We were contacted by Ely Garden Villagers to see if KWT wanted to get involved in a fete like event to raise money for Muscular Dystrophy Duchenne. Instead of a stand, we opted to try and put together a 5-a-side team. This proved difficult and after several late injuries including leaf fall induced tendonitis and torn crustacean ligaments(?) we settled on Jake, James and myself from Keep Wales Tidy with Cameron, a local ringer who was half some of our ages, Gareth one of the Community Park Rangers and we were all managed, coached, supported and photographed by KWT's Alaw from the touchline.
The first game was against Gafod, a big physically imposing team. None of us had played any football for years and our passing, control, movement, timing, panache, hair and flair wasn't brilliant and we thought we would do much better than our 2-0 defeat. We did show some good touches and hoped to improve later on, a bit like Germany in World Cups.
Alaw commented in the break that "Sir Alex didn't create his new team overnight after the splintering of his golden generation and we aren't that different".
This motivational talk spurned us on in the second game against Ely Hibs 2nds. These guys were young skillfull and fast and were much better than our first opponents. Bravely, we held on to a 0-0 draw against this team mostly due to poor finishing, brilliant saves from our goalkeeper James and some last ditch tackles. For the last two minutes we were just happy to kick the ball up the other end and tried to contain them. There was much relief at the final whistle.
Our heckles were up and collectively we thought we weren't so bad, but our legs were tired, ankles knackered and swollen like Nora Batty's and my achilles ached like I had been shot with an arrow in each tendon. However, we faced a team of old timers in QPR strips, who like us had keener minds than bodies (apart from one of them). Beyond all belief we scored in the first half when a corner was crossed in over the heads of most of the players and I side-footed in a volley under the goalkeeper. We had several more chances in the game to finish them off, but failed to take them. The second half saw a ju-jitsu tackle on Gareth which left him winded and temporarily paralysed, but he quickly recovered from that with liberal daubing of the magic sponge-cake. We never got that breathing space second goal despite several good chances and we paid for it late on starting with a poor pass from defence from myself and after a couple of passes they scored off a near brilliant save from James. There was no time to get another and it finished 1-1. Encouragingly, we all left the field with our heads high and quite pleased with what we achieved. Importantly we donated a little money towards the charity and helped a tiny bit towards this fantastic event. Off for a bath now as everything from my brain downwards aches.
About Keep Wales Tidy's Tidy Towns' work in Cardiff
Hi, my name is Chris Partridge and I am Keep Wales Tidy's Tidy Towns Project Officer for Cardiff. Activities we undertake are often in partnership with Cardiff Council's Parks Department (both waste services and Community Park Rangers) and Street Cleansing. We have organised events for several businesses across Cardiff and is happy to accommodate future requests. For more information you can contact Chris on 07717 412 270 or by Email: firstname.lastname@example.org You can also follow me on Twitter for upcoming events @CardiffKWT