Ask for fierce frowns and this is what you get: goofy grins, embarassed smiles, tortured expressions, and cannot-tahan-i'm-bursting-with-laughter faces.
Frontliners 300 did what exactly Coach Jason asked during half-time: That they claw their way back and hang on for a draw against a Firebrands team full of ex-Frontliners and people invited by Frontliners.
And yet somehow, there was a sense of bitter disappointment and dashed hopes after the game. They should have won, but Saturday just wasn't their day. Opportunities that the forwards would normally have put in, blindfolded. A whopping six bench penalties, not ugly but irritating, ignorant bench penalties. Bryan, the ex-Frontliner, who came out of his mostly anonymous performance to deny a sure goal by Megan and a win for 300 in the dying moments of the game.
It was a see-saw game, swinging this side one moment and swinging the other side another moment. Firebrands drew first blood, 300 equalized. Firebrands went one-up immediately after the equalizer.
And that was how the first half ended: 2-1 to Firebrands. It could have been 3-1 had Daniel converted the penalty awarded for June stepping into the crease (ignorance yet again).
In the second half, Firebrands seemed content to sit back and absorb whatever little pressure 300 was applying, counter-attacking through the menacing Daniel (yes, he attended Frontliners training some time ago). The tension was growing, and so was the frustration as 300 looked for the equalizer but were blocked off by a resolute, more-or-less comfortable Firebrands defence.
And so when Michael scored his second of the game, a trademark shot from a long way off, he stood right on the spot and raised his arms in relief, after all the emotion of the game.
Play continued to degenerate, bar the wonder save by Bryan on Megan's shot, and it was no surprise that the game ended 2-2.
Yet one look at the faces of the different teams and you'd say Firebrands had thrashed 300.
The after-game surprise cake for birthday girl Sonia lightened things up a little, and even Captain Michael indulged in two pieces of cheese cake when everyone else had only one.
Dear, dear Captain Michael.
This is it now, 300: it's time to raise your game and finish your Penang League campaign with a bang and walk out with your heads high. Give us a game we'll never forget.
Of course, no pressure:).