Uganda 08 diary - Day 8

Day 8 was our last full day at Kasasa. Their football team asked us if we would like a football rematch. Team Win, led by Simon T., team mascot and talismanic goalkeeper certainly didn't need a second invitation. Revenge was in the air after having lost the first match on penalties. I told the local lads that we had 2 full team kits to donate to the school, one being a gift from Liverpool F.C. of training kits, the other a set I had bought back in Liverpool. They were keen that the 2 teams wear them. They were also going to provide a referee to whom we gave a new whistle. This was getting very serious. I was only going to come on if needed in the 2nd half as I still felt half dead and totally lacking in energy. Although I did come on, it was more to help keep us organised as we fought another tightly contested match that again went to extra-time.

Giving out the new kits.

The team handshakes.

Team Win photo. On the right is Bro. Charles from the Noviciate community. Driver John also played for us in the starting 11, as well as 2 Kasasa pupils. A couple others came on later as subs.

Well, what tension!! In front of almost the whole school (c. 250 pupils + the staff) extra-time was played out with St. Charles Lwanga, Kasasa playing keep ball in their own half (most impressively) and Team Win playing chase-the-ball (not so impressively), though the heroic efforts of Nick W. and yours truly who were playing upfront at that point were commented on favourably afterwards. Indeed, perhaps the best chance in extra-time fell to me from a Bro. Charles corner: a header that I put over the bar whilst under considerable pressure. Forgive me, but I can't remember who scored in ordinary time - I think it was 1-1 and that it was perhaps Bro. Charles who got our goal... help me out Team! (add comments below).

Anyway, it all came down to the last penalty for each team of the obligatory 5 (though special mention must be made of the penalty taken by Chris R. - a bullet shot that cannoned in off the underside of the crossbar in the top corner. Absolutely unstoppable!). One the locals playing for us, Jack (I think), tucked his away confidently and it was then down to the Kasasa player to score his to keep the shoot-out going. That's when Simon T. had his moment of glory which I think he will be dining off for the rest of his life! In a moment of sheer cat-like genius, Simon leapt athletically (don't laugh Mrs. Townley!) to his right to palm the ball away, and in the same movement carried on running in ecstacy, arms outstretched, screaming his head off, before being mobbed by the rest of the team. Comedy! I had to step in, however, before the celebrations became too unseemly. Thankfully, the home team didn't seem to begrudge Simon his celebration and actually joined in the laughter with us. So it all ended in good spirits, handshakes and back-slapping all round, with each team having won one match on penalties during our week there. A fair result.

Simon being congratulated by Bro. Joseph and the local boys showing great sportsmanship.

Our final meal at the Noviciate community. Jack in ecstacy over his juicy pineapple (with good reason. It was like nothing we had ever had in England).

Brothers together: Team Win + the Noviciate training house community of Kasasa (the Novices themselves were all away whilst we were there). Left to right: Bro. Michel (Team Win), Bro. Marius (who is in his mid 80s), Bro. Raymond, Bro. Franklin (Novice Master), Bro. Charles, me + Bro. Francis.

After the meal we were invited for drinks at the nearby community of the Brothers who teach in St. Charles Lwanga School, Kasasa. Simon was still buzzin' from his exploits in goal. John is decidedly unimpressed!

Fun pose with the community, Bro. Joseph (who did a great deal to help us during the week) in the front kneeling down.
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