One of the greatest grudge matches in history unfolded last night in Regent’s Park. It was a story for the ages with high stakes and heroic actions that will inspire generations to come. It began 1 year ago on a grey, bleak Wednesday evening. The Chiefs walked away from the diamond feeling lost. Defeated. Alone. And so began a modern day David vs. Goliath. The Chiefs vs. ASOS.
Fast forward 1 year…
The Chiefs arrived eager and ready for revenge. Haider, with his symbolic TIPi Group hat brought them into the huddle and gave a rousing speech, all the while with his eyes saying “We better not lose!” Shortly after, Ollie arrived, half running, half stumbling after having necked a few beers in true TIPi Group form.
And so the match began, with ASOS batting first.
The Chiefs started strong with an early lead in the first few innings. Spirits were high with sunshine, music and a healthy amount of booze.
BUT, disaster struck in the 5th and 6th with ASOS racking up an 8 run lead, leaving The Chiefs with a lot of work to do at the bottom of the 6th.
CRACK! Everyone freezes and turns. A rogue bounce sends a ball square in the direction of Annie’s freshly tanned face. Now I know what you’re all thinking. “THAT’S TERRIBLE! KNOWBODY ELSE ON THE TEAM KNOWS HOW TO SCORE?!” Fortunately Annie was saved by a pair of glasses from any serious injury, leaving her a little bit stunned and in need of a glass of wine.
Now, back to the game. I can hear you all ask, well, did they do it?
And they certainly did. 7 runs from a spectacular innings with our captain bringing loaded bases home left The Chiefs just 1 run behind ASOS going into the final innings.
ASOS’s turn to bat:
The first hit of the 7th was struck well, but not well enough, as it sailed into Hamid’s glove. 1 down, 2 to go.
With some fine pitching, a second out quickly followed. Leaving just 1 with 0 runs scored.
The batter stepped up to the plate and another good swing sent the ball into the outfield.
Everyone held their breath. Everyone silently praying, please catch it. Hamid was there. Steady. Calm. Collected. The ball stuck and The Chiefs erupted. Just 2 runs separated them from glory.
This was it, the moment of truth, the moment Haider had dreamed about every night for the last year. It all came down to this.
After 2 high pressure catches, it was left to Hamid to lead the final charge at the bottom of the 7th. Beads of sweat on his forehead, he stepped up to the plate. The ball was pitched….AND SMASHED well beyond the outfield putting the chiefs just 1 run from victory.
With just 1 run to go it was left to a softball veteran to bring The Chiefs home. With a solid hit, Mr Payne ended the year long grudge and gave the chiefs a well-deserved and hard fought victory that will go down in the history books.
I’ll sign off with my favourite quote of the night that I feel sums everything up beautifully.
Haider, post-game win. “I love you all”
Big love to The Chiefs and thanks to everyone that supported and played. It was a fantastic evening!