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Age shall not weary them nor the scoreline condemn

11 brave souls turned up to take on league leaders North Turramurra Iron at Norman Griffiths, the field according to Steve named after his uncle Norm who had a fondness for Ice and Midori - great footballer, really bad teeth. While the ‘boys’ were getting into their strip, Captain Pedro prefaced the tone of his pre-match pep talk by asking no one in particular (but obliquely aimed at the manager who’d opted valour as the better part of discretion when rejecting suggestions of a forfeit) “WTF are we doing here?” The subsequent “warm-up” went well. While the Iron did running and skills drills, the Brookie players took turns to kick the ball onto the road behind the goal rather than into the net but on the plus side no one vomited. Pedro then corralled the team and in a masterclass of reverse psychology outlined the shortcomings of the team and warned of a pending cricket score. He also highlighted that the groundsman had pointedly informed Brooklyn of the club’s defib while but not the clearly younger Iron team. Thus enlivened, Brookie then took to the field with the backline of Bob, Greg, Gary and Stu averaging 61.5 years of age and strikers Burch and Pedro averaging a significantly better 61 with an impressive tally of three goals between them for the season. This was offset by the youthful powerhouse of halves Dean, Aidan, Flyn and Steve averaging 46.5. Wishing to prove their captain wrong The Gut created numerous (i.e. more than one) scoring opportunities in the first half and only let in two goals through what we’ll term ‘miscalculations.’ At half time some relief appeared at hand when a trooper of the last two seasons appeared with his shirt and shorts but the team’s ardent appeals for him to play were ruled out and hopes of a sub petered away. Having admired the opposition’s use of triangles and other polygons in the first 45, Steve suggested that the formation of a dodecahedron passing manouvre could be the key to success in the second half, while Pedro more realistically burleyed the waters with his familiar refrain that we were only 45 minutes away from a beer. Despite running uphill into a slope that felt more than 20 degrees steeper than the one they ran down in the first half, the boys only conceded one goal in the second half to a dodgy offside call from the Iron’s linesman. Even though he clearly didn’t know the rule, to quote EPL manager Ted Lasso on offside: “it’s like pornography - it ain't easy to explain, but you know it when you see it.” On the plus side, highlights of the second half were an attacking corner with Jethro enthusiastically calling “CORNER FORMATION” from 100 metres away while forwards and halves staggered into position; and the stringing together of four, yes four, consecutive passes. However these were between two players who hadn’t moved, thus not even achieving triangle status let alone the 12 sided KPI espoused at half-time. The full time whistle eventually blew and The Gut was allowed to savour their favoured tipple while reflecting on a better than expected outcome, which was mainly due to the tireless efforts of the apparently ageless backline. In fact, application of the soon to be FIFA approved Allen-Upfold Geriatric Upscale Ratio (AUGUR), which accounts for difference in average age between teams, results in Brooklyn winning the game 3.29 to 3. Well done!

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