The much anticipated clash with one of the top teams from the last two seasons had every committed team member chomping at the bit to get into the action. Noticing the poor example set by an obviously less committed Team Captain I decided that I should be one hour early for my ride. This commitment was not shared by Mark, Davey and Bolt so I was forced to wait on Cuba Street for an hour while they relaxed in bed. Once the boys finally got their shit together we departed for the game.
The shirts were once again hung beautifully in the changing room and pitch was looking fantastic (kudos to groundskeeper B. A. Baracus), so the scene was set for another epic Marauder victory.
The pre-match shenanigans were a bit more varied than previously with both passing and shooting practice going well. Bolts found the going quite tough as we peppered his goal with some ferocious shots. The well insulated goalie shirt had Bolts sweating like a rapist, we were informed post match that he’s actually from New Plymouth, so we can’t be sure that he was sweating ‘like’ one or not. The other highlight pre match was Shaqs eloquent control .His gigantic ear ring clearly putting him off balance as he tumbled whilst trapping a cross.
Our hour long warm up was in stark contrast to our opposition who spent most of their time resting their weary bones in the dressing room. This rest did very little to help them at the end of the game as we clearly had the legs on them. After an inspirational pep talk from their captain my charges were ready to “go hard” and after a winning of the toss the game began.
The first half saw the P-Town team play some good football. Considering they were down a man at the start they managed to keep us well contained and we reverted back to the wing attacks of old. Once they finally got their full complement their experience showed through with every offside call in the half being made by their back four with most of them being dubious at best. That frustration aside I have to say the ref had a pretty good game.
It became evident the P-Town number 10 may also hail from New Plymouth as can be shown of the way he forced himself upon Bowie. Bowie managed to win the ball in a pretty fair challenge, number 10 was so impressed by this that he made an advance which led to he and Bowie being locked in a tight embrace. Bowie was forced into the catcher position and it looked all too comfortable and pleased about it. Bowies little adventure with number 10 clearly gave him a classic case of the blue balls, as he spent the rest of the game trying to get some more action for his groinal region. Finally Bowie succeeded late in the game when he managed to get his nuts between the opposition and the ball. All this action clearly wasn’t enough to satisfy Bowie who raced off after the game to relive the incident with his ‘girlfriend’ in Lower Hutt. One can presume he was the pitcher in this case, but we can’t be too sure.
The game moved on with a few good strikes, notably from Fold, who’s shot from just outside the imaginary box just missed the left hand upright. We pushed forward looking for the breakthrough and left ourselves vulnerable at the back. Two P-Town players were left unmarked on our left flank with Jono ‘the wall’ nowhere to be seen, calls for offside went unanswered and they raced away to slot one past Bolts who was obviously still recovering from the warm up. 1-0 Porirua.
The rest of the first half saw some good passing but not many opportunities and we went into the break 1-0 down.
The second half saw The Marauders begin to dominate. Some great passing play up our favoured left flank and another penetrating run from Jono was followed by a solid shot that the P-Town keeper couldn’t hold. This was pounced upon by Mark who slotted in the top right corner. 1-1.
One of the few opportunities for P-Town saw their star player, number 3, weaving down our right and into the box. Dumpster decided to take out the trash and slid in. The whistle was blown and the penalty given (I’ll leave it for people with a better vantage point to comment on legitimacy of the decision). Up stepped some old dude (probably on his second or third hip) to face off against Bolts. Bolts preformed the first miracle of the season and picked the right direction to save the penalty. Splendid stuff!! Still 1-1.
From there the Marauders started to really control the game, having many shots and pretty much winning every goal kick they had with solid headers in the midfield. A foul was won about 25 meters out and up stepped Wilson to take the free kick. He made it blatantly obvious that he was going to shoot by obsessing over the wall being back the regulation 10 yards. He then proceeded to clear the wall quite easily as well as the crossbar. It fair to say the wall could have been 1 meter away and he still would have cleared it.
All the Upper Hutt youngsters had a fine game, most notably Gordo who scored the match winner after a good run up the left. His shot was from a very acute angle but was struck strong enough so the keeper could do little else but help it on its way into the net. 2-1 Marauders.
We continued to dominate possession towards the end of the game and P-Town basically gave up. The one remaining highlight/lowlight that I guess I have to mention occurred thankfully while we were 2-1 up. A strong run up the right by Bowie was followed by a good cross to about 4 Marauders standing unmarked in the box. The cross was controlled by myself but took a horrid bounce off a rouge tuft of grass (I will have strong words to B.A. Baracus about this). Next the planets of Mars, Saturn, Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune aligned above the ball, their combined gravitational pull causing the ball to hang in the air for what seemed like an eternity. It was only when Wilson moved closer to the action that his own gravitational pulled the ball back down to earth. With all the four of our players staring at each other it was left for me to attempt a finish, unfortunately I pushed the ball just wide of the right upright.
So The Marauders unbeaten streak in the preseason continued with our 2-1 victory and it was off to the pub for the lads. The lure of the super jugs meant it was back to the Southern Cross for a few quiets. The new members of the team were shown the ropes with generous offerings from Mark, Davey and Myself. Fold showed up the other trialists by also putting on a good spread. With the preseason over I have to note that turnout hasn’t always been the best. Only the faithful five of Myself, Mark, Davey, Bowie and Wilson playing in all 3 encounters.
Dribble and Lammo for the no-show.
Lammo for not enquiring about the result. (Your starting to approach Alesbrook in the fines stake, lets hope your better at paying up!)
Matt and Bolts for not buying there beer in the traditional Marauder Super Jug
Wilson for providing a player not in official kit. Only WAGS wear earrings Shaq!
Bowie for not attending the after match function.
The Marauders Football Club