16 August ‘18—dukes up match report

ATT: CB, DC, EC, CG, JH (MOM), RH, AW

Nannas 9 plays B West 2

Preamble: it was my penultimate day at the Department, and as so often happens in this situation everyone wanted me to do something for them. To shake this off I went visiting Jezza at the Great Northern for a couple of drinks and smokes.

I did think I may have overdone it as I was feeling just a little jaded riding up to Brunswick but once I arrived I seemed to perk up somewhat. I dunno if it was the stadium, the sight of fit young men playing soccer, or just being in the presence of Nannas. Whatever it was, I started to really feel like playing.

The game: the opposition were five; there were a man down but had a ringer. We were seven. Tao had his times all mixed up and had to do the late extraction but El was more than willing to deputise, that is, after he digested his KFC but let us not hold his dietary choices against him. In those first five minutes El was our shining light. While most of the Nannas lumbered across the court, El belied his tender years and flew from confrontation to challenge, from pass to intercept, and then got our first goal. In these early stages in the match, when we went two goals down, he almost single-handedly brought us back into the game.

It was also El, displaying this same exuberance of youth, that led to a major flashpoint. It was about 10 minutes in and El was hustling and bustling this dude for the ball. Chassy was also there trying to wrest it away as well. El challenged, and then he challenged a third, fourth, and fifth time. Eventually the whistle blew and when it did there was the normal disengagement of bodies, but also the need of opponent to detach from opponent, you know, give him the good ol’ chest push. El gave him one, the dude gave him one back. This is where it would usually end with one or two parting words and a couple of dirty looks shot in the other person’s general direction but on this occasion the dude decided that wasn’t enough for him and that the throwing of blows would be a more fitting finale to their small, and seemingly innocuous meeting. He put his dukes up.

Unsurprisingly Nannas were seen hauling arse from everywhere. In fact, it was the quickest most had seen them moved all night. Phil to his credit stepped in, flashed his red card in the face of the dude and his up-pointed dukes and that was that.

The big question on everyone’s lips after this was: would the Nannas be able to make them pay? Would we hold the ball, pass it around, use the extra man to our advantage, or would we throw it away, pass to no one and just generally fuck ourselves? Well, let’s just say that it was a lot of former and a little of the latter. Yes, there were some few shit moments of play where we couldn’t seem to hold onto it, but for the most part our passing was on target, our teamwork was shit hot and we went on to score eight goals, effectively cutting them up.

Of course, their ringer decided at half time that he would desert the sinking ship that was B West, but Joel did come on for them, and so did one of those very crafty and skilful Iranians but we were too good.

I do remember some great goals: by father and son duo Cocky and El; a couple of toe pokes by yours truly; a fine ball from El setting up the right foot volley also by yours truly; but then there was the full length cross-court pass, with a header to finish.

Yes, this was the goal of the game (which probably earned me MOM) but it was a goody. Gilla fed me at the back. One of their players rushed forward to close me down but I could see Cocky in space at the other end of the court, a couple of metres to the left of goal. I pinged it long and hard, figuring that Cocky would pull it down, turn and shoot. He did nothing of the sort. He threw his sizable melon at it, connecting just at the right angle to force the ball into the back of the net. Cocky did mention after the game that their keeper was well out of position but still, it was a great goal.

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