Another serious injury to an Alcuin player cast a pall over the return to College Football on the 22 Acres on Sunday morning. Paul Reiss, imperious in last year’s College Cup, fell under a fair but heavy tackle with the clock ticking down. Referee Harry Pearson swiftly called an end to proceedings. Reiss, comforted by his teammates, was soon taken to hospital where a suspected broken leg was identified.
His side had been drawing 1-1 with James when the injury happened and before the game was abandoned it was Reiss’s team who looked most likely to take the points. Earlier on in the game it had been last year’s Champions who took the initiative when a goal from Alex Brown put them 1-0 up but in the second half a superb through ball found James Offord, who twisted and turned before hammering the ball low to keeper Ambrozejczyk’s right.
Aside from the goals, it was a game of little quality. Brown, up front on his own for the side in red, squandered two or three golden opportunities to make the game Alcuin’s, while Fresher Will Dodgson, playing at left back, was put through on goal for Phil Bowers’ side but was unable to find the killer ball.
James, however, more than held their own and on another day they too might have won the match. The game has been scheduled to be replayed in Week 9 of this term but with games likely to be called off as the weather worsens, it may go down as a draw.
There were goals galore in other games. The supremely talented Halifax put three goals past Matt Hallam’s Derwent. Mark Lund opened the scoring before a stunner from Ben Rea and one from Tom Patrickson sealed it. Tom Ragan said the win was “as comfortable a 3-0 victory as you’ll see” and challenged his side to “do it every week”. Hallam on the other hand said he was “disappointed” but “still confident going forward”.
Wentworth were on the wrong side of a heavy 6-0 loss to Vanbrugh. Captain Phil Taylor described the game as “a potential banana skin” but a hat-trick from Ben Stanier, alongside goals from Taylor, Ziggy Heath and Ali Prince, meant that the post-grads were comfortably rolled over. Taylor went on to describe his side as “clinical at the front and solid at the back” and will hope to build on last season’s campaign. Wentworth captain Luke Fleet declared that “a few sloppy mistakes” had let his side down and claimed they “didn’t deserve to lose by so many”.
Another hat-trick was scored in the Goodricke v Langwith match as Jon Sharpe bagged three in his side’s 4-0 win over Langwith. Despite the loss, Langwith captain Callum Sheridan said his side “will take plenty of positives” from the day while Goodricke’s main man Sam Lewis, who scored his side’s fourth, saw today as a reason to be optimistic: “We constantly looked threatening today which I think is a major difference from last season.”
Additional reporting by Simon Bromley, Richard Costello and Joseph Cormack.