And now it begins, the clash of the, erm, animals. In the blue corner pacing nervously in between bouts of washing behind their ears and taking cat naps we have the kicking Kitt’Ems. In the white corner the hotly favoured Guerinlas in the midst are busy warming up hanging from hoops and drinking PG tips. Referee Micklethwaite steps on to the pitch to impose order… This could take a while…
The Guerinlas make a promising start, top banana Beth Lewis having a few shots on goal within the opening minutes. The Kitt’Ems respond slinking gracefully up the field with a beautiful shot from Bev ‘cougar’ Cousins, but alas it goes wide. Another near miss from Lewis and an answering lob in the other direction from the lion Lockyer, both without score. All this happens within the first couple of minutes or so; this is shaping up to be quite the battle of the species! Lewis then makes good on her opening promise with a strong strike from just outside the area. It provides the opening goal for the Guerinlas, and what a belter! Top Tiger Dean decides he’s not standing for much more of this and applies some pressure. A couple of good shots follow but somehow Mr Monkey himself Brian Guerin breaks the Kitt’Ems defense (ably provided by Queen of cats, Captain Jansz) and has another blistering shot on goal, which goes just wide. Both sides have a bit of a goal rush with first ferocious Fry (saved) for the Kitt’Ems, then Lewis for the Guerinlas, then Lockyear the lionheart missing what is possibly the Kitt’Ems best chance of the match so far. Some lovely defence from both teams and Cousins should have had her second but for some lovely keeping by the Guerinlas. Another fleet of volleys threatens with first Lewis , then the Lockyer losing his ball to some Monkey business from Crook who then links up with Lewis who goes on to power the ball home. It’s two nil to the Guerinlas & time for a change. Andy Roe comes on to replace Guerin while Sam Cragg (on loan from Hartleypool for two kippers and a plastic mouse in case you wondered) goes on to replace Kat for the Kitt’Ems. The first chance after the restart is again the Kitt’Em’s Cousins (she is really having a cracking game) but again it’s inches wide. A few answering shots from Lewis cause the Lionheart Lockyer to advance the Kitt’Ems’ cause. He powers down the pitch to pounce on his goal and from here on it the Kitt’Ems advance with two Lockey goals sandwiched by a strike from Fry to bring the 1st half to a close. Does monkey make good cat food? Is all the crowd can wonder….
1st half KittEms 3 (Lockyer x2, Fry),– Gurillas 2 (Lewis x2)
The Guerinlas start the second half like half monkey half terminator (you can almost see the wires behind their eyes, arrrgh!). Marc ‘Monkey’ Gillet taking a shot straight from the kick off. A strong shot from fellow teammate/terminator Lewis follows but hits the wrong side of the netting. The Guerinlas are pulling together to create some serious problems for the Kitt’Ems who are taking some time to settle in this second half (rumours that they have been enjoying catnip in the team changing room have continue to be hotly denied). Gillett shoots but it’s saved. There is yet another good attempt by the Kitt’Em’s Cousins but it’s foiled by Lewis who goes on to place a high shot onto the opposition goal. Her rebound is picked up by Gillett, a further rebound from Lewis and then Gillett finally scores. The Guerinlas celebrate with a mass grooming session in the middle of the pitch. When play eventually resumes Ellie Gillroy has her first shot on goal and although it’s a corker, it’s just not enough. The game then ascends to the rafters, the Guerinlas rising via a series of hoops, their ferocious feline opponents preferring to use a ladder (the crowd chuckle that they possibly didn’t need the ladder, still being quite ‘high’ from their half time antics). A couple of tennis balls are knocked down as the ball ricochets round the top half of the sports hall. There is lots of movement but nothing really solid from either team. The Kitt’Em’s Dubber finally brings the ball back down to earth but is denied by Roe’s head (categorically not up in the clouds). Another high shot from Dubber but nothing doing. A substitution from both teams as Sam is swapped for Kat for the Kitt’Ems and Andy taken off by Brian/Gillett for Ryan for the Guerinlas. After the substitution both teams have another assault on goal with first a Lewis shot, then attempt from Brian, then Lewis post and finally another wide shot for the Guerinlas. In a final drastic substitution by the Kitt’Ems Ewan is subbed off being replaced by the lion Lockyer who threatens to put another goal away for the remaining minutes. The score line remains unchanged though. End of first match. Three all.
