Stratford Festival 2005
Report & Photo Gallery

23rd - 25th September

Stratford Hockey Club
Swans Nest Lane,
Stratford upon Avon,
Warwickshire, CV37 7LS
Tel: 01789 550725

Report / Photos 1 / Photos 2 / Photos 3

Tour Report

Friday / Saturday / Sunday

Hornets Present: Simon Riley (Drinking only), Gareth Norris, Jon Kirby, James Kirby, Will Kirby (Wobble), Ross McArdell, Hannah Browster, Ellie Gardener, Aimee Tilley, Kate, Catherine, Becks (Fri/Sat), Victoria H (Fri/Sat)

Drinking Partners: Jonny/ Ellie/ Wil - Team Wobble, Norris/Catherine- Team Ireland, Tilley/Hannah - Team Potty mouth, Ross/Kate - Team Bignose, Riley/Victoria H - Team Northern, James/Becks - Team Wales

Disclaimer: I'll apologise now for any made up events, confusion of events or match detail inaccuracy. I'll tell you now, I couldn't remember all the names of the teams that we played so I made some up, but you guys will know who I mean. Sorry.

----- Friday -----

Most of the Hornets were there in reasonable time, having been looking forward to tour for a few weeks now, most had taken at least the afternoon off to get to Stratford and start the drinking early. So by 5pm, all the Hornets had arrived…except for 3. Norris, having boasted that in the Champagne Super Rover the journey from London would only take 45 minutes…took more like 6 hours! After several stops from the car overheating and steam coming from the engine, the super rover finally carked it on the M40 and had to be towed the remainder of the journey by the AA. Riley was none to pleased as valuable drinking time had been seriously lost…and most of the rest of the Hornets were already half-cut by the time they arrived.

Riley had kept everyone updated with their slow progress, and in the meantime, the Hornets had descended on the local Wetherspoons to enjoy the cheap cocktails. Within the space of an hour after our arrival, Becks had been sick, Wil had been put in jail in the dice game, with the cunning use of a weighted dice and we'd been asked to keep quiet as the other patrons had started to complain about our noise levels. The serving staff were then further riled by Wil and Becks playing a bout of the Bogies game and deafening most of the Hornets…let alone anyone else in the pub. With that, a foreign waiter came up to us and told us to shut up and be quiet. Wil thought it would be a good idea to go tell the waiter that we were secretly being filmed by a BBC crew for the 'Dick and Dom show,' the waiter was, as you can imagine, unimpressed. So at this point in the evening, the Hornets decided that it would be prudent to make a move back to the clubhouse to remind the local teams of why they adore us so much! However, Wetherspoons were on the receiving end of another game of Bogies as we trooped out of the pub and then legged it down the road.

So, finally with a full complement, the Hornets set about yet again showing Stratford how tour should be conducted. A lot of time and energy had been spent on funnel creations by Stratford this year (well Nick anyway….he must have nothing better to do!) and had put together a spinning funnel contraption using the latest in funnel technology (they'd got an office chair with a pole on the back and attached a funnel so you could spin the chair as you drank.) Wil was first up…and useless, most of the purple being spilled all over the floor. James and Gareth followed and were much more successful, but by this point, we’d already made a bit too much mess and the chair funnel was taken away...Ah yes, the Hornets were back at Stratford!

After a further round of the dice game, Jonny naively suggested that drinking partners should be invoked and was promptly put with Wil…unlucky Jonny. Norris and Catherine were put together as Team Ireland, Ross with Kate, Hannah with Tilley, James with Becks and Victoria H with Riley. Ellie was the only one left, so it was decided that she would have to go with Jonny and Wil, and Team Wobble was formed! With the no acceptance rule being enforced, within an hour or so, Wil started to look decidedly like Mike, staggering about the clubhouse in a drunken fashion, and annoying the hell out of Jonny. Riley was almost screaming at Victoria H for making him drink more than he anticipated, and Hannah and Tilley seemed to be getting off quite lightly as team wobble was some-what picked on by the others. By this point, it was getting late and Victoria H had managed to sit through several rounds of 7’s & 5’s without messing up so it was definitely getting late and almost closing time for the bar. A group of the Hornets went to Cox’s yard to continue the party and then had Chinese. I went to bed at this point so don’t know what naughtiness the Hornets got up to in the pub, but seeing as how twatted everyone was, I’m sure it was in our usual fashion. <<<

----- Saturday -----

The early birds of the Hornets were up and showered and waking people up for an essential McDonalds fix before the games started. Some smart alec had put us down for the first game of the day so at 9.15am we racked up at the pitch, raring to go (well, not quite raring, it was more like wandering over to the pitch looking aimless.) Jonny sought out our cling-on goalie for the day Tom who had randomly gone up to Jonny the previous night and said ‘Can I play for your team…I’m a goalie?’ To which Jonny replied wholeheartedly ‘yep!’

