When they got off their bus, and went into the school building, their mouths remained open as they saw hanging on the walls of the main hallway large imposing paintings of previous head masters, all done up in mortars and gowns, and wearing rather severe expressions. The boys (and Davina) huddled together in the middle of the passageway, almost afraid that if they touched anything, one of these people would come to life and chase them! But, of course, it was only their imaginations working overtime on seeing such splendour.
They were finally shown into a dressing room where they could change. Davina, as ever, proved a problem, as there was no room for her to change separately. One of the mortar and gowned teachers said, in a rather severe voice, “Come with me!” and took her to…………………….the Staff Room!!!! Oh my! Davina suddenly became all fingers and thumbs – you know, not able to even unfasten her coat – she was so overwhelmed at being in this very large, very imposing room, all by herself, while a master (teacher in an ordinary school) waited outside.
Eventually, she managed to get changed, and shivering slightly in the cold environment, opened the door and was taken back to the rest of her team. Again, Mr. Jackson found it difficult to talk strategy as they were all exchanging views on the splendours of their environment!!
Then it was time. Both teams were led out on to the football team, and there were quite a few boys and girls, in splendid school uniform, lining the pitch ready to cheer their team on. The knockabout began – you know, when all the players just kick a few balls about to loosen them up before the start of the game – and after a short while, the referee blew his whistle and both teams lined up.
To begin with, each member of Davina’s team were so over-awed by the situation that they forgot all about strategy, and it seemed in no time flat that the score was two-nil! Two goals scored against them! This would not do at all! Davina’s competitive spirit kicked in, and she started grimly chasing the ball, dribbling round the opposition’s defenders, and quick as a flash kicked the ball into the corner of the goal!! The score was now two-one! The others, encouraged by this, started to play more like the team they usually were, and after another few minutes, one of the others scored a second goal!! Great!! The score was now even! Could they manage a third?
The game picked up speed as the ball flew from one half to the other, and teams from both sides chased up and down the pitch. Then finally, Davina passed the ball to John, a player not known for his goal scoring ability, but he took up the challenge, dribbled the ball past an opponent and gave it a hefty belt and the ball sailed over the heads of the defenders and landed in a corner of the net!! At that point, the referee blew the final whistle, and Davina’s team jumped up and down in excitement!! They had beaten thecrème de la crème and won their match! WOW!
Davina and her team mates, as was their custom, went over to shake hands with the opposing team. Imagine their surprise when they heard a master, presumably the sports master, almost shouting at his players! Davina’s team were not used to this kind of behaviour, and were not quite sure what to do. However, as usual, Davina took the lead, and marched right past the master in question, shook the hand of the player she came up to, and said “Thanks! That was a great match! I hope we’ll play you again!” and her team mates did more or less the same. To say that the master concerned was astonished by this behaviour would be putting it mildly! He obviously did not know how to react to this. His pupils, on the other hand, did, and smiled back at their opponents, saying things like “On this occasion, the better team won!” and things like that! Davina thought “So much for la crème de la crème! They are just boys who like playing football just like us!” and she and her team mates went back into the dressing room/Staff room, got changed, and boarded their bus to go back home. They were a bit surprised when the members of the opposing team lined the drive down which the bus had to go and clapped and waved as the bus drove off.
Another lesson learned……………….to respect your “enemies” – they could well be your friends in later life!!