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OR Soccer - 4th February 2017 matches

Old Rugbeians Clinch Inaugural FHA Cup

Rugby School v Old Rugbeians XI 2 (Terry ’61, Anton ’73)

On February 4, the great and the good of Old Rugbeian Soccer descended on Hillbrow for the inaugural final of the Frazer Hemming-Allen Cup.  22 years ago Hemming-Allen took his first training session of the School’s 1st XI and the sport hasn’t looked back since. Thousands of long balls and three Crusader Cups later, it only seemed right to rename the annual School versus Old Boys fixture after the great tactician. With the new trophy shining on the side line, neither side was in any doubt how much was on the line.  

The School started strongly, belying their mixed form coming into the game. With an assured back four, athletic midfield and dextrous front men, it was clear that this would not be the Old Rugbeian cake walk that the bookies and pundits had predicted. With neither side really able to impose themselves on the other during the first half, the major talking point came on the half-hour mark with a fall in the box from OR striker, Ollie Skailes (C 09-14), that would have looked more at home on his favourite TV show, ‘The Jump’, than it did on a football field. Nevertheless, the referee pointed to the spot and the Old Rugbeians had their first clear-cut chance to break the deadlock. Skailes himself stood up but only managed to lamely scuff the ball wide of the goalkeeper’s right hand post. 0-0 it stayed for the first period, and at half time even OR sport fanatic, Mark Carr, was openly wondering why he wasn’t nestled back at home in front of the Six Nations.

His answer came as the second period brought an end to end contest that, in truth, could have gone either way. Both sides launched several dangerous attacks that were a tribute to their mentor proudly taking hundreds of photos on the side line.  On the hour the deadlock was finally broken. A through ball from the OR’s ended up at the feet of the School goalkeeper who was unfortunate in seeing his clearance cannon back off George Terry (M 07-12) and back into his own net. 

It was very much to the School’s credit that this goal was followed by wave after wave of attack on the Old Boys’ penalty area. However, experience told and the game was killed off with just a few minutes to go through a well taken goal by debutant Ed Anton (SF 10-15). 

The FHA Cup was presented after the game and we hope that this is a contest that continues for many, many years to come. It was a fine day with the games played in the right spirit and fantastic to see as many as 30 Rugbeians travelling back to their School to support the occasion. Rugbeian Soccer looks in great shape and long may that continue.

Rob Johns (SF 02-17)

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