ATT: CB, DC, CG, JH (MOM), RH
Nannas 4 plays Copa Cobana 3
Fletcher was officially five months on the day after the game; it had been just under five months since I had played for the Nannas.
Of the Nannas, there were five to take to court, with El taking up a sixth position. It was muted that we get a seventh but six was deemed ample (by those in the know). Yet, the sixth, El, did not end up being the sixth, as he somehow contrived to run into the back of a parked vehicle on the way to the game. Furthermore, for a moment, it did appear that Cocky would not make it either, having to tend to his injured child, but with about five minutes to spare he showed himself.
So, we were five. And what a magnificent vista of manhood we were too. At the back stood Gilla. Resplendent in his keepers kit, huffing it out nicely with his ample chest and sizable thighs. It was obvious, for anyone keen on looking, that getting past him would take some doing. At the other of the court, Cocky took his place. All pace and fury, all movement and magic, the Cock’s intent would be running himself back and forth, making the opposition pay for any look they gave him on goal. Just behind the Cock lurked the Chas. Now let me tell you a thing about the Chas. He might look ungainly, all legs a loping, but in truth they don’t call him the most beautiful Nanna for nothing. At right back was the Captain. With a fresh shave, he was a picture of sculptured sinew and monumental muscle; sleekness, out to cut a swathe through the opponents’ flank. Beside him is where I took up station. From my vantage point the court seemed small, the ball hard, the opposition slight and pink. I felt like we had them.
The early exchanges were positive. The Nannas took early touches, making favourable forays forward. We had the ball and were going to keep it. Furthermore, it was only a matter of time until we would break them down and score, and so it proved. The ball was delivered to me by Captain (I think) just inside their territory. Cocky could see plenty of space down their right flank and ran to where he hoped the ball would be delivered. I put it in front of him, and he duly slotted home. It was a fine effort given his natural right-footedness and the keeper came to meet him at the near post. 1-zip.
They got one next. It was their only good move for the entire game, opening us up with some fine passing and movement, which the Nannas were hard pressed to counter. 1-1.
Next came our second. I got the ball mid-court on their left with my back to goal. I had one dude to my back, and another loitering to my front. As the dude in front came to challenge, I slipped it passed him and turned the dude to my rear. All I had to do next was finish, which I did, hitting it low and hard, to the keeper’s right. 2-1.
I am pretty sure they got another before half time but can’t remember it.
Half time: 2-2.
At the break the Captain talked to us of pressure and keeping up our previous efforts. His masculinity and silky skin a guide and inspiration for all the Nannas.
Chassy took this inspiration to heart, leading the way with those loping legs of his. Early in second stanza he thought he was through but the ball jilted loose, leaving Chassy to run past their goals with nothing to show for it. Yet, as their keeper threw it back in, Chas saw his chance and jumped its intended recipient as the ball rolled toward him. He stole, he turned on goal, he placed it neatly passed their keeper. 3-2.
Their next goal was my fault. The ball came bouncing through. I failed to clear it, only getting a weak touch, which only set them up. 3-3.
This last goal proved a tonic for the Nannas; we knew we were better than these young punks, we knew we could beat them, and we certainly knew we weren’t going to lose. So we pushed forward time and time hitting cross bars, skewing our shots just wide, missing final touches that would have let us in on goal until finally, during one of these attacking raids, the Cock was hauled down just outside their penalty area. He stepped up, sizing up the shot. They put three in the wall, and had one marking Chassy over to on Cocky’s left. That left me unattended, so I wondered over to the right. There I stood all alone, the back of the net beckoning me like David Beckham’s flashing boots. Cocky was given the green light to strike. He pondered his options. He looked at the wall, throwing a cursory glance in my direction. I wondered, will he kick it to me? The moment lingered, until suddenly the ball came my way; the perfect pass, expertly weighted, right in the middle of my stance. All I had to do was lean back and lash into the top right corner, which I did. 4-3.
Then came the last two minutes of the game. We felt in control, we were pushing for a fifth, the killer blow. But somewhere in all that dash and hustle, pushing forward, striving for that final pass, we gave it up, and, in true Nanna fashion, in mid-field too. Well, the opposition saw their chance, could they steal a draw from the clutches of defeat, maybe even get two and take the victory? The Nannas backpedalled, Gilla threw himself this way and that, heaving that huffing chest of his as he repelled shot after shot. Suddenly, all our control and passing deserted us, not being able to even get a touch. Suddenly we were under the pump. But the clock was against them, and we, even though we did panic a little, were resolute.
Final score 4-3.