Friday night saw the Herston Hatchets skip their scheduled match against Thorneside to go on a pub crawl in Fortitude Valley. This decision was made after Drinks captain Michael Gibney proposed that due to the Hatchets 4-nil victory over UQ Law the weekend before they deserved the night out and if they were losing by the 2nd half they’d get a cab back early to kick a few in. With their opponents, Thorneside, coming off three straight losses it seemed this was the perfect opportunity to take a night off. Unfortunately for the Hatchets, Thorneside were able to tactically use this move by the Hatchets to secure a 2-all draw and get their first point for the season.
The match was held a three hour drive east of Brisbane, which you may think is in the ocean, but is actually in a little backstreet known as Thorneside. Thorneside warmed up by passing a packet of fags around, while the Hatchets warmed up by putting Gibney under a  minute goon layback. Finishing their pre-game ritual both teams were ready to take to the pitch. By which I mean Thorneside took the pitch and the Hatchets headed to Ric’s.
The Hatchet’s set up at the start of the night in Ric’s. Note – strong bar presence by forward and USMLE legend Collin Greer.
The start of the match saw immediate pressure being put on the slightly under-manned Hatchets, who were not able to maintain control of the centre of the dance-floor. In the 5th minute, an unfortunate moment of incoordination by the Dutch bomber, Sjors Plugge, saw him spill a beer on the girl Sam Grace was trying to chat-up. This mistake allowed Thorneside to get a one-on-one with goal keeper Graves, who couldn’t jump on the grenade, and put Thorneside up 1-0 at the outset.
Rallying the boys, Moonie Singh called a round of shots and got the Hatchets back in line. With the ongoing strong fitness of Michael Gibney, the Hatchets were able to utilise the left-side of the dance floor convincingly, sending Gibney deep with several drinks in short succession. Several one-two’s down the left side, and a quick pass-of-the-beer to Dan Edey, who was waiting on the right side of the box, let Edey ease the beer down and have a volley on goal. The shot, inspired by Hatchets’ striker extraordinaire Collin Greer, was aimed directly at the goal-keeper, who deflected it. Fortunately for Edey, his wing-man was close by; Moonie Singh was able to come through and close the deal, bring the scores back even 1-1, and sending the Hatchets back to the bar for another round.
Seeing how on-form the Hatchets were at cutting shapes, Thorneside winger #26 started getting frustrated. This culminated in a cheap shot on keeper Alex Graves. Graves was on the ground trying to find the tenner he dropped while shouting the last round, when #26 came through at full speed and kicked Graves in the Alex Graves’ Specials. The bouncer, impressed by the player’s audacity, but needing to maintain some form of control at the bar, awarded the player a yellow card. With that the half drew to a close 1-1, and Thorneside retreated to the smoking area.
The start of the second half saw the Hatchets hit their stride, peak level tipsy, and not slurring too much. Having moved on from Ric’s to The Flying Cock at this point, the boys were in total control of the bar. Collin Greer was making long runs through the centre, dancing on three or four defensive players at a time. With Rocky Kang deflecting every assault from the guy in the stringlet (#26), the boys were looking dangerous. It wasn’t long until another beer, shouted by Moonie Singh, sent down the outside, passed into the middle and then given directly to Andrew Welch paid off. Andrew slammed the beer in record time, bamboozling the Thorneside goal keeper and putting the Hatchets back in front.
In celebration of this fantastic move by Andrew, the fellers thought it was a good time to move to Dunder, with the game only having 15 minutes to go and the bouncer having shown 3 yellow cards. This move was not appreciated by #26, who had targeted Andrew after his great form on the last schooner. He waited until Andrew had a quick glance at #26’s girlfriend, who was standing behind the goal, and then tackled Andrew from behind. In fair play, the bouncer saw this move, whipped out a red card, and sent #26 to the cab rank. A man down, playing against a team that were currently at Dunder enjoying $3 basics, Thorneside were desperate.
The boys were having a great time up until the DJ’s switched out in the last ten minutes of the game. The centre of the dancefloor was now no man’s land with both teams spending their time in their opponent’s half having no luck breaking the other. Thorneside upped the intensity of their slide tackling and the Hatchets’ doubled down on a bottle of Jack on their side of the bar. With the Hatchets’ defensive line reaching the final stages of intoxication, cracks were appearing in their defence. A mistake with two minutes to go saw a Thorneside striker find some space at the front of the dance floor, line up a shot, have it deflect off Adam Beasley, and sneak past Graves, who had retreated to the seating area to care for his jewels. With that, the score was tied 2-2.
In the final moments of the night Hatchets’ striker Greer, while in line for another round, had one last focused effort on a girl at the bar, but the Thorneside defence did well to block him out. Despite getting past four of the defenders, Thorneside kept the determined striker at bay until last call was announced and the teams were ejected from the venue, match tied at 2-2.