Final Score Ormstown 22 – Wanderers 20.
As the Ormstown flyhalf’s struck his final… penalty kick, as that cruel, oblong ball spun silently over our goalposts, the warriors of the Wanderer’s first team stared on in dumb horror. The kick came on the final play of the game, and put an organized, but ultimately undeserving Ormstown team two points ahead. Post-game grumbles from a dejected Wanderer’s side pointed to several causes contributing to the frustrating defeat. What it a lack of discipline and courage at the breakdowns? The pedantry of a whistle-happy referee? The last minute shuffling of the line-up? The conspicuous absence of a Wanderer’s goal kicker? A failure to muster a coordinated defense in the backline?
While there are many candidates, an organization such as ours can and must have a single scapegoat when something as terrible as a near-win occurs. This week’s bouc émissaire? The Balloch twins. The “Ballouchebags” were off gallivanting on some pretentious family sailing trip, leaving our first team to flounder without a goal kicker. Their selfish decision making is no doubt the singular cause of our loss.
The Wanderer’s day was not without heroics. Ted McGregor had a thrilling debut in the backline at outside centre. His running lines were devastating, his decision making surgical, and his strength in contact truly equine. His efforts were rewarded with a try after a turn-over and a little kick and chase.
Our forward pack devastated their opposition in the scrums, turning over several opposition put-ins. The collective beastliness of the Wanderer’s pack was also responsible for a scoring maul off of a line-out in opposition territory.
Finally, rookie winger Caleb Jordan lived up to the hype and delivered a try on a blinding, 50 yard sprint down the sideline. It was the impossible kind of run that helps one imagine what Chariots of Fire would be like with black characters, the stroboscopic kind of speed that paradoxically seems to slow down time.
Defeat sinks in like sunburn. You know it’s happened long before you really feel it. Be evening time you hurt all over and you want to puke your guts out. Once you’ve been burned once, badly, you prepare so it never happens again. Next week, lets prepare to win. Because, in the words of Wanderer’s second row and yellow card recipient Adam Barrette: “It doesn’t matter how hard you hit, it matters how hard you can get hit and still think of funny shit to say to the guy that pumped you.”