Football Cuppers Final: Fitz 2-1 Jesus
Monday night saw Fitz take on Jesus in the showpiece occasion of the college football season.
“Amongst all unimportant subjects, football is by far the most important.”
– Pope John Paul II
To see the faces of the players as they walked off the pitch having played 120 minutes of attritional football was to witness exactly how important an unimportant subject can be. Jesus, disconsolate and weary, made their way solemnly to the touchline, some via a moment of reflection on what was left of the Grange Road grass. Fitz on the other hand, with every man beaming from ear to frostbitten ear, bounded off to their fans who swarmed onto the pitch as soon as the final whistle went.
This was not a game for the purist. Grange Road always provides a fantastic atmosphere, but what is gained in decibels is lost in moments of skill, as the patchy turf yields little to the deft of touch. It is a hugely wide expanse, something exploited superbly by Jesus in the first half, but also a feature that contributed to exhaustion on both sides.
It was Jesus who started the stronger, belying their inferior league position with a number of fine moves. Their holy trinity in central midfield – Gabbai, Mullertz and Sheldon -outnumbered Fitz and Crooks was supporting brilliantly from left back with pace and verve. But while they had most of the possession, clear scoring chances were not forthcoming. It was perhaps inevitable then that Fitz would take the lead. Hobbs whipped in a corner and in the ensuing melée captain Donald Bogle bundled the ball over the line.
It didn’t stay like that for long. In the move of the match, Crooks went darting down the left-wing, playing a neat one-two before crossing in. The Fitz defence failed to get the ball clear and the ball dropped to Roocroft who made no mistake in burying it past Coburn.
The second half was more even, Fitz finding their feet with the introduction of Simon Court. Towards the end of the 90 it was still Jesus who pressed though, forcing a desperate goal-line clearance from Bogle. However, with no break forthcoming it was left to extra time to decide the destination of the Cuppers trophy.
And so it was. Early on in the opening period Court chased a through ball which the keeper managed to get to first. With the ball bouncing loose and the defence under pressure, the ball came back to Court who, on the turn, lobbed the back-pedalling keeper beautifully. Jesus, of course, came right back at Fitz, but they couldn’t find the same creativity that they had in normal time. Fitz defended stoutly and saw matters through to the end to retain the title they won last year.
Jesus can count themselves unlucky. They were the better side for much of the game and put together the best moves of the match. Their Achilles heel all season has been a lack of goals, and so it proved again, much to Fitz’s joy.
Terrace Wisdom- the songs from the stands:
“You’re just a shit Museum” – Jesus fans taunt Fitz
“He’s just a big cock, He’s just a big cock, The Jesus mascot, Is just a big cock” – Fitz fans are unimpressed by Jesus’ cockerel mascot
“None of you, None of you, None of you applied to Fitz” – Funny, and close to the truth from the Jesus faithful
*Lion King theme, sung to defender Simba Mutasa* – Fitz fans show appreciation for man of the match Simba
“You’ll never walk to Fitz” – Jesus’ take on the Liverpool anthem
“Let’s pretend, Let’s pretend, Let’s pretend we’ve scored a goal” – Fitz fans at 0-0, followed by anarchy in the stands.