Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Two Games of Two Halves
Yesterday I saw 90 minutes of local football action. But the first 45 was at Newtown Park where Team Wellington and Otago United were locked at 0-0 at the break, and then a few hours later I went to the pub where I caught the second half of Wgtn Phoenix as they wilted in sweltering temperatures in Newcastle. So I witnessed no goals, although both matches bore them. Team Wellington going down to two second half Otago strikes. 0 from 3 at home this season for Team Welly; a disasterous start to a much lauded campaign- even back up All White's Keeper Jimmy Bannatyne was unable to save their blushes. My mate Dave 'Writer's Block' Armstrong ponficated as we watched the Nix that Team Wellington tried to play like a team of stars but Otago United were a team, and that, he said, is the secret of winning football.
Dave and I chatted away over a delicious Three Boys Golden Ale at Bar Edward, as the Phoenix clung to a first half lead courtesy of a Paul Ifill volley. In the end the bush-fire temperature was the winner as both teams tired, but strangely Newcastle burnt out much quicker. The home team's perfomance was typified by the day dreams of a dozy ball boy, who took a hazy age to return a ball to the Jet's keeper as he raced the clock to nick a share of the points. The whole pub liked my "even your ball boys are shit" quip, although to be fair the lad was probably just bored and dehydrated.
So the Nix stay in 6th and pick up their first win on the road since November 7th.
In between the two games I attended a 4th Birthday party with as much chocolate cake as you could care to eat, and had to take my son to the park to run off the sugar rush afterwards. At Crawford Green a melange of refugee tweenies lined up potshots at a disinterested 4 foot goalkeeper. The boys, from Assyria, Afghanistan and Oromo backgrounds (I know cos I had taught them all before many years ago) were only too happy to have an adult go in goal to stop their shots, even if i was really only trying to stop Miro being clattered as he grubbed around the goal mouth. Without getting too mushy it was great to see the different tribes mixing it up on a nice Sunday afternoon, even if I had to leave the field of play to take Miro back for bathtime.
And tonight I had an unexpected call up for more Twilight Football Action. We played a very good side made up of Wgtn United first and second teamers. I struggled with a belly full of pasta and a glass of red wine but scored a nice solo goal. I realised I am not quite the athlete I think I am- more the archetypal park striker, all bluster and brazen, able to pull of a flukey goal or two but lazy in the track back and costly in defence.
Tomorrow I aim to give you more of an insight into my 'football tragic' credentials, as promised to Hamish from the Lucky Country.