Old Meadonians Win Amateur Football Combination Premier Division
Amateur Football Combination Premier Division - Old Parmiterians 1 Old Meadonians 2
Old Meadonians have become the 2010-2011 Amateur Football Combination champions apparently by just following the simple expedient advocated by Kipling, of keeping your head while those around you don’t.
If only it were as easy as that; at 6.30 this morning Gary Richardson told the larks among us that, in the Championship, ‘The Buebirds’ had blinked and lost their chance of promotion to the football league premier division to ‘The Canaries’, but that’s never the half of it.
For once that well known football cliché about concentrating on the league has helped Meads who might not have sustained their league effort but for early exits from two cups. Nonetheless, it has been a long haul with a limited squad which was further curtailed by injuries to key players. However, buoyed up by a collective well-being generated by having, arguably, the best manager/coaches in the A.F.C. at the helm, Paul Rumley and Rory Vermeulen, Meads have outlasted a group of four vying for supremacy in a tense run-in and still have two games to play.
On Saturday, at second placed Old Parmiterians’ Walthamstow stronghold, there was only one team in it for vast chunks of the time and, but for Parms’ twin towers at the heart of their defence, Dave Lettingham and Shaun Clements, the visitors could have been well in the score-book instead of creating a handful of near misses with Peter Eguae’s post-wrapper the pick of the bunch.
As it was, at the interval Meads were one down following keeper Gary Robinson’s double whammy on ten minutes when an emergency back pass from centre-back Ali McCombe found an unfriendly divot and his sliced clearance fell nicely for the lurking Dave Stevens to squeeze the ball past Robinson who recovered enough to almost save the day.
The press were not allowed near enough to overhear doubtless what would have been Meads’ coaches encouraging words at half-time, with Vermeulen concentrating on tactical matters and Rumley repeating, ‘It will come, it will come’ but it didn’t seem to want to come as the second half began as a repeat of the first. With just under thirty minutes to go a double substitution brought on Lawrie Pointer at the back and play-maker Jack Costello, the latter adding his crossing ability to the war effort. Next on came Young second team rising star, Jeusy Netto to replace Alex Jones who had run himself into the ground up front.
Netto immediately brought an injection of speed to stir the pot but it still took ten minutes for the equaliser to arrive. Mid-fielder Misha Mantel an associate of Netto worked himself space on the left to deliver a sweetly struck cross to the far post where it was typical of Meads all out attack that two from their back four Pointer and Kevin Quinn rose to meet it with Pointer putting the finishing touch. Not content to settle for the point which would have kept them in the hunt, Meads now pressed for the clincher.
With just five minutes on the clock, they were awarded a free-kick thirty yards out and ten yards wide of the left near post. Up stepped midfielder Nick Jones and, with the pack eagerly awaiting his in-swinging cross at the far post he took advantage of some naïve defending to thread the ball inside the near post for a startling winner.
The drama didn’t end there as there was still time for the Meads’ keeper Garry Robinson to win a joint nomination with Nick Jones for the MoM award with what Paul Rumley described as the save of the season by clawing a boomer bound for the top corner round the post. Paul Rumley and Rory Vermeulen have now won fourteen trophies in ten years with a sabbatical of two seasons, including six league titles. Argue against that!
Team: Robinson, Grahame, (Pointer), McCombe, Palmer, Quinn, Oumast, (Costello), Gerrish, N. Jones, Mantel, Eguae, A. Jones, (Netto).
May 4, 2011