Wed 24th September 2003 Garnett A 4 (1) vs. (1) 1 Jesmond Lynam


No one can ever be sure what lies before them at the start of the inter-mural season, teams can change dramatically post graduation, but the ambiguous nature of the league is what makes it so entertaining. However, Garnett is a club who continue to put out strong sides such is the strength and depth of the club. An early season boost for the club came through the trials yielding some impressive talented, sixteen freshers in total have been recruited this year, eight of which go straight into the B team who are going to be a strong side this year. Garnett A have a new look to the squad this year. Tim Burke-Murphy returns, former B team players Dawson, Smith and Ingham are promoted, and new recruit Dave Mullan are joined up by the seasoned James Poole, John Hurry and Christian Ossawy. The A's have a very strong squad this year, but the past has shown that being presumptuous about Wednesday football is not a winning tactic.

And so, the A's inter-mural calendar kicked off with a match against Jesmond Lynam. Alexander's pre-match talk very much focussed on the importance of work rate and commitment - the opening ten minutes were going to be crucial. I guess it is just fate then that the A's found themselves a goal down within 2 minutes. The pitch, (still cut for golf!!) played a part in the ball slipping under Ingham's foot for the nippy Lynam number 9 to shoot low under Poole. Ironically, this moment has the potential to mould the season. Now Lynam are a funny side. Frustrating the A's last season (1 narrow win and 1 draw), Lynam are not a side that should be ignored and they played some attractive football, the two centre midfielders particularly catching the eye with their bullish yet skilful play. Passes were stroked around the pitch as Garnett found it hard going in the opening 10 minutes, the opposition need to be closed down quicker in future as far too much time on the ball was allowed. Lynam are a team who are going to take valuable points off other teams later on in the season. The A's have always been a little erratic, but this season has a different feel to it, gradually the A's began to reassert themselves on the game and Lynam were under constant pressure. The defensive quartet of Martin, Ingham, Smith and Mullan were rarely stretched, the fullbacks in particular looking very impressive. Mullan in particular was excellent, often playing the correct pass and defending admirably. Turner and Burke-Murphy provided a much needed width that has often been lacking in seasons past and the relationship between the wingers and fullbacks opened on a very positive note - this aspect of the team crucial to the A's success. Although defending resolutely, Lynam had to crack eventually and Hurry opened his account for the new season shooting low into the bottom right-hand corner past the despairing dive of the keeper.

1-1 at halftime seemed fair bearing in mind the sluggish start, but the A's knew the game was there to be won. It soon became evident that fitness was going to be a key issue to this match. As Lynam tired, Garnett started controlling the game. Poole had little to do in the second half with the A's defence increasing in confidence as the game progressed. It was not surprising that Garnett went ahead 10 minutes into the second half, Hurry's low free kick finding once again the bottom right hand corner from 20 yards.

The A's have the potential to be a superb passing team. Some of the moves in the second period were excellent. Mercer dominated the midfield and Lynam couldn't seem to deal with Alexander's free role, picking up from deep and distributing probing passes. The excellent Hurry was accompanied by an impressive display from Dawson, who held the ball up well often providing a base for Garnett attacks. Deservedly, Dawson knocked in the A's 3rd goal and Hurry claimed his hat-trick with another astute finish.

In the end, this was an impressive result, Garnett have often stumbled on the first day of the season. Maybe the score line flattered them a little and they know they are going to have to work hard next week against champions Farcelona (reformed as Leazes Terrace), but if this level of commitment continues, results will go the A's way.

Team: J.Poole, M.Smith, D.Mullan, T.Ingham, A.Martin, D.Mercer, T.Burke-Murphy, D.Alexander,
C.Dawson 1, J.Hurry 3 (MoM), R.Turner, C.Ossawy