Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Toe pokes and elbows

Greetings, all. Another healthy turnout this week, with twenty players vying for position on the field. Tony was a late replacement for Ian Gooner, who had overdone it the night before. (Quelle surprise).
On what proved to be a balmy late Spring evening, here are your two teams:

Yellows: Paul of the Antarctic, Simon Ink, Joseph, Ed, Tony, Danny, Ross, David, Alex and Liam

Blues: Andy, me, Steve, Simon Gas, Mick, Alan, Mario, Andrea, Will and Yev

Yev arrived just the few minutes late this week, so the sides were spared any tinkering or rejigging and a very good game ensued. Mick did his best Sergeant Major impression by barking orders throughout proceedings, particularly at me and Steve, while a battle royale in midfield saw the delicate passing and superior movement of Will and Andrea up against the more Anglo-Saxon muscularity of Alex and Danny, with Ed stretching play from the left. Both attacks also looked well-stocked, with Liam performing his usual role as striker-cum-mosquito for the Yellows, ably supported by Ross. Meanwhile the Blues had the Hiberno-Italian combination of Alan and Mario and it was the latter combination that proved the difference on the night.

I believe that Alan opened the scoring, the first of a very impressive hat-trick, while Liam scored the first goal for the Yellows. Alan’s second was the first of two headers, before Steve scored with a David Narey-esque toe-poke – a pleasing series of cushioned headers between Steve, Mario and Andrea ended with Steve crashing home a twenty hard piledriver that evaded both David and Simon Ink in goal, who could only coyly lift his right ankle in response.

This turn of events incensed Alex, who roared forward in reply, screaming in anger as he evaded tackles and other efforts to stop him before rolling the ball to Liam, who calmly prodded home. Alan wasn’t finished, however, and stooped once more to head home from a right-wing centre from Andrea to complete the scoring and make it 4-2 to the Blue team.

Relatively little controversy this week bar a couple of disputed shouts for free-kicks, one against Alan for brushing Tony’s ankle and one called for when Liam and Simon Gas came together in a fair if concussive 50:50. There is a general sense of bones and tendons being increasingly endangered in recent weeks, a by-product of large turnouts, warmer weather and greater anger. Maybe it’s pre-referendum anxiety in the form of elbows.  Still, all’s fair in love and sport.

Despite the sultry weather, I heroically managed to eschew the pleasures of the Skinners this week in case I needed to drive my wife to the maternity ward, but I assume that a very pleasant evening was had by all.

See you all soon.  

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