The game kicked off at 9pm with Rob blowing the whistle. The shrill of the whistle reminded me of one of Oli's screams after an ankle-high challenge that was all-ball. Oli was literally hyper at Rangers not being able to beat the Lions whenever he plays so he started this game like a whirlwind and was really good at kicking the ball up into the sky. The Lions were majestic from the off. One-twos to beat the band. