Black clouds loomed over Lancaster’s 3G pitches on a windswept April evening, little did the PPR student team know the weather was a pathetic fallacy for their final sporting performance against the department staff. After one win each in the previous games, this was the match to settle all scores.
Tensions were high as the game got underway, could the students youth and agility out do the staff’s sly tactics and aggressive tackles? A goal by the students in the first 10 minutes answered this question quick enough. However it all seemed to go downhill from there.
The students struggled to maintain composure, some team members began to fling themselves on the floor in an attempt to win the ball, with little success. Conner ‘The Brick Wall’ Monaghan ended up just physically blocking the more agile players of the Staff side. Though the opposing team were not innocent, Robert Geyer producing the first dirty tackle from the staff and physically flipping a student over head first.
Comments from the crowed ensued, with one student commenting “I’m surprised the staffs health is up to this, how did Geyer not pop a hip in that tackle?” Yet the staff proved relentless and continued to see off the student advances, particularly Fritton who was even able to take out The Brick Wall on the odd occasion.
The star player for the staff team was Gabe, who time and again out skilled the revision-tired students. Though technically being the son of a student he should have been on the opposite team, but hey who’s counting stolen players? *cough* Sam Mace *cough*
Soon enough the staffs efforts afforded them a goal, bringing the score to 1-1. Despite equalising Matthew ‘Jason Statham’ Johnson continued his verging on violent tactics, taking out a student player in a spectacular fashion. Frustration began to flare within the student team, with Monaghan shouting expletives appearing flustered.
Mark ‘The Gazelle’ Garnett on the other hand remained calm and composed, in his delightful shorts, tights and ‘Messy’ t-shirt combo he skipped down the wings fending off the students and lining up passes for the staff. Who knew someone could be so agile in a football match whilst smoking an e-cigarette from the sidelines?
As the first half drew to a close injuries and failed tackles ensued and the student supporters on the sidelines were very dissatisfied with their teams efforts. Regretfully, some of the comments are just too obscene to post on such a highly esteemed publication like the Despatch Box.
The second half got underway with a lacklustre sense of enthusiasm from both sides, evidently fitness levels were not what they were circa March 2014. Before long tensions boiled over in a dispute over who’s ball it was for a throw in, but Statham’s death stare/eyeballing of the student player soon made him give up the debate.
The second half played out pretty uneventfully, bar Mabon physically restraining one student, Grant being dangerously taken out when he got too close to the staff goal and student players still falling on the floor in dreary attempt at tackling the opposition.
Despite losing 3 balls over the fence during the second half, the staff managed to secure another goal, in what is most likely the biggest fluke of all three matches as the ball limply rolled across the line. Within minutes a third goal is landed by the staff team and the already deflated students began to unravel, as they came to realisation they are not only academically incomparable to the staff.
The match came to an end with man-of-the-match mini-Garnett making a star appearance for the staff team, coming close in second for the title of MOTM was Gabe, who carried the staff team for all three matches.
Time was called and Mabon embodied the persona of a Cheshire Cat as the teams shook hands begrudgingly. Student Captain Helm exclusively told the Despatch Box, “I am absolutely devastated.”
The match was in aid of local charity, The Lancaster Homeless Shelter, from the match alone over £150 was raised and the bucket will be passed around the PPR department on Wednesday (29th April) for those who would like to donate.
Final score: Staff 3 – Students 1
By Lizzie Roberts
[Photo credit: Emily Tarbuck]