Cub reporter doesn't come close!.
Armed with A4 sheets, ruled manually into columns headed S (scrum), L (lineout), P (penalty), FK (free kick), Player, T (try), C(conversion), P (penalty) , D (drop goal), Time and SC (cumulative score), one side for 'Ensians, the other for opposition, I set out to achieve a comprehensive record of the events of the game. Blank sheets for narrative will go towards the Report of prose and statistic.
Suddenly, we have had 3 scrums, 2 line-outs, a free kick and a penalty. Whose put-in ?, was there a strike against the head?, was the penalty successful? , why do they take taps so quickly before I have written anything down? Then, a try by ???? I can't see due to spectators in my line of sight. What time is it ?, why do people keep asking me for the current score?, I meet and chat to someone not seen for a month or so. That's it! I've lost the plot with just 10 minutes gone. Most of my headed columns are now redundant and I try and concentrate on names, times and the up-to-date score line. Best- laid plans and all that! At least it's not raining and rubber bands round my notebook keep pages flat and secure.
It is still too easy to miss things; the tendency to watch (and not write), to talk (and not write), to cheer (and not write), to groan (and not write) means playing catch-up with pen & paper whilst not seeing current happenings. Fortunately, you retain an overall memory of the game, the weather and the state of the pitch (always perfect of course!). You can rely on the good old phrases of "running rugby", "kicking away possession", "struggling in the scrums" and so on. It's a relief that, almost subconsciously, you remember what the game was about, who stood out, etc, etc.
Score and scorers correct, credit given where due, criticism reasonable & fair and acknowledgment that despite 'Ensian bias, the opposition deserve a mention!! Perhaps "filing your copy" is putting it too strongly, but meeting a deadline sharpens one up a bit. Will anyone read it? Perhaps "Anon." Is the safest bet!
The post-match pint in the clubhouse is welcome, even vital. If only the "press box" was as warm!