A distraction to this age-old bad feeling was the rising tension between the schools of Snookington and Dundiston. Sporadic skirmishes broke out between the two schools. The boys of Bosworth House felt a particular outrage at the Outsiders from Dundiston. Most of the lads from Goodson had an affinity with Dundiston boys, given they were all Outsiders, but inter-school distrust manifested into the two factions of Outsiders being adversaries. Divide and rule was the order of the day.
At the back of Snookington School was a rusty metal gate and a pathway beyond to a small bridge over a beck. On the other side, the path led uphill to the Snookington School football pitch surrounded by a hedgerow. Lines had been painted by the school janitor and metal goalposts stood at opposite ends.
On a cold winter’s day, two lines of boys faced each other on either side of the half-way line. The Bosworth boys wore red shirts, white shorts and red socks while the Goodson boys wore blue shirts, white shorts and blue socks. Three teachers strolled toward the two football teams. The icy wind cut through the boys, although Bosworth was allowed to wear thermals underneath. An inspection ensued where the Goodson team had to lift their shirts up to prove no thermals were worn. They were used to this routine. On that day, it could have been almost worth breaking the rules as the punishment was a hundred press ups, which would at least have warmed them up.
Steve looked over at his friends at they pulled their shirts back down. Then he stared at Bosworth. Fathead and his crew were on the opposing side, as was Barry Groate. They looked uncomfortable in the harsh conditions. No doubt they would have preferred to be in the Bosworth common room, sitting by the large radiators and sipping hot chocolate. Every Bosworth-Goodson football match was fiercely competitive and the sides were evenly matched, much to the irritation of the teachers as Bosworth should have been far superior.
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