The Merlins last "fixture"
Held at the Thai Orchid the Merlins celebrate the end of the season with their last "fixture"
The Merlins last “fixture” of 2017/18 was the end of season meal, this year held at the Thai Orchid – an excellent venue (but pre-warned, the Merlins were given exclusive use of the upstairs dining facilities, much to the other diners relief). With a “Dirty Dozen” of attendees (marginally better behaved) an excellent evening was enjoyed by all in the long held traditions of the Merlins. With a mix of regulars, occasionals, returning injurees and past masters there was plenty of banter, leg pulling and general discussion covering such globally important topics as how “Spud” speaks Gaelic when hit with a board duster, that Citog is spoken with a hard C and the publication of unidentified reports on (or in) the Cairngorms. The Merlins educational achievements are well equal to their hockey ability….
After the meal the serious business of congratulations and awards was undertaken with much interjection and ribald comments from the assembly – another reason for being hidden upstairs in this PC world. With Doug “One hand” Courtney manly attempting to deliver the seasons statistics the summary was a fifty/fifty season – not as good as recent seasons but better than the long term averages.
Moving swiftly on the first award voted for by the players was the Trevor Wardle ‘IMOZ’ trophy. This trophy is intended to be awarded to the player who has made the best/most overall contribution to the side both on and off the pitch. Perhaps somewhat surprisingly this went to the normally late arriving and on this occasion absent midfield maestro and dynamo David “Heartburn” Rennie.
The Season’s “Man of the Match” Award for the player(s) achieving the most weekly Man of the Match awards went jointly to Rhys Edwards and Mahdi Hosany, the side’s two strikers and younger members (could there be a link to youth and faster reactions?). Both players received appropriately framed Scrolls, which included their names as well as all previous winners of this Award.
Mahdi Hosany also won the Merlins’ Player of the Season award but sadly will have to wait to receive this trophy until next season as the absent Club Captain had deposited said award in Marlow.
The major award of the evening also went to Rhys Edwards as he once again (four seasons running) collected the “Top Gun” trophy presented by Bob “Jigsaw” Brown for the highest goal scorer over the season.
The final, and most recent and interesting award, again presented by Bob “Jigsaw” Brown, was for the Merlins’ reporter of the season. Amazingly neither Noel “Spud” Murphy with his “Jingle Bells” nor Gary “Scarlet” Edwards with his “wheels coming off the Sweet Chariot” got a sniff – proving that quantity outweighs quality. (Ed’s note :- Congratulations to DV on winning this award and being modest enough not to mention himself!)
Acting Skipper Noel “Spud” Murphy then gave his end of season round up and in the true fashion of today’s equality proceeded to insult all present in a good (?) natured way. However as he had made all the arrangements and selected the excellent venue his only punishment was to agree to continue as acting skipper – or was that my hearing playing up. Thanks were extended to Simon Miall for acting as Editor in Chief of the Merlins Mail (and preventing a back log of libel cases) and to Bob “Jigsaw” Brown for his successful management role throughout the season kindly sponsored by P&O.
The proceedings were drawn to a close with the presentation of the bill – at which consternation arose at the late but not unusual “cry off” of the Club Captain – the holder of the substantial beer fund. Fortunately in true Merlins’ spirit the attendees all chipped in an extra amount to ensure that they would still be playing next season and not entertaining HM in the Tower, which was doubtless the devious plot of a mastermind.
With Merlins departing to various quarters of the local area it is advisable not to take calls on loudspeaker from ones girlfriend with “Spud” in the rear seat doing impersonations, which would do Tim Brooke-Taylor proud!
Colin “Citog” Byrne
Rhys “Drama Queen” Edwards
Laurie “Target” Shotton
Noel “Spud” Murphy
Ronnie “The Cat” Fuller
Bob “Jigsaw” Brown
Doug “One Hand” Courtney
David “DV” Vincent
George “Braveheart” Wallace
Colin “Eighty Minutes” Jeffries