The season's nadir in the sweltering August heat hit the team like a rusty hammer to the solar plexus. Leaving DEH perched on the shoulders of dwarf and sliding towards relegation and Division C. Spirits were scraping the dregs at the bottom of an unappealing Floridian red. Yet those eight who played could take heart and to quote George Eliot:
"Any coward can fight a battle when he's sure of winning, but give me the man who has pluck to fight when he's sure of losing. That's my way, sir; and there are many victories worse than a defeat."
The team lost again, twice more in fact and left the team with a mediocre report card of played 8, Won 3, Drawn 1, Lost 4 - and a final league standing of 6th. Yet that game in hills of Chiyoda also proved that even when severely depleted and against Rorke's Drift like odds, those players chased the forlorn hope to the final whistle.
If the end of August represented the depths, what were the heights? Well, in all likelihood it was the final game of the season, when relegation was at last put to bed. Now those cruel commentators amongst you could suggest that this victory did coincide neatly with the absence of a certain Blue 13. It is of course folly to believe such claims, nothing quite galvanises a team than when faced with adversity. A loss in that final match against Hiroshima Vainqueru would have left DEH clinging with broken fingernails to the precipice of relegation.
So it must have been with sweet relief when the final whistle blew and a frustrating season closed with a 3-1 victory. Divisional status was secured, confidence restored and anticipation wetted for the 2006-2007 campaign.
(For a full account of this game, and others, go to: http://hirohurl.blogspot.com/)