Chapter 40 – Practice Makes Perfect

Indulgence over the New Year is remedied by our systematic practice. James Smith, our Captain, is resolute in his pursuit of health and leads us to the field. Today’s match is Light v Heavy Weights.

I am selected for the Light team. Our membership has swollen to 45 enabling us to play 15-a-side. The South Side Recreation Ground is laid out with a 200 yard pitch. The heavy weight team displays brawn, muscle and stature, whereas we have speed, agility and stamina.

The first half is dominated by the heavy weights, who score two fine goals and two touch downs. Our Captain James Smith gathers us, as we change ends. “Don’t go through the opposition, pass and dribble around them”. We return with a vengeance with the wind behind.

One goal is scored quickly succeeded by another. The ball is kicked over their goal line and I sprint to it; touching it down. There is jubilation in the ranks. I dash up the right side and spot James in the centre. I boot the ball and it lands over the back of their goal. The race is on: James sprints with the goalkeeper, edging past him and throws himself on the ball. A sublime finish.

The match ends honours shared; with the football fire returned to our souls.

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