Wed 12th November 2003 Garnett A 1 (1) vs. (4) 5 Athletico Jizzmen

No sooner does the slump of division one giants such as the Lawyers and Dyslexic Untied occur than another one emerges. Athletico Jizzmen have been the surprise package of the season, the newly promoted side now top division one for the first time this season after routing a surprisingly poor Garnett A side. This was a sluggish performance from a Garnett side who prior to kick off, led the table and had scored an impressive 25 goals in their six league matches. Playing their second top of the table clash in consecutive weeks they met an impressive Jizzmen side which fully deserved of the three points, and who crucially take a huge psychological advantage in light of next weeks cup match when the two sides meet again.

Those searching for a tense 90 minutes were to be disappointed. A first half defensive horror show from the Garnett A back line allowed Jizzmen to grab an unassailable 4-1 half time score line. By the end of the first half, this match was very much signed, sealed and delivered.

Top of the table clashes are always going to be tense, but the fire was stoked further with the erratic Simon McLeod refereeing. For those not 'in-the-know', this is a referee who has been known to introduce a 'sin-bin' system in his matches (that's not in the rule book?!?! - Ed). To be fair though, Mcleod had a good game with equally bizarre decisions going both ways and keeping the charged up atmosphere under control.

The opening thirty minutes of the match were always going to be crucial. Indeed the match was delicately balanced in a typically ferocious opening period, both defences held firm with speculative shots the only line of attack. It was Jizzmen though who drew first blood with a deflected free kick from midfielder 'RIAD' nestling in the bottom right hand corner of the Garnett goal.

Garnett's response though was swift, the talented Mullan picking out Dawson to head home at the far post. At 1-1, the match was evenly poised and looked as though it was heading towards a halftime stalemate with Alexander and Bell from Garnett and Jackson and Eccles from Jizzmen the pick of the players. Both sides were playing good combative and skilful football, using the counterattack as their tactic of choice; the spectators were surely watching the best two sides in inter-mural football.

What happened next though can only best be described as football Hara-Kiri. Calamitous Garnett defending dissipated the tension in this tie and in effect conceding the match, allowing a three goal haul in ten minutes with Jizzmen striker 'JAY' grabbing an easy hat-trick.

Confidence duly dropped in the Garnett team, but playing for pride in they second half they rallied to conjure continuous attacks that a stubborn Jizzmen defence led by Eccles, repelled. Indeed as Garnett committed more men forward, Jizzmen rubbed further salt into the wound by catching them on the break once again with 'JAY' grabbing his fourth of the game. What was good to see was the respect that these two teams were giving each other. On more than one occasion fine sportsmanship was displayed from both sides despite some over zealous tackling form both sides.

Jizzmen were worthy winners, their confidence on the ball and movement off it provided a constant threat. This, combined with an impressive team spirit and will to win providing the formula for success. But where do these two teams go from here?
Well Jizzmen, after a conservative start to the season seem to be firing on all cylinders. This was an impressive win for them albeit against a below par Garnett side who need to get their confidence and season back on track as soon as possible. So, nearing the halfway point in the season Jizzmen top division one, but will they be there cum June? Only time will tell, but one gets the feeling that they will encounter a different Garnett A side next time they meet.

Team: J.Poole, M.Smith, D.Mullan, T.Ingham, A.Martin (c), D.Mercer, T.Burke-Murphy, D.Alexander, J.Thompson, C.Dawson 1 (MoM), R.Turner
Subs: M.Rogers, V.Van Savooyen, Adam Bell