom pitch. Claims of trials and academies aplenty, we even had an external referee – who would be victorious? A cagey first half saw the top pitch side take a 1-0 lead into the break, no-one could have predicted what would follow. In one of the great sporting travesties of recent times, the bottom pitch bombarded Dave Duncan’s goal, whose cat-like reflexes drew comparisons with a young David Seaman. Possession stats through the roof, it seemed inevitable that the pressure would tell. However, it was not to be. Two more smash-and-grab breakaway goals and a calamitous Ali McFarlane OG saw the top pitch take an unassailable lead. More gung ho play from the BP left them exposed defensively, the 3s and 4s ruthlessly running away with a 6-2 victory.

One of the term’s undisputed highlights was the inaugural Magmen Challenge Cup, a golf day at the West Midlands GC. This Ryder Cup style event saw the “Hole in one shades” face “BJ’s select” for the coveted labcoat. A lack of practice and some questionable handicaps lead to unflattering scorecards – one unfortunate competitor losing 9&8 after carding a 166 (no really, a 166). Perhaps the tightest game saw ginger duo Tricker and Milkers face Text and Trower. A scintillating +2 back nine from Tricker saw the redheads take a dormie lead into the last – an island green par 3 modelled on the iconic TPC Sawgrass 17th.  Alas, a stiffed tee shot to 8 feet saw Tim Young take home closest-to-the-pin and the resulting birdie meant the match ended all square. Overall, the competition finished: Hole in one shades 1.5 – 3.5 BJ’s Select.

As always with term 3, there is light at the end of the tunnel – two weeks of madness after exams. Sports ball happened, maybe the less said the better. Butter was smashed, plates were sent and a huge shout-out to Clouseau for managing to lose both of his shoes. The Kenilworth Ramble returned much to the delight of its founders way back in 2000 – see the discussion here. Kelseys circle was a hit once again: Play-Doh featured, Leo Lau arrived with 17 straws and the bin was kicked over. Kenji is going to Paris.

The end of term is slightly tainted by the knowledge that for some Magmen, these will be the final few university nights out. We say goodbye to some unbelievable characters. Thank you for the great times and good luck with all future exploits – see you at Skool Dayz.

 

Still European Champions

On the 5th April, an elite group of magmen embarked on a 30 hour coach journey to the Italian sea-side resort of Rimini. Expectations were high – would the notoriously error-prone Anjan Sarangi produce the goods?  A poor start: in controversial circumstances the boys were sharing a coach with Liverpool Uni HC, alongside Liverpool Hope Rugby and ladies Basketball. However, minus a few “antics” landing them a €400 fine, these guys were the perfect travel companions.

First impressions of the hotel were good; central location and directly opposite popular club “Carnaby”. Very convenient for taking a 2am breather before returning to find the boys – just ask Ali Macfarlane. Finding somewhere to pre proved surprisingly difficult, why was nobody keen to sell 200 “pints” of over-priced lager? A bar named “Yummy” attempted to step-up, but one (admittedly low GPH) night of UWMHC chat proved too much and they refused our custom for the rest of the trip. Yet this proved to be a blessing in disguise as we were forced to move to the beach, scene of (probably) some of the greatest circle moments of all time.

The beach, where to start? Blue (Da Ba Dee), Anjan’s hat, Matt Howard’s shell, the evacuation, Lasagne fat hockey girl, Waj’s pleasure, Frodo’s trousers, 15… the list could go on forever… in fact…  rainy compliment circle, garlic-sand art, mystery bag, Tricker’s phone, animals, bushing, Clay-watch… had enough? Yeah? Well maybe come on tour next year.

A major talking point of foreign tour is always the incoming social secs, how would Vod and Eeyore fare? Superbly well. Pints were eaten with gusto – many even asking for seconds. Imagination levels off the charts, Rimini circles were a truly magical experience. The club is in safe hands. An honourable mention must go to Ali Macfarlane, who in three cameo appearances managed to pioneer unbelievable new games including (but not limited to): “Words that rhyme with Rohan”, “Conjunctions” and “Speed Sandcastles”.

Finally, some valuable lessons learnt from our week abroad: private school is wonderful; two men cannot lift a smart car; foam can be fun; Greg Jolly bleeds; eyebrows is always in play; Oli Palmer loves COD; Rogan Josh Pilau Rice… and most importantly, never trust a balding bus driver named Geoff.

