17. Spandex Ballet

Guildford & Godalming 12  Derelicts 5 against the head and a pushover try 

Spandex. It’s not often a dressing room gets treated to a player brave enough to wear it. But at 20 minutes to three on Saturday, the Juggler whipped off his magic cape to reveal an all-in-one undergarment more normally seen on the trapeze. Not since Reigate Mikey shoe-horned his unfeasible scrum-half form into a latex rubber catsuit a couple of seasons back to ward off the cold have the Derelicts laughed so hard.

But fair play to old Juggles. He’s had a storming season so far, having re-wired the thumbs and fourth digits of his electronic gloves to such good effect that he’s not dropped a thing all season. Indeed he caught a towering Gary Owen with outstretched arms behind his head this week. The shock of this brought him to a sudden halt. Sadly, while the words “WHO’S THE DADDY…” were forming in his mind, his serene and smug smile was unceremoniously wiped from his face by a phalanx of men in green shirts who pile-drove his sorry *rse into the dirt.

It was not our greatest outing. The Gs pack proved big and obdurate and their backs suspiciously spritely. We kept having a go and Lord Greed and Fast Graham had some good moments in the centre, throwing shapes and causing a nuisance.

But we did not cover ourselves in glory with our tackling. “Put in a f*cking tackle, don’t measure his f*cking bra size,” was Kinger’s observation. And you don’t argue with a man who models the barnet on no less an inspiration than World Cup winner Percy Montgomery. The voluminous highlighted mane is regarded as a thing of wonder among the group, who insist on gazing at its splendour and daring each other to touch it for reassurance as to its magnificence, much to the annoyance of the big fella. “Do not ruffle! HOW MANY TIMES??? DO NOT RUFFLE!”

Kinger is in fact enjoying his new-found freedom, having been rightly cleared by the citing committee of skulduggery in the cup. The legendary second row ripsnorted his way across the field from ruck to maul and back again, with his streaked tresses billowing in the gentle breeze. “It’s like watching a mutant Afghan hound worry a herd of trolls,” observed Skip, himself a bit snizzed at having to give way to Baby Jason for yet another gentle introduction to vets rugby. “I keep telling you… I’m too young to be playing with you guys,” whined Jason, “and I’m not sure I like what you get up to.”

In the backs, Lord Greed was at his avaricious best, ignoring an obvious overlap here, throwing a dummy pass there, but never quite willing to relinquish his fevered grasp of the ball.

Exasperated, No 10 Greg took matters into his own hands and began throwing Lord Greed off the scent. “Going right, going right…” he bellowed, stopping long enough to see his lordship galloping off in anticipation, only to jink left at the last moment. How we laughed. That is, until the wheels came off wee Greg’s game. Having clawed our way back to 5-7 through a brutish forwards try from a pushover scrum, we gained a penno in front to take the lead and the No 10 stepped up under pressure. It just required a simple strike.

But suddenly, this wasn’t Gs over at Goldolming, this was Big Gavin Hastings with a match-winning kick in front of the posts against the Auld Enemy, circa 1991. World Cup semi final. Bill McLaren. Glory beckoning. But, oh dear! It’s all gone pear-shaped! “Oh sweet Jesus they’ll be calling him all sorts of a tw*t down Dorking way t’night. The big fella’s shanked it intae the east stand. Would yae believe it.” Bad luck Greg. No really.

Elsewhere, the sheer drama of the encounter was beginning to tell on Burger King. The amiable prop summoned every drop of reserve to remain on the field as various vital organs were instructing him to swivel on his heels and head for the bar. The unfeasible October sun was, to be frank, an utter f*cking nuisance to the lardy boys in the front row and the enormous squeeze needed to scatter the oppo for the pushover try was as close as one dares get these days to the word prolapse without a visit to the fresh trouser shop. After that, dizzyness and disorientation followed for much of the rest of the game, not least for the Guildford pack who lost a string of put-ins against the head.

In the end we should have heeded Kinger’s warning properly and made the tackles count. And I suppose it would be unkind now, in the aftermath, to single out Buzz for a Mavis The Matador-style missed tackle in the final seconds that allowed Guildford to barge through to score an undeserved extra try. But sometimes these things call for a good old fashioned scapegoat, Buzz.

Squad: Burger King, Scud, Moz, Ginge, The Power, Baby Jason, Kinger, Hairnet, Buzz, Reigate Mike, Rodders, Big Gav, Lord Greed, Fast Graham, Handy, Ludders, Gerbil, Juggler

NEXT: 18. Dinosaurs And That Jurassic Lark  
16. Tis A Scratch… A Mere Flesh Wound