MEADS DO THE DOUBLE
Old Meadonians VII 2 Clapham Old Xaverians IV 1
A week after clinching the league title with a fine double over Old Suttonians, Old Meadonians VII contested the London Old Boys Minor Cup Final against Clapham Old Xaverians IV, having reached the final with a dramatic 2-1 extra time win over their own 4th team. The game was for some reason played at Farnham Park Sports Field in deepest Buckinghamshire, so a minibus was in order and a big crowd of supporters and wags made the journey. Meads, back to full strength with the return of Ryan from injury, marked the occasion by instituting a jacket-and-tie dress code.
Clapham kicked off in bright sunshine, and could have been a goal up in 10 seconds. Only a brilliant last ditch tackle by Dave Yorath saved the day. Then their defender was booked for a cynical body-check on Alex Trotter. It was going to be a tough afternoon. But Meads settled down, and after 7 minutes, somewhat against the run of play, they took the lead with a high quality goal. Tamir won a crunching tackle in mid-field and switched the ball to the right. Alex Trotter, with a high class touch, released Dan Jacobs who hammered home the coolest of finishes. Shortly afterwards he might have had a second, but his header was straight at the keeper. Gradually Meads came more into the game, with Dave Yorath having a stormer at right back, Michael Green as always a tower of strength at the heart of the defence, Ryan, Jay and Nick worked tirelessly, and Alex Trotter’s pace and skill always a threat. When Clapham did find a way through, Tim Lee saved the day with a courageous block. Meads ended the half strongly, with Michael narrowly heading over from a free kick.
Meads deployed their Brazilian secret weapon for the second half, bringing on Tiago Martins. He was soon in the thick of the action, only being denied by a great block. As in the first half, the 7th minute brought a goal. The goalkeeper could only parry Dan’s fierce shot and Danny Castella joyfully put Meads 2-0 up. Too joyfully for the referee, who booked him for taking off his shirt. This goal seemed to knock the stuffing out of Clapham, who were reduced to cutting out the mid field, and relying on huge upfield punts from their goalkeeper. The Meads defence coped easily with most threats, and they held firm until 5 minutes from time, when Clapham volleyed in from close range in a goalmouth scramble after a corner. This inspired them to a few last ditch attacks, but Meads held firm till the final whistle.
It was a well deserved win and a triumph for the whole team. Everyone worked their socks off for the whole 90 minutes. It has been an amazing first season for a talented and highly committed bunch of players, and after Dan Jacobs had lifted the trophy in the glorious afternoon sunshine, the well earned celebrations could begin.