Sports Pages – Issue 10

EXTENDED COVERAGE OF THE INAUGURAL FOOTBALL MATCH BETWEEN PLAYERS OF OLD AND NEW. TO ACCOMMODATE THE OBVIOUS DIFFERENCES THE MATCH WAS PLAYED IN TWO DISTINCT HALVES: ON THE TOSS OF THE COIN – A NEUTRAL SWISS FRANC -THE FIRST HALF WAS PLAYED WITH AN OLD LACED CASE-FOOTBALL, AND THE SECOND HALF WAS PLAYED WITH THE MODERN, ABSURD SHRUNKEN BEACH BALL THAT’S TAKEN THE SPECIALITY OUT OF GOALKEEPING.

FIRST HALF:
The first two incidents saw the so-called superstar trying his step over to fox the full-back, but it became more of a lift over as he was seen to cup his leading leg under the thigh to help with the motion. As the full-back puffed away on his Full-strength cheroot, the modern genius came unstuck when he dislocated both knees and had to be stretchered off after two and a half minutes.
The, what passes for burly, number 2701 attempted to chest a long high ball from SAS but only succeeded in severely compromising (breaking) the skeletal integrity of his upper torso. We have reports from the hospital that his tent is well-ventilated. The first goal was scored when Chirpy Harry Chappy rifled in a beauty in the fourth minute. Chappy overcame a feeble attempt at a professional foul when O’Mylord pulled his shorts. Chappy didn’t feel the interference until he’d completed his task: after scoring Chappy went back and ironed out the finer points of the meaning of professionalism.
Harold Nimble, the old-fashioned inside forward, stood impassively in the opposition’s half, totally ignoring the fact that the moderns were all on the halfway line. Nimble was renowned for subletting his jersey to street urchins in quieter moments. The only time he ever got flustered was when awaiting the results from the local greyhound track. In one year he was so successful with his betting that he ended the year on twenty-three guineas in the black. He spent half of the earnings/winnings on another two jerseys that he donated to the local workhouse so the inhabitants could share a warm woollen cover in the depths of record- reaking winters.
After the thirteenth incidence of being called for offside, Nimble hovered menacing on the halfway line, ready for any ball forward. However, the lack of speed in the oldies severely hampered their effort. It was only when they had the ball at their feet that their advantage told. It was with amazing ball-control that Thomas Algernon James Albert George Elizabeth Young scored the second and last goal of the half.  The lace of the ball became entangled with his left bootlace and he proceeded to run the full length of the pitch before throwing himself and the ball at the now cowering behind his refuse-size gloves goalkeeper. There was some debate as to the legitimacy of the goal but it stood.
OLDIES 2, MODERNS nil

SECOND HALF:
As a joke, one of the oldies came out with the newer ball tied to a piece of string.
“It’s a bloody balloon.” he chirped before launching the plastic orb into orbit with a swing of his ankle-length clad left foot. The ball still hasn’t come back to earth and has been sighted over Rio De Janeiro on clear nights.
When the game recommenced, the oldies had to have their ankles tied together with an elasticated band, so as to avoid any repeat. It was during the early period of acclimatisation for the oldies, that the moderns scored their first goal. As John Hernando De Silva de Wonderhorse turned on the speed, the oldies defence were left standing and it was an easy job for John to slot home from 50 metres. The oldies goalie fell over and couldn’t right himself in time to stop the ball. Although he did slow its last few metres down as he blew on the ball. The scorer went off just after scoring as he had negotiated a better contract with a rival club on reaching the halfway line.
As a consequence of this incident, the young replacement quickly needed treatment as he inadvertently found the pen, dropped during the contract signing ceremony, as it became lodged inside his backside at the end of an otherwise successful slide tackle.
“The lad’s alright, it was only a ballpoint.” quipped Percival Offendi, the erstwhile left wing-half of the oldies.
“I remember one time playing Gleadthorpe Aquatics at their place and being half nibbled at by a basking shark just outside the box. It didn’t stop me upending their goal scorer, Igor “flipper” Czyzyzinski, before setting up a near miss at the other end with a pass so precise it was mentioned in scientific circles at the time.” With the game delicately poised, the Oldies, now fully conversant with their ‘handicap’ began to get the measure of the situation. With long, accurate passing and some deft footwork, they were able to keep possession well and have many shots towards goal : twenty-three to be precise but only one of them was on target. However, with the heavy-leather steel toe-capped boots, Henry Fool was able to produce so much spin on his shot that the entire back four and the goalkeeper were hypnotised and they watched helplessly as the ball made its mesmerising way into the back of the net.
The Moderns did get a goal back in added time that the Oldies were wholly unfamiliar with; seven of their number lit pipes on ninety minutes thinking it was all over. But the final score was OLDIES 3, MODERNS two.

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