Old Meadonians VIIs v OTFC IIIs

Day before the boat race, the paths of West London were silent. People sat at home, thinking to themselves; “Will it be the light blue of Cambridge again? Will OTFC IIIs survive AFC Division 5 South?”

Both good questions, both huge events in the sporting calendar.

The 3s did a great job with recruitment during the week, pulling in Josh “The Cool Head/Monster Kicker” Rose in place of his father, Abdel “Pure Ability” Salem, and Luke “The Delectable” Brushett in to the squad to give us a perfect 14 for the must-win game. Two games to go, two wins essential.

Meadonians only had 11 for this game. We HAD to use our numbers to our advantage. Captain Dan “Naturally Strong Shoulders” Hogg endlessly reminding his players to “tire the oppo out”. The game began…ten minutes late. Meds had a good number eight on the right wing, and a very good number ten playing up top. They dominated the opening stages of the game, regularly breaking down Tiffin’s right hand side. Excellent goal keeping from Rose kept the Good Guys in the game, with some strong punches, and a great save with his legs. Debutants Salem and Brushett, along with Joe “Punt” Yates in an attacking front three pushed the Meadonian defence hard, but couldn’t quite find the final ball.

Thirty minutes in, time for a couple of changes. Stuart “Pure Energy” Breck and Hogg entered the mix. Within thirty seconds, it was a Tiffin throw. In line with the opposition box, a very dangerous position when someone has SUCH naturally strong shoulders. Hogg wound up like Dave Challinor (look him up, no idea) and pinged a long, flat beauty of a ball towards the penalty spot. Brushett took a touch, BANG, finish. 0-1 Tiffs. Possibly against the run of play, and definitely not a comfortable lead, we had to continue.

In to the second half we went, legs didn’t seem too tired, and we knew we had the cover, we just had to work hard. It helped that we were kicking with the wind in our favour, and ever so slightly down hill in the second half. Meds started to look VERY tired.

Joe Yates in the penalty area, the ball played in to his feet. WHISTLE. Tiffin penalty! Not quite sure what happened here, but it seemed pretty soft. Still though, what a chance to add to the lead. Yates, always a reliable spot-kicker stepped up. “Was that a panenka?” Apparently not. Straight, bottom-ish bins. 0-2 Tiffs.

The Good Guys were starting to play with a little more confidence, Old Meadonians were playing with less confidence…in the referee. It felt like the first time that the referee had been on our side all season, and we weren’t complaining about it. We hadn’t even been getting in his ear.

Aaron “Earrings” Elwood added to the scoreline, bursting through the exhausted Meadonian defence to make it 0-3 Tiffin. We were delighted, we were comfortable, the dream was still alive. More to come, and Breck gambled on a looping ball towards the keeper, got the faintest of touches, and it ended up in the back of the net. Four goals. FOUR. We were battering them.

Marian “MVP” Vrabie should have made it five. He missed a sitter, and was heavily fined.

A grand day out in West London for all, and the television cameras on top of Chiswick Bridge were, no doubt, pointed towards Dan Mason Drive for the duration of the afternoon.

Ben “Beard” Harrison won Man of the Match for the seventh time this season. Can anyone knock him off as the favourite for player of the season?