With all this build-up, the emotional stakes were high when we arrived at the ground on Sunday morning. The boys were fired up, and chattering like mad in the change-rooms. The parents were all extra tense too, as we gathered on the sidelines, coffees in hand, to cheer the boys on.
The whistle blew, the game began. Forknah went on the attack immediately, fast and sure. They fired their first shot at goal and my-son-the-Goalie gathered it up safely and sent it back up the field with a great big kick. And our team took off with ball, passing, looking up, and going into determined counter-attack. And that was pretty much how the whole game played out. Time and again, Forknah came thundering down into our half, only to be thwarted by another, often spectacular save from Climber, and to be rattled again by the way our team was playing. It wasn't that we were better than them exactly, but they hadn't expected this, and they couldn't break through. At half-time the score was nil-all, and Forknah's coach roared at his team to come in for the briefing. Our coach was calm, this was the game he'd planned. Keep at it boys, you hear that? You've got them rattled!
In the second half we scored a goal and there was cheering and jubilation from our little band of parents, as a welcome antidote to the nail-biting that had been going on for most of the match. Forknah couldn't believe it. They equalised about 10 minutes later, of course they did, they are a very good team. Both goals scored were good goals, not disappointing goals scored because of a mistake in defense but honest, well-played goals. We groaned on our side; for a minute, victory had seemed possible, but then we remembered our sportspersonship and politely applauded the goal. And then we waited out the remaining 10
It was very nice for Climber to have his moment in the sun, to receive well-earned praise for his performance that day. He looked so happy, and carried his pride round with him all day like a warm bundle of happiness in his chest. Fixit and I were unstinting in our praise, and incredibly proud too. Climber is a bit of a quiet achiever in most of his life, doing well but not flamboyantly so. A day of glory for him like this was just wonderful to behold.