A comfortable win (really, it was) to end the season, a summary of which was delivered at the AGM …
This was a long, long season.
It started with a win, ended with a win, but didn’t have many in between. There were two new opponents in the form of St Anne’s and Rhewl, and quite a few old ones. A record 7 games were played against Convocation, including one spell when we played them 3 times in a row. Whilst the 1st, 2nd and 3rd XIs conceded 96 between them, we conceded 138 all on our own (although I should emphasise that I only let in 122 of them). We lost every game that we played on Astroturf.
We threw away leads in 14 games. We won 7 games, but only 5 against men.
This is a team of masochists, which has become institutionalised and ingrained with the joy of defeat. On the 17th March we lost 10-3. On the 24th March we lost 8-2. That sequence might put some teams off, but no less than 22 signed up to play the following week.
Jordan Mornington was top scorer with 22, which was precisely the number of chances he missed in just one game away at Convocation in January. The Turn-Out cup, finally retrieved from McGuck’s loft, goes to Eddie Jones who missed just one game in the whole season. I just wish it had been the London game he missed, when he gave the ball away twice in the first ten minutes to leave us 2-0 down.
It has been a season of catastrophic captaining decisions. Each of the 14 leads thrown away have been thrown away in the ten minutes after half time, just after I have told the troops to concentrate and not throw way the lead in the ten minutes after half time. It just might be that the oranges are proving too much of a distraction. Within 60 seconds of almost every substitution a goal has been conceded. Telling RvP that he was having a brilliant season in February produced a dip in March equal only to what happened when Fernando Torres left Liverpool for Chelsea.
After putting 16 past the 16-year-olds at Shrewsbury, we went to Pollensa for the 30th tour. The pleasure in seeing Steve Irving and Willie Hall, amongst others, playing in the curtain-raising Super-Vets fixture, was matched by the pleasure of seeing a number of younger men fit into the tour so well. The match itself was a classic, but as we searched for the equaliser at 5-4 down with ten minutes to play, McGuckin pulled off the most attention-seeking stunt of all time in performing a life-threatening head roll which actually was very frightening and not just for him. But it’s never over before the not-so-fat Tony Reus’s daughter lady sings, and when news filtered through to the restaurant that Paul was going to be OK, the usual festivities resumed with an Grant Lazarus hosted commemoration of tours gone by.
There were back to back wins in an October weekend when we travelled to Convocation on Saturday then Old Bolts on Sunday, but then no wins in November and nearly none in December, but for a brilliant win against St Mary’s Old Boys on the 23rd.
January, February and March came and went without any glimmer of hope of a win, and it looked like April would be the same until Lewis was persuaded to turn out on the 21st April and scored a hat-trick. London, though, did bring out probably the best performance of the season, with a last-minute equaliser making a draw feel like a win even though it obviously wasn’t. This, though, was a fixture crowded with controversy after a complaint was made about a rogue urinator exposing himself during the game rather than using the facilities. It would be possibly libellous to suggest who it was, so it would be wrong to say that the common view was that it was McNay or Crutchley and more likely McNay. And I am not just saying that only because he isn’t here.
I have, though, been blessed with the greatest of friends as my team-mates.
The Chairman’s boot colours have been as ever-changing as his love life, but he has played well in an almost constant state of injury. Many of the defeats might have been much heavier but for him, although it is hard to remember any winning contribution. His hat-trick in Pollensa was happily overshadowed by McGuckin’s collapse.
The Fixture Secretary has always been able to find us someone to play, and it is testament to his running-style that not a single member of any opposition team has questioned his status as a veteran.
The President has continued a welcome trend of playing in the role. Now that Tony is no longer an officer of the club, I will decide when he comes of rather than the self-certified withdrawals that became a feature of his play this year.
To our new Vice-President Murphy, thank you for the half-hourly updates on your availability from Wednesday onwards. You may reduce them to hourly. They are preferable, though, to Crutchley asking how many minutes he is likely to get if he comes; but this is understandable as these days his slow-motion stepovers take 5 or 6 minutes each so he needs plenty of game time to make it worthwhile.
It would be wrong to blame Gorton for more than 80% of our goals, but I hope he won’t mind if we give the high-line offside trap a break at least until September. We haven’t exactly got the pace to cope when it is breached.
Bodey’s goals from crosses were a welcome addition to the tally; he must, though, stop shooting as the results from that are much less successful.
Special travel award second place goes to Peter Killen, who managed to go to Essemmay Vets when we were playing them at home; but it is a very poor second to the winner from Matty Gray, who enjoyed a day trip to Repton despite there being 6 emails saying that we were playing at home.
I was going to end by thanking everyone who has played because I couldn’t lose all of these games on my own. But I thought that too many if you would say that that’s exactly what I have been doing.
Anyway, you fools have just voted for me to do another season, so see you all then. Can’t come soon enough.
|May 12, 2018||2:30 pm||Vets XI Fixtures||2017-18|
|14 Moor Ln, Thornton, Liverpool L23 4TW, UK|