I say "summer" but there's still a distinct chill in the air and, even with my particular talent for perspiration, it was still an effort to work up a sweat.
Being the first proper week of Touch there was an element of chaos involved. We've had three Tuesdays so far of what has been known as "social" Touch - but the league kicked off last night and, while you might think that teams would get organised in advance, it was evident fairly early that it would be a case of the Chairman's Stags, my team from the past three summers, cobbling together a team for the first game.
Not that it was a bad team - not by any stretch - but we were lacking in numbers and, perhaps importantly, in females and two of our players from last year - including the lightening-quick Carl - had been poached by a rival team. Bastards.
We started well and, on the whole, didn't play too badly apart from a tendency to run across the pitch rather than send runners straight down the middle. We also had the Chairman's young son playing and were guilty of leaving him isolated in defence too often - not his fault by any means and something we should have been more switched on to (although the opposition targeting a kid isn't exactly playing within the spirit of the game in my humble opinion...)
Anyway, the upshot was that we lost 4-6 to another Chesham based team - the inappropriately named "Barbarians". Not the most auspicious of starts, then, but there were upsides:
- the fact that numbers were down meant more game time and, consequently, a better workout;
- it can only get better; and
- all in all, the standard doesn't appear to be that high this year with the Tring outfit not taking part (apparently they're playing "soccer" this summer - hmmmm) and with the Old Berkhamstedians, last year's winners, looking somewhat under-staffed last night. Of course, they're bound to get their act together before too long but generally no one looks unbeatable.
Famous last words.