“Where We Played like Legends…but Could Only Draw”
Lydney II 1 – Old Bristolians II 1
Saturday 16th November 2013
Lydney: K. Alexander, D. Legg, E. Matthews, J. Box, A. Farr, J. Samuel, R. Lugg, G. Cox, A. Bannister, M. Royle, S. Mitchell (Captain)
Somewhere in the Shire of Lydney, a plucky crew of mixed ages, experience and backgrounds was drawn together by the command of one voice, Sarah ‘Gandalf’ Mitchell. From here they traveled, their merry band expanding as they were joined by others along the way. They forded dangerous rivers (the Wye and the Severn) and passed swiftly through tolls (luckily without having to answer any tricky riddles) and made their intrepid way, sometimes by separate paths to the Centre of Middle
As this noble band convened at the sacred home of Ye Olde Bristolians: Riven-Gordano-Community-Trust-Sports-Centre-Dell they were joined by others (despite Ali ‘Eowyn’ Bannister’s temporary loss of inner compass). Hurdles many had been thrown in their path but once they were all together at Longwood Lane (and after a rapid costume change) the trek to the pitch could begin. Toes were lost (might have been socks) and dehydration was a constant source of concern, but on they trudged. On and on and on…and on and on….until eventually the hinterland of the Turf of Atrso was reached, and the battle they had come for could commence.
Both teams of warriors confusingly sported the Noble Maroon and Whyte colours of Sir Stryke-the-Ball-a-Lot. The Lydneyshire fellowship however, wore the modern arrangement whereas Ye Olde Bristol-eo-lians had opted for the traditional quarters, the choice of a previous millenium. There were those in the Lydneyshire fellowship however, who remembered the days in Quarters. They had fought and won under those heavy shirts of olde and the lessons were not lost on them. Indeed, the Olde Ways were called upon when during battle a ‘Bullye’ was required to be performed.
Both armies battled hard but the deadlock was broken when Jane ‘Baggins’ Box cannoned a ball into the ‘D’. The opposition was unable to deflect it away and the Sphere of Infinite Dimples was sent thundering into the Goal of Mouth where it should have stayed forever. However, as everyone’s backs were turned, it was retrieved by a cunning Olde Bristolian* and the battle was on AGAIN. (Honestly, it was just battle after battle after battle…with little dialogue).
*just as the half time credits rolled to leave things nicely open for a follow-up of course…
And a follow-up there was, as an even harder battle commenced that saw ‘Princess’ Megan Very-Royle elbowed to the floor despite her protective gloves of woven unicorn fur. In a Peter-Jackson-like twist of fate, Lydneyshire’s fortunes were reversed as they found themselves suddenly having to defend. Ali ‘Eowyn’ Bannister showing bravery a-plenty threw herself in front of the ball in the ‘D’. She wished that she’d had The One Ring on her finger though as the Ump of Pyre saw the speeding sphere hit her feet in the Mouth of Goal and bounce off the back line. He called upon Karen ‘Gimli’ Alexander to face battle in a one-on-one duel with OB’s feared Striker. As tradition dictates, both armies retreated to the sides of the playing battlefield for this tense showdown.
Powers of the mind were used by Striker to try to send Alexander the wrong way, but as a projectile was launched hard towards her, Alexander read Striker’s hit perfectly and stepped the right way, the sphere colliding with her leg armor but the force of it caused it to slither on past her into the Mouth of Goal.
The Fellowship answered the silent (and not so silent) inner call to retaliate and worked as one to gain a Penaltee Corner. In a cinematically close call Jane ‘Baggins’ Box struck The Sphere towards the target but one of the enemy skimmed it with a swinging weapon and it collided noisily with one of the pillars at the entrance to the Mouth of Goal and deflected away as the ringing continued in everyone’s pointy (and not so pointy) ears.
As the fighting continued, the Lydneyshire fellows were forced to retreat and defend more with Sarah ‘Gandalf’ Mitchell being presented a Carde of Greene for attacking from the side of Lefte and ‘Baggins’ Box being badly injured. This did not deter the troops though and nimble, elf-like switching round the back and up the wing to Abbi ‘Arwen’ Farr and Grace ‘Galadriel’ Cox saw plenty of determined charges; though it proved impossible for the Fellowship to return the Sphere of Infinite Dimples to the Mouth Of Goal. They managed to keep it from falling into enemy hands though by passing it cunningly between them with great communication, trust in each other and quick little moves.
In a final attack, Racheal ‘Legolas’ Lugg bravely took The Sphere from the Lands of the Twenty-Fyve-Yard-Lyne into the Dee and launched it at The Farr Poste. Sadly though, The Sphere went slightly wide (which was lucky for the heavily armored OB defender as she was slow to react and didn’t quite reach it to make sure).
As the final Horn of Ump from Pryre rang out over the domain, the battle was declared a draw. The Fellowship have no choice but to try again On Satyr-day.
On a brighter note, post-battle sustenance was of an unusually high standard with a Shire Cottage Pie and
flagons of ale tea and coffee available on production of a special token – tokens presented as an Olive Branch of Peace by the enemy. This was a game that critics rated as ‘FIVE STAR’, ‘Superb viewing’, and, ‘A performance well directed by Sarah Mitchell’. Let’s hope that the lessons learnt can be remembered for the future.
Hobbit of the Match was Ali Bannister.