The marvellous Men’s Sixes set off for OMT without their 2 most valuable Fantasy League players (Shirley & Chair – whose Fantasy is this?) so it was always going to be tough!
However, the team had a youthful spring in its step with Jamie Wells, Matt Saunders-Davies and Giles Oldershaw looking like a promising trio.
On arrival it became evident that there was nothing “Old” about this Old Merchant Taylors side, and the first ten minutes were fast and furious as Hawks struggled to gain any traction.
However, the midfield diamond soon started to gel with Ashley Robbins, Rob Oldershaw and Rod Lorrimar quickly getting to grips with the opposition and the deteriorating conditions.
Hawks started to make some chances, in what was looking like it was going to be a closely fought and competitive encounter.
Unfortunately, halfway through the first half, OMT struck first to go 1-0 up with a well-taken reverse stick finish.
However, Hawks responded immediately, and equalised though Darby with another of his trademark long range* finishes.
1-1 at Half Time, with only 1 sub per team, it was evident that the second half was going to go down to the wire.
With some stout defending, the midfield playing magnificently, and the pacey youngsters starting to find some real space down the right hand side Hawks looked like they were getting the upper hand.
As the pressure mounted, and as things started to get a bit tetchy on the pitch, Darby had a coming together with the bearded psychopath who was marking him.
After a short discussion about who was going to rip who’s head off, both were invited to have a 2 minute break by the umpire.
Back into the fray, and with only a few minutes remaining, a rare second-half attack by OMT benefitted from some hesitant umpiring, before they finally managed to finish off a re-bound.
The 2-1 loss seemed like a travesty under the circumstances, but the performance had been a strong one, under difficult circumstances, and the youth in particular deserve a lot of credit.
Written by Charles (*long range = 6 inches) Darby