Alexandra Park 5s 0 – Alexandra Park 6s 3

Spring Cup | March 31, 2012

Spring Cup Group Game 2 (by Mel Loughnane)

Team: Manuel Veth, Chirac Shah, Derek Graham, Mike Myers, Ollie Edge, Ditmir Sulemanji (Robert Blade), Anthony Robert Stagg, John Scantlebury, Mel Loughnane, Jack Dudmish, Michael Graves. Unused Sub: Mark Smith (my apologies again Mark)

Well, Well, Well, how the mighty have fallen…this was a victory of togetherness over individualism, spirit over skill (so called) and hunger over noise. If this was a boxing fight, the towel would have been thrown in years ago!

Warming up before the game, some members of the 6th team thought they were preparing to face a FC Barcelona XI, with the serious extent of their opponents warm up preparations. I’m afraid, that’s where the 5’s serious effort started and finished!

Staring with a 4-5-1 formation that served the 6’s well in recent weeks, the 6’s burst out of the traps with a ferocious hunger, passing the pig’s bladder confidently and pressing the opposition when required. While playing against familiar faces, the tackles and off the ball shenanigans added an extra edge to the game. It was during one of these pressure encounters that the 6’s opened the scoring. In fairness, if I had the 6’s left winger bearing down on goal, I’d be sh!tting the proverbial also…although not the best of goals, it settled the 6’s down.

Regrouping at half time, the gaffer calmed the team down, reminded us of our collective responsibility and the reward of claiming the free jugs of beer from Mr Burwell by forcing him to dip those short arms into his long pockets.

Starting the 2nd half, disaster struck, when our normally cool centre half, had a rush of blood to the head and up-ended one of the 5’s player. The same 5’s player dusted himself off and stepped up confidently to take the penalty. What he didn’t realise was that Zee German had other ideas and pulled off a stunning safe.

From this point the 6’s owned the game, passing confidently with a hunger and spirit that has defined this team all year. Two superb goals from the big man up front capped of a great team effort. If I’m honest the aggregate could have been more, such was the 6s dominance. At the final whistle, you could see what this win meant to the journeymen that make up this team.

Not one to gloat, but all over the park, 6’s stood tall, and refused to accept defeat from the get-go. From big Manuel in goals, returning to form with a great penalty save to the solid back four of Chirac, Derek, Mike and The Edge. Through to the midfield of tricky wingers Jack and Ditmir complemented with the skill and hunger of Scants, Rob and Mel. To the big man up front, Mike, you kept, single hand idly, the 5’s back four honest all day and were rewarded with 2 good goals. A higher team awaits you next season I’m afraid but for now we are thoroughly enjoying having you in our team. The introduction of Rob offered further options and a willing outlet. To Mark, its unforgiveable for the gaffer to leave you on the line. They’ll be other days!

When the adrenalin returned to something resembling normal in the club house after, the sweet taste of success was capped off by the free jug as supplied by the aforementioned Mr Burwell. Rumour has it; he kept the receipt and will seek a refund off the club at the annual dinner….

So roll on next year…..the bragging rights lay firmly with the 6’s for the foreseeable future!

And roll on the remaining fixtures in the Spring Cup, only two more performances like our last two stand between us and the final!

6th Team / Match Reports