Storm clouds gathered over Manchester, the familiar and bleak backdrop of grey drizzle and hooded figures with heads lowered greeted the Newcastle Mens Lacrosse 1st team as they disembarked the warm safety and comfort of their coach. Ahead of the squad lay a daunting task which loomed and grew with every passing minute. The semi-final cup match-up promised to be a well-fought and gritty affair between the two strongest teams in the league. Having suffered a defeat in the weeks prior at the hands of the polytechnic drones, brains would have to overrule brawn in a game which would prove to be fiercely contested and hard fought.
The opening whistle sounded, with Manchester gaining initial possession and controlling the pace of the game. Going down 3-1 in the first quarter, team captain Jack Clohessy drew his men around him to draw up a new strategy. A back and forward battle ensued between the Northmen and the not so Northmen. Steadfast goalkeeping by Jack Clohessy kept the worst of the Manchester attack at bay, with the defensive unit of Miles Moran, Josh Brown, Harman Singh and Matthew Rees going to work on the frightened and disheartened Manchester attackers. Taking matters into his own hands, Matthew 'the Beast' Rees took the ball from the defensive half of the field to the attacking half, bringing an unstoppable high heat shot to bear.
The midfield unit comprising of Jasper 'the Underarm Bandit' Piper, Matthew Tute, Nicholas 'the Champ' Beauchamp, Sam 'the Faithful' Yates and Jake McNair, not wanting to be outdone by their defensive brothers in arms, decided that they had toyed long enough with the Manchester defensive unit. Jasper decided to play psychological games with the defence, getting too intimate and drawing the penalty. If you know, you know. Nicholas couldn't understand the strange dialect spoken by the midlander referees and lost his cool shortly, forgetting the game was underway and channelling his inner John McEnroe- "you have got to be kidding me", he protested. Matt Tute, lacking his handbag, used his stick to lay the opponent under the cosh in a strange and unsuccessful manner. The attack unit, not wanting to be outdone by their defensive and midfield brothers in arms decided to up the ante further.
At this point, the game turned nasty. Down one goal with a minute to spare, a desperate scramble for the short range radio on the sideline. Jasper Piper, with no underarm rockets left, calls in Newcastle's trump card. 'Broken arrow, I repeat, broken arrow. Requesting air support with immediate effect.' At RAF Woodvale, Air Command authorises deployment of Frankie 'the Lefty Bomber' Lees. The 192 lb Hercules-class lefty attack-man is deployed with shocking effect. Sending an 100 mph shot from the left wing, Manchester Met's victory is thwarted along with their will to fight further.
Overtime. Two 4 minute quarters. 12 seconds remain. Luke Ramsbottom takes aim at the small gaps not covered by the goalkeeper and secures the victory for Newcastle University. A battered but victorious team travel home to plan for their next game in the semi-final of the cup. Patrick Kearney hit the wall at home, probably.
Final Score: Manchester Metropolitan 1st 10 - 10 Newcastle University 1st (10-11 OT)
MOTM - Jack Clohessy for stonewall performance.
Hard Hat - George Dury for faceoff performance
Goon of the Toon - George Dury for his outrageous hospital rendering behind the back pass to crease.