The crowd spilt out onto the ground as the Synod Charles Farnsworthy III memorial touch football game commenced on Sunday 9 October 2011.
In true Synod meeting tradition the ‘grudge’ match between the City and Country teams was hotly contested with the series locked up one all.
City was boosted by at least four representatives of FUN Synod, with their youngest team member Ellie (only 9 years old) showing she wasn’t afraid to run the ball against the imposing country team whilst Country welcomed Stephen, from Emerald, to their team.
City started well, putting pressure on the Country line, but Country defence held firm under relentless pressure. When Country got the ball they were able to get the first try on the board, via Peter Hobson. City came back but were having trouble with the concept of a sideline, having two tries disallowed as they scored on the wrong side of the line.
Country were only able to score one more try through Wayne Davidson, as winger, Michelle Cook, put down four balls on the wing with wide open spaces in front of her.
Her protests about ‘bad passes’ can be dismissed as, at this high level of game, finger-tip balls, diving just above the ground, simply must be taken.
After a break, to allow heart rates and blood pressures to fall, the second half was on and City came out hungry to get back into the game. FUN Synod members came into their own as their fitness levels meant they could still run.
Andrew Gunton made the Country defence look silly running in an easy try. Country looked in trouble, but a stunning shepherd from referee, Alan Hanson, saw Peter Hobson score his second. John Ruhle and Peter Lockhart put on a stylish piece of work to close the gap when Peter Lockhart went over for City.
With only minutes to go Paul Clark sealed the results for Country, going in untouched under the posts to give a final score 4 – 2.
City have made a bid for glory at the next Synod offering game organiser, Paul Clark, an undisclosed sum and a cushy placement on the coast, just so he would play for them.
Charles Farnsworthy III would turn over in his grave (if he was actually dead or, in fact, even real).
Organisers thanked referee, Alan Hanson, all the players and the many others who came to cheer. Aside from this being a fun break in the midst of the serious business, this is also trying to help the synod connect with the younger generation, and take seriously the call to look after ourselves physically.