A strong first half by Derwent 1s secured their spot for Varsity after beating Constantine 1s 4-1. Weather conditions permitting, the strong wind created difficult conditions for both teams to play in.
The second Varsity semi-final of the day saw second placed Derwent 1s face third placed Constantine 1s. Reigniting the rivalry from the end of last season when Derwent beat Constantine to not only go above them in the league table but also stopping Constantine from winning their first ever Premier Division in the process.
After an extremely even first 15 minutes, Derwent showed an impressive 10-minute spell to put the game firmly in their control, scoring three goals in quick succession.
Derwent's first goal came from their left back after a cross managed to sneak its way to the back post, where the defender coolly slotted into the bottom left corner, sparking joy to the Derwent crowd as a pitch invasion ensued. This goal came as a sucker-punch to Constantine who had started the game well. As part of the manic 10-minute spell Derwent’s next two goals came about rather fortuitously, both goals came from corners with Derwent managing to poke home the resulting rebounds after Constantine failed to clear the second ball. Constantine steadied themselves until the break but could still not find a way back into the game, despite having several chances, the ball just did not seem to fall their way.
Constantine started the second half strongly, playing good football and keeping the majority of possession. However, a way back into the game still seemed elusive as Derwent put in a strong defensive performance. Derwent extended their lead half way through the second half, with their striker precisely finishing into the bottom left corner.
Constantine finally managed to find a breakthrough, but it provided only a mere consolation, after Barney Blackwell rose like a salmon to nod home into the top right corner. Constantine, however, could not find the net again and thus any hopes of a miraculous come-back were dashed. The three-goal win by Derwent matched their previous win against Constantine, when they won 3-0.
Derwent see a return to Varsity after Langwith and Halifax competed in last year’s footballing final. In the other semi-final of the day, last term’s league winners, Vanbrugh asserted their champion status, after defeating fourth placed Goodricke to finalise the make-up of this year’s final participants, who will travel to Durham in a few weeks.