Sunday, August 29, 2010

Round 18, v Melbourne Knights, away

In the lead up to Sunday’s final match of the season against the Melbourne Knights I was a little worried we wouldn’t be battle hardened given we'd won our previous three matches in a canter. But my concerns were alleviated in the opening minutes when it was apparent we were mentally and physically switched on. And it was just as well, not only because we wanted to win to ensure we finished second on the ladder, but also because the Knights clattered into us time and again with abandon bordering on recklessness. (Not that the ref seemed to notice or care. Perhaps he was distracted by the Croatian easy-listening numbers wafting over the ground in Sunshine from a nearby, though seemingly deserted, marquee.)

Years ago our opponents’ tendency to approach a tackle in much the same way as a bowling ball approaches a set of 10 pins would have been enough to throw us off our game, but we’re much more willing to use the shoulder these days and to stand up for ourselves. In a very physical opening 15 minutes Rosie, in particular, showed the way. Perhaps driven by a need to impress her visiting brother and parents —who were surprised by the tension in the game and their subsequent nerves— she won every challenge on the ground and in the air and was instrumental in finding a teammate with a composed pass. As such, despite the physical nature of the game, we dominated both possession and field position and by the half hour mark had created, through wonderful teamwork, about six good chances. But either the final shot was mishit, flew narrowly wide or was pushed around the post at the last by the Knights’ very good keeper.

“Dagnnabbit,” I said to the Bras on the bench, after Rhi shanked one off her shin from close range. “We might regret these near misses.” Sure enough the Knights booted a long ball to their blonde centre forward who, such was her manic energy, brought to mind Tassie Devil from Looney Tunes. Still with plenty to do she beat three Bras before shooting from an acute angle but nevertheless finding the inside of the far post. Delighted with her excellent goal she ran about wildly then decided to lift her shirt over her head in order that we could all see what sort of bra she’d decided to put on that morning. In this case, a hot pink sports bra. Personally I thought it clashed somewhat with the Knights’ red jerseys but, you know, what do I know about fashion?

It was a goal very much against the run of play, so harder to take than most, but we hit back almost immediately. In fact, as we prepared for the restart I was still making a note of planned substitutions when I heard rising excitement coming from our bench. Had the Bras subs spotted a Mr Whippy van pulling in to the carpark? No, better. Milliseconds after I lifted my head from my whiteboard I saw Rhi finally getting one past the Knights keeper. One-all, and so it remained into halftime.

With third-placed Mitchell Rangers only a point behind us on the table we knew that the score as it stood may not be good enough to secure second. In the unlikely event Rangers upset ladder-leading Brunswick City later that afternoon, they’d overtake us. So only a win could guarantee 2nd, and we approached the final 45 minutes of our season accordingly. But the Knights were still very much up for the fight and, if anything, the momentum of the game swung in their favour. Suddenly they were dominating possession and field position and only a good save by Deb and some scrambling defence saved us going behind early in the second.

But in the 75th minute, on one of our rare 2nd-half forays into the Knights defensive third, Jane found Emily on the edge of the box. With typical aplomb, she turned on a dime, cut inside a scything attempt at tackle, and rifled a left foot shot into the bottom right corner. She had every right to show her undergarments but there was no sign as she was smothered by her joyous teammates.

We looked likely to add to our second over the next few minutes after we won a couple of corners. The second of these prompted Marian to yell out to Rhi (the corner taker) a little perplexing advice: “This time loose and floppy!” Echoing my thoughts Merissa remarked: “That’s not a catchcry you hear that often at the football.” Or, by the by, on the set of a porno.

In the final five minutes the Knights pressed for an equaliser and, as resilient as we were in defence, we were also perhaps fortunate their radar was askew. Twice they missed one-on-ones with Deb, slicing their shots wide. We looked to have escaped with the win we wanted when, with time up on my watch, Em picked up a loose ball on halfway and hared forward. But a Knights defender went with her and did everything but attack her with an axe in her attempts to rob Em of the ball. The ref blew the whistle for the clear and obvious foul but, inexplicably, gave the Knights the free kick.

We were still dumfounded and, it has to be said, hot under the collar, when the Knights pumped their free kick down field and, after a mad scramble, scored an equaliser. Oh cruel world! Oh pernicious fate! Seconds after the restart the ref finally remembered his watch and blew for the end of the game and the season.

Considering the circumstances surrounding the Knights equaliser it felt, in the immediate aftermath, like a loss. But we soon regained our equanimity and Sue led us in a stirring rendition of our newish team song which, to the untrained ear, must sound like a bunch of simpletons making deranged and very much random babbling sounds with no sense of timing, rhythm or script. Funnily enough, a trained ear would come to the same conclusion because that’s exactly what it is.

But it did the job of lifting our spirits and we realised that no matter what happened in the later game we’d had a wonderful season.

STOP PRESS: Turns out there were no shocks in the late game. Brunswick City did the business (7-0) thereby winning all 18 of their matches. They were in a league of their own. Congratulations to them. We finished second with 13 wins, one draw and four losses. Mitchell finished two points behind us. Apart from our premiership winning year in 2006 it’s our highest placing in eight seasons. So, hats off to us. Shirts too, if you like that sort of thing.

As for this blog, in the coming month I will find the time to deliver a summary of the season, including our annual player awards. Stay tuned. In the meantime, thanks for reading, and don’t forget to encourage your friends, family, colleagues and random people on the street, to buy The Mighty Bras. Christmas isn’t that far away you know.


  1. OMG that is a PERFECT account of our victory song! Was laughing so much I had to close my office door (again! although admittedly the first time was at my own joke about Paul's film character being Screech from Saved By The Bell...that still cracks me up)...

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Ahh Paul you do have a way with words!!! What a season... I can't believe it is over. Can't wait for next year!



accutane lawsuit