Dragons Festival

Swansea 27-8 July 2018

“Well Toto, this doesn’t look like Kansas.” Said Dorothy, having flown over the rainbow and into a thunderstorm. “Woof.” Said Toto, which meant he thought Swansea reminded him of Paisley.

“So, you want to get home?” said the Wizard. “First you must defeat the Wicked Witch of the South West (the “Gatfers”).”
“But how will I do that?” asked Dorothy.
“I shall give a team of 14 Munchkins.”
“And have they played together as a team before?” asked Dorothy.
“Don’t ask stupid questions - it’s Thistles remember!” said the Wizard. “But I shall give you a magic formation: 5 forwards, 5 midfield and 5 defenders plus the Tinman in goal.”
“But how? There are only 14 Munchkins!” said Dorothy.
“That’s because it’s magic.” said the Wizard.

So Dorothy used the magic formation and for a bunch of strangers her new friends played extremely well. Yet in classic Thistles tradition despite dominating much of the game they conceded twice and the Wicked Witch of the South West escaped triumphant.

So the Wizard told them. “Now you must defeat the LX65.”
“But how shall we do that?” asked Dorothy.
“I shall give you a precious gift of a ‘Goal’. But use it wisely.” replied the Wizard.

So Dorothy and her slightly acquainted friends used their fifteen man formation (plus Tinman in goal) and invested their “Goal” wisely. But not wisely enough for the LX65, as is the tradition for the Thistles, scored twice. But the friends knew they had played well and were not downhearted.

After the 1-2 loss the Wizard told them “Okay, now you must beat the LX Club team.”
“But how shall we do that?” asked Dorothy.
“Return the magic formation and instead I shall give you the precious gift of two Goals. But use them wisely.” replied the Wizard.

So Dorothy and her becoming quite well acquainted friends tried a different formation and invested their Goals wisely to go 2-1 up - but not wisely enough, for the LX Club team came back, and as is the curse of Thistles, scored two more Goals. So the friends retired to the Tennis Club bar to discuss the matter but got distracted by the strange Elbow beer that consumed them (or was it the other way round?). Anyway, they slept on it.

In the night the League of Umpires convened to decide that the friends were only the second most pleasant bunch and awarded first place to the Gatfers, probably because they had never been to Swansea before.

And so on Sunday Dorothy went back to the Wizard and claimed under PPI that they had invested wisely but without the results deserved by the excellent play of the Munchkins.

The Wizard declared in a fit of pique “I shall grant you one more goal but in return I shall take one of your more excellent Munchkins: Sandy of Poole and declare him injured.”
“But that’s not fair.” complained Dorothy.
“Go!” Said the Wizard. “And do not return until you have defeated Glynn the Dragon.”

So Dorothy and her increasingly friendly friends went to defeat Glynn the Dragon. And they became the team they had hoped for and for most of the game kept the Dragon in his lair whilst they pummelled and PC’ed him with great aplomb. Then they invested their goal wisely. But the dragon woke and, as is the curse of Thistles, entered their circle for the only time to claim one single PC goal. Though it was a great game for those watching - it was only a draw and not enough to get them home.

Having seen the 1-1 draw, the Wizard said “Now you must play LX60s with the many faces of the full 60s team (plus one wearing red rather than blue with a silver medal - we were aPaul’ed!). And I curse you to a defeat of 10-0 if not more.”
“But that’s not fair” complained Dorothy.
So the Wizard said. “Oh all right. If you can play the way that makes you proud to be Thistles then I shall send you home happy and content.”

And the Munchkins rose to the occasion, never letting the LX60 play their way, never letting them overrun the Munchkins, never letting anything - oh all right we let in three goals but it was no whitewash.

“But how do I get home?” asked Dorothy.
“Click your heels together three times.” said the Wizard. “One for each goal you let the LX60 score.”
“Don’t rub it in.” said Dorothy. “At least we played really well and the Tinman showed his metal.”
“Well if that’s your attitude you can take the long way home.” said the Wizard. “M4, M5, M6, M74 on a wet Sunday.”
“I don’t care.” said Dorothy “My Tinman has new heart, my Munchkins have become Lions and found their courage.”
“But what about the scarecrow - doesn’t he need a brain?” asked the Wizard.
To which Dorothy replied “Who, our captain? His brain’s fine; it’s his marbles he’s lost.“

Ahh, there’s no place like home.

Ian McCreath

Squad

Robert Campbell, Brian de Mattos, Donald Dunbar, Ian Dunbar, Peter Haines, Peter Klein, Ian Mc Creath (captain), Sandy MacDonald, John Michalik, Duncan Mitchell, Dannie Onn, Alan Parker, Dick Pearce (GK), Benny Rathbone

Line up

Dick Pearce (GK)
Ian Dunbar, Benny Rathbone, John Michalik (Defence)
Dannie Onn, Ian McCreath, Peter Haines, Donald Dunbar, Peter Klein, Sandy Macdonald, Alan Parker (Midfield)
Duncan Mitchell, Robert Campbell, Brian de Mattos (Attack)

Results

Scottish Thistles 0 Gafters (South West)​ 2

England LX O65​ 2 Scottish Thistles 1 (Klein)

Scottish Thistles broke their duck with a great PC goal - a direct shot into the corner by Peter Klein.

Scottish Thistles 2 (Onn 2) England LX Club 3

Dannie Onn scored a double with a tap in from a cross from outside the circle, then a high deflection following a shot saved from Sandy MacDonald to put Thistles in the lead. Unfortunately Thistles failed to retain the lead, conceding two goals to go down 3-2.

Welsh Dragons Over 70 1 Scottish Thistles 1 (Campbell)

Danny Onn turned provider, flowing into the circle and slipping the ball left to Rob Campbell to convert, opening the scoring. Once again, Thistles failed to hold on to the lead but held on to earn a draw.

Scottish Thistles 0 England LX Over 60​ 3