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.