A Day at the Races and who would have picked the winner?

Paul Emery

Dressed in our very best finery for Melbourne Cup Day, we were ready for the off or were we? We left Dean at Peppers and then someone, who shall remain nameless for now, decided to drive off with all the footballs.

In fairness the ‘no warm up’ policy seemed to work, as the starting fillies of Mick in goal, a back line of Toni, Goughie, Uwe, Darren, midfield of Rob K, Wardie, Marsh and Rod, and Maurice and Dean as the forwards, were off to a flier. The first 10 minutes saw TOTAL domination of Canberra Bears.

Instigated by some sharp one two play between Rod and Deano set off two narrow misses down the right. Not to be out down some lovely football then occurred between Wardie, Kovacs and Maurice, and mirrored the moves on the left.

The speed of all these fillies on a 33C day was most impressive. Such was the dominant display also in midfield by hatchet man Marsh, meant that Canberra Bears didn’t enter our half for a full 10 minutes.

The question on the punters lips were not when were we going to score but how many? In particular the drinks break came at the perfect time for our opponents as they took a well earned breather and gave them time to reorganize their battered resources.

Whilst it was clearly impossible for these thoroughbreds to maintain such pressure and pace in such hot temperatures, it did at last allow the likes of Goughie and Uwe to get involved in the game and even offer the spectator Mick a back pass chance to get involved. But try as we might, Wardies free kicks or Rob K’s 25 metre thumping shot could not pierce the solid defence.

To change things up Graham bought on our new import Peter, fresh out of quaratine to enter the affray. Perhaps just as well because our opponents grew in confidence and more frequently entered and started to challenge our half of the field. Uwe, Daren and Toughie though stood strong and the score remained 0-0 at half time.

A few tactical substitutions resulted but the third quarter saw little in the way of goal bound shots at either end of the pitch. The only interesting element of the quarter was when the linesman was not happy that the ref gave a throw in when clearly the ball had not gone over the side line. But such was the nature of this sporting contest the opponents immediately gave the ball back to us.

As the bodies drained and Jungle’s juices kicked in, we may have been the fitter and stronger players but the resolute defensive wall of the Bears couldn’t be cracked. With Mick barely being involved in the match my money still felt safe as I left to play in the 55’s match!!

But how shocked was I when I went to pick up my winnings only to hear that we lost the match to a last minute shot to perhaps “the worst shot in history”? It appeared that in the last furlong and as the dehydrated bodies died in the cauldron of the battle, a left wing shot looked as though it was going wide, bobbled, flipped, trickled, and the the full effect of the googly was seen as it painfully evaded everyone and win the game. Final score 1-0.

Given such dominance in the first half and barely a save for our goalkeeper to make, this was like a Jungle nip and a very painful pill to swallow. But rest assured we are the Legends … and this result will make us oh so much stronger.

BMW Man of the Match – Marshie for his constant crunching tackles in the heat of the dominant battle.

Muppet Moment – Frank as “the fall guy”a who drove off with all the footballs!!