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Wembley Masters V's Eastern Hills
8 August 2010
This week's match report is going to start with the chaotic beginning to the game. Once again we were preparing ourselves for a shortage in numbers and even the now regular call to arms via e-mail later in the week seemed to be failing to get the appropriate numbers to field a team for the day. A quick headcount with 10 minutes to go showed that we had no more than 10 players preparing to take the field.
Whilst stretching in the ample sized change rooms (they were even carpeted), I noticed no jumpers were in the rooms and a quick discussion with Irish revealed that Big Baz, who was responsible for taking the kit home after the last game, was nowhere to be seen. Irish then advised me that he had spoken to Big Baz and he said he wasn’t coming to the Masters Game. A quick dash by Irish to his car to make a phone call confirmed that Baz indeed thought he had the Supers jumpers! I don’t know what Irish said to him but apparently before he hung up the big fella was in his car to make the dash from West Leederville to Madelay.
Now back to the gathering of numbers for the game. A quick run around by the ever popular Sarge, saw players hanging around from the previous match being recruited to fill the holes. Thankfully numbers from Wembley were now starting to swell and we had somewhere near a full side. The only problem was it looked like we were going to play without jumpers with the previous match having finished and the opposition in position to commence. Again quick thinking by the Sarge saw a sweaty bag of Kingsway jumpers appear outside the change rooms as the umpires were starting to get a little impatient. A quick headcount was taken as each player ran on the field and we realised we had enough to start albeit in another clubs jumpers. Just as we were in position Big Baz arrived at the Oval and surprising without collecting a speed ticket. For his penalty Baz was told to kit up to share full-time ruck duties with Irish!!!
Now to the game. In the first term we were somewhat lacking in being competitive as we endeavoured to get to know the fill ins. To make matters worse our opposition were kindly playing a spare man in defence between full forward and centre half forward which made it almost impossible for us to get delivery to anyone in the forward line and forcing us wide to the flanks and pockets. A tricky swirling breeze also made things difficult. To our credit though, (although of course we don't score), we managed to keep within a few kicks of the opposition with big Vinny taking strong overhead marks, but continuing in his last games form in spraying the ball either side of the goal posts. On the upside Bev was providing a target at centre half forward although having to venture to half back to get a kick. At this point it became evident that Rod was going to have a day out propelling many attacks from the halfback line into the forward line. Irish battled in the ruck and Sarge played his usual elusive game in many positions on the field.
I think it was the second term when Bernie arrived on the scene and took over the half forward duties with his usual strong game. Nunzio off the back line was picking up a bucket load of possessions and Padsy was playing the loan on ball role to much effect. Highlight/low light of the quarter included a dashing New Boy arriving (at last!!!!) off the interchange bench with what can be only described as a very, very short haircut which appeared to provide excellent wind resistance. As New Boy bolted towards the forward line, I kindly, by providing a long and strong lead (possibly my first touch) dropped the mark so New Boy could get a possession and I could get credited with doing the team thing. Unfortunately even with my kind assistance New Boy who was running into an open goal.................missed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The third quarter was much the same in terms of us still struggling although improving. Vinny was still marking strong, Padsy looked buggered, Sarge was slowing down and coach Selfy looked comfortable on the sidelines having got his annual hamstring injury in the last game. Rod was getting more and more of the ball in the style of Coxy (lucky to get a mention mate as you took the week off, mind you given the possessions you have got through the year, it was probably deserved).
The last quarter was when we came alive, at last and we clawed our way back into the game
In the final quarter saw one of the highlights of the game. Rod as I mentioned earlier, was showing no signs of fatigue and was competing with Nunzio for turkey of the week for best afield. The clincher for Rod was an unbelievable (or accidental?) mark he took coming from half back to half forward. The shocked look on his face when he actually pulled it down gave him the edge to beat Nunzio for the turkey of the week. Well done Rod.
Lowlights of the last quarter, although it could be equally described as a highlight, was when yours truly finally held onto a mark deep in the forward pocket. My colleague at full back later congratulated me on what he described as a spectacular (his words not mine) mark although I must admit I have some problems remembering it. In my enthusiasm I managed to mark the ball on the end of my little finger and after being awarded the mark proceeded to look at the finger to find the top end of the pinky facing a very unnatural direction to the rest of my fingers! Of course I gritted my teeth and proceeded to put the finger back in place which was surprisingly not that painful. That was until milliseconds later when it decided to pop out again. This time the pain was a little higher although it did manage to find its way back into its normal position. Needless to say the effects of the dislocation had an adverse effect on the following kick which failed to make the distance (just). Furthermore the finger decided it like it is dislocated position and proceeded to pop out another two or three times while I was cursing the missed opportunity. A quick trip to the bench and a role or so of tape by the physio managed to keep it in joint.
This is when another highlight of the match occurred as I proceeded to drag Irish from the field just when he was taking one of his first breaks from ruck duty. The big guy came immediately from the field and deep in the forward pocket I managed the first time in two years of Masters football to effectively snap the ball over my shoulder for what I will call the goal of the day??????
At this point I probably talked enough about myself. In the end we had managed to scramble our way back from being behind to earn ourselves a famous victory. Well done boys.
It is always good to see some of the usual Supers eventually arrive to fill the vacancies in the team and many thanks to you all. Also thanks to Mr. and Mrs Smith who are probably going to take the award this year for attendance at the most games, who were at the game early on their deck chairs and willingly supporting the team. Thank you Mr. and Mrs Smith.
One game to go and then our then a second bye for the year! let's hope the Masters boys remember the game is on as we have another three-week break!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!