When I arrived at the ground on Saturday to be met by a flock of Ibis sitting in the middle of the pitch I should have known it was a bad omen. This was especially so when I went to take a photo and the whole flock of about 20 birds flew away in a Damon like moment ( Gregorian chanting faintly echoing in my ears).
When the referee arrived he said that the pitch wasn’t playable and he would call the game off. Yet another sign that we should all go to the pub. Unfortunately, insanity prevailed and we decided the play the game anyway.
The first half of the first half was a very reasonable performance as we shot away to a 3-1 lead and could have a had a couple of others but for some luck and a very good save by their keeper.
A very good first goal from Jan, form outside the box curled into the top left corner, set the tone, followed by another good goal and a well taken penalty after a clear handball. In between those two goals UniSA got one of their own after the midfield and defence decided to go to sleep and let the opposition run amok.
Once we had scored the penalty though (very well put away by Chad), you would have thought UniSA would crumble under relentless White pressure. Sadly this was not to be as the game completely changed and UnisA dominated the last 20 minutes of the half. Their midfielders were given time on the ball and their forwards passed and ran well to create a multitude of chances, some of which were saved or stopped, but two of which found their way into the goals.
At half time, some harsh words were said by yours truly and Janos Kouros and the team came out more energised in the second half, despite the pitch resembling a potato patch. A very wet and sodden potato patch.
What happened next will not quickly be forgotten by all those in attendance, though observers’ stories differ very markedly as to what occurred. A common thread does seem be that goalkeeper somehow was possessed. By what is unclear. Perhaps by the spirit of an uncoordinated elephant, or perhaps by some sort of evil spirit. Nevertheless, UniSA scored two quick goals, whilst the goalkeeper’s mind was otherwise engaged, with one going straight through his legs (see this is why he must have been possessed, because given how fat his thighs are it was inconceivable the ball would fit through them it if was a natural event), and another going into the top corner, when the ball should have landed on the penalty spot. Truly bizarre events.
In all seriousness, I humbly apologise for two shocking errors. Whilst obviously no one tries to make mistakes, I do understand how deflating these types of incidents are to the rest of the team.
So now UniSA led 5-3 and despite some excellent spirit and endeavour being shown by the Whites we were unable to bridge the gap. Chad in particular worked really hard both in defence and up front and was denied only by another excellent save from the UniSA keeper.
So a 5-3 loss on a day that was truly for the ducks and the Ibis. However, given that it’s all about playing the game with glamour I guess we can’t be too upset that we did in fact play the game. Dealing with triumph and disaster is indeed a true test of what it is to be a man, and I think the Whites do it better than most. As another Ashes campaign starts off with a very close loss, as the Crows season goes down the toilet, at least I can reflect on the fact that despite removing 5kg of mud from my playing gear, despite having a horrible loss in poor conditions, that at 41 years of age I am still playing for me beloved whites (though for how much longer who knows) and that there’s always next week. That’s It.