Melville United 4, Papatoetoe 0
Gower Park, Hamilton, September 13 2014
[Before true peace can return to the kingdom, first we must find out once and for all who shall become the rightful heir…]
Once upon a time there was a prince named Melville United. Prince Melville was the son of a great king, Waikato United the first, who ruled over the good football folk of Hamilton for many a moon. King Waikato even briefly held the title ‘Lord of Chatham’, champion of all New Zealand. However, wisdom teaches us that all reigns no matter how glorious must eventually come to an end and in the absence of light, darkness prevails… When the good king fell, Prince Melville emerged largely unchallenged and carried the crown, along with the honours board, home to the castle at Gower Park. But an epic battle was soon to be waged over who would ultimately wear the crown and become the one true king.
For a time following the accession of Melville, all was quiet and some modest fortune was bestowed on the people of the land. But all was not well in the kingdom. A bitter blood feud was slowly emerging over who really is ‘the pride of the Waikato’. As the dawning of the new millennium came, storm clouds gathered. Melville was banished from the League of Nations and a new pretender came to the fore. An old splinter group known as The Wanderers had come out of hiding and was swift to declare designs on the throne. The power struggle had commenced.
Fortunes became mixed for Prince Melville. A second banishment saw our hero briefly exiled from the League of Premiers and The Wanderers seized the upper hand. But Melville gathered strength and returned, bringing an age of rejoicing when Lord Suburbs of the East was vanquished and the Northern Crown seized. But trouble came yet again with the great schism of 2010. Rifts occurred throughout the North and The Wanderers returned to usurp Melville on the Great Table.
In desperation, Melville turned to a mysterious and shadowy witch doctor in an attempt to turn fortunes around. Known as ‘The Edge’, he brought strange potions called ‘possession’ and ‘passing’ which he used to bamboozle all who stood in his way. As The Edge grew in influence and his hold deepened, Melville began to decay. Wasting away, there was little the good folk of the Waikato could do. They pleaded with Melville to part ways with The Edge, but his hold was too strong. Melville was once again banished from the League of Premiers, leaving The Wanderers to control the land unchallenged. Even worse, a third challenger had come to light. A little orphan child called Ngaruawahia had also become an unlikely hero and too usurped the once proud heir to the throne, relegating Melville to third in line. All hope seemed lost.
But thankfully, after many more battles lost, rock bottom was reached and as a consequence the ‘possession’ spell was finally broken. With new found clarity at Melville’s disposal, The Edge was banished to the Capitol Gaol never to be seen or heard from in the Waikato again. Melville was at last able to begin the quest to rebuild the shattered kingdom.
The path was treacherous, but Melville had recruited experienced swordsmen from the four corners of the earth to aid in the quest. Lord Husband the Bold was retrieved from the auxiliary force to lead the attack alongside Leon of Newell, who was found in the Land of the Wales. Aaron of Scott was retrieved from exile to bolster the defences along with Gavin of Douglas. Lord Mann the Brave was rescued from the clutches of Papatoetoe of Auckland and immediately dispatched to guard the vault. The new recruits came together as an awesome force in the Division of the One. Many skirmishes were won, culminating in the final battle to earn the right of return to the League of the Premiers. Before the great return was sealed however, Lord Mann had to face his old master – Papatoetoe of Auckland…
It was a terrifying battle! But Prince Melville and all who struggled alongside fought bravely and emerged victorious, winning the battle and sending Papatoetoe back to JAFAland.
There now follows a time of rest, when forces are marshalled and strength is gathered. For in six months’ time, at the turn of the seasons, the great battle will resume once again. With young Ngaruawahia out of the picture, a two-way fight will occur to see who will win the crown and the right to the title – ‘pride of the Waikato’. The Wanderers await, crouching, ready to reengage with their foes and prove themselves once and for all worthy of calling themselves rulers.
Stay tuned! The conclusion to this epic tale is coming soon to a half arsed blog post near you.
Categories: NZ Northern Men's Division 1
A grassroots sports photography enthusiast based in Auckland, New Zealand, and a fan of the most magnificent football club on earth - A.S. Roma.