The low sun shone brightly down the pitch as the match kicked off. It was sure to be a factor in the first half, as it was very difficult to see the ball in the air. Keep your positions (particularly in the midfield!), keep the ball on the ground, and deliver it to feet was the message to the players before the game. Yeah right!
The long grass presented further challenges, as the players are now accustomed to the artificial turf where the ball rolls so easily. Those capable of it opted for the aerial speculator. The remainder, of less strength and co-ordination, regularly underhit the ball causing it to slow in the grass. At least the surface was soft and cushioned the falls, of which there were many.
At half-time, the score was 1-0. I can’t remember who scored, or how. In the second half, despite repeated and entirely justified calls for offside, handballs and incorrect throw-ins, the game flowed more. There were numerous chances to score as the midfield predictably opened up, but only one shot found its mark to level the scores. End result – a very unsatisfying 1-1 draw between Grade 11’s Onslow Imrans and WU Hungaria.
Later that day, as the sun set, the childrens’ footballing fathers and grandfathers met at Anderson Park as North Wellington Onslows fought the University Bombers. In an almost identical match, of only slightly lower quality, no quarter was given, and no stone left unturned in search of victory. Indeed, two of your correspondent’s stones were badly injured in a poorly judged challenge, though in truth they were in poor condition already.
The highlight of the game was undoubtedly Sceatsy’s levelling strike in the second half, immediately after a masterful substitution from Doc. Replacing Stent on the pretext of a life and death emergency phone call, Sceatsy dropped into right midfield. While Stent arranged his Hurricanes tickets for the night, the ball fell unexpectedly at Sceatsy’s feet. With the goalie out of position, he hammered home a goal. The type of goal that sticks in the memory for about 3 ½ days. As I write this 5 days later it’s a glimmer. I think it was good though. Several other almost goals (which are a real thing in Masters 4) went to John Boyd, John Ragg and Danny Morgan. I remember Danny’s and JB’s well – seconds to go, Danny right in front with only the keeper to beat. Hit the bloody cross bar!!!! JB with a header on the rebound. Yes! No! Cleared off the line by a ghost defender !!!. 1-1 it ends.
None of the Grade 11 Imrans were in attendance, as it’s “just old men running around swearing a lot, and its boring!” No gummy women watching on this week either. Marky Mark those pliers were a good idea, but never mind.
Next week – IBU Internationals. Played 5, Lost 4, Goal Difference -15. Please don’t let it be rained off (tough shit. ed) Come on Bombers! Lets listen to the old guy in the yellow shirt that keeps coming to our games. Keep your positions (particularly in the midfield!), keep the ball on the ground and deliver it to feet and we’ll bring the fans back.