Well where do you start with this one? Oh, I know… CHAMPIONS!!!
Yes, that’s right, The Revs – over 10 years since their last title – only went and did it again. Over the last two seasons the team has clicked and been the most consistent and all round best team in this division. Narrowly missing out in the last game last season was tough, but mentally it helped going into this game.
Everyone seemed focus and relaxed knowing a draw or better against BFB, the nearest rivals, would ensure a first league title in a decade. The opposition even seemed armed with a number of, shall we say ringers, from the top division. No wonder they put on such a show last week then!
And the truth is they started the better of the sides, had all the possession and some very nice play. The Revs had to adjust and play at their pace and defend like they had done pretty much all season.
But for all the oppositions flair, trickery, speed, it took a bit of a punt from The Revs in their first opportunity to break the deadlock around 7 minutes into the game. Tyman striding forward in acres of space, smashed a shot forward and James Evans was the first to react getting in front of his defender and cushioning the shot to the far side of the goal leaving the keeper motionless. Cue the opposition getting miffed at each other. Always a nice sight to see.
And the trend continued. The opposition had all the flair and all the ball, but were ruthlessly hunted down by the rabid defence in the form of Allen and Phil Pinkstone. No holds barred, chomping at the ankles of any would be attacker.
And just like the first it was a simple attack, a lofty ball caught in the wind from Myers, was expertly controlled by Lewis Evans who turned his man, played in Beardall who seemed to turn all Moses as the sea (defence) parted allowing him a brilliant finish into the bottom corner, once again leaving the keeper motionless, to give The Revs a 2 goal lead heading into half time.
The half time talk was all about composure. As it stood The Revs had what they needed and so didn’t need to go out and win the second half too. The opposition had to be more adventurous now and The Revs had to remain strong at the back.
And the second half started just like that. So many incidents, in various order, so I am just going to fire them off…
Tyman must have stolen the ball from the fleet footed opposition too many times to count. Lewis Evans’ hold up play and ferocity was a joy to watch. The Revs even got a corner following a shoulder shove from the big lad that the ref didn’t see as a free-kick. Allen was superb in organising, encouraging and getting under the skin of the opposition. Everything is always so much calmer when he is on the pitch. Phil Pinkstone was an athlete as he charged down would be attackers, hounding them and even taking one to the nuts for the team. James Evans did not stop running, backwards and forwards, constantly nipping at the feet. Beardall was having the game of the season, producing the turns and flicks when needed but also relentlessly tracking his man and hoofing it out of play to the dismay of the opposition. Dave Pinkstone worked his backside off, making sure any part of his body was on that ball to make it harder for the opposition, including the worst header ever that somehow came off his head and shoulder at the same time, but it worked in disrupting play. And finally Mr Myers was in top form producing a confident display, coming out when needed and also producing a superb save from a deflected shot off Phil Pinkstone’s hand.
The opposition could not believe this team was top of the league? How they asked? It has been all us they cried… and then The Revs answered in the only way they can.
Lewis Evans, once again a superb outlet upfront, turned his man and seeing Beardall the far side, who had lost his man, slipped a well weighted ball into him. Beardall did the rest, slotting the ball past a stranded keeper whose defence had gone AWOL to put the lads in dreamland with less than 10 to go.
That, my dear friends, is why we are top. Hard work, determination and putting the ball in the back of the opposition net more times than you put it in The Revs goal…
Once again the opposition upped the pace, upped the trickery but the entire Revs defence from front to back held strong, pushing back the opposition and forcing them into mistakes. Simply beautiful.
Eventually the opposition, two minutes from time, did get through. A clever flick on the line was actually caught by Myers who then dropped the ball into his own net as he hit the ground, but it was all too little, too late. In fact The Revs had time for one more attack of their own as James Evans latched onto a through ball and spotting the keeper off his line attempted a shot out wide that was poorly executed under pressure in the end, but at least ate up more of the clock.
The final whistle seemed to take an age to go but when it did there was no finer feeling! The Revs had done it and done it with ease in the end. Champions with a game to go still! Eight points at the top of the league!
The opposition, sullen, shook hands and asked ‘Does that make you champions now?’
Yes… Yes it does!
And boy does it feel good! Now, where is my Queen Greatest Hits record....?