After running amock in the city, the spirit of out of town came calling to Parklands FC. With another long weekend looming it was inevitable that we leave the freezing Nairobi weather for better adventures, especially for the unmarried who are not planning on having unplanned babies next year. Earlier on, the excitement resided in going to Namanga the Kenyan – Tanzania border that would allow a few of the city dwellers an opportunity to leave their country even once. A late change in plans rerouted the team to Narok’s William Ole Ntimama stadium to face Narok Homeboys with the team accepting the challenge. Having engaged in tennis score matches in the city it was only fitting that we the team sorts new opponents to test themselves. The July weather is unforgiving not only to the bachelors but also road users with vehicles prone to accidents due to poor visibility and slippery road. As the team left caution was the name of the game with several accidents already reported on the Limuru road as a result of foggy weather. However, it was in the process of this caution that Zlatan missed the Narok-Mahiu turn and made it to the Rift valley viewpoint before realizing he is lost. And as Mwai did an immediate turnaround, he was passed by a high-flying Waire who was determined to get lost, in a case of dumb and dumber. Zlatan being the Good Samaritan called Waire to redirect him, but the lawyer in Waire would not allow him to listen to reason. It was only as Waire was fast approaching Kimende that he realized he had Kijabe in his sights and was definitely lost. Meanwhile, Masoni was making several checkpoints at Ola Gas Stations ensuring that every system was in order and that patrons were in full uniform. As per his stops, there are a total of 14 Ola Petrol Stations between Nairobi and Narok. It must be tough to be a Petrol Station manager, there you are “unakula njaro” when your boss en route on holiday walks in unannounced just to ensure everything is up to date. By kick-off, only a set of 8 players were warming up. Arrived Zlatan and Mitch to save the team with faith that with the two players in tow, the match was as good as won. With coach Waire still in Naivasha navigating back to Mai Mahiu, Chuba was charged with captaining the team as Babu continued his chase for a clean sheet. With no natural center back, a pairing of Tiger and Mitch with Droopy and Rasco as fullbacks. CDM Masoni was tasked with supporting the defense with Chubar given the creative 8 slots. Rasco started with a supporting winger while Erico attacked from the right. Sisco spearheaded the attack but allowed Zlatan to start up front to allow him to warm up. Parklands didn’t miss a beat starting out as Chubar combined brilliantly with Zlatan who set up Sisco to release Rasco down the left to create the first chance of the game. Despite being a man down PSC already looked to have the upper hand as they contained Narok Homeboys in their half. Waire soon join the foray as Rasco was pushed as a winger. Droopy found himself on defense duties as the opponents looked to penetrate from the right but he was at hand in stopping the attacks that came his way. However, it was Tiger who proved the commanding voice at the back, shepherding the defense into position as the team contained any form of attack through a well-set offside trap. Any ball that bet the defense would easily have been collected by Babu who offered the last option in defense and first option in attack. It was a matter of when, with Chubar receiving an outfoot from Waire threaded the ball onto Sisco’s eloquent run, who drove into the box and sidestepped one defender before daring the goalkeeper to catch his thunderbolt. Hayawi hayawi huwa. One-nil to the visitors. Narok not looking to be outdone stepped up, with long balls that looked to cause problems to the defense but all the questions were being answered. Masoni provide a cushion at the base of the midfield with Chubar doing the donkey work and Zlatan pulling the string, PSC was dominating as Rasco and Sisco were proving a bother with their runs and half chances upfront. The second chance of the game fell to Zlatan but his left-foot strike from the edge of the box was easily held by the keeper. It was Droopy’s turn to clean up the defense as he intercepted with a header before setting up Erico whose cross Rasco was unable to turn it in. As Parklands employed short short long passes, Narok Homeboys preferred to by-pass the midfield afraid to go one-on-one with Chubar-Mason-Zlatan, instead threading the balls wide to their wingers. However, Droopy and Waire were at hand to snuff up any occurring opportunities, besting the opponents on each time of questioning. When the wings failed they tried the middle but here they found a bus, Tigress proving a master and instead returning in kind by starting the teams’ attacks. As the home team sought quick answers, Mitch intercepted a through ball, and his first-time pass to Erico, allowed him to make a meal of his marker before his quick cross caught the opponents