Canterbury players were astonished with the Margate introduction of the ‘Zectron Super Ball’ into their league fixture. It transpires, after further investigation by a team of scientists from the Physics dept. at UKC that the ball is based on a type of synthetic rubber invented in 1964 by chemist Norman Stingley. It is an extremely elastic ball made of Zectron, which contains the synthetic polymer polybutadiene as well as hydrated silica, zinc oxide, stearic acid, and other ingredients. This compound is vulcanized with sulphur at a temperature of 165 degrees Celsius and formed at a pressure of 3,500psi. The resulting Super Ball has a very high coefficient of restitution, and dropped from shoulder level, a Super Ball snaps nearly all the way back; thrown down by an average adult, it can leap over a three-story building.
This together with the placement of special ‘springboards’ around the perimeter of the pitch, resulted in rebound outcomes which bamboozled the Canterbury team. This was no more evident than when a stray shot from the Margate striker hit a loose screw in the springboards, rebounded off 9 different parts of the perimeter fence, before hitting luckless keeper Knott on the backside and flying into the net. This after a similar first goal for Margate went in after only 7 rebounds.
A safety net 7 feet above the ground had Roger (The Avenger) Betts scanning the skies for trapeze artists for 90% of the game, at least this resulted in coach Phillips not shouting “Look up Rog, look up!” However, it also meant that our star defender Steve (Jaap Stam) Mundin, at 7 foot 4 inches tall, had to play the entire game in the crouched position.
Talking of Mundin! The most bizarre incident in the game came when a Margate striker was about to smash a volley into the top corner. The Zectron Super Ball was 30 inches off the ground. From nowhere, Mundin launches himself horizontally (fully 20 yards away), and heads the ball at such force that a military expert in the Margate crowd remarked, “That’s a Saab RBS15 MK3 Surface to Surface Missile.” Fair play on missile recognition – spot on.
Margate are 2 – 0 up and are continuing with their ‘bagatelle strategy’, when Phillips picked the pocket of a Margate defender (Oh the irony) and smashed the ball into the first aid kit at the back of the net. He did this on purpose to save the ball rebounding off the back board and going into his own net which would have been controversial. 2 – 1 and the come-back is on.
Sadly for the CWFC players, Margate played out the game, scoring a cracking goal when their right half cracked a shot into the far corner giving the keeper no chance.
Bagatelle – it’s all them arcades ‘in it !