Absolutely DEVASTATED the turncoat Owen with a tackle that would have flattened Jonah Lomu.
As the result of an intra-club game should be pretty much a foregone conclusion this report is going to focus more on events than outcomes. League scheduling had given us a pair of 2s-versus-3s derbies on the same day. The ladies’ match immediately beforehand had provided us with suitable inspiration, the L3s pushing the L2s all the way and forcing the higher team to come from behind to win by a solitary goal for the tightest result of their season.
Discussion beforehand focused on opportunities to disrupt the M2s: put pressure on Coops, he hates marking; try and get Shin chatting, it puts him off; make Anns run. Unfortunately the wily 2s seemed wise to our nefarious tactics, probably helped by pinching the spine of our team, Dylan, NBM and Oven all called up for the higher side.
Any crafty plans were undone in the first two minutes though, as a surging 2s’ attack resulted in the ball popping up in front of George who tried an unconventional headed save. Unfortunately it only went as far as Jack who batted it back towards goal. Oven claimed he added a touch – just to make sure – a good two or three inches before it crossed the line.
Despite the early setback the 3s steadied the ship and the remainder of the half remained scoreless. As was to be expected, the higher team had the preponderance of possession but the 3s, in the second away strip of green and yellow, battled hard and had several quick breaks down the flanks from Peter and Ed supported by Joe, Dan and Jonny. In the 2s’ goal, MSG was repeatedly forced into action to keep their lead intact while Coops received a warning from the umpire after being turned on the touchline by Peter and catching him from behind as the youngster surged away.
We were still in the game as the second period got underway. Gradually though the 2s began to turn up the pressure and the defence, with Neil and Adam flanked by Sev and Pash, were being forced deeper and into more desperate clearances. From one sixteen hit, Neil got caught dawdling looking for an outlet ball and was robbed by Oven, whose improvised shot flashed just wide of the post. A second goal looked on the cards but when it came it was from a set piece rather than open play, Jack getting in front of George at a short corner to deflect a ball low past the 3s’ keeper and inside the right post.
The result secured, as the game entered its final minutes the 2s were looking to add a gloss to the scoreline while the 3s wanted to maintain respectability in defeat. In this context came the most noteworthy incident of the match. A ball into the 3s’ D turned the defence and was collected by Oven, outside the right post close to the backline. As he shaped to shoot, suddenly he found himself lifted bodily into the air. What had happened? Was it an earthquake? A tornado? A freak tsunami making its way up the valley of the Cam from far-distant King’s Lynn? A moment later and the turncoat forward was sacked to the ground like a rag doll as Neil barrelled through him from behind, full bore. As a tackle it was full-blooded, uncompromising, 100% committed and absolutely, totally illegal. Think Roy Keane and Alf-Inge Håland. The striker was left rolling on the floor in outraged agony, his muscles spasming from Neil’s shock and awe attack, while the defender offered a sheepish apology and muttered something unconvincing about going for the ball. Fortunately, with the game all but over the umpire took an indulgent view and contented himself with awarding a short, which slipped away to end the match.
Defeat leaves the 3s treading water in mid-table; victory leaves the 2s firmly in the chase for promotion. Overall a satisfactory outcome all round then, except maybe for Oven.
IMPORTANT FOOTNOTE FROM ED: Those Cambridge South ultras amongst you will recall my heroic self sacrifice a few games ago. Despite still having one ankle the size of Saturn I felt obliged to turn out for the 3rd team, especially for the chance to stick tackle Coops. However, in order to fully reach my potential and not fall in a crippled heap in the warm-up I required a strong mix of stimulus and depressant alike. Luckily some old contacts from the job finally came in handy. A few pills here, a few pills there and I was running free, bounding in the clouds, dancing through the opposition (no wonder they can't make it into the 1s). It was a glorious sight, "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds" the soundtrack to my success playing through my head.
Apart from that my memory of the game is fairly ropey. I'm pretty sure I scored a few and Cambridge News enquired about the rights to my story but others claim all I did was crash my car and eat a lot of pizza.
Judging by the state of my car maybe they are right. Moral of the story, kids: don't do drugs… Unless you're out with George in the pub; in that case, take all that you can get.