Young Arabs blow it open

BAAABOOOOM went week 9!

The ricochet of the shrapnel and fallout could be heard bouncing around the off-colour cream Cae Tinca local authority housing. The angry cries of frustration and the elated screams of joy could be heard as far up as the old man’s bus shelter, and as far down as Llan Square! And just like 3 of the previous 4 MFL seasons, we go into the final week without knowing who will win! And what a week it was for the neutrals.

Game 1 saw what was possibly the title decider take place, and it didn’t disappoint. The build up to the game was enough, with both sides bringing their strongest teams ready to fight for that top-spot! It was like a scene from the aftermath of the Red Wedding, with The Arabs showing up as the Lannisters, looking to attack all flanks, and the Winterfell lads battening down the hatches like Walder Frey and cowering in their castle (come on it’s only the 2nd GOT related link I’ve used – unless you count me calling Connor, Tyrian, then it’s 3 and it had so much mileage) ☺. With so much riding on this game, both teams had a good level of support, with the majority appearing to be supporting the young bloods, and taking any opportunity to jeer the current champions.

The game started quickly with Winterfell seeing more of the ball, and putting together some decent passages of play. The Arabs didn’t seem to be switched on and took an age to settle. After just 5 mins, a quick break turned into chasing the ball after a poor back heeled pass from striker Steff Roberts – which had it come off would have looked genius – but it fell short for Winterfell midfielder Casey Jones, who took his fair amount of flack on the night from opponents, supporters and team-mates alike, to finish from distance.

A silly free kick given away by the Arabs saw a stunning free kick taken by Tom Atyeo reach the top corner of GK Camron George’s net, putting the Winterfell boys 2-0 up and the Arabs looked defeated already. The Arabs had the majority of the ball, but struggled to break down the Mourhino-esque defensive line of the Winterfell lads. Tempers flared as the frustration started to take its toll on the Arabs. Substitute Matthew Rogers seemed to provide an extra bit of energy to the front line, with Kai Steadman being pushed back as a defender given both the score, and the ability of Jake Trahar to break quickly. With Rogers now in front of Steadman, this threat appeared to be dumbed down, but the battles everywhere else on the field continued, with Steff Roberts starting to go through people rather than play his game. Tempers again flared with accusations of elbows and off the ball incidents all being flagged to the official.

Then out of nowhere Keane Watts snook a goal past the Lizard in the bottom corner after some crazy footwork against what seemed to be every Winterfell player. This was GAME ON! And Keane soon added another to bring the Arabs level. This was the trigger they needed as their confidence grew and the looks of despair turned to grit determination to beat the opposition. If the game wasn’t feisty before now, it jumped up a level. Arguments and cracks started appearing in the Winterfell team as they saw off wave after wave of Arab attacks, it felt almost inevitable that this year’s championship would go to the wire. Then as if it was in slow motion, striker Steff Shitbeard Roberts struck a sweet shot towards the Lizard, who despite having conceded two was having a blinder, but again found himself beaten by a fine strike. And there it was, the goal that broke the hearts of the Winterfell team, who until now were unbeaten and on course to retain their title. With just 5 mins to ride out, the Arabs played it long at every opportunity and rode out the storm that was the Winterfell attack, after finally breaking ranks to push further up the pitch.

Game 2 saw stuttering FC Snorkel match up against the Badgers. The Badgers appeared short of players again, and despite being without talisman Luke Howells as he waves his tiny arms around at a festival, he’s backfilled by the returning Lewis Kingdon and Nathan Butterbean Whelan, meaning this wasn’t going to be an easy game for the Badgers. The Badgers started strong, though, taking an early lead. But after that it was one way traffic as the Snorkel put 11 past a hapless Badgers defence. There isn’t a huge amount that can be said about this game, other than the fact that Lewis scored 5, Whelan bagged 4, Carter who has been enjoying a good few weeks bagged a brace, and Rhodri Twm Thomas missed 1,479 chances. An absolute walkover for the Snorkel, who you have to feel have underperformed this season given the quality in their squad. Hopefully next season they can get a more consistent team line-up each week and challenge for the title in line with their potential.

Game 3 was an extremely competitive game between The Blinders and The Wanderers, whose outside title chance was put to bed by the earlier Young Arabs win. The first 10 minutes was a breeze for the Wanderers with the Blinders playing with a bare 8 and probably the heaviest crew in the league (not to mention the oldest), against one of the quicker teams, who rocked up with a full set of subs. Despite this and conceding an three early goals the Blinders continued to push hard and managed to get a goal back through a neatly taken free kick, which shook the Wanderers. Another silly free kick saw the Blinders pull another back, and with the score now 3-2 to the Wanderers, The Blinders smelt blood and continued to push for an equaliser, however it wasn’t to be and the Wanderers punished them on the break, and scored against the run of play with a lucky shot which GK Cory couldn’t quite stop. Deflated, it wasn’t long before the Wanderers added a fifth and put the game well beyond a tired looking Blinders side. The battle for 4th spot is on next week between Snorkel and the Blinders, who despite some strong performances see themselves a lot lower down that they’d expect.

So now it’s all on week 10 to find out who will be our 2018 champions, with Winterfell having the easier fixture against the Badgers at 7.40, they can put the pressure on the Young Arabs for the final game where they have another difficult task against Wootton Wanderers, who seem determined to ruin their early party.

It should be a cracker next week, with final league positions up for grabs in all 3 games!

** We’ve asked the Celtic for the upstairs to be made available for the presentation evening on the 18th August. We will confirm the date by next week! **