Once upon a time a group of regally clad purple crusaders gathered at the Ridge, the highest point in the Shire, to challenge the Ridgebacks in the battle for the soccer ball. Mustering his noble warriors, Commander in Chief Garry, marshalled his excited troops, readying them for battle by completing synchronised side stretches in the mermaid position and graceful pirouettes as they made their way onto the battle field. At the sound of the whistle the battle was on, culminating in a goal to the blues in the first 5 minutes as they broke through our defences. Determined not to leave the Crusaders in deficit, Sir Kyle the Silver Bullet netted a cross by a slightly bemused, butterfly engrossed Dom the Naturalist. The sideline erupted in cheers but Commander Garry was becoming frustrated by the battle tactics of the Crusaders, kicking the ball to the opponents, charging them to remember, “We are the Reds, they are the Blue!!” Showing determination and stamina, the purple soldiers continued to charge their goal, with the Blues, determined to retaliate, hammering Goalie Sir Tom the Beautiful who gallantly defended his goal. Much too-ing and froing was to be seen as the battle waged from one end of the park to the other. The faithful lieges Sirs Snowy, Corbo, Josh, Michael and Hayden all made spectacular but unsuccessful attacks at the goal, with JayMay, Cookie, Jacko, Alec, Tom the Joker and Isaac faithful in defence against the relentless attack. At the end of the battle round, the Crusaders led 2-1.

Refuelling their bodies with water and sugar, and refining their battle tactics with Commander in Chief Garry, the brave soldiers, although fatigued by the heat and exertion, were primed and ready to take the field. Tom the Joker announced proudly from the sideline as a blue warrior hit the grass from an indelicately placed ball, “I’ve been hit in the balls every time I play here!!” The beautiful surroundings and the enticement of the beautiful scenery was too mesmerising for Sir Dom the Naturalist with coach yelling from the sideline “This is soccer. Butterfly catching is for later!” The next 45 minutes was an entertainment spectacular, with fancy footwork from Tom the Beautiful, an onslaught of goal attempts by Josh, Hayden, Dom, Snowy, Michael, Corbo, and spectacular defence by Isaac, Cookie, Tom the Joker, Alec, and goalie Kyle who kept the marauders goal-less in the last battle surge. Michael the Angelo, with the help of Tom the Beaut and JayMay scored a spectacular goal in the 70th minute to take the score to 3-1. Inspired by his comrade’s efforts, JayMay, through sheer determination and effort broke through to score 2 spectacular goals taking the score to 5-1. And it was handstands all round.

And thus the whistle blew to signal the end of the Battle of the Ridge with the mighty Crusaders defending the honour of the purple shirt. The weary, but happy team gave one last battle cry to thank the opposition and the ref before leaving the field to dream of another victory next week.

The End

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