Many thanks to Anjan Sarangi – what a week. Robert McGeachie: the stage is yours…

AGM Results 2014

The  Executive Committee for 2014/15 has elected at the Club’s Annual General Meeting last night. It was another very long affair, but we feel the discussions and debates surrounding all the candidates were worthwhile and formative. Here’s the full list:

President: Tom Spencer

Vice President/Club Secretary: Kenji Kinoshita

Treasurer: Ed Zeidler

Club Captain: Tom Metcalf

2nd Team Captain: Ali McFarlane

3rd Team Captain: James Lowson

4th Team Captain: Raj Sandhu

Social Secretaries: Chris Barnett and Joshua Redman

Director of Communications: Matt Tricker

Tour Secretary: Rob McGeachie

Charities Secretary: James Da Costa

Fixtures Secretary: Matt Holmes

Umpires Secretary: Alex Evans

Many congratulations to all those who were successfully elected, it looks like another very strong team to lead the UWMHC forward.

Varsity 2014

This year, the UWMHC once again face the “challenge” that is the “undeniable talent” of Coventry University Hockey Club.

While Coventry 1st XI have shown some sort of good form whilst playing the Chirps, the inevitable clash against Patrick Davis’ side of magmen will no doubt result in yet another win for Team Warwick. The UWMHC 1st XI sit very happily at 2nd in BUCS Midlands 2B, dominated as it is by Cambridge 1st XI (yet to lose a game…). The team is home to current club top scorer (and perhaps favourite for the elusive Golden Stick) Eeyore, who seems to have a penchant for goals and is one of the reasons behind the side scoring more goals at home than the bottom four sides in BUCS have scored in total. The magmen certainly don’t simply win every game without the odd nice gesture however, as they proved by recently deciding to finish on a draw with Oxford 2nd XI (that’s the official line at least).

To further enhance the team’s reputation, we can have a quick glance at what’s been happening on blissful Saturday afternoons for the boys. MRHA has seen a few mixed results returned to Westwood, but despite 5 losses, “Team Boring”, are within 1 good result (and 15 goals) of catching Warwick, who are perched below Old Silhillians, again yet to lose a game. It would seem therefore, that although the UWMHC’s best may not be looking at promotion they are definitely dominating this season’s hockey in a far superior manner than Coventry would even dream of being able to replicate. The biggest score line of the season came from the BUCS Midlands Conference Cup, with Warwick 1st XI slotting 22 past Worcester 2s with no reply – this has turned into 46 goals scored with only 1 conceded in 3 games in the cup.

Then we come down to the dizzying heights of Midlands 5A, a league that Coventry 2nd XI share with the UWMHC 4th XI. This league has two teams that consistently fail to field teams, partly because they inhabit the furthest reaches of the Midlands region possible. Despite this, the magmen sit just two points behind Coventry 2s, a poor show from Coventry who are 2 leagues below their Varsity opponents.

This year, Coventry 2nd XI are yet again pitched against the mighty force that is David Dougall’s 2nd XI, known to all of Warwick as “The Chirps”. Given the Chirps’ tendency to slip into double figure score lines (14-0 against Birmingham City University), it is no great surprise that the 2s sit in 2nd behind yet another team that hasn’t lost a game (it’s become a bit of a theme this season) in BUCS Midlands 3B. The competition against Coventry Uni is intense, with the latest clash leaving the magmen elated after acting calmly under a 2-0 deficit with 15 minutes left to bring the score back to a level 2-2 finish. Perhaps the best indicator of the excellent form the Chirps have been on is the improvement from a 2-2 draw with University College Birmingham last term to an 8-0 demolition a few weeks ago, a dramatic change of pace.

Without intending to seem too conceited, it can only be said that this fixture is almost guaranteed to bring 2 points back for Team Warwick, with the only question remaining of just how many times can the Chirps breach Coventry’s defence?

Roundup of Term 1

With all the excitement from Christmas and the New Year dying down, it’s time to look back at Term 1 and forward towards the next term and all that it holds in store for the UWMHC.

October got us going with a big intake of freshers from the sports fair, swelling the club up to over 80 members keen to get out on the pitches and in the SU to show off their silky skills and fill in the gaps left by the Magmen who left last year. Unfortunately, the taster session didn’t exactly pan out as expected, as after a comprehensive warm up from Kali we were sent away from the pitches. Despite this minor setback, plenty of freshers turned up to our first social of the year and after half a circle from social secretary Kenji Kinoshita, our second social sec Tom Metcalf (Patches) introduced himself to the freshers who had foolishly befriended him… Wednesday nights have continued in this fashion, with Kenji and Patches proving why they were chosen by the club.

Back on the pitches, all four teams didn’t get off to the best of starts, dropping points in both BUCS and MRHA leagues early on. As we progressed deeper into the term the effort being put in by all the magmen started to pay off, with good results being returned to Fortress Westwood. The MRHA leagues have seen better results generally than BUCS games, with a 12 point Saturday leaving all 4 teams sitting safely in the middle of their respective MRHA league tables.

