On an autumnal afternoon at Fortress Lockwood Park we were confident as the Dalesman came down from their windswept hills. We would once again run out onto the hallowed turf of ‘The Field of Dreams’. We had a strong 24 man squad on the morning of the game. A few missing with minor issues. Bailey having a week off after a head clash with myself, followed by a lovely backflip. Tinks unavailable due to playing with his duplo. Along with various other wild and unbelievable excuses. One of the biggest tactical decisions was to let Parry be the matchday captain, to gain some experience in the event of us being separated on the rebirth of the Falcons. He did a Stirling job, he was late to the game, distressing Zak immensely and he was the last out of the changing room.
They came with just fourteen and immediately asked to borrow one. So we asked for volunteers and accidentally lent them our only internationally capped player! You’ll all know Zak well from all those famous top-flight games that Morrocco have played in. Sadly as kick-off neared it turns out our squad might not be as strong as we had thought. Our star tight head prop had got so drunk that he’d gone to bed with a woman of such colossal proportions that come the morning even he couldn’t muster the strength to lift her off him so he could get down the club that day. I hope he survived. Rich sadly arrived after kick-off because at the age of 35 he could neither read nor tell the time and Jonny and had had an emergency swimsuit modelling photoshoot! So we had a reshuffle. Luckily due to our extensive fitness and training regime all our players are capable of playing every position! Even Shiels’ offered to lend a hand but the ref didn’t think that screwing studs into your leg cast was entirely legal. So he reluctantly went back to his third pint.
So Parry lost the toss and we played towards the viaduct into a migraine-inducing sun. But these are problems for mere mortals and it took under five minutes before we crossed the whitewash with Bez opening the scoring. They were young, keen and surprising fit. Quite competitive at ruck time till we pointed out the error in their ways.
Then on around twenty minutes after some sustained pressure the backs showed good hands to allow Eddie to cross from twenty yards.
Then came the restart and Balley pulled off something really special. First of all he set up from the kick off twenty yards away from where he was supposed to be. They kicked off and it only went five yards deep, that’s 5 yards short of the minimum. That didn’t stop Balley he ran he dived in feet first and got a toe on the kick off! It went straight into their props crotch. The biggest shock to both us and him was he not only caught it but also passes it! Neatly to the ten who spun it quickly wide for them to score in the corner. I was quite frankly lost for words but I think by this point Balley may have realised that it may have been a minor error in judgement. Shortly after the ref blew for the break.
The reinforcements were made and Parry in true leadership style, in his debut as captain, decided to sit out the second half! Talk about leading from the front!
The second half started and after a few errors on our part they had some sustained pressure. Eventually resulting in some slick back play that saw our Zak score for them! Bad news son, you only had one try for us and that one counts as minus one! So your back on for the naked!
The game stalled a little for around fifteen minutes. We gained good possession in their half and it was then I realised we were twenty minutes from the end and it was14-14. Well, cometh the hour, cometh the man! So we looked high and low but sadly Campbell was in rehab! There didn’t seem to be any other option so I popped over for a couple of long range tries, a combined total of at least 10 yards. Parry was back on after I made it clear he was required to be present when he was captain and we reasserted control. They dropped like flies in the second half requiring two more heroes to help them out. Thanks to the lads it’s very brave to go into conflict knowing full well they faced a massacre. Oliver made a late break down the wing for them. Certain to score against his own side till Steve made a diving covering tackle to deny him. Ryan also squeezed over for a late try, he’s racking up quite a tally now.
The game ended 35-14 in our favour. Parry thanked everyone for coming but complained of a poor performance. I however thought it was a decent effort, apart from some slightly dubious leadership. But as anyone who’s ever met Parry will know, he’d argue it was a poor game because he didn’t score and that he also hasn’t lost a game in about three years. Therefore he’s far superior. I hope the thousands of fans enjoyed the splendour of the occasion as much as we did.