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Jokers 4 - 1 Wanderers 4s (A)

9th February 2023

By Stephen Hardy

Team: Haycroft (Capt), Hardy, Newton, Sayer, Baynton-Williams, Bowen, Balbirnie, Stone, Kuipers, Mills, Misted, Mallinson

Umpires: Theirs, thank you

This is Lieutenant Hardy’s log on Stardate 20230204. We were on an away mission to a little known planet in the Streatham sector. The planet atmosphere was grey. The planet surface was hard with significant traces of silicon oxide. Captain Hey warned us pre-mission to be careful about the slow nature of the surface due to significant deposits of SiO2.

We were encountering The Wanderers. We’ve met their species before. Generally more youthful than the experienced Jokers away mission crew.

Early exchanges were dominated by the Jokers. Wanderers struggled with the evasive manoeuvres from Chief Engineer Balbirnie, War Officer Stone and Central Gunner Bowen. A few strikes were made. Their bridge was under sustained attack. War Officer Stone thought he’d achieved a lethal blow on a couple of moves with strikes penetrating their hull. Unfortunately the breaches were chalked off by the over zealous officiating committee.

The attacks on Wanderers continued. Defensive strategist Sayer assisted, providing additional right flank attacking manoeuvres. Wanderers defended stoutly but the pressure started to yield breaches. After about 15 minutes, a melee of four strikes, from a corner manoeuvre, over a few seconds, was finished with a full breach by Sweeper Newton.

Wanderers started to plug some of the breaches. Some sloppy tactics by Surbiton allowed Wanderers to intercept and tackle some of the attacks. Lieutenant Hardy gave the Wanderers attacking unit a golden opportunity to level from a misfired pass. Fortunately Wanderers’ fire power was muted and they failed to take advantage.

As time progressed in the first half, the fluent attacks were less frequent but at times still penetrative. Our left flank had some joy with Trooper Kuipers, Guardsman Mills and Major Baynton-Williams triangular attacks causing damage. After about 20 minutes a slick move allowed Milsted to skilfully turn his opponent, on the bridge, and he fired a low shot past the last line of defence.

The remainder of the half saw both contingents thwart each other until just before the half time break. A short corner attack realised a breach when Mills cleverly deflected a shot past the Wanderers defence. 3-0, nice.

Captain Hey asked for more ball retention at half time. Chief Engineer Balbirnie suggested more transferring of the attack to stretch Wanderers defence.

The Jokers maintained most of the possession in the second half. Wanderers seemed content to defend deeper to avoid total destruction. The game offered fewer and fewer clean attacks. With about 25 minutes gone, a rare Wanderers attack led to a short corner breach at the bridge. The bridge conceded a direct hit. Neither Chief Defensive Officer Haycroft nor Major Baynton-Williams could divert the strike.

The last five minutes realised more pressure on the Wanderers defensive quadrant. Pressure yielded a couple of corners without a full breach of their bridge. In the last encounter a good move led to officiators awarding a penalty flick. Chief Engineer Balbirnie confidently provided a strong final breach of the Wanderers bridge. 4-1 result. Away mission successful.

Lieutenant Hardy