Hornets V Fancy Dress Lovers 0-0 The first game of the morning proved to be a pretty good one from the Hornets, considering last night’s events No goals, but then when you have Norris playing up front what did you really expect?! Kate and Wil got their first taste of Hornet hockey…and were suitably impressed, especially with Norris missing every tap in from Jonny’s walloping balls into the d. James discovered that even with a mini half broken stick he could still play pretty well and we were pleased with our first game of the tour.

Hornets V Handymagandys 0-0 Having played at Stratford for a few years, this was a great result against a very good team. Of course, it did help having a defensive line up of James, Ross and Hannah and Dynamo Wil in midfield doing everyone else’s running for them. It was yet again a goaless game, but we were happy with keeping a clean sheet. Catherine was close to score on several occasions, but Norris kept getting in the way trying to get on the end of one of Jonny’s crosses…again!

With a short break in between the games, James dug out his cricket bat, ball and pad and the boys proceeded to launch a cricket ball at each other using the well placed nets right next to our camp. Norris couldn’t quite see the ball a few times and took a little knock to his back and hand. And with that it was time for the next game.

Hornets V Stratford Home Team W 1-0 (Norris) It was time to remind Nick why he’s not allowed in the Hornets and prevent him from scoring any goals for the game. Mission succeeded, and our first goal from the tubby Irishman. He finally managed to get on the end of a midfield whack (probably as this one was from Wil who hits the ball a little softer than Jonny) for a cheeky tap-in. Jonny, not to be upstaged on the pitch however, launched an aerial from within our 25yrd line which didn’t go according to plan, and ended up almost through one of the clubhouses windows…Well done Jonny!

Hornets V Maroon Stroppy Students W 1-0 (Norris) Some of this team were a bit too keen for the Hornets liking, but tubby still managed to tap-in another goal. There was some nice moves between the mid-fielders, Jonny, Ellie and Tilley, and some solid play from Kate and Ross at the back. There was a keeno ginger guy up front that Ross seemed to get a bit annoyed of so spend the whole game making him look foolish. Everyone was in stitches at one point when the guy had taken a shot at goal, topped it and missed the goal by miles. Ross’s comments was: ‘One for the cameras mate.’

Hornets V Young Bar*Stards 0-0 This team was made up of random’s. There were some kids, some of the Stratford home team and some old guys. Tom the goalie played ever so well for us and kept another clean sheet…could we possible get through the day without conceding any goals????

With the end of this game, it was time for a game of scrabble, which Norris lost and Riley won, with Ross as a close 2nd. Victoria H and Becks started to pack away their camp and we all said our farewells as they headed off back to Bristol to prepare for their 21 mile charity walk on Sunday…mad! So with the Hornets team slightly diminished, we headed off to play our next game.

Hornets V The Other Kids W 2-1 (Norris x2) This were the bunch ofunderage drinkers that were totally battered but still thought they were well good at hockey…one even claimed to be playing in a national league game the following day. The Hornets had already gone about showing them how to drink the night before, so it was only right that they gave them a lesson at hockey as well. Their girls were rubbish and tottered around the pitch doing very little and unfortunately for the kids, they thought our girls were rubbish too…until the Hornet girls started skinning them. Yet another tap-in from Norris, and a goal that was actually quite good for Norris. But it was the girls that really held this game together. There were a few grunts of ‘I Hate kids!’ from the Hornet team (well, me anyway), but it didn’t matter, because we won…and we were old enough to go and buy ourselves drinks at the bar afterwards! There goes our clean sheet anyway.

Hornets V The Masters 0-0 This team, had something like 8 men on pitch, so it was already going to be a moral victory for the Hornets. However, the fact that they were all old style grass players didn’t help. Ellie played really well again (she’d obviously not had enough to drink) and Catherine had a couple of shots but just couldn’t seem to score (on the pitch that is!) We were all a bit tired by this point in the day, and as always the bar and some well earned food was beckoning.

So it was off into town for some food, fish and chips being the order of the day. Once food had been consumed, the watering can was filled and it was off up to the bar. Drinking partners were kept the same, however with the departure of Becks and Victoria H, Riley and James were put together. We also had the addition of team Fluffy, made up of cling-on goalie Tom and Fluffy from The Outlanders. We started out with the matchbox game, which Team Potty-mouth were rubbish at. On Hannah’s first go, she launched the matches right off the table, and within about 5 minutes, Tilley had landed hers in her pint, so off Hannah and Tilley went for a ladies visit to the toilets. Norris seemed to have the same idea though and sidled off to the men’s saying he needed a poo. There must have been a freak monsoon in the men’s toilets as when Norris came back, he was soaked with water. On the other hand it could have been the other Hornet boys rewarding Norris for all his lovely goals of the day by getting pints of water and then all trooping into the toilet and throwing the water over the toilet door. And that was the start of the team Ireland onslaught. The dice was back out and team Ireland were on the receiving end of most of the 5’s, and luckily for the other patrons, we all launched into singing the Irish national anthem every time they had to down drinks.

