Sunday 24th October - One For The Road League
v Ormond Saints at Guildtown 3-5 (2-3)
Martin Kelly, Robert Shimmons, Allan MacKenzie, Stuart Waugh, Ryan McGowan, Ally McNaught, Paul Joyce (c), Jason Rae, Andy McNaught (Fraser Marr) (Michael Cameron), Adam Walker and Calum Colquhoun
Monday 9am - Holyrood Sports Centre
At a packed news conference a clearly distraught Mister C picked his words carefully.
"Unfortunately talks have broken down and the player feels that the way the Club is going doesn't match his ambition. No matter what we've tried we can't come to an agreement and, despite what you may have heard, there has been no falling out between the player and myself. This Club has always looked after his best interests and we have constantly protected him from allegations about his private life.
However, all I can tell you is that Marzinho refuses to leave the Club and will be in the squad for Sunday's game against Ormond Saints, thank you".
So started the build up to arguably the most important game we'd had since the heavy loss to Appin, which Mister C described as "a mere blip" in his weekly column in the Lismore Herald.
That was Monday but a bigger storm was brewing because on Wednesday there was a major development which would have a long term affect on the Club.
Lord Drennan of Crosshill, our President and major shareholder, called a meeting of all the players and staff to announce a change in ownership.
"Well..........eh..............I've sold my shares to the American refrigeration billionaire JW Doppelganger III and he will now run the Club, although I will remain as President.........eh".
Shockeroony, and nobody saw this one coming. But who was JW Doppelganger III ?
JW, owns one of the largest businesses in North America, and one of the smallest in
JW is a huge sports fan and his main love is basketball as he owns the Buffalo Wings a third division side in the U S of A's World Basketball League.
His Lordship stated that JW would be at the game in
Exciting times and there was a spring in the step of the squad at their last training session, on the dart board in The Vale Bar, before the big game.
Sunday duly arrived and the squad assembled at their usual meeting point, The Priory on
Out popped Lord Drennan but, to a general air of disappointment, stated that the the coach was for "officials only".
Behind the coach was a black transit van which would take the team to
Lord Drennan introduced JW and he explained that he thought Mister C could do with some help off the park and had brought along a support staff for the game.
It was certainly a full coach and Lord Drennan had brought his fellow committee member Christopher Biggins with him which meant, of course, that Cilla, Dale and Paul were there as well.
They were all looking well after their recent visit to
Introductions would have to wait though as the "Hoots Mon Cafe" in Auchterarder had been booked for morning coffee, officials only and there were deadlines to meet.
Away the coach went to leave the players and staff (Mister C) to get in the transit van with "F.Smith and Sons, Funeral Directors ~ If You're Dead, I'm Fred" emblazoned on the side of it.
Fred Smith was well known to the team as he had frequently employed Mister C as chief mourner at funerals.
As Fred said, "if the face fits".
The back of the van had benches set out so the team could sit "comfortably" and there was a coffin sitting in the middle so the team could rest their feet.
Fred jokingly said, "the coffin's empty, I think", and cackled all the way to the front of the van to drive us to the game as the youngsters in the team looked nervously at each other.
The game wasn't going to be held in downtown
First up was the new Club Doctor, Dr Hermann Kuntz, who gave the team a thorough examination.
The examination was maybe too thorough though and this was one of the many reasons Dr Kuntz was struck off in his native
Next to meet the team were the new Club Chaplains, Father Rick O'Shea, The Right Reverend Eugene Bartholomew, Rabbi Yitz Greenberg, Mohammad Abdullah, Lukwinder Singh, Peter Clark of the Humanist Society and John Travolta.
The line up was getting longer all the time and the new Club Psychologist, and potentially the busiest man of the lot, Professor Gideon Bottomley was next to shake hands with the squad, a lingering handshake if ever there was one.
Some of the fatties in the team suddenly sprung to life at the introduction of Celebrity Club Chef Ainsley Harriot but that was mainly to head to the dressing room to get changed.
