Avoca vs BUFC F’s

Clear blue skies and an Indian Summer temperature of 23 degrees greeted F-Grade at Frost Reserve in Kincumber, where the team was set to enjoy an unprecedented four reserves. Thirsting for redemption after last week’s five-nil loss, Barnstoneworth took to Avoca with gusto and the passing game we’d been practising all year finally came together.

Yet despite moving the ball all over the park with passes that actually stuck, Barnstoneworth couldn’t score a point to save themselves. In the course of this run-around, Avoca’s number 8 demonstrated several times that he was a knob, tripping one defender after being tackled, whinging about being touched and generally making a fool of himself.

80% possession and territory in the first half wasn’t enough to penetrate Avoca’s defences though, despite a close header by Justin O’Malley Jones that popped over the crossbar, and at half-time a disappointed Barnstoneworth side came off to prepare a nice warm cup of concrete for Avoca’s number 8.

The curse of the first half seemed set to continue though, as eleven minutes into the second half, just after the first of Barnstoneworth’s many substitutions, Avoca lofted one over the fullbacks. Carried by the strong wind blowing downfield, the ball hit the crossbar and fell into the goal behind Simon Ashley-Binge’s head.

Barnstoneworth were dumbstruck that they could be down 1-0 completely against the run of play. This seemed to galvanise the team though, and minutes later Steve Head struck back, cutting in from the left wing and managing a series of passes and run-throughs that put him into shooting position.

1-all, and Barnstoneworth began building pressure on an Avoca side who were starting to run out of legs. When a free kick came Barnstoneworth’s way (created by, you guessed it, Avoca’s number 8, moaning about arms this time), Ben Johnson belted the ball around the right-hand side of the wall and scored.

Minutes later, in an episode giving new meaning to the phrase ‘physical style of play’ Justin O’Malley Jones somehow managed to bring down three Avoca defenders simultaneously, including the goalie, leaving Steve Head with “TIME!” (about ten minutes) to dribble the ball in.

By this stage Avoca were getting frustrated, and another free kick enabled Jason Bush to pass to his brother Ryan who shot from the right side and hit an Avoca player, adding insult to injury with an Avoca own-goal.

Minutes later the final whistle blew and Barnstoneworth discovered the true meaning of Australian sportsmanship when Avoca’s number 13 walked off refusing to shake hands, muttering about “arms everywhere, gghrbrmnbrmnr”. Spectators witnessing this display of bile gave him an Adam-Goodes style send-off and Trevor Husk’s mid-week observations about Avoca were clearly vindicated.

Thirteen down, one game to go against a cannibalised Southern Ettalong Fs & Bs side (The FooBars), which should prove to be a robust end to a highly-enjoyable season. Stay tuned for yellow cards.

Final result: 4-1 Barnstoneworth

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