A tear welled in the eye of Fisher as he looked at the whatsap message. It started with ‘Bring your red socks…’. It could only mean that despite two man of the match performances in two weeks Fisher was being dropped into the 7th XI for the Timperley 6’s v 7’s bragging rights match. Did Gibson foresee something or was it just a cruel ruse to get himself back into the 6’s starting XI? I do not suppose we will never know.
Seeing that Fisher had been fitted with an Oxygen bottle and pushed into midfield, Gibson countered this threat with 3 young folk whose aggregate age was about the same as Fishers. Fishers threat was at once neutralised by cunning ‘pass it round him’ or ‘just run past him’ tactics that could not be countered. The 6’s having sorted out where the threat was then proceeded to play with some skill & flair in romping to a 6-0 lead at half time, courtesy of some good strikes from Scott amongst others. Just before half time, disaster struck the 7’s as Fisher pulled a fetlock forcing him out of the game. You could see the relief in Gibsons eyes as Fisher left the pitch. The 7s played in a style akin to that of Frank Bruno v Mike Tyson back in the day, working hard and getting in an odd jab in the 7s half but failing to deliver a firm blow when in the D.
The team talk from skipper Ahmed at half time was effective and in the second half the 7’s were better, eventually losing 10-0 with Scott bagging 5. Everyone in the 7’s kept running and trying but could not get the consolation goal that they deserved. Tribute must be made to the fortitude of Ben in the 7’s goal who stopped it being worse than it was and the honesty of all the 7’s sub players who refused to go on to make it 12 v 11 in the 7’s favour despite Fishers guidance to do so.
Gibson can now only hope that Fishers fetlock heals in time for the return of league hockey in the new year. Medical bulletins will be made available on enquiry.