1st Xl League winners with game to spare
By Paul Linaker
Beat 3rd in League by single goal to secure title
On a pleasant spring day, Valence 1st Xl arrived at a not so pleasant K Sports Cobdown ground to lay down what would hopefully be a League winning smackdown. The tension was palpable and one could smell the testosterone building up as glances were shot from team to team - although this could have been the smell of cheap aftershave as the opposition fans started to grow in number on the side-line, numbers not seen by SV since the last general booze up.
From the off there was an instant eagerness from each team to make a show of dominance and establish their ground. Tackles were flying in with shoulders low and sticks high - albeit not as high as the umpires must have been, based on the decisions that were being made. It was showing promising signs of being a classic village match.
Time was ticking on through the first half and although K Sports had missed a couple of chances, Valence had missed a lot more. Finally though, Alex Stamp picked up the ball on the top of the opposition D and made a blinding pass to Kevin Kirkham who left several defenders tripping up over their own feet as he ran past them and banged in a jumbo strike through the keeper's back post passage.
With the game's only goal scorer leaving and a stern talking to by the long-awaited returning Stewart Young, the second half started. There was certainly no love lost during the break and both teams continued with the same gusto. Not much else changed through the rest of the match, including the score line.
It was a hard-fought match and season, but as the final whistle was blown Valence took the day's result and the League title, with a game to spare!
MOM: James Stanford
DOD: Fred cock Madame McVarish
Teas: "some type of pasta looking thing" - not sampled
Team: Stewart Young; James Stanford; Ryan Robinson; Lewis Mitchell; Jack Davies; Chris Back; Marcus Bawden; Brett Angel; Andy Turnill; Alex Stamp; Kevin Kirkham; Russell Blanchard; Alex Hodges.
Umpire: Andrew Wishart
Match Report by Alex Stamp
Sutton Valence’s next and final fixture of the season is a re-arranged game away to 9th placed Gillingham Anchorians 2nd Xl Saturday, 30th March at 13:30.