unaware, but Sisco was alert as always controlling the ball before drilling home his second of the day. You could feel the home fans shift in support as they could not help but cheer for the mesmerizing visitors. On the left wing, it was raining hailstones as Rasco was running down his marker. The quick one-twos with Sisco were proving difficult as Rasco had chance after chance to bury the game. It was in one of the instances that Rasco’s well-taken cross found Erico who under the defender’s pressure could only sky the ball with the goalkeeper to beat. The next opportunity would fall to Sisco who Zlatan released with only the keeper to beat, he chose power over placing with the keeper’s fingertip save pushing the ball on the woodwork to deny him the first-half hattrick. With the left proving the attacking pivot, Masoni shifted to supporting the adventurers’ team while Droopy on the right could be heard shouting for the midfielders to change wing. Apart from a corner or two that proved a nuisance the defense and the keeper were simply unbothered with Tiger’s tactics proving enough to contain the attack. A simple 2-0 was how the first half ended. Half-time break and quick substitutions; Dubiz in for Erico and Mutua for Mitch in defense. Rasco on the other hand was MIA at the halfway break as he indicated that his running on the pitch has a linear regression on his stomach ensuring that the stadium’s loos would need to be demolished after the large bank deposit they had received from Rasco. Back to the game and the second-half pace proved to be slower and casual for Parklands. Zlatan was still warming into the game while Doobiz was still finding his feet on the ground. Waire on the other hand found himself targeted by the high pressing forwards after it had been discovered that “kabla apige ball, lazma afikirie na achague mguu kwanza” was a delay that the opponents looked to capitalize on. But Waire had the exact answers for the opponents unleashing machete after machete with the referee having no option but to book him for a late tackle. Batoto Ba Congo was thrown in for a tired Zlatan as the team looked to increase the momentum of the game. The chances were flowing, but so was wastefulness upfront. Jonathan had an immediate impact receiving a ball from Chubar before rounding the keeper and chipping it to Doobiz who only had the empty net to tap in. Doobiz could head it, kiss it, chest it, volley it, gully creep, sit down, and it would still be a goal, but Doobiz did the most Doobiz thing, controlled it with his chest, allow it to bounce, and pass it the keeper who had returned to his goal line. Kakamega Homeboys, however, showed that they meant business taking advantage of the miscommunication between Mutua and Tigress’s offside trap, to salvage a goal back with a neat header. Buoyed by the goal Narok Homeboys intensified their attacks, but it was Jonathan, the Rumba maestro who intercepted a poor goalkeeper’s clearance, danced Lingala in between the defenders, before sending the goalkeeper to Maasai Mara increasing the teams tally to 3-1. A beautifully executed goal. The goal proving a motivation more chances started to creep as Sisco had a short saved, Doobiz hitting the side net, before Jonathan’s chip was easily saved by the goalkeeper. The defense was not in a picnic either, as Babu was being forced into save after save, with Narok Homeboys having a goal chalked off for offside. There was time for drama as Mutua had his name taken into for a combination of rough play and foul mouth. Rasco could also not resist going onto the referee’s book after his retaliation was deemed unsportsmanlike. Eventually, it was Droopy who pulled off the save of the year with a goal line clearance that the VAR indicated only half the ball had crossed the line. Chuba in his quest for a chobo throughout the game lost the ball in front of the defense, a quick pass had the Chinese Narok Homeboy’s striker one-on-one with Babu, he teased Babu in the by-line before chipping over him, but as he turned to celebrate his goal, Droopy was quick to recover and with an acrobatic clearance ensured that the team only conceded one goal. At the end of the year’s awards surely the organizers will remember this effort. And as in many PSC books, Doobiz had the last say, Chubar proving the provider as his throw ball released Doobiz, who still had to tribble, hold off an opponent, and loop over the onrushing goalkeeper into the top net corner. There was no coming back for Narok Homeboys as they accepted defeat for the second game running against PSC. With the first two halves, done it was time for the third half; a striker who groundnuts, drank tea, soup, and soda as an appetizer, a midfielder who masqueraded as a concerned party in the kitchen to eat a half raw gizzard in what can only be assumed as the talked about winning rituals in Conte’s biography, a goalkeeper who instead of talking with his eyes open would rather tilt his head to see better, and a meal that we are grateful for, everyone ate and drank to their fill.