Battle Lines Drawn for Annual Epic
P. Dunwoody and J. Loughridge preview tomorrow’s big match:
The 2012 encounter between Renwick and the Ministers looks set to be the most exciting in the six year history of the fixture. Back when Joel Loughridge, along with Philip Dunwoody, Jonny McCollum, Stephen Steele and several other would-be clerics turned out for Renwick, they thumped the RP ministers two years in a row. Hammerings were the order of the day in this fixture. The ministers couldn’t believe the fact that they held on for a draw in 2009 but 2010 saw the Revs raise their game remarkably only for their fitness to cost them the match. Then that memorable first victory arrived last year, Renwick’s greatest ever player manager, Philip Dunwoody, slotting home the winner with 3 minutes to go.
Most of the RTC class of 2011 have tasted victory in this fixture before, being part of the legendary Renwick teams and last year’s heroic men of the cloth. Loughridge said “Some of us have won this match several times before, we’re not under any pressure this year”. Another former Renwick player who will be turning out on the opposing side this year, Stephen Steele, added: “We may not have much match fitness, and we haven’t really played football for a year or more now but the odds are still fairly good for one going in off my knee.”
Professor WNS “Bill” Wilson himself added: “Those who are in goal are not the same as those who fly up the right wing”.
Ministers’ manager Dunwoody is keeping his formation, line-up, tactics and Systematic Theology Research Project a closely guarded secret this year, but he did hint that there might be a few surprises in the Ministers’ starting XI. “Thierry Henry and Paul Scholes got me thinking”, he said. Fascinating stuff. Such talk also begs the question as to whether any of Shaftesbury’s clergy will feature.
A year has passed since McCullough and Hanna became the first manager and captain to do the impossible and fail the only test that really matters. But they managed to weather that storm. One year on no win, no matter how big, can erase the painful memories. There can be no talk of revenge, only the restoration of the natural order. The Revs will simply be happy to know that last year they tasted glory. As the Saw Docs sang: “To win just once – that would be enough”. Job done.