It’s been a quiet week at 1TM HQ as a large number of the squad had succumbed to DD (Duplo Disease) and needed bed rest and a ton of ibuprofen to get through to Friday. As a result, Duplo/ Lurpak (The Super Spreader), and Cow were absent from the squad due to illness and a few others were late fitness tests to see if they could last the warm up without keeling over. Fresh from his hospital stay was new summer signing Sam Rat. Ballsy was making his debut for 1TM after switching from Cosmo League rivals, SFC, for an undisclosed fee of Harry’s vouchers. Despite some changes in personnel for Gaelic Lions, we knew to expect an intense physical start with both teams looking to get on the ball. Stinks, Sam Rat and Rhubarb (managing his 2nd consecutive match for the first time since he was 14) set the tone for us straight away by pressing hard and winning the ball deep into our opponents half. In the 2nd minute, Stinks’ brilliant tackle bobbled the ball to Sharples and a combination of strength and quick feet created an opening for us to take the lead with his powerful finish. Our lead was short lived as Gaelic Lions matched our effort and got themselves back in the game with only 5 minutes gone. The Lions worked the ball out wide and a dangerous cross was met with a powerful header from their striker 1-1 1TM continued to make chances and were unlucky not to go into the half time break in the lead. Thanks to brave defending, excellent goalkeeping and a strong penalty shout waved away, we were unable to add to the scoreline. Lions had their own chances, but POB and the back four were solid. HT 1-1 The plan was to keep playing our football at the same intensity and the chances would come. The plan was set back slightly when Gaelic Lions were awarded a (very soft) penalty. The striker remained cool and slotted home to make it 2-1. It wasn’t a time to panic especially when our forwards are in the mood. We continued to move the ball around the pitch with pace and on 58 minutes we drew level. The Chocolate Pig slotted in Sharples for a 1 on 1 with the ‘keeper and the number 9 confidently swept home an equaliser. 2-2 Less than 10 minutes later, we were back in front. Again more good football meant we created space for The Pig to turn. His snout sniffed out a Sharples run who dribbled into the box and powered home from 8 yards. 3-2 That should have been game over, but the Lions had other ideas and leveled on 70 minutes after their decent pressing helped them to regain possession and work the ball to their inform striker, who produced another smart finish for his hat trick. 3-3 and a classic Cosmo game was in the making. Thankfully, 1TM were not finished either and produced an almost instant response when Didge played a long ball over the top to our MOM, Sharples. Sharpy was able to lose his man and charged to the bi line. His low cross found Boggy at the back post who delivered the match clinching moment with a nice finish. The game continued to ramp up towards the full time whistle with both teams giving everything. In the end, the ref blew for full time and 1TM were delighted with the 3 points. Thanks to Gaelic Lions for a proper fixture and the ref and his assistant for managing the game without a second linesman. Cheers to all the 1TM squad for playing their part, especially the lads that tore up their sick notes to play. MOM Gaelic Lions - Ronan MOM 1TM - Sharples DOD - 20:20
Christmas in September. With all the trimmings. We came bearing gifts in the opening 60 seconds and after a robust challenge, Latini found themselves straight in on goal. Worst possible start. 1-0. But jaysus, didn't Gaelic Lions keep the fire blazing? Xave, back from Auz, ripped it up down the right all night. We immediately responded as a team and came close a minute after going down and then again after some decent ball, Xave recycled the ball back to Smithie who whipped one to the back post where either of two lads could've headed it home. Ronan gobbled this one up. 1-1 five gone. Tasty challenges. Plenty of rows with the referee. Both sets of wide forwards causing havoc and being double teamed. Loads of great chances for both sides. Shailer getting a knee to the head and a yellow and two wondeful saves. Lung busting. Great half 1-1 Debutant Shane came out all blazing after the break and unlucky with an offside call moments earlier and running direct at defenders, got taken down. Peno. Up stepped Ronan once (disallowed) and twice - two great pens. Didn't matter. 2-1. And Latini had a fire under them too. Responded well themselves. Ten minutes later it was 3-2. Still 25 to go. Breathless stuff. And then momentum shifted again. Lions back on top. Charlie adding legs and set up Ronan for his hattrick 3-3. We needed some luck against the champions. And Sharples pulled away just as Andy's hammer popped (had a great game) and in fairness to him scored that goal I've seen him slot many times from the edge into the bottom right. And then Ronan pulls his shortly after. Unfortunate again. Wouldn't have been a shock if he had scored a forth. We put everything into it and proud of the way we played. Ends 4-3. Great contest and credit to everyone involved.