Injury Stricken Old Meads Limp to Fifth Title
Amateur Football Combination Premier Division - Old Meadonians 3 Bealonians 2
Injury stricken Old Meadonians limped to a fifth Amateur Football Combination title, edging out challengers, Bealonians, in a match notable for honest endeavour rather than foot-balling skills at Riverside Lands on Saturday.
With two games still to play Meads cannot be overtaken and this season’s triumph over adversity brings them a record seventh year at the top if you count two Old Boys’ League wins prior to the formation of the A.F.C.
Saturday’s side was typical of the patch-work quilts which have regularly been fielded since Christmas, with four strikers in the starting line-up, other players in unaccustomed positions and veterans pitching their experience into the frame.
Early exchanges were even but the hosts drew first blood when a well-worked move down the left between Kevin and Leon Smith gave Colin Hawhins the chance to glide the resultant cross in from ten yards. Beals were level a minute later after Gary Bryson crossed beyond the far post for Alan White to cut in and make no mistake.
The visitors put Meads under huge pressure for twenty minutes to half time and were unlucky not to go in with the lead. Stern words during the interval were heeded on the restart although ten minutes in Meads’ keeper Kris Sayers had to show his mettle by tipping Mark Churchill’s raking shot round the post.
On twenty minutes loose defensive play by the visitors gave Colin Hawkins the chance to chip in with his second from the edge of the area to regain the lead. Almost immediately Leon Smith was just over with a twenty-yard effort. Comparative safety was attained with fifteen minutes to go as Leon Smith’s pace allowed him to beat the offside trap and centre for Kevin Smith to notch from close in.
The visitors still had enough of a sting in their tail to give their hosts a jittery last five minutes when Bryson curled a free kick into the top corner from twenty five yards but Meads held out.
The MoM award went to Ed Glover for his untiring industry out of position at right wing back.
Team: Sayers, McCombe, Pointer, Hanley, Glover, Hugh Jones, (Salanson), Quinn, D.Gerrish, (Lovell), K.Smith, L.Smith, Hawkins, (McGuinness).
May 2, 2007