Spandex (85%) Ballet

Tom Anns

Mary Berry’s Victoria Sponge:


  • 4 free-range eggs
  • 225g/8oz caster sugar, plus a little extra for dusting the finished cake
  • 225g/8oz self-raising flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 225g/8oz butter at room temperature, plus a little extra to grease the tins


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4. Grease and line two 20cm/8in sandwich tins. Use a piece of baking paper to rub a little butter around the inside of the tins until the sides and base are lightly coated, then line the bottom with a circle of baking paper.
  2. Break the eggs into a large mixing bowl, then add the sugar, flour, baking powder and butter. Mix together until well combined with an electric hand mixer (you can also use a wooden spoon), but be careful not to over mix. Put a damp cloth under your bowl when you’re mixing to stop it moving around. The finished mixture should fall off a spoon easily.
  3. Divide the mixture evenly between the tins: this doesn’t need to be exact, but you can weigh the filled tins if you want to check. Use a spatula to remove all of the mixture from the bowl and gently smooth the surface of the cakes.
  4. Bake the cakes on the middle shelf of the oven for 25 minutes. Check them after 20 minutes. The cakes are done when they’re golden-brown and coming away from the edge of the tins. Press them gently to check – they should be springy to the touch. Set aside to cool in their tins for 5 minutes. Run a palette or rounded butter knife around the inside edge of the tins and carefully turn the cakes out onto a cooling rack.
  5. To assemble the cake, place one cake upside down onto a plate and spread it with plenty of jam. If you want to, you can spread over whipped cream too. Top with the second cake, top-side up. Sprinkle over the caster sugar.

According to Mary Berry, this should serve twelve and take only a touch over thirty minutes of preparation. Times have changed in the Cooper household and the old skipper now deals with a different range of stresses on his Saturdays. How long does the oven need to be preheated for? What if my wife-to-be (who still actually does things with her weekend) is late back from her match and this throws the cake timings out? When is the best time to get the ideal parking space at Bar Hill Tesco? Are eggs really the best binding agent?

On the other side of Cambridge the newly-crowned skipper, James Menzies, was pondering his own binding agent: who were going to be his four eggs on the pitch this Saturday. The team had showed plenty of self raising flour in the early games and even an appropriate amount of caster sugar - it just hadn’t quite been bound by the ideal amount of egg yet.

Unlike the famous Victoria sponge, Menzies set the team slightly longer than thirty minutes preparation time with a meet of 2.15pm, providing his ingredients with forty-five minutes of mixing and rising to the challenge.

And rise they did.

South started strongly and, after nullifying the initial aerial threat of the opposition, they took the lead. No-one really knows the order of the goals and anyone who claims to know exactly how they were all scored is probably a liar. Some definitely came from short corners, Pearson definitely scored three (one of which he turned his nose up at as it didn’t look as good going in as he would’ve liked) and not all of them were in the first half. Bhav did some irrelevant shouting at points and Jack made a good save on the line to keep out a shot by Blair - a good save is a good save whichever end it is at. Anyway, at half time it was four-nil to the home side. Four goals up and four eggs in the Victoria sponge: a coincidence? I think not!

South went on to score four more in the second half - one of which may have been in the wrong net but a good finish is a good finish whichever end it is in, and MSG was the first to congratulate Anns on finding the roof of the net with a tidy deflection.

Marchant, even in his absence, still put himself in strong Man of the Match contention by providing shower mints which were enjoyed by men and dogs alike in the changing room. He was pipped to the award by C. Pearson who definitely showed the potential to be a solid 2s player if he continues to put in performances like this.

With the game done and points won, it was then time for members of the team to indulge in another binding agent: beer (or in Bhav’s case, cherries and berries cider).

‘17 Again’ is a 2009 American comedy film directed by Burr Steers. The film follows 37-year-old Mike (Matthew Perry) who becomes his 17-year-old self (Zac Efron) after a chance accident. The film also stars Leslie Mann, Thomas Lennon, and Michelle Trachtenberg in supporting roles. The film was released in the United States on April 17, 2009.

James Menzies continued his crusade to become seventeen again with his hard-hitting night life antics, leading his men to victory on the field and debauchery off it:

‘Young Forever’ by Jay Z featuring Mr Hudson

Can I get some light in here?
Cellphones in the air

Let’s dance in style
Let’s dance for a while
Heaven can wait we’re only watching the skies
Hoping for the best but expecting the worst
Are you gonna drop the bomb or not?
Let us die young or let us live forever
We don’t have the power, but we never say never
Sitting in a sandpit, life is a short trip
The music’s for the sad man (sing)

Forever young
I wanna be forever young (yes)
Do you really want to live forever?
Forever and ever (sing)
Forever young
I wanna be forever young
Do you really want to live forever?
Forever, forever young

So we live a life like a video
When the sun is always out and you never get old
And the champagne’s always cold
And the music is always good

It goes on but you get the gist.

As day turned to night, a topless Menzies sauntered around the streets of Cambridge, clinging to a long-lost youth but with the confidence of a leader who had just claimed his first three points of a season. The league website showed the figures 7 and 1, representing the first demolition of the season, and, somewhere north of Cambridge, a below-par cake - tinged with melancholy - was taken from an oven, looked upon with disappointment and guided into a kitchen bin; there was always next Saturday…


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Chris Pearson
Man of the Match

Hattrick hero, on a jet engine.

Tom Anns
Lemon of the Match

Stops all the goals unless it's his own goal.