Game 3, Season 35 Aye Aye Naenae. The Battle of Nairnville as seen by cabin boy Young Nick

They blew in from the north full of piss and vinegar from plundering Island Bay 7 -1.  Earlier that afternoon they had gathered at the Naenae "Fry 'n DIne".  The captain had drawn a crude  "X" on a napkin with the coordinates 41.23 degrees south by 174.78 degrees east. "That me boys" he sneered "is where we do our raping and pillaging today!"  Climbing into their tradies vans they set sail.

On Mount Kaukau a well dressed observer unfurls his telescope and trains his eye on Nairnville Park.  The first 40 minutes of action he surveys are characterised by a series of forays deep into Bombers' territory.  The Naenaeites launch salvos and twice the Bombers' hull is nearly holed.  Hansie, awake to the mounting danger, devises a tactical manoeuvre not seen in these waters before.   Instead of tackling the advancing striker, Hansie joins with him shoulder to shoulder before shaping himself into a human torpedo and, fulfilling on the prophecy of his Christian name, hurtles himself at the groin of Cap'n Gyles.  Said Cap'n folds like wet kelp.  From then on the bewildered opposition are unable to tell their transom from their poop deck nor their mizzen from their spanker. 

Half time and Cap'n Gyles issues two directives - "tighten up midships and show more mongrel!"  Our Kaukau observer witnesses a different sea in the second half as the Capn's directives are implemented with frightening efficiency and telling results. Ample possession is secured and a series of corner broadsides from Three Sheets to the Wind Mary Mark on port and Bosun O'Donovan on starboard make the difference.  T'is  just a matter of time before one such cannon does the damage. The ball floating into the six yard box ricochets from man to man like a Javanese lady boy until entering the orbit of Mad Bad John Ragg.  A man with less ballast might have knobbed the ball into the goal with a pelvic thrust but Mad Bad John Ragg bellies the ball over the line.  The tide has swung the Bombers' way.

The wind swings ten degrees to the west allowing Zel Boy to launch a broad reach down port side with all sails aloft.  Zel deftly lays the ball to Three Sheets who lobs the ball to the ship's surgeon.  With a flick off the surgeon's cranium the ball sails across the arc of visibility to land at the beakhead of Sweet Gene Vincent who ignores the flying fists of the onrushing keeper, braces his mantle and secures number two.   

The Naenaeites, now fighting a head wind and an outgoing tide, valiantly battle on and almost breach the Bombers' pristine hull but for devine intervention - Son of Neptune scythes down an attacker in the box.  Cap'n Gyles, on taking up the referree's whistle, had issued a "I call it as I see it" warning and wearing his eye patch he indeed sees only a clean sheet.

As the final whistle blows our Kaukau observer concertinas his telescope and reflects on a victory won through sound collective effort over individual flair; of savvy over swag.  

Now broken men, the Naenaeites climb into their vans and head back to the badlands where wenches and children spend the evening finding the safety of shadows.  

The Bombers empty tankards of ale and fill their tummies with fried food.  Stories are embellished and legends shaped.