War and Peace

Daniel Galantini

The final league game of the season. As the roars of the crowd welcome Sandy Taylor's team to the Bourne Deeping stadium, it really hits home to the underdog M6s that the next one and a half hours would determine the fate of the season. The top of the table versus the bottom. The resilient 6s had nothing to lose, and everything to gain. If they won by just enough (+6 goal difference) , it would be just possible that they could move up into the prestigious promotion zone.

But even while this was not exactly probable, Sandy and his team were determined to send the league leaders into the next league with their tails between their legs. Until just a few weeks ago, South had been the only team to beat Bourne, in their first win of many this season. The M6s had one chance at (a degree of) glory, and they were absolutely hell-bent on achieving it.

As the umpire's whistle blows to signal two minutes until the start of the end, the 6s lock in and prepare for the epic season finale. Everything they have worked for all season has led up to this. The final confrontation. The game to end all games. And now, the game was afoot.

The crowd goes silent. A short, sharp whistle pierces through the silence, and the South ball flicks into play.

Immediately, it is clear that Bourne Deeping will be no pushover, but the M6s can most definitely give them a run for their money. South utilises the high press quite effectively, but an unfortunate slip-up led to an early Deeping goal. Sandy's team were clearly shaken, but all the more determined to make Deeping pay.

And sure enough, John Greaves smashed one in, and the goal was a true testament to South's play in the game as a whole. Persistence, resilience and confidence all came together to slot in a fantastic equaliser.

But, swinging the game around again, an unlucky slip and a fast break from the Deeping winger, followed by an admittedly well-meaning block from Shahzad sent the ball pinging into the top of the South net.

Not long after, a much needed half time break was called. An invigorating team talk from captain Sandy, with other players chipping in, rallied the troops and gave the M6s plenty of suggestions and motivation to up their game.

But unfortunately, soon after the ball was released back into play, Deeping capitalised on a fluffed pass and once more got it into the South D. They popped in a cross, and a gut-wrenching block from Dan Talmage accidentally deflected the ball into the bottom corner of the South goal.

But even with the score currently sitting at 3-1, the 6s would not give up. A great ball from the defence, through the midfield and up to Daniel Galantini led to a brilliant run down the left wing, past the Bourne defence and a cut in down the baseline. He flicked it round another defender to John Greaves who took a shot... and the keeper deflected back into play, and back to Daniel who calmly knocked it in - the comeback was on!

The now jubilant and re-energised 6s immediately worked on the high press, effectively shutting down almost every pass from Deeping 16s, with the ball almost invariably going to George Betts or Wilco in the midfield. Bourne Deeping were crumbling.

As if to drive this point home, John went on to add yet another to his goal tally, brilliantly equalising with not long to go. There would be no loss for South today!

The score is now 3-3, and the 6s do not stop pressing, putting yet more crippling pressure on Deeping. They valiantly tried for one more goal, to take home a victory to end the season, but Bourne had just enough left in them to prevent another goal until the final whistle blew.

After the post-match formalities, South returned to the dugouts to the thundering cheers of the crowd filling the stadium to capacity, and strolled off the pitch, the enormous crowd giving the M6s one last rapturous applause.

One exhausted journey to the pub later, the 6s relax in a wedding marquee with drinks, pizza and chips in a fitting end to a fantastic season.

I believe the entire team would count this game as a win, given that Bourne Deeping were the league leaders by miles, and we had a singular sub, and yet we will still make them think twice before confronting us again.

We have high hopes for next season, and with a team that has finally clicked, I believe that next season, promotion will most definitely be on the horizon.


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Daniel Galantini
Player of the Match

Great all-round play and another goal from this up-and-coming star!

Dan Talmage
Lemon of the Match

Scored one of the two own goals, unfortunately.

Shahzad Ali
Lemon of the Match

Scored the other of the two own goals, unfortunately.