Full time 1st match Gurillaz 3 (Gillett) – Kittems 3
After a half time break of working out with their scratching post the Kitt’Ems are raring to go in this the second match. Lockyer takes a shot straight from the whistle but this is saved by king monkey himself Brian Grrrrrrerila. New pet on the block Alec Dubber (having just got his collar, name tag and microchip) is allowed outside and takes up his the feline forward position. Making like a puma in the grass he slinks up to the ball and casually paws it in to provide the first and possibly most cheeky (or should that be cheetah?) goal of the match. The Guerinlas to their credit look as stunned as the crowd. This positive start for the Kitt’Ems is unfortunately pretty short lived as after saving a shot from the Guerinlas Tom Jeatt’s tail knocks the ball into his own goal. The crowd at this point seem to be rubbing their eyes. Salvador Dali walks onto the pitch to paint a quick surrealist masterpiece but still the whole pitch looks confused. Tom Jeatt suffers at the hands of the Guerinlas yet again a few minutes later taking a ball to the face after not quite getting far enough away from the sheer power created Ryan Kidd’s right foot. The merciless Scot picks up the rebound and after waiting on the edge of the box for long enough to see time actually stand still, enjoy a cup of PG and redo his fur, he puts the ball away. This seems to rally Guerinla spirits as Matt Crook (who like Harry Potter has the prophecy to be great but is yet to ascend to the required number of goals) sticks with tradition and is denied. Andy Roe goes on to miss by inches for the Guerinlas, but the Kitt’Ems have finished washing themselves and are ready for action! A Fry lob and Lockyer shot follow (both are, however, high). Crook shoots for the Guerinlas & then Dean for the Kitt’Em’s and the game progresses like this for some time, with both teams seeming to take it turns with their shots on goal . Dean has however seen highlights from the Olympics and knows the difference between football and relay. He takes a perfectly aimed shot and the deadlock is broken. It’s in! The last four minutes are upon us and both teams wake from the daze which they fell into waching the ball go back and forward back and forward (a bit like pacman only less interesting). Matt Crook finally makes good on his promise delivering the perfect goal. Not to be outdone King Guerin follows just minutes after with yet another goal from Matt Crook (with a move that I will be terming the Crook Hook from now on) rounding off the monkey mayhem. If this were a poetry journal the rest of this half would go as follows:
the crook hooks and puts it away,
Fry tries for a reply but will have to wait for another day.
The half ends.
Kitt’Ems 2 (Dubber, Lockyer) – Gurillaz 5 (white own goal Jeatt, Kidd, Crook x 2, Guerin)
A strong start by Church, new to the pitch for this half, , but he is denied a goal by Roe, who has been moved back into his traditional stomping ground of nets. Crook shoots for the Guerinlas but it’s just wide and top cat Church disposes of Gillett’s shot just inches from the goal. Crook has what looks to be a perfectly positioned shot on the edge of the area but fluffs it, he then retires to the edge of the pitch where he and his motivational self help tape have a serious chat. Gillroy is proving her metal in the Kitt’Ems defense as she makes like a wall & keeps ‘em out. The teams are now battling against each other as they realise it’s their last chance to score. Crook is denied by the feline dexterity of the Kitt’Em’s keeper again as a top shot from Top Cat Church is saved by Roe. Fry is brought down by Gillett near the Kitt’Em’ goal and referee Micklethwaite sagely ignores it (it is as my mum would say six of one and half a dozen of the other). Gillett pauses his punching just long enough to lock onto a lovely ball by Captain Monkey Brian and scores. Lovely teamwork her from the Guerinlas. Crook tries recreate recent history by following up with a second for the Guerinlas but it’s got too much spin and veers off course. Lewis toohas another change on the opposition goal but her shot is wide. Lockyer at this point sees the fighting that is still going on down pitch and decides violence clearly is the answer and takes Crook down. After a short dinner and acceptance speech for his Oscar winning reaction Crook returns to the attack but is wide again the match ends with referee Micklethwaite colliding with Gorillaz front runner Lewis in what is a fair representation of how things have gone in this second half.
Scores for this game Guerinlas 7-2 Kitt’Ems (Gillett, 2)
Both teams played well but it was ultimately the Guerinlas who looked to be the stronger team in this battle. if they can settle into the game a little earlier for their next match they might be swapping that mug of PG for a different kind of cup entirely.
Brian Guerin (captain)
Sam Cragg (ringer)
Kitty Jansz (captain)