After a large amount of alcohol had been consumed, the disco had started and we trooped up and down to the dance floor for the usual cha-cha slide, S-club 7 and buttercup. James did the caterpillar and knackered his knees and Tilley, Kate, Ellie and Catherine boogied on down while a few of us had a nice round of 7’s & 5’s. After all the alcohol gather had consumed…he was rubbish and ended up drinking even more. And then, the sounds of ‘Gold’ could be heard and every Hornet crowded onto the dance floor in a big huddle to sing their hearts out. Ross decided to give everyone a floor show during the instrumental (without falling over), much to everyone’s amusement. We were yet again the last to leave the clubhouse and several went for Chinese again. There was another freak weather incident while Jonny had gone to the garage and when he came back, his tent had been flattened. Nobody quite knows what happened, but Norris and James might have a fair idea. <<<

----- Sunday -----

It was a less lively bunch of Hornets that emerged on Sunday morning, but luckily for us, our first game wasn’t until about 10am so there was still plenty of time for the usual McDonald’s breakfast and to have a little nap after until we played.

Hornets V The Outlanders 0-0 After Yesterday’s sterling performance, today promised to be completely the opposite. With no goalkeeper and a thoroughly hungover team, every9one played a bit pants really. The grass was the winner in this game as nobody could seem to stop the ball on either side. The attack and defence swapped, but after playing a day in defence, Ross couldn’t seem to remember what to do up front and the closest we came to scoring was when Hannah shot one wide of the post (Ie, nowhere near!) Norris, Kate and Tilley all played well in defence with Tilley diving in and having every conviction in her tackles, but there was little chance of fluffy scoring against us after the state of him the night before.

The stick club shop was there so we all had a good gander at the reduced goods, and then watched Wil purchase half the stall. Kate did quite a lot of buying also, and although Jonny considered buying the whole team a new stick each, OWM just settled on buying one for James as a substitute for his broken stubb.

Hornets V Maroon Stroppy Kids L 2-1 (Norris) Oh goody, the ginger kid up-front again. Unfortunately for the Hornets today was that Ross wasn’t quite in such good form to take him out and I think he scored both of their goals, one of them was definitely James’s fault though I’m sure, even with a new orange stick. Ellie played really well and was the instigator of most of our chances up front, but with the dynamo not being as effective today, we struggled. Norris was on the end of another tap-in goal, he was seriously clocking up a lead at the top of the scoring list.

With that, it was time for Riley and Catherine to go and catch the only train to London that day as poor Riley had forgotten his driving licence so couldn’t hire a car to drive back. So we all said our goodbye’s and they trundled off to the train station with all their baggage.

Hornets V Handymagandy’s L 5-4 (Ellie, Tilley x2, Wil) After a quick jaunt to Gregg’s for pastries, we had legged it back to the pitch where 6 of us proceeded to play a 10 sided Handymagany’s team, neither team with a keeper. Ross, Norris and Kate decided that a game of scrabble was far more important and had left the rest of us to fend for ourselves (LOSERS!) It was a very friendly game, and those who played all put in the effort and played really well. There were some nice hits up the line for Tilley and Ellie who managed to convert, and even the dynamo netted a goal. Lets face it…it was nice to have someone other than Norris up front and scoring goals!

Hornets V Birmingham Uni L 3-1 (Norris) (PLEASE READ THIS NEXT PART IN THE STYLE OF HANNAH) Allroit, this wuz a game wif all annah’s relatives. They all spoke funnay, but were quiote good at hockay. Norris got a luckay goal earlay on, and Ross, James and annah kept tackling this goy who thought he was well good, so we spent most of the match laughin at him, and letting them score 3 gaols…spot the team that hadn’t been at the bar the noit befoer and had onley arrived that morning. Everyone wuz flaggin by this point in the day, an we onlay ad 7 plyers buy the end of the game as Tillay and Kate had to pack up to catch their train, but it wuz a noice frienlay game to end on. I have a vague recollection of Jonny being reallay rubbish in this game.

With the last game finished, it was time for us to start moving towards the end of tour. James dropped Tilley and Kate at the train station and Jonny took Gareth to Halfords to try and attempt a patch up job on the Super Rover. The rest of us packed up and then all headed of for a pub tea which was really rather tasty. On our arrival back at the cars, it was discovered that Norris’s patch up had been futile as there was more than one hole in his radiator pipe. After much debating the superover was left for the scrap people and Norris had to come back James and Ellie and Ross dropped him home the next day. So it was a sad day for potato boy Norris, but really quite amusing for the rest of us. Thus ended the last tour of this year.

Thanks to all the Hornets that took part, for Riley and Jonny for organising and umpiring and to Mark for organising prior to the tour. See you all next year at Easter…wherever we might be!

As for the results, they speak for themselves:

Team P W D L
Hornets 11 3 5 3

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