As they walked away they missed the opportunity to meet Ms Busty Maine the Club Massuese, Freddie Whirlpool the Club Dietician (another busy man), F.Preston Dalrymple the Club Lawyer, Augustine Monaco the Club Statistician and old Reg Winkerman the Club Kit Man.
TV celebrity Gok Wan had been installed as Club Stylist and he came off the bus hand in hand with his assistant, Julian Clary.
There was one member of the staff still on the coach and it turns out this was Harry "The Hacksaw" Mulgraine who was the new Club Fixer and a man who rarely mixed with the other officials.
The team were relieved to get to the sanctity, and sanity, of the dressing room but there was a knock at the door and Mister Buffo, the Club Clown, or Children's Entertainer, announced his arrival.
Due to the size of Mr Buffo's shoes, Ally, Adam and Stuart all had to leave the dressing room to make space. Although if Andy Boy or one of the other fatties had left on there own there would have been plenty of room.
At last the team were ready and they wandered out the dressing room in ones and twos to be greeted with fireworks and a marching band playing the Club Song "We're On The Road To Nowhere".
Skipper Paul led the way carrying new Club Mascot Charlie The Chimp who was wearing a lovely nappy in the club colours (now available at "JW's" the new Club Superstore, situated behind the goal at Holyrood, for the bargain price of $15).
The team had to go through a line of our new cheerleaders, the Buffalo Babes (pictured below), who produced a fine arthritic display of pom pom waving for ladies in their seventies.
As we started the usual warm up routine of standing aimlessly about with our hands on our hips we were interrupted by a gentleman in a multi coloured leotard who introduced himself as the new Club Warm Up Man.
He looked familiar and it was none other than Mister Motivator who had successfully turned the country keep fit mad in the 90's.
Unfortunately some of the team, the fatties, had to excuse themselves from the warm up as one small stretch and their career could be over, a bit like George Michael.
Mister Motivator (right) and Mister Buffo (below)
Everybody was in place but the game had to be held up while the Saints team gathered round Gok Wan to ask him to give them much needed tips on style.
Bizarrely Gok told
Old Gav also joined the queue to ask Gok for a few tips but, as Mr Wan said, "I'm a stylist not a miracle worker".
There was high drama when Doctor Kuntz was called to help revive Fernie who had collapsed due to the excitement of meeting his all time heroes Dale and Julian.
Willie had only fainted but Dr Kuntz still felt the need to give him mouth to mouth and it took eight of us to prise the good doctor off the wee keeper.
The Saints team were giggling like a bunch of schoolgirls but eventually they were calmed down and the game could begin.
Our team had quite a few changes from the Appin game and we had drafted in three new players in Ryan McGowan, Jason Rae and former youth international, at skittles, Mental "Michael" Cameron.
The team lined up in an attacking 4-4-2 formation with Safehands keeping his place in goals due to lack of alternatives; Robert and Wee Al were our full backs with a youthful central defensive partnership of Stu and Ryan; Ally and CC were our wide midfielders whilst Paul was in the centre with another newbie Jason; up front, giving us hope for goals, were Adam and Andy Boy. Marzinho and Mental were kept in reserve waiting to be unleashed at any moment.
With the technical area full to overflowing (and that was just the two subs) Mister C tried to take a seat in the Elton John Stand but there was no room as the support team and Commitee had taken all the best seats.
Eventually Mister C found a space in the Rock Hudson Memorial Enclosure and jumped in alongside the Saints players' civil partners and assorted friends.
It was a lovely day by the seaside and we were looking for a confidence boost after our recent heavy defeats and a good start was essential.
Unfortunately an early opening goal duly arrived but it was for Saints and Ross Kaylor scored it. I couldn't actually see what happened as I had to change Charlie the Chimp's nappy but I'm told it was a fantastic goal.
Would the loss of an early goal put us on a real downer ? Would it totally dent any confidence we had ? Would Safehands claim he was unsighted ?
No idea, but thanks for asking.
It was huge grass pitch, but pretty bumpy in places, and it was difficult to play a lot of passes, not that we would be doing that anyway.
We settled quite quickly after the goal and started to put a bit of pressure on the home team before we managed an equaliser.
