Coach Shakytumbleweed hopes Merthyr Shock’n’Ore’s players have taken the first tiny step towards repairing their relationship with the fans. The Shockers were once again mocked and jeered by the travelling supporters during the early stages of their game against Cans Wes Eats It, anything more than a win all but ruling them out of another post-season, however by the end they were applauded off the field despite only snatching a rare victory thanks to a late TD.
Under pressure coach, Shakytumbleweed said: “It’s a fantastic club with fantastic supporters and maybe it’s just one little step towards getting the supporters back on side. The players have been criticised, and justifiably so, but not today. Ultimately, you need to win games and there was a lot to be encouraged by. This is just a look at what the lads are capable of when the opposition actually turn up.”
The match initially settled into a miserably familiar routine for the Shockers, unable to break the green line while being jeered by their own fans, and then losing the ball to a combination of a fireball and the rapacious Eaterz blitzers.
However, The Shockers reorganised their line and recovered the ball thanks to some equally aggressive play from their own blitzing combination, Slowbeard and Newdwarf.
Clock running down in the first half the Merthyr blitzers teamed up again to attempt an unlikely late pass and score. “Attempt” was the word though as the ball hit the back of Slowbeard’s helmet rather than his hands. Nevertheless, the sight of some attempted flare made the away fans launch into a mock celebration as if their side had scored, which looked to awaken something in the Shockers just before the break.
Merthyr were reduced to 10 dwarves at half time when Yn Hŷn Nag’aur saw red for… well, for running folk over in a deathroller again. Fortunately for the valley side, the Eaterz were down a player too who was counting stars in the injury box.
The second half saw the introduction of Moaty Icebreaker, the Shockers slayer, who made an instant impact and underlined growing pressure to include him in the starting 11.
Cans Wes Eats It received the ball to start the second half, but opted for the ol’ cage-and-grind rather than exploiting their speed advantage. The midfield melee was fierce, both sides holding their ground, but all the while Slowbeard, Newdwarf and Icebreaker were manoeuvring to out-flank the Eaterz cage. They attacked as one, the cage broke and the ball carrier was sacked.
Moe Khandir picked up the loose ball and bolted (…waddled) into the orcs’ half with two team mates in support. The last orc defender stood no chance on his own and the Shockers ambled in an easy TD with just one turn remaining in the game.
The win moves Shock’n’Ore above Cans Wes Eats It in the Death Valley Conference with the Loren Rockets ahead by Pts Difference only. They have to believe they can catch the pointy eared pansies and take 2nd place before the end of the regular season…