As a pre match warm up for 20+ over 50s, posing in your new orange strip in the wind and rain for a photographer is not recommended by most leading physios. And some of us had to get down on one knee! The going down was challenging enough on a bleak wintery night but getting back afterwards took several minutes. Thanks to the assistance of our standing team-mates this was finally accompanied with much groaning. The visual evidence is elsewhere on our website.
After that and John Davis' expert thaw-out err I mean warm-up we lined up with two teams that looked evenly matched. No 3rd team waiting on the side lines to the great relief of all.
The first half did not go exactly to plan for the Oranges. A combination of high pressing by the Blacks, uncharacteristic errors in the Orange defence and the inability to find an out ball in meant that by half time Blacks were 3-0 up, Ian H, twice, and Joe taking advantage of some unforced errors. Tom in the Blacks goal was in no danger of having to exercise his dodgy hamstring. The Blacks dominated midfield - but there was a reason for that - as we shall see!!!
At the interval Oranges were banned their usual water by their unofficial captain, Taylor D, as a punishment for sloppy play. As we changed ends, suddenly one reason why we had struggled became evident. Blacks had enjoyed the luxury of an extra player! Lee switched teams and played in goal for Oranges throughout the second half. It did change things a bit and Oranges did have more possession and even managed to force some saves from Tom. But ultimately to little avail.
Errors continued to come all too regularly, no point singling anyone out, we were all at it - and for the Blacks Phil eventually capitalised on another lost possession with the goal of the game, fizzing a shot into the corner of the net for an unassailable 4-0 lead.
After some more effort to no effect by Orange referee Steve Pitt bought an end to what should have been a much more even game than the score line suggests.
Now, remember that we have already reported that Blacks had ONE extra player in the first half and so Lee swapped sides. Now count the team list below! Black's had TWO extra players in the first half!! No wonder every time Orange got possession in that first half all they could see was a sea of black!
Yes, it was cold; no, some of us were a bit off our game. Yes, the team selection went somewhat awry. Nevertheless, we all loved it and we will be back next week, whatever the weather.
Blacks: Tom, Ian B, Ian H, Phil, Steve, Dave C, Gaz C, Tony, Joe, John E, Martin B, Lee (1st half)
Orange: Mick, Peter F, Chris F, Derek, John H, Martin W, Les, Alan, Andy, Jeff, Lee (2nd half).
Referee: Steve Pitt.
Quotation reference Steve Pitt and Henry Ford (paraphrased)