Game 5 - AGGM O/65's v. Fukui Masters - Wednesday 15th May 2013
The pleasant breeze blowing gives a welcome relief from the relentless heat of yesterday's game. We're fired up early today, Ken "Seagull" Walter runs through the middle, eliminates the full-back, but his shot finds the goalie and the Fukui Masters rebound out of defence. Laurie, taking time out on the bench today to give respite to his corked thigh, observes the lack of talking on the field of play from his spectator's role. By contrast, the Deek" hears his name being called so frequently by Coach Clacko on the bench, that he is left thinking that there must be ten Antons on the turf today !!! Today we are developing greater mid-field control, Doug is always available, and Tony "Mick" Rodgers & Ian "Macca" MacDonald are showing increasing poise over the ball on their Australian debut tour. Good midfield control is providing better linkage between the midfield and strikers, with the ball increasingly reaching the hot spot. Macca comes to the top of the circle, fires a shot at goal, the goalie blocks and falls on the ball. The ever alert Simon "Lunger" Williams steals the ball from under his pads, dives to the right and hooks the ball back behind the goalie into the net. For the first time we score the opening goal. Eric, also on his debut tour, is taking on the Japanese defence down the right wing, crosses the spot but there's nobody home. With Simon "Thommo" Thomson's lionhearted efforts behind the strikers, we press forward again and win a penalty corner. Don Richards calls the play - a shot to Warren at the left attacking post. "The Don" steps up to the plate, he strikes, the ball's on track towards the left post but the flying Lunger intercepts and sweeps the ball past the keeper for number two. Harps and Brian are repelling the marauding Japanese forwards at the other end, where Captain Len Blyth makes an epic save on the attacking right post - which is, of course, the left post for defender Len, you're quite right !!! It's almost half-time but there's enough on the clock for Doug "Fiery" Trueman to fire a missile into the circle with ricochets off the defender into the net. The Japanese are three down at the break, and their trio of elite players spark into action. The overheads are thrown, they're running with the ball all over the park and before we can blink the helpless Harps has two put past him. We steady in the last term, the ever reliable Rod "Rocket" Dyson, solid in left defence and midfield, makes a great run down the left, deep into enemy territory, and hits the ball into the circlewhere Lunger deflects the ball up and over the goalie's head, but the ball dips just over the crossbar and finishes in the netting on top of the goal. Next it's Bill Osborn who makes a magical run down the right wing, weaving his way into the circle but is repelled. It is left to Warren Flower, who receives the ball and steamrolls the goalie, then bunts the ball into the goal for number four but in so doing scrapes some skin off his right arm. It's a pivotal moment, the Japanese drop their heads, Thommo lifts again, rifles the ball straight at the keeper, it's the finest of fine deflections but that's all it needs for a score. We're elated with a win but Harps decides to knock some sense into his head by falling over backwards and hitting his occiput, while Physio Nigel has very thoughtfully arranged cold showers in lieu of an ice-bath for the second day in succession. A bottle of sake is produced in the changing room, the players skull their measure of drink from the bottle, followed by a grimace, followed by " well, I'll have another, if you must insist !!!
Australia 5 (Goal scorers - S.Williams (2), own goal (D.Truman),
W.Flower, own goal (S.Thomson)
Fukui Masters 2