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Miracle Match — A Kind of Short Story

The little fella is sitting on my shoulders. He’s excited and it’s hard to blame him, but I know we’re up against it.

This is the best team in England, I tell him. We’d need a miracle, so don’t get your hopes up.

We get a penalty.

They get a penalty.

It’s 3 each.

We score a try. It’s 8-3.

They get a penalty. It’s 8-6.

We get a penalty. It’s 11-6.

We get a try. It’s 16-6.

We get a penalty.

The little fella tugs at my shoulder. 19-6 he says, but there’s only ten minutes left.

OK kid, I say. The home record’s intact.

We get a try. Jesus Christ, it’s 24-6.

18 ahead, but we need 27 clear and we need four tries. It can’t happen against the best team in England.

We convert. It’s 26-6.

People are turning around to look at each other. How much was it we needed?

Something happens, but we can’t see. It’s up the sideline in the corner. People are leaning out.

Oh Jesus, was that a try?

The little fella has a better view.  It was, he says.

31-6?   I don’t believe this. There’s only a few seconds left, and the conversion is from right on the edge. Can he do it?

If he can kick this, we’re through and the best team in England are out.

The little fella tugs at my shoulder. Is it OK if I get my hopes up?