November 2002 Garnett Select XI 4 (1) vs. (0) 1 Garnett Old Boys
As the teams gathered in the sunshine outside Coach Lane Sports Hall, there was a definite morning-after malaise. Mutual consent delayed the kick-off to allow the straggling late night revellers to pull themselves together. As special mention of thanks to Dave Robson, perennial Reunion Match referee and friend of the club, for selflessly accepting the late start to the match, officiating with good humour and above all making all the right decisions (except ruling out Pollard's superb nutmeg finish when put through in the second half, and denying him a deserved hat-trick)!

Garnett Select XI were elected by the Old Boys to play into the sun, a stiff breeze and up the wickedly sloping Astroturf. They started purposefully enough, no doubt needled by not having the opportunity for the pre-match team photo that the Old Boys had. But the toll of the night before, led to the ball being given away more than it should have been by an array of such quality players. The Old Boys found some good possession in their opponents half, the midfield pairing of Millar and Brown looked up for the occasion. Powlett could be heard screaming for the ball from right back, and was doing his best to work the ball down their right wing. Sherwood and Dadey were pushing onto the Select XI's back four and Blogg's long throws were reaping rewards. One of them found Crammond (right-wing, not on a goalkeeping walkabout) clear down the flank, but the pacey Brough mopped up the danger. Another airborne missile from Blogg was flicked on to Brown in the area who was unlucky only find the crossbar on the volley. More Old Boy pressure saw the ball worked from Dadey and Burns to Millar whose low drive clipped Zengler's right hand post. But the Old Boys were getting caught on the break, with Hopkins and Pollard getting in some promising positions, their intelligence and movement being a feature of the play - if their finishing had matched their approach work, the game could have been over by half-time.

The Select XI begun to find joy right across the midfield, Holmes and Cavanagh orchestrating attacks well. Old hands Robins and Leandro for the most part stifled the best chances, until an arrowed clearance by Miller under pressure on the touchline at left back, sailed over everyone to Hopkins who was on it in a flash and bearing down on goal. He cut inside but was unable to finish, as the excellent Charlesworth narrowed the angles. The Select XI were not to be denied however, when a fine through ball from Holmes, picked out an enterprising run from Centre Half Brough who beat the offside trap, and showed fine composure to round Charlesworth and slot home.

The artificial zip of the surface was contributing to the ebb and flow, fooling players on several occasions, none more so than Zengler in goal who misjudged the spin of the ball from a Dadey miss-hit, palming the ball perilously past the post. Sherwood was doing his utmost to find space to turn and shoot but the close attentions of Powers stifled him for the most part. Burns rolled on for the roly-poly Powlett and looked a more attacking option, but he and Crammond were frustrated in their right wing attacks. Robins made a notable burst from defence past Almond but efficient sweeping by Zengler, prevented him doing no more than flattening the keeper on the by-line as the German cleared the ball. As the half wore on Almond and Miller found time to push down the flanks for the Select XI, both getting crosses in and the later having a speculative effort past Charlesworth's left upright. The Select XI had some near misses from corners but the half ended with only one goal in it.

The start second half meant conditions were now in the Select XI's favour, pinging the passes about without the sun in their eyes. Deeble's pace was an asset down the left wing and good service from the midfield linked up to the ever-dangerous forwards well.
The Select XI's progressive play forced more pressure and from a period of pinball in the Old Boys box, Hopkins tried to control and shoot, Leandro only did enough to steer the ball into Pollard's path who clinically drilled it past the helpless Charlesworth from 12 yards, much to his and his strike partner's obvious delight.

The old boys regrouped however, and forced their way back into the game.
Blogg and Brown once again linked up well and after the Select XI defence was dragged in to mark Sherwood and Millar, Dadey broke down the Old Boys Right wing he continued the by-line and hit a ball powerfully across the pitch. The ball somehow bisected the face of the goal and Zengler, diving out in anticipation of a cross, in the end going out harmlessly on the far side. A crossed ball into a crowded penalty area was met by Zengler's fist propelling it straight onto Sherwood's nose. Stunned by the impact Sherwood was unable to react to loose ball for a simple tap in, the danger was cleared and Sherwood was left bloodied and disappointed.

The influence of Leandro from the Old Boys defence in regaining moment was not to be denied. Good movement from Brown, Millar, Blogg and Dadey engineered possession in the Select XI's half of the pitch, forcing some determined defending. Sherwood was threatening turns with his back to goal on several occasions, and one such turn got the Old Boys off the mark. With his marker tight behind him just inside the box he controlled the pass from Dadey letting the ball bounce to left at waist height he smashed it past Zengler for 2-1. Powlett's joy was evident as made the long journey to celebrate from his newly found decoy role at left wing.

It was a false dawn, however, and the Select XI steadfastly stuck to their game plan of possession and good passing. First Deeble broke down the left, but he took one too many touches and the chance was lost, then Pollard was in with a chance but he mis-cued at the vital moment. Pollard, then found himself played through by Cavanagh, and he took his time before sliding the finish through Charlesworth's legs, however, the offside flag denied him his second. Cavanagh and Holmes played the roaming Miller in with good shooting chances, but on both occasions Robins close attention put the goal-shy veteran off his aim.

In the end a corner was forced and Cusworth's delivery to the near post got the slightest of touches from Pollards stooping head and Miller's side foot half volley was strong enough to go in off Charleworth's outstretched hand. There was a brief madly jubilant celebration and the game restarted. More composed and accurate passing from Cavanagh presented Hopkins with a one on one at the far end, but Charlesworth again saved his shot with the surprisingly advanced Miller waiting for a square ball and tap in. Following an uncharacteristic mix up between Miller (back in defence!) and Brough the ball broke clear to Millar behind the Select XI's defence, but the over-eager Sherwood took possession from him in an offside position. Legs were tiring on the Old Boys team as the more match fit Select XI made them chase the ball in neat passages of passing. Millar gave a ball for Powlett to run on to but even his pace had been sapped by the afternoon's action. Select XI's fourth and final goal came about down the right. Powers (Man of Match) , who had had a tremendous afternoon in shackling the threat of Sherwood, pushed forwarded playing it to Cusworth who found Holmes, who released Powers continued run down the right touchline. With typical energy he pressed onward and crossed low to the waiting Pollard who calmly slotted the ball into the middle of the net, side-footed.

That finished the afternoon's scoring, and all in all it was a deserved victory against a notably spirited and enterprising Old Boy team. Played in a sporting manner that befitted the occasion and with a deal of humour thrown in for good measure, long may the tradition continue.

Garnett Select XI:
J.Zengler, J.Almond, P.Miller 1, B.Holmes, T.Brough 1, A.Powers MOM, R.Cusworth, S.Cavanagh, G.Hopkins, M.Pollard 2, M.Deeble.
Garnett Old Boys:
E.Charlesworth, N.Blogg, R.Brown, P.Leandro, A.Robbins, Burns, M.Dadey, A.Millar MOM, D.Sherwood 1, P.Powlett, M.Robson, M.Crammond