The Toughest Team Sport in the World

The match was not going well for the home team. Llantyre Bootmaker’s fifteen were losing badly to the local brewery fifteen.

It didn’t help that it was typical Welsh Valleys Rugby weather as well. Dull, overcast with a fine drizzle, and a fluky, unpredictable crosswind.

Bevan-the-Boot had missed two conversions, a penalty, and a drop goal. Each time he had sworn, “Bloody Hell!”, and each time the devout chapel referee, The Reverend Dyfid Williams had admonished him.

“I will not tolerate such profanity, look you.” It did no good, and Bevan continued to swear after each missed kick.

After the last event, The Reverend told him, “If I hear you swear-in’ once more, I will send you for an early bath.”

Two minutes to go and the Bootmakers had clawed their way bock, but were still two points down. Then they had been awarded a penalty, 25 metres out, and a metre from the right hand touchline.

Bevan had the winger place a finger on the ball to hold it steady in the stiff breeze, lined himself up, repeatedly looking at the posts and the tight, narrow angle of his target, then ran up and gave it welly.

Off it shot, straight as an arrow … a metre off the deck and heading straight for the corner flag.

In frustration he cried out “Oh bloo …” but remembered just in time Williams-the-Whistle’s words of warning. A sending off, even this late in the game would mean he would miss the next match against their arch-rivals, The Pen-y-Llantsilllic Ironworks first fifteen.

All Bevan could think to say was, “Oh please god forgive me”.

In that instant, a hole appeared in the clouds and a shaft of sunlight streamed down onto the kicker. At the same instant, a blast of wind struck the ball and sent in a curving arc towards the posts where it skimmed the top of the cross bar before dropping down the other side. Three points; a win for the Boot-Boys.

At the sight of this, the Reverend Dyfid Williams was heard to say, “Bloody Hell!”