Saturday, November 13, 2010

A Great Night

Is a road trip tournament too much to ask?  Apparently it is.  I have always wanted to go on the road with my team.  In 25+ years of playing it has never happened.  Then I saw it on the schedule...a game in Weyburn in August.  A Wednesday but we could make it work.  I started planning in May.  When the time came though the plans unraveled, everyone had an excuse.  I have to work, I am married, I am afraid of the dark.  To hell with it, I was still making a trip of this.

The night started at Starbucks.  We met in the parking lot and assembled a convoy.  High on caffeine we headed for "the Opportunity City".  On the way in we passed the Roadrunner gas bar and saw the opportunity at once.  A patched together Roadrunner squad of 11 battle weary men, no goalie and a pretty good attitude.  As the young lineswoman stripped down to her sports bra and played with a soccer ball in front of our bench the Roadrunners stretched and finished their cigarettes.   We started the match with the fiery Bruce Weild in net.  As expected the powerful young Weyburn squad attacked in waves firing at every opportunity at the top of the net.  Not good enough.  Eventually they started to break down and the Roadrunners countered with three Dave Charge breakaways against the most moronic off side trap at half I have seen since the Roadrunners squad of the early 90's.  Key the cute lineswoman to flag every one incorrectly.  It was left to Adam Ailsby to weave through the entire Weyburn fullback line, ask our good friend Laurie the ref if he was onside and then run the last half and score.

The second half was more of the same as the Roadrunners dug in with guile and tenacity.  Wave after wave was repelled and slowly we took control.  The Weyburn crowd grew frustrated as the night sky engulfed the game.  Alfie brilliantly asked for a water break after a prolonged Weyburn attack.  Unfortunately this lead to 12 minutes of extra time in pitch blackness.  In a match that will make me as proud of my team mates as anything I have ever been proud of the Roadrunners smashed to pieces everything Weyburn had to offer.  Ailsby eventually put the nail in the coffin catching the Weyburn keeper off his line popping one in from 35 yards.  I was extremely proud to take on my roll at midfield late in the match running as hard as I could at long balls only to be smashed to the ground repeatedly as the ball was cleared down the street.  Tick tick tick...Weyburn looses.

We left Weyburn, a city torn by lightning, a city defeated, with a quick stop for a picture at the Roadrunner gas bar.  We headed to O'Hanlons, the entire team united.  We drank, laughed and told stories until closing.  Connie took the next day off because he was closing the bar with me.  What a guy.  I stumbled out at closing, drunk, proud and victorious.  I finally had my road trip, all in one night.


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