In the year of our Lord 11th April 2015, a spanky-fresh squad of Uni C’s, freshly forged on the anvil of pre-season, gathered to do battle in the first CSL Cup round. Their opponents – a motely bunch of Sacred Heart reserves who thought they’d come to ruin our day. But the Glamour C’s are a much-changed squad – Hot Fuzz having raided the Kindergarten’s of Adelaide for a new breed of pimply-yoof. Mixed in with the geriatric remnants of a thousand seasons past and a smattering of mid-careerists, this season’s Thirds are a dynamic blend of age and experience that spans the Jurassic to Linkin Park time periods. With Richie Harris now a grain of sand through our hourglass, it was time to create new legends, to find new superheroes that could take lead the way into a brighter future.
If we have anything to thank Sacred Heart for it was that they answered the long anticipated mystery of who ate all those pies. As a 40 something I have been fighting the onset of the inevitable paunch, but standing next to these boys in blue made me look like Bieber’s Calvin Klein shoot. Also dashed was any worry that we were going to suffer some kind of stomping at the hands of a 1B side. From the kick-off we were first to every ball, playing a nice short game and using our whippet-wingers to storm the flanks. Left back Ian and wingers Liam and Damo were skinning their opponents and with excellent support from Ian and Chris we got balls and bodies in the box. In truth we should have been 4 nil up after 20 minutes. If there’s one thing we need to re-work on its our finishing. Shots put wide, limp kicks dribbling to the keeper and a failure to play a simple ball to an on running team mate saw us miss the simplest of opportunities. But I’m being harsh – our build up play was exceptional. The fatties had bit into our pie and burnt their lips on the scalding hot Uni meat sauce within. (ok that was weird).
The SHOC’s lived up to their name and had very few opportunities outside of their long balls from the greying 4 and a couple of soft free kicks outside our box. When Damo was hacked just outside our 18 yards (despite Juan’s very polite protestations to the referee and one of the full backs that this infringement did in fact take place in the box) we had chance 9145758598069836836 of the half to go ahead. I lined up to take the free kick but Juan uttered a satanic growl and looked at me like he wanted to eat my liver. I scurried off to let him reap his revenge. With the power of Beelzebub on his side the angry-Argie curled in the perfect cross to find Ian’s oncoming nog. 1-0.
At half time we knew we had them on the ropes. If we could only snatch the opportunities we had created this could have been a whitewash. But these games are dangerous and the ebb of a match can change quickly as the second half would attest. An inspirational speech from coach Hawyes ends with a rhetorical call to arms ‘How much do you want it’? ‘Quite a bit…maybe 7.5-8 out of ten if we were to put it in numerical form’ the now rabid team responded in unison.
We started with an immediate chance on goal but for the next part of the game things evened up as we let control slip and spent more time camped in our own half. It felt like one of those games where you dominate the entire game but miss endless goals then they snatch one back then it goes to extra time and they pinch another one from a shitty free kick you give away and you lose even though it should have been 11-0 to you. But I’m a pessimist (I’m also an atheist, foot-fetishist and anarchist…but that’s enough about me). In fact the SHOC’s had a few decent opportunities but our defence held firm – German newbie Hubi stood firm alongside Bockie to stop the on-slaught. In a piece of managerial excellence that will be talked about for generations – Hawyes substituted two of the oldest, cramped up old boys who were begging to be let off the pitch (Juan and myself) for young-uns Ed and Rob, to reinvigorate proceedings. This insightful tactical change had an immediate effect.
Up front Ian was causing trouble for the SHOC’s – not only by trying to score but by likening their fattest member to everybody’s favourite part of the female anatomy. After receiving a swift elbow in the head Ian was replaced by an energetic Fairuz (who has been in great form of late). Despite being momentarily caught up in a 34-34 nail-biter taking place on the adjacent netball court between Unley and Glenelg under 8 girls – I glanced back to see our long-awaited game clincher.
Flash forward – the Austral Saturday night.
As he leans on a lamppost vomiting a heady cocktail of beer, Bacardi Breezer, a round of Cowboy Cocksuckers and the remnants of a hastily prepared bowl of two-minute noodles – a young DAMO steadies his swirling mind with the knowledge that his lofted ball between the full and centre back to a marauding Chris was the moment that clinched the game for us. A grin appears on the green-faced youth, flaking off the drying sick encrusting his mouth.
Flashback – SHOC’s field Saturday Afternoon.
Chris pops the ball over the head of the hapless keeper and the ball rolls into the back of the old onion bag. 2-0. The fate of the fatties is sealed in Uni White glory. Gathering in the centre of their pitch we initiate the new boys in to the ritual singing of the Lennon-McCartney penned tune ‘THAT’S IT”.
It will be a day none of us forget until at least Tuesday next week.
p.s watch 1.27-1.40 for the free kick we need to perfect.