Marauders vs Sunday Blazers
Fortress Moonshine Rongotai, 19 September 2010
Goal: Lightning Bolts
Defence: Dave, Case, Nick, Matt
Midfield: John, Adam, Dempster, Fabio
Up front: Mark, Dribble
Reserves: Steve, Jason
Ref: 1: Captain Glenlivet
Ref 2: James
Well putting it bluntly, it is safe to say that Sunday turned out to be one of the more shambolic outings in Marauders history (leaving aside Adam’s alcohol induced narcolepsy and Dribble power vomiting on Friday night). One can’t help but wonder whether my debut as captain had something to do with it, but for the current players and past representatives who did not witness the day’s events, read on and draw your own conclusions.
After months of miserable conditions, finally Wellington turned out a stunning day for football. All of us eager to put in an improved performance from the week before turned up at Fortress Moonshine at 12:30 sharp, scared the ducks off the field, removed the syringes, white board markers and broken bottles hiding in the grass (Adam, I take it there were not enough kids with detention this week to give the field at least a quick trim?) and set up the goals. Almost done with the far end goal we get the call from Adam to return to base. It turned out that the opposition could not afford email and were not aware of the field change from Rongotai. After some negotiating Adam concluded that not only could the Blazers not afford email, but they could not afford vehicles. With various Marauders members babysitting and WAG entertaining that night the 6:00pm artificial game was abandoned in favour of driving the 50km to Rongotai for a late kick off.
On arrival at Rongotai one would expect to see the field set up and the opposition ready to take the field (having arrived at the field 2 hours before). It proved that the Marauders have high expectations. For some reason the Blazers had not found it important to have goal posts installed. Not only that, as one Marauders pointed out they also had a van that could take the team to Fortress Moonshine FFS. After about 30 minutes of stuffing about the Blazers worked out that they had one set of posts for one field and one set of posts for the other. After we suggested we play diagonally across a 300 meter field the Blazers finally worked out how to fit a large peg in a small hole (genius).
With kick off looming at 2pm it turned out that the referee decided that Wellington was too far from Upper Hutt to make the trip leaving us without a referee. A quick recon from the captain landed us a referee for the second half (who happened to be refereeing a game next door). So with that, the Blazers coughed up a drunken sailor with a ship’s whistle to take the ref duties for the first half.
It’s fair to say we started off a bit rusty. After being used to the bog hole that is Fortress Moonshine at present, the hard ground caused much consternation as we struggled to bring the ball under control. Adam and Dempster worked well in the middle, but a lack of calling made the midfield’s job that much harder in the wind. Despite many midfield pep talks from Adam begging for us to call louder one could not help but wonder whether it maybe Adam’s ears rather than the Marauders’ vocal cords. That being said, the captain acknowledges a lack of early calling other than Mark’s occasional verbal tirade at Dave.
Midway through the first half, Mark got a brilliant left foot shot off the hit the back of the net dead centre to give the Marauders the early one nil lead. Bolts at the back (who had a late call up) started (and ended) the game strong and even into the wind was sending down some long rangers. With the Marauders in the lead a lapse in concentration lead to a Blazers’ goal slipping past Bolts right before half time. Quite surprisingly, Captain Glenlivet had a quiet match and the first half past without significant incident (Dempster what happened – perfect opportunity?).
The second half commenced with a bit more promise with the referee showing up from the neighbouring game. First touches started coming off and the wings started to get in a few more runs with good support from the midfield. The Captain managed to put in a long range cross which with the benefit of a healthy wind nearly turned out to be a top left post finder. Case, Dave Nick and Matt worked well together at the back although Case’s enthusiasm for running the length of the field with each play sometimes left a few of us scrambling. Case proved his worth with winning a significant amount of ball out on the right wing.
Midway through the second half a blatant foul in the box lead to a penalty kick (which luckily for the Marauders Dribble won out at paper scissors rock from Adam). There is no need for commentary on the shot as you just need to Double click on the pic below for the video (you will need PowerPoint) or this link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o472D0cvV9o
With the Marauders 2 -1 up mid way through the second half things started coming together and some much improved passing to feet saw a more structured attack. The Blazers’ goal was not threatened that often during the match, but Steve, Mark and Dribble put pressure on their not altogether bad defensive line. Unfortunately the Marauders hard work was undone close to the final whistle with a shambolic game of volleyball in front of the Marauders’ net resulting in Bolts having to scramble backwards on his stomach into the goal mouth to try and stop the ball trickling into the net. It was to no avail with the Blazer drawing level. Despite another exocet missile strike from Dribble on full time from well outside the box, the result ended up a draw.
Despite not being one of the Marauders better performances, some consolation can be taken in the fact that we had three WAGS in attendance (one of which was a strange looking sausage dog) and Pearl baked a splendid brownie – top shelf. To cap things off the Southern Cross was patronised for a post match beer and debrief.
That almost does it. Next week is the cup final and potentially a rather large session so everyone catch up on your sleep and recovery and let’s try and secure that winner’s medal on Sunday.
JC – over and out.
John – not actually knowing who kicks off if you lose the toss
Mark – not subbing when request by the captain
Dribble and Adam – civil servants going on strike (or even considering it)