A pass from Andy Boy (apparently) found Adam on the edge of the box and he fired the ball high into the net.
This gave us some much needed confidence and Skipper Paul was in the middle of the park and doing a power of work, being back plenty of times to help out the defence.
As well as all our team problems it had been a traumatic week for the skipper as, due to a court order, he had the "good" fortune to have to look after Andy Boy who had got himself in a wee bit of trouble.
Apparently he had been caught stealing Pick 'n Mix out of WH Smith's in
Of course, Paul would have to break to news to his good lady wife Donna and thought the best way was just to tell her, “we need a bigger fridge”.
Luckily JW, the biggest fridge magnet in the world, heard about this and sent the Joyces a deluxe double refrigerator with extra space for the abundance of burgers and chips which Andy Boy needs to keep up his fitness levels.
Our young starlet’s behaviour, however, didn’t go down too well with the more hostile of the support and the sinister “Wanchope Train Spotters”, led by the uncompromising “Slightly Less Fat Than Usual Due To An Unfortunate Case Of Diabetes Martin”, were allegedly responsible for the torching of Andy Boy’s much loved Robin Reliant which had been parked in the skipper’s driveway.
Thankfully we were in sunny Perthshire away from our off field problems but on the field they were mounting up.
Stu injured his leg and limped off and had to be replaced by Marzinho at centre half.
The injury looked serious but, seeing Doctor Kuntz picking up his bag of tricks and heading down to pitch side, Stu suddenly declared himself fit again.
Too late unfortunately as Saints went two one ahead from an undefended corner.
Marzinho, obviously, got the blame and came back off but not for long as Andy Boy, tired out by his traumatic week, and eight burgers before the game, wimped off and our chubby sub went into attack.
Just as Marzinho got back on we went three one down with another goal which I unfortunately didn’t see as I was just coming back from the toilet with Charlie the Chimp as he had been eating too many of Julian Clary’s Pan Drops.
Could the day get any worse for us ? Three one down with Marzinho now in attack ? What could he possibly add to the team and what serious chance did we have now ? I mean he can’t kick the ball with any power amongst other things.
From our centre Marzinho picked up the ball, put in five big strides then blasted the ball from forty yards over Fernie in goals for a wonder strike.
What a goal and it’s about time the critics left Marzinho alone as he is clearly a genius with power in his boots. I have always been a huge admirer of the man and I can’t understand why Mister C doesn’t give him more starting places.
To celebrate, Marzinho went crazy and ripped his top off before throwing it into the crowd which nearly caused a disaster as Biggins, Dale, Paul and Gok all tried to grab the top but Cilla got there first and waved her finger at the scorer with a “surprise, surprise” look on her face.
There was mayhem as Marzinho ran the length of the pitch with the Saints team all hanging off him desperate for a hug and he only shook them off once he reached our own penalty area.
Unfortunately one of the Buffalo Babes, 77 year old Ellie Mae, tried to join in the celebrations but her wheelchair stuck in one of the ruts on the pitch but luckily Biggins and Mister Motivator managed to free her and get her back behind the barrier.
The Match Commander, local Chief Inspector Ken Kenneth, was not a happy man and was threatening to charge Marzinho with indecent exposure but luckily the floppy haired one had his sports bra on.
I don’t think we could have taken another court case and certainly Paul wouldn’t have room for another of his delinquent team mates (“we need a bigger house”).
Anyway there were still five minutes left in the half and Adam twice nearly found an equaliser as he struck both post and bar with good efforts.
But thankfully the referee blew the half time whistle as I think everybody needed a breather after the excitement of Marzinho’s goal.
We trooped back to the dressing room and, just as Mister C was about to deliver some tactical nous, in walked JW who said he would do the motivational talk.
“Hey, y’all, we need more double dribbles from the offensive players and more half court defense. There’s also not enough slam dunking going on.”
“We’re giving this mob an easy ride and we need to get down and dirty in the second half”.
JW made his last comment just as Fernie and
Sadly the answer has to be no as we already have a wee keeper that can’t handle crosses and we’ve got the real Biggins on board so don’t need a lookalike.
