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Referee madness and controversial goals mark start of College Cup

Nouse rounds up the first two days of action in the College Cup. Want to know your Fantasy Points? Check now. (Thumbnail credit Photo: George Lowther)

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MONDAY 11 MAY 2009

Derwent Thirds 0 Goodricke Firsts 5
An uncompromising Goodricke made light work of their Derwent opponents on the opening morning of the College Cup football tournament 2009, the tournament holders sending out a powerful message while never really going through their higher gears. Dom O'Shea inflicted the damage with four goals, doubtless delighting the dozens of people who picked the veteran university firsts striker in their Nouse Fantasy Football teams.

It could have been more, in truth, but for the reflexes of Derwent thirds' goalkeeper Krish Yellappa, sporting some fiery red facepaint, who pulled off a couple of excellent first-half saves. With Man of the Match Adam Leadbeater marshalling the midfield, however, it was only a matter of time before Goodricke opened the scoring in this year's tournament and O'Shea notched his first from the edge of the 'D' on the stroke of half-time.

A serene finish from the frontman settled matters shortly after the restart, before a cracking third from the same man, a powerful long-range effort which swerved beyond Yellappa, moved the game to the brink of humiliation. David Coupland's exquisite curled finish provided number four and, with Derwent demoralised, O'Shea found the same corner of the net late on with Ben Smith lurking for the rebound. Smith claimed the goal from the rebound, but after extensive analysis of the replays, Nouse can confirm that O'Shea's strike did in fact go over the line before it bounced into Smith's path. With Remi Remington, O'Shea and Ronan Joyce looking sharp, despite completing Roses fixtures the previous afternoon, Goodricke remain a force to be reckoned with in this year's tournament.

Langwith Firsts 1 Halifax Seconds 2

In Monday morning's second match, Halifax unveiled their strength in depth, coming from behind to stun Langwith 2-1 on the JLD Astroturf. After a low-key opening, Langwith opened the scoring mid-way through the first-half when Patrick Sloane slotted the ball home neatly from a tight angle. However, Halifax wasted little time in responding, as defender Tom Patrickson's well-placed header brought the scores level.

Connor Brennan, a crossover player from the first team, produced the winning moment, as his bullet header highlighted defensive deficiencies in the Langwith team from set-pieces. Jez Hann, who was central to all Langwith's moves, collected the Man of the Match accolade.

Halifax Firsts 9 Vanbrugh Thirds 0

Following the success of their seconds' team, Halifax firsts annihilated sorry-looking Vanbrugh on Monday afternoon, with Dom Green helping himself to an opening day hat-trick in this stroll. They had taken command of the match, and Group Four, by the break, scoring four times through Green (2) and Mark Lund.

Further embarrassment occurred in the second period, with one-way Halifax traffic yielding five more goals. Green, firstly, completed his hat-trick, before Shaun Evans added three and strikes from Tom Ragan and Connor Brennan rounded off an easy afternoon's work. Evans, so commanding, was named Man of the Match.

James Seconds 3 Wentworth Firsts 1

James showed great resolve in coming from behind against Wentworth to get off and running in Group Four in Monday's final game. The match also witnessed the tournament's first sending-off, with Wentworth defender Lovelace dismissed for slapping Alex Collins after a tussle in the penalty area. Wentworth had started brightly, with Dave White coming back to haunt his old college with the opening goal.

James were reinvigorated in the second-half, and with Man of the Match Adam Dunnett strong in defence, they attacked more regularly, equalising through Alex Sharp. The goal affected Wentworth, a physical side, and John Carrol's sweetly-struck free-kick edged them in front, their third coming from the penalty spot - Collins slotting home - after the aforementioned incident.

Tuesday 12 May

Derwent Firsts 5 Goodricke Seconds 0
When a disasterous refereeing performance from the unknown Wentworth officiator of Derwent Firsts vs. Goodricke Seconds slammed his whistle to the floor and stormed off of the JLD Astroturf, you knew the College Cup had well and truly started.

Severe baiting from the sidelines - Dan Taylor's voice powerful, grating hollers rising above all - had the poor voluntary ref close to tears as he walked off claiming "Look, I'm not a real ref!". Quite right, but his decision making until that point hadn't been too bad and certainly hadn't stopped Man of the Match Chris Barnett banging in two goals. Nav Jakarkyl also stood out for Derwent Firsts alongside Matt Hallam in the middle of the park.

A 5-0 drubbing of a decent Goodricke team has done nothing to harm Derwent's "favourites" tag and Mark Gouland summed up their strength brilliantly: "just look at that defense, that's a top-notch line-up".

Vanbrugh Firsts 3 Halifax Thirds 0

In the day's other game, Vanbrugh Firsts laboured to a 3-0 win over Halifax Thirds. Like Dom O'Shea's fourth yesterday, Tristan Buckley's wind/keeper-assisted goal caused much controversy, but Nouse awarded him the three Fantasy Points after much deliberation.

Ex-Vanbrugh chair and central midfielder Matt Oliver felt that his team had struggled to find their rhythm against weak opposition and told Nouse, "we were sluggist. We'll have to improve on that performance next week." Liam Regan picked up Man of the Match for his efforts in the middle of the park and looks good fantasy value at £4.6m.

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