Australian Great Grand Masters - Malaysia Japan Singapore Tour
Game 1 - AGGM O/65's v. Royal Selangor Masters - Tuesday 7th May
There's an old saying "It is better to travel hopefully than to arrive". And this is indeed one such occasion as our sixteen players, together with coach, manager, hockey consultant, team physio and field umpire and a posse of blue-shirted team supporters climb aboard the waiting team bus and head for Tun Razak Hoki Stadium. We arrive in plenty of time, in fact there is even enough time for Mark Webber to drive the Malaysian F1 race track at Sepang for the entire fifty-six race laps from start to finish and still have minutes to spare, during the tim we are waiting in the hot sticky atmosphere. The stadium is empty - the youthful local team are not silly - it's 34degC. and the humidity is 99% - they are yet to appear. As we while away the time, reflecting on precisely when we might start the pre-match routine of dynamic exercises and stretches , so we became aware of a dimming in the natural light surrounding the stadium. By tropical standards the rain is light, the radiant colours of the rainbow bring out the cameras and, as the weather continues to darken, the shutter speeds are turned up a notch or two to capture the dazzling lightening. The weather eases momentarily, enough for Simon "Lunger" Williams to contemplate whether this is the moment to start the team warm-up when there is an almost simultaneous flash of lightening and, with it, an ear-shattering thunder bolt that rips through the twilight skies as the rain comes crashing down. We sit and we sit and we sit as the field is awash with torrents of water, and above us the thunder bombards our ear drums as nature's electronic light show rips across the skies. In the words of A.A.Milne ..... ' "its just a little bit of weather" said Pooh, said he'.
The night draws on, two hours pass, the rain eases, amazingly the pitch drains and we're on the ground running for an abbreviated game. The opening minutes see goalie John "Harps" Harper making a trio of spectacular saves, none better than his lightening reflex to deflect a tomahawk shot past the upright. But, with rain still falling on an ever-lengthening damp night, the olfactory nerves of the posse of blue supporters detect a sniff of food in the air. Any deeds on the hockey turf cease to be of importance and, anyway, who really wants to read any more about a hockey game that we lost by the odd goal in each half !!! The fostering of international friendship through the game of Masters Hockey was the real winner on a night of such tumultuous weather.
AGGM O/65's. 0
Royal Selangor Masters 2