A special treat for the regular readers out there: this week sees the match report filed by rookie reporter Sam Edwards. A true Black Fish effort, particularly the effort exerted in chasing the meaningless record of 'longest match report ever'. (A lazy 1083 words for those of you interested). It is a measure of the inverse variation of the BF match reporting to practice time that the mighty Fish teeter on the brink of missing the finals, but possess the finest website in all of cyberspace. Enjoy:
"Whilst seemingly inauspicious to the solitary spectator who (may have) witnessed the match, its Round 13 clash against traditional rivals the Aussie Bruddhas will long be remembered as a watershed moment in the history of the Black Fish. With their esteemed leader forced to seek treatment in a land far away for what one can only presume was a mystery bank-related injury, in addition to the plethora of well-documented injuries to our much-admired heroes, the Black Fish were down to only two fit men. Teetering on the cusp of the top four, this prestigious Club was facing the unspeakable possibility of forfeiting the 3 points to the undisputed minnows of the Marden E grade Thursday Night Men’s Open Basketball Competition. Such a shameful occurrence may have been enough to send The Club into a downward spiral of despair and drug-fuelled destruction from which they may have never recovered. But fortunately, due to an unprecedented show of commitment and courage, largely shown in the hours leading up to the game, we will never know. The irrepressible Black Fish spirit was to prevail once again.
The final minutes pre-game provided an unexpected rollercoaster of emotions and fortunes. With the realization that they would be able to assemble a team, however injury-riddled, the sense of relief amongst the Black Fish was palpable as they hobbled through their pre-game routine. This was heightened when the already less-than-formidable opposition outfit appeared to have only a starting four just moments before tip-off, and the thoughts of at least one Fish turned fleetingly to record scores. These were quickly interrupted by the announcement that the Fish were to give away a 14 point headstart, due to a lack of scorer and subtle uniform violation. Further perceived trouble for The Fish came with the arrival of the fifth, ironically-named “Aussie Bruddha”. It appeared that the Bruddha recruiting staff had either finally learnt the error of their ways or had themselves been replaced. Whilst they could be previously forgiven for being mistakenly briefed to recruit for a weekly pie-eating competition, their latest offering did indeed appear to be some sort of athlete, straight off the plane from his west-African homeland, complete with tribal singlet (or had he assumed from his team’s name they would all be wearing the canary yellow?). At least the uniform violation had been squared up. And so it appeared the ailing Fish had their work cut out for them.
It would soon become obvious that this was certainly not the case. The free-flowing Black Fish game quickly saw the erosion of the Bruddhas’ early, questionably-earned lead, and by half time the Fish were well and truly in the black. The second half saw the Fish extend their lead further, with what could be described only as a little ‘showtime’ action, resulting in their highest score for the season. It was only the Bruddhas’ full use of their seriously life-saving time-outs which prevented the Fish from reaching the holy grail 100 point barrier It was a gutsy and very even team performance, particularly from the Fish’s backbone group.
In a huge positive for The Club, the game saw a confident debut from former state baseballer Birt, R, who managed to put aside the guilt of leaving his young family in coming to the rescue of the Black Fish. The jury is still out as to where he had his greater influence – with his pre-game celebrex distribution amongst his team, or his on-court efforts – which is a true credit to his first performance in the hallowed black strip either way.
Rodgers, N continued his fine form with another pea-shelling scoring exhibition. With his customary nonchalance, he finished with a game-high 20+ points, and could have walked away with many more were it not for his unselfish play, or sheer boredom, I’m not sure which.
Vasilunas, T., arguably one of the more under-rated players in the competiton, put in another very solid performance, overcoming the adversity of the much publicised ever-increasing swelling of his appendage. He certainly stepped up to the plate in the absence of the silky ball-carrying skills of Whittle, S. and played a pivotal role as the game’s chief-play maker.
Big Noutz, C was cleverly used by the Fish coaching hierarchy in a secretive (even to fellow team members) impact role, bursting onto the court from the well-hidden bench shortly before half-time. The stunning move was vindicated not only by the victory itself, but in front of a global audience when Guus Hiddink ‘borrowed’ the masterstroke to defeat the Blue Samurai only days later. The Black Fish Administration are currently speaking to their lawyers. Noutz, C’s (and therefore Noutz, I’s) sacrifice in leaving his 2 year old daughter unattended for 2 hours at ‘day care’ was symbolic of the team’s commitment and spirit, and is to be highly commended.
But it was Nissen, M who put in the performance of the night, that was to defy his rapidly advancing years and Father Time himself. He complemented his flawless defensive game that the fans have come to expect, with the addition of a procession of two pointers from all parts of the key, to come away with an early birthday present in the form of the MVP. The only dampener was the apparent rib injury he sustained shortly before the final siren. One can only hope it was not as serious as that of his highly revered team-mate.
It was only moments before tip-off that Edwards, S bravely declared himself ‘fit’, having been under a massive injury cloud all week with a crippling rib injury so heinous as to be undetectable with traditional roentgenography,. However it seemed that he had used every ounce of his vast reserves of courage to physically make it onto the court, as he proceeded to set a record low for hard-ball-gets in Marden Men’s Basketball history. This statistic was rivaled only by his huge unforced skill-error count, causing multiple turnovers which led ultimately to a highly flattering scoreboard for the Bruddhas, which at the end of the 40 minutes read 57-27.
The result could see the Fish crash into the top four, and no doubt sent the Bruddhas straight back to the pie-shop. The Club now turn their attention to their Round 14 clash against the previously unseen traditional rival ‘Homebrand’. The classier and hopefully rejuvenated Black Fish outfit will no doubt be treating this as a mini-final, the result of which could go a long way in deciding the make up of the final four."