The 1st XI has been under the direction of Patrick Davis, who has led the side from strength to strength, as they sit in second in BUCS Midlands 2B having won 4 out of 6 games so far, behind Cambridge 1st XI who are yet to drop a point and look likely to be going up at the end of this season. The team are also the side left representing Warwick in the Conference cup, having picked up 38 goals in the two matches played. MRHA West Midlands Prem has seen a less resilient set of performances, as the team sits in 6th behind some sides that are very tough to beat. The middle weeks of term saw the best results from the side, with a streak of 10 matches without loss, a feat Warwick’s 1st XI will be look to replicate in term 2.

Team Chirps, as they are lovingly known by Captain David Dougall, haven’t fared quite as well, with a few unlucky results leaving the side sitting in the middle of both leagues in 3rd in their BUCS Midlands 3B league. Despite being a side that could challenge the top teams (their latest BUCS result being a draw with top of the league Leicester 1s), the habit of making things hard for themselves has not be trained out of the side, as games that perhaps should have been won have left the Chirps missing points that they will have to earn back this term.  In the MRHA Midlands 1 league the side sit in 6th after a mixed bag of results not dissimilar to the 1st XI, and if they can convert games against the lower teams and keep competing then the Chirps could finish in a strong position.

After a rocky pre-season for the 3rd XI without a captain, unfortunately things have carried on in the same fashion under the Captaincy of Tom Holme. Playing in a league with 3 1st XI sides has left the side still looking for a win in BUCS Midlands 3A, as the 3rd XI have struggled with players being juggled around the club, especially the freshers who have been climbing up and down the rungs of the UWMHC. The story has been similar but no so bleak in MRHA East Midlands Premier, with 3 wins and 3 draws leaving the side sitting 6th in the table. A strong second half of the season could see the magmen drive up the table, but challenging for promotion may be a leap too far.

Tom Bayley had easily the best start to the year out of all the teams, leading his 4th XI to 3 wins out of their first 4 games. However trying to share games between the abundance of freshers who inhabit the top pitch has took its toll on the results during the middle of term 1, with 5 losses denting the 4th XI’s confidence. However, a strong finish to the term in the same manner as the start could see the 4th XI rise up from their safe positions to challenge the top teams in both BUCS and MRHA.

Off the pitches the magnificent men have once again been dominating campus, with Wednesday socials being attended fully and complemented by several off campus socials organised by our ever busy social secs who have been introducing new games as well as keeping the traditions passed down each year alive. The Christmas break saw the boys take a little trip down to Cardiff for Domestic Tour, which was sold out within minutes, and enjoy themselves frolicking around the city. Back at the SU, CMD held their (now annual) Warwick Dance for Sport Relief competition, which saw some innovative dances coming from the competitors. As good (or otherwise) as they were, no-one could match the silky moves produced by the UWMHC, who for the 3rd time in its history won the trophy!

More importantly, our charity work has continued this year, with all proceeds being split between the Alzheimer’s Society and PAPYRUS, both worthy and relevant causes. Term 1 saw a Talent Show with the Ladies club, which raised over £370 and helped the freshers to express themselves. Over the coming term and into term 3 there will be more fundraising events, with the annual Charity Tournament to look forward to, as well as events such as the Stratford (Shakespeare) Half Marathon and Tough Mudder, which we hope to get involved in this year.

It’s begun

We’re nearly halfway through the first term of this year, and the first four weeks for the UWMHC has been as eventful as ever. A new sponsor in the form of Altoria has been secured for the year by our industrious President, and they have already hosted us for one circle, with more socials in the pipeline.

The beginning of a new year always accompanies a week of hard training in the form of Pre-season, which Patrice took as his cue to whip all the old boys into some sort of shape, also introducing the “Baker Surprise”, a run which has easily named this former hockey boy as the most hated of everyone who left last year (ed- love you Charlie). As much fun as endlessly running around a hockey pitch all day was, the tour up to Liverpool was the real highlight of pre-season. Results might not have turned out in our favour, but the night out was enjoyed by all, getting all the boys back into the swing of life at Uni.

Term started with high hopes for the UWMHC, and we were not disappointed- despite a questionable choice of stand position at the sports fair the effort invested by the exec and club members paid off as we managed to get a huge intake of Freshers for the year ahead. The taster session was fairly exciting, as the Freshers only got about ½ an hour of pitch time before we were all evacuated onto University House field and promptly had to abandon the session. Regardless of this setback as many Freshers turned up to the first circle of term as they could and discovered the joys of Purple and what not to call a Chairman.

