Hammers go down in a heartbreaker

On the twelfth day of Christmas, Hammers gave to me…

not as much as you wanted, but you’ve already had 11 days’ worth of gifts. You’ll just have to be content with the one point.

In a scene reminiscent of the three Magi journeying across the arid Arabian Deserts, from a land far-far away to bring gifts and offer service, so our very own wise man no. 1 from the far side of Offa’s Dyke brought gifts of pitchfork and sand to lay upon the hallowed turf of Hurlingham Park making possible a true Christmas miracle…a playable surface.

Shortly after KO, in addition to Wise Man Lyndon’s efforts, the pitch was dried further following an earth-scorching turn of pace by Harry Boyd who, with a 5m so rapid that the Space – Spicer* continuum was for a split second broken, ghosted through the entire Bracknell defensive line.

On the face of it, Father Christmas and “Eeny-Weeny” Josh share little in common. But they do both always deliver on Christmas. Josh, like Lyndon, stuck to the script of Epiphany. Bearing gifts and travelling from the far-far outer zones of London our second Wise Man delivered a try (must note the well-executed rolling maul, of course) and another man of the match performance.

15 minutes into the match, and suddenly reminded that they were dressed in their usual festive crimson, Russell’s Reds decided it was high time to play the part of St Nick and gift their opposition the entire 12 days of Christmas during the remainder of the first half. Sing everyone’s favourite Carol replacing each gift with a different form of infringement and that will give you an idea of the level of commitment Terry’s troops showed to the season of giving. Feeling inspired by this show of generosity, the referee offered out his finest Christmas Cheese, which was eagerly accepted by Tiny Tim, Diminutive Dugdale.

The one player responding well to the non-stop on-pitch whistling was our inside centre. Like a dog returning to its vomit, so our very own James “Le Mad-Dog”, returned to the ankles of Bracknell attackers time and time again. Despite being faced with “such a good boi”, Bracknell held onto the ball well and scored three times from close range to bring the game within 2 points.

The scores really should have been tied up at this point, given the conversion was being taken from directly between the posts, but Alex “Dollar” Spicer produced his best defensive end impression to block the resulting kick. His celebration was certainly EPSN NFL Primetime worthy also.

Re-energized, Burbridge’s blokes marched themselves up-field, bought a few (cheap) penalties in the sales and found themselves 10m out from the try-line on the final play of the half. A well-executed line-out play had Captain Tom rolling over the tryline for a third try of the- oh no…the spirit of the season was still well and truly alive among Carolan’s Crew, who decided to put the needs of the opposition above their own, not score, and keep the game in the balance at half time…

The resident hairdresser was ready to meet Harris’ Hombres in the sheds, and Procter’s Players returned for the second half looking well coiffured and determined to give gifts only to those deserving (the watching Hammers Faithful) in the second half.

Despite the wand of the Prodigal Weaver once again beginning to weave, and tyreless carries from Pirelli and Scotty, Swaino’s soldiers struggled to convert th’air-pressure into points. To Bracknell’s credit, their defence did a very good impersonation of Ebeneezer Scrooge (before he encountered any Ghosts) and well and truly shut the door on any final festive cheer in SW4. The visitors scored twice more, although new kicking boots had evidently not made the final Christmas delivery slot, before a late Joe Carolan penalty ensured a losing bonus point.

But while Christmastide is now over, January is just getting started. And that means the transfer window is open for business. Fear not Hammers Faithful, for Management has been busy, consulting the heavens for signs of a try-scoring saviour. And behold, Southwest Tier 8’s top scoring centre has been signed on a season-long deal to bring gifts of soft hands and an immaculately clean kit. Journeying from afar, now fatherly and wise, with a 3 on his back, welcome back Rickie!

And so, our three wise men returned to their lands far away, contemplating whether their respective gifts: the pitchforking, the 5m tap and charge, the new contract negotiations, had been worth it.

The answer, of course, is yes.

Because January, as the month of Janus, offers a chance to look back at how far we have come, and then to turn to the future in eager anticipation of successes and adventures to come…


*Space -Spicer continuum

Space – Spicer = Space – Money

Money = time

∴ Space-Spicer continuum = Space-time continuum


Full time score: Hammers 20 – 25 Bracknell


Harry Boyd

Josh Asafu-Adjaye

Penalties: Joe Carolan x2