The pitch was mostly barren when the fans arrived, just a patch of woods towards the South-Eastern half blocking the Miners' left channel out of their deployment. It wasn't too long before some of the surrounding debris made its way onto the pitch as the rowdy fans crowded in throngs. Recklessly tossing a hay bale from the stables in the Butchers' half and an empty lager barrel into the miners. One fan even wrestled free part of the stone barrier and lodged it towards the edge of the pitch on the center line.
As the Butchers lined up, Shank set the ball down to the roar of the crowd and let loose with his foot to send the ball flying sideways down the center line of the pitch. As the game came to a roar, the robotic behemoth, Mule, dredged up the pitch and scooped the free ball as it rolled by the empty barrel. The ball finds its way through the air once more when Mule's giant limb makes a solid connection in the behemoth's successful pass to Spade.
The Butchers continue their slow, daunting advance towards the middle of the pitch. As they lurch forward they seem all too eager to devour the mysterious biscuits Cinnamon delivers to them. Murmers rustle the crowd as the more boisterous among them voice claims of cheats. Those voices tend to go silent quickly, and violently, enough - so they are rare in their appearance.
Before some have even had a chance to finish reaching their seat, Spade begins her race up the pitch to open space! Digging her way up the field she begins to charge Shank who is still exposed in the barren field after kicking off. Despite the close proximity of Cinnamon making things difficult, Spade is able to shove shank sideways a bit with her shovel while dodging into position for a scrappy shot on goal. Shank took his pound of flesh though, undoubtedly. To the naked eye it looked as if Shank made a thousand motions with his blades and chains, blood sprayed everywhere from the thousand cuts Spade endured.
Not the one to falter, Spade persisted with the hallmark of a veteran striker and punted the ball at the goal. The cheers of the Miners fans were loud and proud, all the way until they were drowned out by the jeers from the Butchers.
The ball bounced back out to Shank, but no one was watching him as he tussled with Shaft who had rushed towards the open space to contest possession. All eyes were fixated on the utter slaughter as Boar showed where their guild earned their name. Spade fell to the floor as Boar's devilish grin grew in its menacing nature. The sound of the announcer echoed the raucous crowd in awarding the takeout as Spade was rushed off and the rest of the butchers closed in on Shaft. Blow after blow - strike after strike - they let loose. Shaft may be tough but with no cover in sight and getting ganged up on by these monsters disguised as men the scene was set for the blades of Ox to cut Shaft down. Shank punted the ball back to Meathook, raising the momentum of the crowd even more as he and Ox continued cutting down the Miners captain.
Salvo, ever the opportune striker, hitched a ride with Fissure and her oversized drill to race up the pitch. A quick squeeze of the trigger sends a bolt at Ox, hitting him in the thigh as Salvo swiftly dodges and advances around the scrum to get right up to Meathook in possession of the ball. And it's loose! A bolt to the chest floors meathook and she spills the ball across the pitch towards the nearby obstruction. Salvo dodges over to scoop it up from next to the pile of hay it bounced to and lines up his first shot on goal this game.
Mayhem erupts as another goal is scored. Boar scowls at the delight of the opposition fans and reminds his team that they are still in this. Meathook rushes over to finish beating Shaft to a bloody pulp. The ball once again bounced back out to Shank while he finished cleaning his blade with the bit of cloth he cut from Shaft's collar when they loaded the taken out captain onto the stretcher. With two takeouts awarded to the Butchers to two goals from the Miners, it really could be anyone's game from here.
Boar lets out a cry that sends fear through the spines of everyone in the stadium - except his loyal comrades. This roar of fury instilled them with the same rage their captain thrives on day in and day out. Boar, seething with fury of his own, charged at Fissure in her giant steel plated drill. Metal clanked and banged together as knives sliced through belts and sliced off bolts. The operator herself even took several wounds in the fury of the Butcher's captain. A third takeout awarded to the Butchers! The low hum of tow truck's engine as it started dragging the drill to the sidelines set the tone of the game to be a very tight contest from here out. The driver followed suit in a stretcher of her own.
Mule appears to attempt to quickly decide the outcome with a cheeky flank on Shank and the ball but this time the giant mech is less graceful. As Shank finds a ton of metal sweeping his legs from beneath him he sees the ball fly wide in the chaos. As Shank is swung by the leg over Princess and Ox he sees the mole peeking out from the cover of the forest - just close enough to the final landing spot of the ball to take possession.
Ox sees his chance to turn the tide and pushes his way free of the mech to furiously charge Digger. Blood and fur - the only remains to be seen as the ball flew through the forest away from Ox and the scrum. A mascot takeout awarded to the Butchers! Score stands at 8 - 7 Miners - Butchers!
Spade and shaft could only cower in the corner despite the icy sponge giving them enough energy to return to the pitch. They stood there and measured their violent opponents - carefully staying out of danger whilst licking their wounds and hoping what was left of their team in contention could pull off a miracle. They watched as man and blade met cogs and hydraulics. The many furious swings of Shank, Cinnamon, Princess, and meathook as they desperately wailed on the tough robot. Just when Meathook thought she had snared and destroyed the machine it sparked back to life to take even more punishment.
Salvo saw his chance to close out the game while the battle raged on in the open space the scrum had resided for the entirety of the game. Mule made one last stand - digging his way to the edge of the scrum and swinging his metal limbs to knock down Boar and Cinnamon. The mech then managed to throw them away from his last remaining squaddie, herding the whole scrum to the opposite side of the pitch. Salvo tethered the ball with his gadget and sprinted forward towards the goal, blasting Boar with bolts while dodging to tap in range. Salvo let loose with a solid strike, the ball flies through the air with massive force behind it and slams into the goal to score an explosive screamer to close out the game! The chant grows as it echoes far into the horizon!
SALVO! SALVO! SALVO!
Mule had fallen, the icy sponge wasn't enough to let the other Miners who had fallen prevail against the fear of the blade, but one goal from Spade and two from Salvo are enough to secure a win for the diggy crew. Final score 12 - 9, Miners - Butchers, Miners win a narrow, scary victory.
Momentous Victory: Miners vs Butchers
Anthony Moore (2019-09-09)
The Ash Cup: Broken
Richard Bailey (2019-07-09)
The views and opinions expressed in Tales from the Pitch are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Longshanks.