There's nothing to beat running about on a summer's evening, chucking a rugby ball around with the sun on your back. Yes, the sun shone on the second round of games in the Chesham Touch league yesterday evening and what a difference from the drab and damp conditions of last week.
We were up against a bunch of teenagers which, with a collection of young'uns on our own team, meant that at times matters descended into a game of adolescent tit-for-tat, especially in the second half. Fortunately, being one of the more mature members of the team (at least in years), I was able to bring a sense of decorum and dignity to bear on proceedings, that is until the game started and I caught my studs in the turf while trying to retreat five metres and ended up arse over tit, much to the amusement of all around me.
All I could do was grin sheepishly, pick myself up and drag my tired old limbs around the pitch and, once I'd adjusted to the insane pace of the game, I was able to contribute an early try to settle us down. With one or two older heads out there this week we managed to establish a degree of control and generally were able to stay 2 or 3 scores ahead, until a mad last quarter when, once again, our defensive discipline simply evaporated and we ended up clinging on to a 7-6 win. I even managed to surprise myself by (possibly foolishly) setting off in pursuit of, and then catching, some teenage kid who had broken through and was sprinting for the line - the only one more surprised than me was probably the kid in question who looked shellshocked at having been hunted down by an old, sweaty, beetroot-faced hippo. I hope he's getting a suitable amount of stick from his mates.
I was asked whether I'd be playing fifteens next season and, having crocked myself in pre-season training last summer, was suitably non-committal. The good news is that I feel much fitter this year and am definitely playing with more confidence but there's an awfully long way to go before I'll be ready for full contact again (if ever) - I still feel like I've been run over by a juggernaut the morning after Touch, so heaven knows how my body would react to proper contact.