Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Rich’s Blog: Derby Double Secures Second For City 2

On Sunday, City 2 finished the League 2 season with two tough derby matches. The chance of the championship went a couple of months ago with a few mid-season losses — including to eventual champions Abingdon 2 — but we still wanted to end on a high by securing second place.

The only problem is we’d have to do so by winning two back-to-back matches against teams that are very keen to beat us: first, our showdown with City 3; and second, against local rivals Isis 2. 

Personally, there were two defining moments of the afternoon. During the team talk for the first match when stand-in coach Ruth told I’d be taking penalties; and one minute before the start of the match when I stopped copying the standard penalty technique and found my own. But anyway…

We took to the court for the all-City derby looking ridiculous in our 80s fitness video fancy dress, but were taking the match very seriously. We knew City 3 would be desperate to put one over on us, and would be far better drilled than when we played them before Christmas. And they’re also younger than us, fitter than us, and do unfair things like play other sports. Harumph!

Thankfully, we raced into a two-goal lead with two goals from yours truly: my first-ever successful running-in shot and my first-ever successful penalty. We then had a scrappy phase where they got one back, we scored another, they got one back again, and so on. Tense stuff.

But we managed to pull away and then kept up the scoring in the second half. I don’t recall who got the goals — sorry! — but I do know Jen got one that rolled up the front of the korf and somehow went in; and I definitely got another runner and another penalty in the second half. We took our foot off the pedal in the final quarter to save our legs for the next match, but finished with an 11-3 win.

Quick change into our traditional City blue and we were off again, with Awesome Becca in place of Jen; Theo instead of Jim; and Arge replacing Niall in my fantastic division alongside Charlotte and Hannah. We knew we’d need a fast start as our old legs would start to tire later on, and start fast we did. We raced into an 8-1 lead by half time with goals spread around the team.

Our second stand-in coach Gaz set us the goal of doubling our score and keeping Isis to one. Alas, it didn’t quite happen like that as tiredness set in, and I was eventually carried off after pulling a calf muscle. We ended up losing the second half — but won the match 11-5 overall. Great work!

So City 2 won two from two to secure second place in League 2. Thanks to everyone who’s given their all in a good season, and great to see new recruit Anthony using his height well in his first two City appearances from the bench. Bodes well for a strong 2015/16 season.