Sunday 23rd July: Great Pitch, Great Game, Great Victory!

This was a fantastic day out and a great result for DEH. We won 5-1, playing on a lovely grass pitch out in the hills near Hiroshima Airport. It was especially pleasing to see the complete change in the spirit of the team. This was helped by our captain who came along and organised from the sideline despite having broken his leg just a few days before. He was joined by one of our defenders who was not well enough to play but who came out and supported us, which was appreciated.

I have begun to enjoy my new role in right midfield but played myself to early exhaustion (after about 20 minutes) so Dan came on for the remainder of the second half and lasted until the final ten minutes of the second half.

Jaime’s goal, his first for quite a while and the second of the day for DEH, came about when I, still with some puff left in my ancient lungs, harrassed their left defence as they brought the ball out with some irresolution. The defender chose to pass the ball across to the centre of defence, where Jaime was well placed to pounce. We then had the pleasure of seeing the Jaime of old as he nicked the ball and wove his way towards the goal and scored! It was a brilliant moment and we felt that everything had changed!

I was back on the pitch towards the end of the second half when Jaime elected to take a free kick from the left side of the pitch halfway down their half. I was right in the middle, just inside their half, ready to charge into the fray – or rather, ready to attempt to pick up the ball and whack it should it come my way – so I had a fine view of the action. Jaime kicked the ball and immediately turned around apologising, but I was following the ball as it span on its trajectory towards the goalkeeper and enter his outstretched arms – and pop out again and bobble into the right corner of the goal!

The other team played well and – and this was appreciated – they never gave up. They were rewarded right at the end with a goal. The ball came across from the right into the box and was not picked up by any of us and in it went.

Anyway, Jaime has written a full account of the game here.

Afterwards Jaime and I went to the Italian restaurant up on the tenth floor or Asse Fukuya to celebrate.

David Hurley