We were hurtling towards Sheffield in a fully packed Volvo that seemed to be wearing a big hat covered in dead flies. Our driver was suffering from a rare eye-death disease which meant he looked like a junkie Basset hound.
As I had left the travel Othello in my bag which was trapped amongst the
tangle of scrap metal pile of polo bikes in the boot, Clem downloaded the digital version so that we could have a backseat Othello showdown.
Meanwhile Glasgow Bike Polo’s WhatsApp conversation, which had been mainly travel and roadside eatery updates quickly descended into Ally (who sadly couldn’t come to the tourney) sending us more and more lurid photoshopped images of various members of GHBP.
The first people we really spoke to in Sheffield were Andre and Ady from Bristol, who nearly talked us into going clubbing with them despite their disappointment that we didn’t have any heroin with us (“But you’re from Glasgow…?”).
After taking a long time rebuilding our bikes and a ‘spoons breakfast (or two for Brickman) we arrived at the Cliffhanger Festival.
Our court for the weekend was a lovely smooth tarmac number, slightly thinner than most of us were used to. With a nice elevated grassy area for spectators/hecklers.
I’m pretty sure it wasn’t just my own fair team of ex pornstars who had a bit of a wobbly start as we stepped out onto the court, which seemed to have been preheated to 200*C.
The sun was relentless all day but nobody got too badly Zoidberged and there was plenty of refreshments, including team Banana Space Rockets making actual Banana Space Rocket cocktails! More teams should come replete with cocktails, no, ALL teams should!!
I’m afraid I can’t comment too much on what happened in the Saturday games. My memory is a mess of icecream, suncream & sweat. (which would be an applicable cocktail for my own team!)
I know that I very much enjoyed Saturday and I can gladly say that in total there were more Lolz than goals. Which is what Polo is all about.
Later on, showered and burritoed we arrived at the Red Deer for some apres polo drinks, Jenga & a pub quiz. the banter was mostly of a highly quality and the band were pretty good (despite only doing one Disney song) and I was introduced to Apple and Passionfruit cider from a company in Edinburgh, which is hopefully going to be the main sponsor at our next tourney.
You don’t get much sleep at tourneys as a general rule but it really doesn’t help if the Friday and Saturday nights are the shortest nights of the year. The combination of sleep deprivation, sunstroke, hangover & dehydration made the event look a bit more like a Worst Dressed Zombie contest.
Despite this fact, the polo was good. The polo was very good. Goals were as numerous as smiles and thankfully (almost all) ego was left on the court.
If there had been a prize for Best Crash, our Colin would have won, hands down. Or rather hands, arms, head and torso down, on the ground, outside the court after being shouldershoved through the court’s gate leaving just his bike and his legs from the knee down on the right side of the boards. Despite cracking his helmet (the one on his head) he still bounded back onto the court in his spaniel-esque way and played his heart out.
A number of the knock out games turned into golden goal situations (as if the weather wasn’t face-melty enough) and the heckles were thrown with great love and admiration by the spectators.
The Losers Bracket was hard fought and an amazing marathonic effort by Barrymore’s Boys was only just thwarted by a hat-trick of goals from an Adonis, a Cadillac of men (if you will) from the team We’re Not Pornstars… Anymore. A team who are now officially ‘Reet Good’.
The “proper” final was between Glasgow’s own GoreBalls and Liverbirds. It was fittingly close and very exciting. The Glaswegians made us proud with lots of near misses and some amazing saves but the Liverbirds eventually muscled in to take the win 2-0.
It was a close game but eventually Chris, Chan & Chris were crowned “Champion” and there was much rejoicing.
Accolades also went to:
Glasgow’s Lizzy who shared MVP in the Loser’s Bracket
Glasgow’s Clem who shared MVP with Killer Joe in the Winner’s Bracket
Team GoreBalls were (not just in my biased eyes) People’s Champions.
But the real winner, my friends, was Polo…
Many thanks and kind regards go out to our hosts Rita and Gav for their hospitality.
And much appreciation goes out to the organisers and event staff!
p.s. Can I please request a scoreboard is used next time? Since someone being able to goal ref doesn’t necessarily mean that they can also count!