Into the second half and we did indeed get down and dirty and Jason and Paul drove us forward from the middle of the park.
Defensively we were doing well although we had to make a change when Mad Rab had an attack of cramp after making his longest ever appearance for the team (previously five minutes).
This meant CC moved to right back with Andy Boy bravely coming back on at left midfield, after lengthy instructions from JW.
Unfortunately Robert forgot to tell CC about the quicksand at the right hand side of the pitch and four of the team had to haul him out of the sand after he got stuck up to his waist. The rest of the team comforted his clearly distraught brother Gary.
Back to the game and it was fairly even with our youngsters (only one over 29 – wee guy with a beard at left back) battling hard to get an equaliser.
As ever though, it was a goal at the other end that came and again unfortunately I missed it as I had to chase after Charlie the Chimp who had swiped Professor Bottomley’s hair piece and I eventually caught him before he flushed it down the toilet.
Charlie The Chimp
Still we came back at Saints and Jason came close a couple of times after lung bursting runs from the middle of the park.
However, it was Adam that got us a goal back when he got on the end of a Paul through ball to shoot into the corner of the net.
The excitement was mounting and Andy Boy just headed over from an Adam cross cum shot as we piled on the pressure.
In an effort to get an equaliser we used the last ace up our sleeve and Mental Michael was thrown on for Marzinho who left the field to rapturous applause.
It was Mental’s debut and JW had asked Gok and Julian to give him a makeover and they decided that ankle length shorts would suit our “Michael”, they didn’t.
With only five minutes remaining there came a most controversial moment.
A shot by a Saints player was caught two handed in our area by Andy Boy and he dribbled the ball up the park past one defender then another.
The referee’s whistle finally stopped him and he awarded Saints a penalty for travelling.
What a blow for us, especially so late in the game, and
It was a hammer blow to us which took the wind out of our sails and we didn’t have time to get two goals back despite our best efforts.
The game ended in defeat but we had thirteen heroes in black and white who showed an effort and determination that other Queen’s Park teams should maybe try.
It was a subdued dressing room afterwards, particularly as we had to get changed one at a time as the Committee had all piled in to help themselves to the French Fancies and Cream Horns which our hosts had laid on for us.
Back we trooped into Fred the Dead’s van as the committee and assorted others made their way onto the coach and we all headed off to Ormonds for some hot food and entertainment.
Our hosts had been kind enough to lay on some music in the form of local tribute band Frankie Goes To Holdgates and it was the busiest I’ve seen the pub in a long time.
The Saints boys are obviously hardy souls as, despite being a bit parky, they had discarded their tops as they danced away to the music.
As Dale and Gok joined the dancing throng we thought we’d disappear into the night and Fred brought the van round so we could head for home.
The President and Owner joined us in the car park to say goodbye and there were high fives all round as the President said, “well……….eh……better luck next time, eh”.
JW embraced Andy Boy and said it was the best bit of dribbling he’d seen in a long time and couldn’t understand why the umpire had called for a foul shot.
It’s not often your glad to get in the back of a Funeral director’s van but we were just glad to escape the madness.
It didn’t end there though as there appeared to be a knocking noise coming from the coffin in the back of the van but Fred claimed he had nothing to do with it.
There was growing apprehension amongst the youngsters and they demanded we stop at a lay by to see what was going on.
As we pulled in an eerie voice shouted from the coffin, “are we there yet ?”, at which point the back doors were flung open, even though the van was still moving, and the team were off screaming along the side of the road.
“It’s okay, it’s only Doctor Kuntz”, shouted Mister C, “he’s had too much sherry (another reason he got struck off) and fell asleep in the back of the van. Come back all of you”.
But it was to no avail and there is still no sign of the team as I write. Hopefully they’ll be back in time our next game.
What a day, what a trip and some of the adventures we have are the sort you just couldn’t make up !!!
Player of the Day: Jason Rae
[P.S. Thanks to Gav and the Saints guys for the day and to Davie Fair in Ormonds for his superb food and hospitality as usual.
Well done also to all the team for their efforts and Big Tam for coming to support the team, and showing the locals how to play doms !]
Cal and Fernie