The mighty Heathens start getting ready for the season with a feisty friendly against their neighbours from Burnt Ash.
After a bloodless summer coup, the newly installed captain Paddy optimistically selected his Mauve Army following last week's trials... Not all of them attended as some preferred tuba, double bass or harp practice to playing with Bobblehead and Snatch; or played the “I’ve trained too hard and can’t move anymore” card. Nevertheless, nothing stopped our valiant captain from organising a strong side for his first outing.
Saturday was nice and sunny, the Heathens team turned up at the pitch, almost all of them and almost on time. A tailor got lost looking for a goalkeeper pad and another youngster was no longer certain about his availability. Time being of the essence the game started with a kicking back. Be reassured that they all found their way to the pitch and very quickly the team could reshape as per plan with couple of spare men on the side.
The first half was very intense with strong and well-constructed attacks from the mighty Heathens. Good ball work and some adventurous play out wide meant several attempts were made to score. Burnt Ash demonstrated good defensive skills against those attacks and were quick to respond with sharp counter attacks. At times a bit too sharp, as our beloved 6X departed due to a wild swing damaging his right knee. "Oh no!" cried the crowd with despair, "that was the only part of his body still undamaged!" After a small break graciously offered by the umpire, Burnt Ash could proceed with their attack.
The Heathens strong defensive display continued, despite our great loss. Brett AKA The Wall from SA (second strongest wall after the one of China) methodically applied his skills and nobody got through, he was well supported by South London's answer to Speedy Gonzales to his left and the best suited man of the whole England Hockey League Tim “Ciseaux d’Or”. Half time came and the score was nil-nil…
A good speech by the captain, a few others chimed in, and the Heathens were ready to rock and roll!
Steaming into the second half the forwards were making themselves more and more dangerous in the Burnt Ash “D”. Quick Harry, Sneaky Snatch and Papa Moore offered a variety of challenges to the goalie. Still no goals though… Supported by young legs of Josh, James and Greg and led in the middle by a rejuvenated Dan (some say he went for “Thalasso” in the far-east of Europe all summer and came back with a brand-new body… others claim he has been running his socks off all summer prepping for the season and a half marathon… we shall never know the truth) kept feeding good balls into the D. And YES YES YES Snatch gets the ball and boooooooooooom it is a GOOOOOOOOOAAAALLLLLLLLLLL… what a lovely outcome!
The Heathens lead the game. However Burnt Ash had were not finished and doubled their efforts to get into the D. With the help of “god or someone else” and sheer tenacity they managed to collect an uncountable number of Short Corners. The Belgian waffled on at the umpire one too many times, before huffing and puffing into his beard and left the pitch to a chorus of “Alleluia” and a red mark against his name. The game continued with the Heathens reduced to 10 men and soon suffered an equaliser goal. The Heathens kept fighting and a second goal happened unfortunately some call it the “Leg of God” others (notably the one with the whistle) called it the leg of Snatch and dismissed it.
The game ended 1-1, a few people very pleased with themselves and a Belgian incarcerated for outrage at the magistrate.
This has been written with love from exile.
A flurry of bullets which didn't make it into the full report:
- Captain Paddy – Injured
- Tim and Tom did manage to arrive to the game but just not on time
- James Crowned Man of the Match, forgot how to set himself available on pitcher. Don t worry he is now set up on an advance training (and turned up eventually)
- 6X survived but has a new bionic knee
- A Burth Ash player is still looking for Josh after he damage his stick with his head (Josh’s head not the stick)
- Harry wishes he scored that goal…
- Andy Moore is thankful to have played as Centre Back
- Everyone Loves Snatch for his Goal others even more for his beautiful leg
- Bobblehead is still the fastest
- Dan’s the man
- Brett strong as ever
- Quick legs Greg
- Naughty Steve supporting the colour blinds, offering red and green for who wants it