Obviously, there was some concern at the start of play that the opposing team would use the unseasonal weather to their own advantage. However, as we all know, the British are a resilient people and the changeable weather was not enough to put the English side off their game. After all, such a slight change in the temperature of the drizzle more usually denotes the change of season into the day of summer back in the British team’s own country.
It was a tight game, of course, as all matches at this level are. This is especially true considering the English team have yet to lose a game on home turf. However, they have yet to win one either. Some sports correspondents in the media had questioned the coach’s plan for the English team to bring their home turf with them to this international tournament. But on this occasion many of them conceded afterwards that it was a good idea, despite most of the players managing to leave their own portion of turf on the team coach for several of the early training sessions.
Anyway, as the match progressed, several of the English players were hampered by the fact that they had to carry a small section of turf with them about on the pitch. Still, though, most did perform with the bare adequacy we’ve come to expect from an on-form English side.
However, there was enough general incompetence in the side to keep English fans satisfied in their disdain for the national team. Especially down the back straight where several of England’s defenders were caught offside and penalised by the umpire. The umpire had hidden behind an advertising hoarding for a brief and evidently unsatisfactory dalliance with one of the cheerleaders from the opposing team and caught the players in an offside position as he re-emerged a minute later.
However, the English side did manage to score, which is unusual enough for an English team. Consequently, the next day’s UK tabloids were confidently predicting that an English team make the last eight. Some of the newspapers suggested that the team could even manage to get to a semi-final for the first time since the Beatles last had a number one single. A couple of the bolder tabloids claimed the England side could also go through and possibly win the cup, despite yet having to win a match. As one reporter commented, with the team yet to decide which goal they were supposed to be defending.
However, despite the early initial hopes, the English team did not do too well in their following two matches in the group stages. Despite the Japanese side being regarded as one of the weakest teams in the tournament, the English team only managed to score six runs, one touchdown and an own goal. Scoring the home goal when one of their defenders saw a TV camera zooming in on him and he stopped to wave to his mum back home.
In the next match, against an in-form Canadian aside, the English managed a credible draw, by completing the first stage a good 0.0009 of a second faster than the Canadian team. The Canadians also managed to get a double fault on their first serve, despite the English team still finishing their second half tea break before changing ends.
Still the English team did well against the top international side, Iceland, in their final group match. The England team only losing by a new world record score of 104 runs, three miles and a well-executed apple crumble.
So the English team, as usual, came home far too early after failing to even get to the knockout stages of yet another international competition. However, sports fans are confident that when the tournament comes around again in four years’ time the English team has every chance of winning it.
That is if this time, they remember to turn up.