Groom's XI football game
Marriage Ceremony

The flawless wedding organisation included a severe but effective hangover cure for the day following the wedding - a football match against the local first division team, the Chinese Recreational Club. Mark's bleary-eyed and haggard collection of sportmen assembled knowing they faced a formidable task: not merely a game of football in the tropcial heat, but one in which we had to try to make Mark look good, too. We had a secret weapon, though, in the thirty supporters who cheered each move and effort, regardless of how jaded or pathetic. 

The Team
 

Reception Penang
Football Match
Wedding Warmup
Krabi
Koh Phi Phi
 
Phuket
 
Reception Jamaica
Negril
 Mark "the Cat" Disney
Dave "the Salmon" Ingelson
Bill "I'll skip work to play" Randal
Mark "Gurnaldo" Gurney
Gavin "Buster" Adcock
Michael "Sideburn" Pasternak
Paul "the Professor" Dover
Andrew "Soon Come" Fairbain
Micheal "Bunter" Richter
Kieran "the football tactitioner" Flynn
Geoff "still a nipper" Shuttie
Richard "football is life" Pape
Chris "young lad" Senior
Paul Gritton
CJ
Don "injury prone" Rashid
Adrian "I'll be there" Brewin

East meets West: the pre-match lineup.

With sensational diplomacy, the CRC fielded their more experienced players to allow Groom's XI to start confidently. After a few near misses, the unthinkable happened: A sharp cross from the right by Richard fell to Mark's head, who nodded blindly into the net. 1:0! Chris doubled the visitors' lead after 20 minutes with a sharp turn onto his right foot which he unleashed between two defenders into the bottom left-hand corner. On the half-hour, Michael side-footed home a volley from the right to strenghten the lead. At 3:0 ahead, the Groom's XI produced a display of open football allowing the global talent assembled to display thir skills: even the legendary sliding takle of Dave the Salmon was flaunted with his shot on goal just before half-time.
 

Another selfless feed to Mark

Michael volleys home

At half time, CRC reinforced their team with some more youthful players, who were soon causing problems for the Groom's defence. Within minutes of the restart, the deficit was cut to 3:1. The extra freshness in the forward line of the home side showed with a converted penalty after 65 minutes which brought CRC to within striking distance of a draw, and both teams fought end-to-end for the goal which would seal the result. 

Nervous spectators guard secret weapon number 2: 
the beer cooler.

The Salmon weeps as he hangs up his boots

In the last quarter-hour, the action was fast and furious. Gavin nodded down a header to Chirs who forced the keeper into a sprawling double save, after Gavin's follow-up was fended away by his legs. On 80 minutes, a CRC shot cannoned off the far post and was deflected into the Groom's net, to equal the scoring at 3:3. A remarkable one-man effort by Michael saw his tight-angled shot draw a chalk cloud along the goal line but it ended wide. Despite flurries at both ends in the dying minutes, the match ended in a diplomatic and fair draw.
 
 

The Cat critiques the midfield's performance, whilst...
...a tired defence recovers lost fluids.

Special thanks to David Lim for organising the team, and to CRC for accepting our challenge.

A refreshing beer or two later, the end of the wedding weekend began with a seafood spread at restaurants on Gurney road. Both players and spectators alike could celebrate a perfect ending to the day, the highlight of which was undoubtedly the karaoki singer butchering a collection of western love ballads.
 


Post-match analysis: "Yep, this beer definately is warm."
Proud Parents.
Where are Adam's hands?
 
10 year school reunion... 

The happy couple look on in rapture at the dedicated Karaoki performance of...
Switzerland 2, England 1