Welcome to the Marine Mammal and wildlife Research and Community Development Expedition blog where you can keep up to date with all the happenings and information from Kenya

Friday, August 6, 2010

When Foresters go Footballing II - Shimoni 3 - GVI 4

Ok, so strictly speaking both Community and Forest teams were well represented at this Wednesday’s football tournament; the GVI versus Shimoni Football Team grudge match! We went along with high hopes but low expectations, as the challenge of defeating a well trained, well practiced and well disciplined team dawned upon us...

On mass, the GVI team members walked the half hour dirt road to the local football pitch, talking tactics and positioning. Our diverse and multi-national team brought the nations of the World Cup together in one team - including one Brazilian, one German, one Dutch, one Norweigian, three Canadian, two Americans, two Australians, one English, one Irish Scotswoman and three Kenyans!

-- A multi-national GVI team --

The match begun at a fast pace, from the sidelines I am told it looked chaotic, but from my position back left, it appeared choreographed! Bertil and Tim managed to run circles around the opposition in midfield, Fernando displayed fancy footwork supporting Kyle and Moritz up front, and we, the female constituents of our team, made up the defence (Kirsty, Shling and Stella) supported by Kopa, a ‘Friend of Shimoni Forest’ and our star player. We scored our first goal within 7 minutes; a perfectly placed goal kick by Kopa set up Kyle to control the ball to the ground and strike a powerful shot. The goalkeeper had no chance! Almost immediately, Shimoni responded with a counter attack, calling upon our defence - Stella made an incredible save to stop Shimoni equalising. But a second wave of attack brought a goal to Shimoni, and the end to the first half.

-- The crowd of local children and cheering GVI --

After what seemed like only seconds to catch our breath, make tactical substitutions and regroup, the ‘whistle’ blew to signal kick off for the second half. Zeno, Orla, Chris and Rachel came on and play continued. We scored a second goal from a corner kick, Shimoni quickly retaliated with a magnificent shot sent sailing over the bar and then scored from a scrap in the box, bringing the score to two-two. Much to the delight of the crowd, we gained the Shimoni team manager playing on our team, and comedic missed kicks and tumbles followed to distract from the ticking clock.

-- The GVI team digs deep to score a third goal --

Shimoni played hard and although the GVI team was tiring quickly, we scored a third goal! Hoping to maintain our lead, we kept possession and slowed the pace of the game. The Shimoni team’s stamina and training started to show through and they dominated the last quarter of the match - scoring another goal and taking the majority of the possession. Hanging onto hope of victory, our players made one last push and 2 minutes before the final whistle, Fernando dodged and weaved between Shimoni’s defence and scored! Ninety minutes was over - the score Shimoni 3 - GVI 4!!

-- Shimoni players take possession to score --

We were exhausted but triumphant as we shook hands with Shimoni, and promised a rematch in the next few weeks. An hour and a half playing football is definitely harder than 6 hours in the forest!