It had been a tough week. Relentless rain, unremitting cold and chilling winds, a time of streaming red noses – getting up in the dark, trudging off and stumbling home head bent against the elements, just getting by. The super 15 was lost. July is not an easy month.
There was little chance of football to leaven the mood as cancellations abounded. But what’s this? A message from the assistant gardener with an unmistakeable gleeful tone: “It’s On!” he announced, clearly expecting an uplifting experience.
Anxious emails suggested a depleted squad. We’d be without The Jackal, Hilda, Mike the new guy and Tiberius, but what really do they contribute? Well we were about to find out.
Bombers assembled on the Saturday with the sun beaming on an claggy Nairnville pitch. We had 12 and with the arrival of Doc just on kickoff, that meant a ref and a sub. And what of the Zimmers who had succumbed to us 3 – 0 at a warmer time of the season? They’re a big-boned lot and have clearly feasted well since the arrival of their strip, but would physical presence be enough?
For once Gyles was able to declare who was playing where as choices were limited. It looked a balanced side, and we had JB’s trainee son-in-law who didn’t look a day over 35 despite the ageing effects of a beard and a vintage top. We knew a good start was important…
And it wasn’t too dusty, a promising move down the right, interrupted by a large Zimmer who rather hopefully hoofed it forward. Surely that will be cut out thought all of the 10 bombers standing stock-still. But no, the ball was through with a Zimmer behind it, and he bloody chipped the keeper! Well that’s not going to lift any moods. A goal down in 1 minute! Could it be any worse?
Of course. A rather lame Zimmer attack resulted in the ball breaking to a chap that looked like an enormous baby, and he banana’ed it in off the post with Gyles helpless. Bloody heck! 2 – 0 with 5 gone!
But here was an inspirational moment. With an air of a man who has just pulled out various iv lines and catheters to get to the game, Zel marched over the rugby field to join the fight. He spent the next 20 minutes on the sideline.
Hansie then had a little Magic Mike cameo, divesting himself of an undergarment with a flash of rippled torso that could only impress our portly opposition.
Now the bombers got into gear and dominated. We bossed the midfield apparently. JB helpfully pointed out in the pub afterwards that North Wellington had conceded the centre of the park in favour of a stout 5 man defence. This wasn’t noticed by anyone else.
We did notice we had some chances. The trainee son-in-law one on one with the keeper, JB with a penalty area volley, some promising moves that deserved better finishes and oh so many corners! We played them short, long, high and low, but it wasn’t until Son of God took a couple from the East wing that North Wellington looked troubled. Glorious, arcing deliveries to the far post. The Zimmers stood fixed to the spot but alas so did various Bombers as no-one could see the ball looking into the sun. Bloody Danny should have gone for goal.
Half time arrived and Gyles was grumpy. He thought we were inept which no-one argued with. Someone else thought we were playing well which no-one argued with either, so with nothing decided we thought we’d better get back on the field, pausing briefly to let Marky finish his smoke. Mingus stated his mind and feet had had a relationship breakdown so took a break. He thought things were bound to improve.
But they didn’t. It became 3-0 soon after the break. I won’t describe what occurred but it had a kind of own goal feel to it. Those chubby chaps had 3 chances and they had 3 goals!
Was anything going to go right? Well we scored. Your reporter made telling eye contact with JB who set off on a cute diagonal run. This invited a peach of a pass and so it happened. JB kept his feet and his head to score with a grace surpassing description. Here we go!
Nintendo moved forward, announcing to anyone that cared that he had done so, and promptly scythed down Barney the Dinosaur in an advanced right wing position, Doc had locked down the right and was combining well with Gene, the left was sorted by Alistair and Zel, and Smut was holding up well. Was the week about to come right?
Of course not. A weak cross from a Billy Bunter type resulted in black on black midair collision. The ball broke loose and a corpulent fellow had an open goal to poke into. Giles now right off the grumpy scale.
4 – 1 it finished. Christ we deserved more, but sometimes it’s just not your time. Ask Rafael Nadal, Brad Haddin, Fabien Cancellara or Rory McIlroy. We have had our nadir. It really was a tough week.