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Intra-club game #6

Masters say no no to the yo yo test, and to its silly fore(gut?)runner, the beep test.

The Masters like to stay ahead of the times, and not only have we dumped the beep test, executed time trials, given the clean hands test (good only for medicos and wait staff) the Pontius Pilate treatment, but we've long rejected spurious selection criteria such as the ability to repeatedly (repetitively? does sound very boring) run here and there. We say: if you can kick, catch and run, you're in; if you can't, you're in.

Anyways, a mix of the can and the can’t assembled on long and wide Hughes oval, not in huge numbers though, which only highlighted the different style of play required there compared to at tight and close Kingston oval. That is to say, run and minimised turnovers was the order of the day. Pocket bottling was not an option. As the early explorers found out, you can get into a lot trouble out there in the wide open spaces with too few mates around to chop out. Noted footy thought leader of the modern era Patrick White held forth at length about this in his quietly revolutionary coaching manual, Voss. To be fair though, old Patty was merely expatiating on a theme first picked up by early doctrinist Marcus Clarke in his seminal For the Term of His Natural Life.

Early doors, the golden orb spiders, all 14 or so of em had it all over the similarly, but perhaps not exactly, numbered white tails (a lotta legs out there), mainly cos the midfield had it on a string, a yo yo string even, cos the likes of MickO, LockO and Adam would get it from ruckman Pete Taylor and then get it back from swarming forwards Ox or Shorts and slot a goal and then have to go and fetch it cos there was no one else around at the wide open spaces of Hughes oval. Or like a web string, all sticky and gleaming and waiting to entrap errant travellers, in the way that the backline, led by dashing Pebs, Luke and Andy, kept snaring the pill and ramming it back down big Shelob aka Ox’s maw.

The first break’s respite also allowed a reshuffle: Luke and Adam donned white and went into a reordered midfield, to immediate effect with Luke setting up a goal from a centre clearance. The game then settled into a nicely even to and fro, up and down, some sort of kids’ toy affair, but the orbs probably finished ahead with a late spurt.


Orbs: Twin forwards Ox and Shorts made the most of the room and kicked a poultice each; cagey old stagers Crusty and Rob also sought and enjoyed much lebensraum; in the midfield the Os had it, a heap; big mobile marathon-plus running ruckman Pete linked up and gave good drive as did fellow repetitive runner BG; but the best attack came from defence, especially through Pebs’ long and lethal kicks, Pete T’s edgy wiliness, formerly white but become golden Matt’s run and carry, and Andy’s daring, looping hands.

WT: Midfielder Manny sidestepped, punted, tackled, dashed and crashed throughout, assisted by gut runners Styx, Cuzzo and Luke. Ryano rebounded and kept Ox on a (longish) leash; Moose showed nice skills­­--has quick hands, penetrating kicks, and subtle moves in traffic. New Pete has dash and wants the pill: want and ye shall receive. Jacko bustled and barged, bounced his way out of trouble and then back in, all within a five metre arc. Not a lot of room to move out there in the wide open spaces.

Thanks again to didactic, emphatic, and with all that excellent umpire Tuanny and to Marbs the beverages expert—aces the clean hands test every time.


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