The Men’s 5s had two games over the weekend: nothing as dramatic as the 1st team clash of the titans, but a chance to consolidate on a few good results and maybe even help our 4th team in their battle for the league title.

On Saturday it was a fixture that looked tough on paper, an evening kick off against Wakefield 7s who are the only side to beat the phwoars this season. Long story short: the 5s were magnificent, with a passing game that left Wakey gasping for air and chasing shadows. Adel got two early goals, the first from Joe after good work by Hedgie in the D, and then Stef with a reverse finish from Matty’s build up play. There were triangles all over the place that generally finished with Matty or Fin on the right, or Tom A and Max on the left, crossing for a shooting chance. Tom got a third from an acute angle, then Murf played another perfect pass up the wing to release more Fin/Matty skills and a deadly finish by Stef.  Wakey grabbed one back on the stroke of half time to make it 4-1.

Things got even better in the second half, with a laser-guided Hedgie hit into the D deflected by Matty past the keeper, then a textbook short corner from Joe setting up Hedgie for a cleanly struck sixth.  At some point in all this madness Hedgie got carded, for arguing with everybody including himself.   Stef got his hat trick from a Joe cross, then quickly added his fourth, before Joe finished things off with a ludicrous solo goal a la Maradona. 9-1, best performance of the season, against a not bad side. We simply passed them off the park. MoM was Stef for his four goals, narrowly pipping Joe whose control and distribution gave us the platform for a season-defining victory. DoD was Hedgie (pictured above) for a catalogue of sins including a green card, apologising to the opposition, and yet another forward roll celebration.

Sunday morning was, sadly, a different story. There were a number of enforced changes: the new recruits did us proud, but despite a massive effort for the full 70 minutes, we never really got our passing game going and looked a bit out of sorts. Worksop 2s were well organised and did the basics very effectively; they had a couple of skilful players who held play up well. There were too many Adel passes going straight to a Worksop stick, orange attacks that ran into a blue defender, and defensive lapses when we really needed to shut them out. Worksop went in 3-1 up at half time, with Charlie’s strike giving us some hope and Sholto’s flexible feet keeping the score under control.

For the first 10 minutes of the second half we looked capable of turning it round, but a couple of soft goals put the game beyond our reach, despite Charlie’s second giving us some consolation in a 2-5 defeat that doesn’t help the phwoars, who now need to put in a solid game against Worksop next week. MoM was Sholto for some great saves, making up for our veterans’ defensive errors.  The club’s anti-bullying policy prevents me from naming the DoD. But Hedgie (who disagreed with umpires Gabby & Sam) needn’t worry about returning the medal he won on Saturday. It could just as easily have been Max for scooping his chance over the bar, John for a two-footed (yes!) challenge, or Simon Sutton (nominated by a close relative).

The good news is that we ate all the pies, and the mushy peas, cos Worksop went straight home, and we also got to watch the Men’s 1st team in their title decider against the umpires, which ended in a magnificent orange victory over the blues. Bradford were also there for some reason.