Football

Each year the annual OV versus School match brings out some of the best and worst in friendly encounters. 

Since Sam Habin has taken over the management of the 1st XI, this match has taken on a more significant meaning to many of the players who were selected. The selection committee had a difficult decision this year on whether to start Henry Le Maistre due to his reputation for being strong in the tackle. Due to the fact it was only an exhibition game, it was decided that Le Maistre would start on the bench for safety reasons.

A finely tuned group of individuals arrived at College Field. Attempting to act as professionally as possible, a warm up commenced. For once everyone managed to make it through without incident to the kick off.

The oldest starting player this year was Grandpa of the team Peter Gough. He mentioned before the game that he had not played in a while but his first touch was solid as ever. He was partnered at the back by Mark Chipperfield who is almost unrecognizable from the days when he used to be part of the 1st XI due to the fact that he now has one of the worst haircuts known to man.

The OV's started positively pressing the 1st XI hard. The YAK (Jacob Wysmuller) terrorised the 1st XI defence. Within the first 20 minutes the Yak had netted twice, once with his head and then a composed right footed finish into the bottom corner. Great touch for a big man! This was exactly the start the OV's were looking for.

The situation became a little more edgy when a 1st XI winger broke down the right and cut into the box. Chipperfield, probably due to the fact that his hair was in his eyes, stuck out a lazy leg and brought down the player in the area. Somewhat dubiously Mr Habin pointed straight to the spot and the School were back in the game. The keeper went the right way but stood no chance, even with his exceptional athletic ability. The game now stood at 2-1.

The OV's managed to grab a third just before half time to settle the nerves.

At half time it was decided that is was the right time to unleash Le Maistre who had been chomping at the bit to get on the pitch. I do believe the last time Le Maistre graced the hallowed turf that is College Field, he was asked to leave the pitch by Mr Smith in a House football match for being too enthusiastic. It was either leave the pitch of his own accord or be sent off. The 1st XI were blissfully unaware of his history.

As the second half kicked off, Le Maistre swung into action. "No holds barred" Le Maistre forgot that he is now a little older than he used to be and, due to the fact that that he can often be found pumping iron in Fitness First, has a little more muscle than he used to. This has somewhat slowed him down, as he is not as quick as he used to be into the tackle. Unfortunately for the poor lad that went up against him (we will call him boy X) got to the ball ahead of Le Maistre. Le Maistre was so late into the tackle I do believe that 2 or 3 passes had been completed before he actually slid in and made contact with boy x.

The referee was watching play elsewhere, again showing the lateness of the tackle, so did not see it. It was a "straight red" but Le Maistre got away with it. Boy x, however, had not and was flat out on the grass attempting to work out how he was going to walk again.

Goal of the game came when creative midfielder Charlie Payn took a quick throw in to marauding left back Alan Falle. Charlie took the ball down on his chest and lashed it into the top corner from 30 yards out, leaving the 1st XI keeper without a hope.

The game passed without further incident and the OV's eventually ran out 5-3 winners. A great performance for an ageing bunch of part time footballers!

A special thank you must go to Mr Habin for refereeing the game, and to all the players who took part.