The first few games for Warwick are always a struggle, as other teams get a few weeks head start over us in both training and bonding as a team, with this year proving no exception. The 2nd and 3rd XIs had the least successful starts to their BUCS and MRHA campaigns, while the 4th XI proved why they’ll be the team to beat this year smashing their first MRHA game 5-3. The 4th XI were also the first to get a win in their BUCS league, destroying Coventry 2s 5-2, leaving themselves top of the league! As ever wins have started trickling in as we progress through the season, with all the teams having got 3 points on the board from at least 1 match. The 1st XI, under the direct and “edgy” leadership of Patrice will be looking to build on performances that should have yielded better results so far in both BUCS and MRHA leagues, as the entire club looks to their forwards to start converting chances into goals.

Off the pitch the UWMHC have been busy around campus, from organising a Club Day against Northumbria to a well-executed pub crawl type night out in Leamington. The club day turned up decent performances for the Magmen to build upon, whilst entertaining us for a day before BUCS leagues started. Our boys are also getting involved in an squash ladder run within the club, keeping up the UWMHC outlook of being the best sportsmen on campus. Skool Dayz also saw an appearance for the Magmen as a few of the old boys returned to their favourite watering hole in the copper rooms for a few pints.

Look out for the boys smashing Warwick Dance for Sport Relief (ed- Yes, we did win last year http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lhpy72M-EtA) later on this term, and keep on attending training sessions!

3rd XI Captain

The new 3rd XI Captain for the 2013/14 season is Tom Holme. We’re grateful to Dave Duncan for stepping down due to his change of course and subsequent increase in workload.

New Year, New Season

The end of September is marching ever closer, and as the 30th draws nearer the urge to panic about starting a new year at University begins to creep into your minds… but fear not! We at the UWMHC are here to support everyone coming to the great institution that is the University of Warwick. Make sure you keep an eye on the Warwick SU website for updates from them (Freshers 2013).

We’ll have a table set up at the Warwick Sports Fair on Tuesday 1st October so make sure you visit us and sign up! Freshers, remember that we’ll be holding our first social of the year on the 1st Wednesday so make sure you get tickets as soon as you can- they WILL run out. Any questions can as ever be directed at our Twitter or Facebook page, or email su125@warwicksu.com.

Freshers Info 2013

Hello and Welcome to Freshers for 2013!

Congratulations on all your results and well done if you’ve gained a place to Warwick! We’re looking forward to seeing everyone in October, but in the meantime make sure you check out our Freshers 2013 page and remember to find us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter.

Term 3 2013 – What do the UWMHC get up to without Hockey?

As we head into the final term of the year and exams loom ever closer, you would be forgiven for thinking the magnificent men of Warwick might be getting their heads down and turning attention onto the demands of our various degrees (apparently History has quite a workload). But no, active as ever the boys have already had a 6 a side hockey tournament, organised and run by new 2nd XII Captain David Dougall. The tournament kicked off with the 5 sides playing each other in ¼ of a pitch areas over 20 minute games. George Cloake managed to conduct his team “Eat Drink Slay” to a strong finish at the top, with Dougall’s side unfortunately dropping to the bottom of the pile. The afternoon was very well run and strong congratulations go out to Dougall. Hockey will be continued further into term 3, with an Ernst & Young Rush Hockey league that has been organised by Warwick Sport. Rush hockey is a newer, smaller version of hockey, where 6 aside teams play with hockey balls that “don’t hurt”.

A few of the magmen returned to Spain for the legendary foreign tour over the Easter break. This year new President Tom Duncan was the man under pressure, but pulled a fantastic tour out of the bag as the UWMHC dominated Salou both on and off the pitch. A few of the boys even let the excitement get to their heads and had a go at gaining stardom through international news media, but to no avail.

In addition to continuing our hockey prowess well past the last BUCS and MRHA games of the season, term 3 is always the time for the sports clubs of Warwick to host various charity events and leagues. The rugby 7s tournament on 8th May looks set to be dominated by a team of some of the biggest hockey boys, and we won’t be shying away from the Netball club’s invitation for another assembly of magmen to add to our unending domination of sport in term 3. Cricket matches are always an important part of the magnificent men’s term 3 exploits, with Captain Joe Richards leading a renewed UWMHCC into battle. It’s the second year of the Ernst & Young Cricket Champions League, where we’re pitted against such foes as Rugby, Tennis and the “Champs”.

Monday week 10 (24th June) looks set to be the biggest charity event of the year, as the beautiful minds behind of the Men and Ladies’ Charity Secretaries are organising a tournament to rival the Olympics. Teams of 6 (with up to 2 subs) will be playing in fancy dress aiming for prizes such as Best Team Name and Best Dressed Team. The day is in support of Cancer Research and Debbie Fund, and kit will be available for any teams who aren’t usually seen playing our delightful sport, but make sure your team details in by 17th June.