Reloaded’s Pyramid Tournament turned into a rectangular event with six teams including the Saigon Saints competing for the glory of whatever the prize was – the Saints enormous squad for the day didn’t stick around to find out, opting instead to use the event as a light training session before leaving at the earliest opportunity while also crucially ensuring we weren’t last. Job done.
“Couldn’t be happier with the way the lads substituted themselves – that was world class,” said Captain Steven Shaw of Nottinghamshire who denied that he was desperately searching for positives. “By losing the first two games one-nil, we also showed that we can be very consistent moving from scorching sunshine into torrential rain.”
The Saints played what looked like the best team in the tournament first (The Me Kong Somethings), an annoyingly well drilled, fit and “technically sound” side. After the game according to various Saints the player who scored by chipping Sean “Sleepy Eyes” Boyle was either a) 10m offside b) just offside or c) possibly onside and just very quick. From the Saints’ perspective, there was not much else to talk about other than Chuck “Mellow” Marion’s disallowed goal -- deemed “somewhat controversial” by the young American who was adjudged to have shown too much of his studs when winning the ball before smashing it into the corner of the net. Following a strict Saints’ tradition, Chuck went through a period of gentle remonstration with the referee over the decision. Subsequently, the ref said, “Well, on reflection I think you are right—it was an excellent goal and an unfair decision on my part to award that free, sadly, I cannot reverse the decision but if we could only somehow turn back time, I would gladly wave play on alas I do not have this power…”
The second match against the Hotshots was a bit of a washout with a rainstorm being the most memorable event. The Saints subbed en masse and the refreshed defense was too slow to pick up on a stray hot shot who wandered in unmarked at the back post to scuff in the winner. No matter, as the Saints were clearly saving their best till last. By loaning a depleted Reloaded side several of our players –Teaguey, Aiden and Ian Pavitt, all cleverly appearing to give 100% but secretly giving 40% – we were always in control. There were goals, three of them. First, Roel took a break from braiding his lady friend’s hair to finish off a stylish straight-from-the-training-ground-initiate-a-bit-of-mayhem-in-the-box-and-hopefully-score-move. Second, Sam Greene showed a Sheareresque turn in the box before finishing emphatically from close range. Third, Chuck, who had made his peace with the universe since the first game, tore after a flick from the Webmaster and chipped the ball over the onrushing keeper for an in-off-the-post-winner.
After that, having seen enough of Me Kong Somethings play piggy in the middle by the corner flag, the Saints departed and reassembled at Game On for light refreshments.
Other highlights: Aiden (getting fined for) scoring a bit of a cracker while on loan to Reloaded; our new signing John putting in a MVP performance; Haider getting a full workout and a bit of nap back home before coming back out for a pie, Dr Iaian Campbell picking up an exquisite “xe om driver’s tan”.
Lowlights: The bookies weren’t taking bets on yellow cards for our two Seans – very sensible, as both were predictably booked. Chuck’s “period of gentle remonstration” also earned him a yellow. Other than that the Saints behaved… um… like Saints.