Queen’s comeback keeps five alive

first_imgThe quality of the football at the opening rounds of the Cuppers 5-a-side last Wednesday mirrored the weather: dull, with occasional bright spells. In an event which rewards discipline, solidity and directness, plus the odd sprinkling of flair, few teams truly shone in the plush surroundings of the Iffley Road Sports Complex. First up were St Hugh’s B team, deservedly triumphing over their supposed superiors, a combined Merton and Mansfield A side. Mark Heath’s early penalty decided the game, the more direct approach of Hugh’s countering the cultured yet ineffective style of the opposition. This match set the agenda for the days’ play, teams being consistently caught out by the regulation forbidding defenders entering their own penalty box. Queen’s B also caused a shock. Having been 2-0 down at halftime, they eventually triumphed 3-2 over Teddy Hall A. The talented Eckersley, with his delicate dribbling skills and consummate passing, scored one and set up the other to put Teddy Hall in complete control. Yet in the secondhalf, with Eckersley tiring, Teddy Hall faded alarmingly, allowing a spirited Queen’s fight-back with three goals, shared between Sutcliffe and Pearson, putting the underdogs through. On the eve of the 50th Anniversary of the breaking of the four-minute mile, not many individuals were showing the consistency and tenacity that were so key to Sir Roger Bannister’s remarkable achievement, also at Iffley Road. Exeter A produced a similar comeback to Queen’s B, with twosecond half penalties from Paul Coles sealing the game after Lennon had given Balliol A the lead. Though Balliol had the better of the possession, the Exeter keeper, Taylor, wearing a Blackburn Rovers kit, was rarely forced to display Brad Friedelesque reflexes in a dull game. Teddy Hall B team, resplendent in a vivid red-and-yellow strip, completed a resounding victory over a poor Lincoln B side bedecked in a slightly more conservative and tasteful sky blue kit. The excellent Atkinson volleyed the first goal, with Kelly twice finishing well beyond the vociferous, though under-protected, Lincoln ’keeper to seal a 3-0 victory. The tournament continues, and over the next few weeks the action promises to heat up, though the Thursday rounds of the tournament were postponed due to the celebrations of Sir Roger’s momentous run.ARCHIVE: 2nd week TT 2004last_img