The boys went into varsity with the same hype and anticipation as every year and buzzing to be back on the carpet (Heston) for one last time. After a light drizzle, Heston was deemed unfit for the elite standard of football, so we trekked over to Harlington, ready for back-to-back action on the new 4G surface.
With 70-minute matches, and the whole club making a hella barmy army on the sideline, we were quietly confident, after years of pints have in previous years become evident in the late stages of the game. The 4s kicked off with their strong front 3 of Kanha Kukreti, Fresher Tom Haward and Ben Sharp looking threatening. Captain Christy Goulden lead the line with his incessant calls of “shape!”, so that the lads would meticulously stick to his José Mourinho-esque 2 banks of 4 defensive block masterplan. Goals from Harsha and Siyang saw the 4s execute this masterfully and emerge victorious for the first time in their history. Pandemonium. Charlie Thraves’ 3s had moments of brilliance, notably Adi Joshi with the skills, but fell short unfortunately. 3-0.
Up stepped Abi Mahendran’s 2s, the clubs most successful team in recent years, in a confident manner. Totally dominating the game, John Asumang leapt like a salmon to score a fabulous header. A last-minute equaliser saw us all cry “here we go again” as keeper Jack Hogan couldn’t hold on to the ball in the slippery conditions. Penalties. Drama. Hogan saves the IC club captain’s penalty to win for the boys.
Pitch invasion. You couldn’t write it. 2nd varsity victory in 5 years for the 2s is hugely impressive. Finally, the 1s game came, and the boys were confident after 2/3 victories already. A first minute howler at the back didn’t stop the boys unleashing their firepower, and boy did they, banging in 4 goals: a brilliantly worked equaliser from Theo Rashid, a screamer from yours truly, an epic snap finish from veteran Josh Welsh in his last appearance for the club and a 39th goal of the season for captain Adam Moorcroft. The pitch invasion that ensued was one of the best moments of my life. With ¾ victories, this is one of the best days in the club’s history. The epic crowd on the side-line showed what our unity and support can do, and being much the underdog in previous years, we now surely emerge as the best football club at the university.