The last great blaze of a fading autumn (first draft)

Guinness kicker

What the fuck does he want?”

The familiar low-arsed heft of coach Hauley O’Brien was silhouetted against the gathering autumn dusk now as he picked up the last of the stray footballs from beneath the wire mesh behind the town goal. He squeezed it into the frayed old ball bag with the rest of the shoal and pulled the drawstring tight as he stood up and called Grady over to him.

Grady was not in the humour for any more talk tonight about the big play-off game against Coolderragh on Sunday. Relegation for the losers.

The pain in his left ankle was worse than ever and the aching in his right knee was a right bastard. Going, going, but never gone, nagging away like an auld wan.

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