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Between hackers and hoggers, life in the AUL

Paul Ring rolls with the punches as another game is victim to the weather. And we get to hear about THAT goal at last.
Dec 8th 2010, 9:41 AM 163 0

THERE was no suspense this week.

No wondering whether to stay in Saturday night or head out. In the midst of Friday’s road warnings and doomsday weather reports came the short, shrill local radio announcement. All AUL games were off due to the weather.

Where does that leave us then? Well I would like to think I have a veritable treasure trove of incident to dwell upon. Including my goal of which I am happy to dedicate the remaining words in sonnet form.

Shall I compare thee to Messi last Saturday?

But first I’d like to touch upon the horror tackle inflicted upon me only three weeks ago in which I am assured by a watching friend I took like a man.

I didn’t fall clutching my shin screaming. I didn’t point out to the ref that the offending player had ruined my new club socks and I didn’t hobble off 10 minutes later like an extra from Saving Private Ryan. Took it like a man is what he said. Tone doesn’t matter.

Another treasured memory from this already eventful season came in our third away game at Rathcoole. The game itself was an utterly forgetful one. It finished nil-all and both sides were lucky to get nil. I was up front for reasons passing understanding.

Actually thinking back now, me stationed away from the heart of the defence and upfront ensured a credible goalless draw. Clever chaps, our managers.

Early in the game, the ball was hoofed clear by the opposing defence. I was, let’s call it slow to get back when my strike partner flicked the ball on. I then reacted to it before the referees whistle blew.

Offside. I jogged towards the ref and protested “second phase ref, I wasn’t interfering”. He fixed me a stare of contempt before replying “Away now player with your rules” My rules!? They’re your rules! What sort of chaos is this!? I pondered this question deeply and for the rest of the game didn’t interfere with play.

So that goal, I have done incredibly well to get this far without mentioning it again. A goal is to be cherished especially if one has a strike rate the equivalent of a lotto winner.

It was a header, of course. Being six foot two I should win the odd header. That particular day I arrived late in the box from a free-kick. No-one in the opposition defence seemed to think I was a danger and it was left to the tiny right back to mark me.

He didn’t fancy it. A blinking Lilliputian staring up at a recently-escaped Gulliver. Darren, our tricky winger had spotted the mismatch and planted the ball on my head.

I didn’t even need to jump, I swivelled my head and worked those neck muscles that Andy Gray drones about. It looped away from the goalkeeper and settled into the top right corner.

Not quite a sonnet. It wasn’t quite a stunner. But when that ball nestled, I did feel like a lotto winner.

Paul Ring blogs at A View. Read his previous installments here.

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