Lennin’s “Chicken Licken” Red team took on Paren’s “Burger King” Blue team at the neutral venue of Gateway’s SOCA court yesterday afternoon. The inclement weather may have affected crowd attendance but it did nothing to subdue the heat on the court.

After a tentative start from both teams, with respect being shown and given across the park, the game burst into life when the Chicken Lickens knocked in two goals in quick succession. This seemed to spur the Chickens on and they raced forward with renewed intent and focus. Goals came thick and fast, many from the boot of “Tiny” Tom Smith, the youngest Chick by far.

Lennin’s Chicken Lickens were in full flow now with Tyler “Twinkle Toes” Hale, the Chick who is sadly about to leave the club, twirling his way gracefully up the right side. The self-named “Big Captain” was controlling the midfield and laying balls off left and right. To his left he had Kristy “Kruse Missile” van Eeden making dangerous runs into the box and unleashing long range efforts with devastating effect.

The rock solid defensive efforts of Pristine “No Way Through” Govender gave her teammates the confidence to continue attacking and before either of the Reddy’s, “Dangerous” Dane and Captain Paren, were reddy (sic), they found themselves 6 – 0 down.

Then came the controversy as The Big Captain made the big call to swap shirts, leaving the Chickens for the Burgers. Kayleigh “Ex-Burger” Baxter (no relation of Stuart, current Bafana coach) was the selfless player to allow the Big Captain to make the move.

Somehow this move flipped a switch in the mind of young “Dangerous” Dane and he burst into life, covering the court and unleashing hammer blows to great effect. Most of his efforts found the back of the net with only one almost decapitating “No Way Through” Govender. The rest of his team rose to the occasion and Gavin “Guns” Carty rolled back the years to become an impenetrable wall in the Burger King’s goal. In front of him, Candice “Rock Solid” Roe’s dogged determination and grit started to show and the Burger’s box became a much more crowded place to enter for the attacking efforts of the Chicken’s, lead mainly by “Tiny” Tom and “Kruse Missile” van Eeden.

Half time saved the Chickens as the teams (thank you Kate Carty for the half time refreshments) were allowed to take water with the scores tied up at 6 apiece (I think J). The Burgers started where they left off and Mbali “Magic Runs” Ndlovu started to make her presence felt on both attack and defence. Her single mindedness and persistence was evident as she ran many a hapless victim into the corners or managed to dig herself out of a similar situation with close attention from the Chickens.

Goals continued to flow with “Dangerous” Dane and “Tiny” Tom going toe to toe for the Golden Boot. Fatigue started to take its toll though and some lapses in concentration, as demonstrated here by Greg “Goal Stopper” Smith, added pressure to the already competitive match up.

The referee on the day, Roxanne “Red Card” Nadarajan, must also be commended for allowing the game to flow freely. “Goal Stopper” Smith was cautioned for a lunging tackle on “Dangerous” Dane and Tyler “Twinkle Toes” also brought the game to halt as he pulled his special friend by the arm. The game was played in the right spirit though and players from both teams left “everything on the court” as the clock ticked down with the lead see sawing from Chicken to Burger and back to Chicken.

The Burger Kings managed to put together a strong finish to come from a few down to end the match all squared on 12 apiece and, at the end of the day, it seemed a fair end to a closely fought match up.

Can’t wait for the next one!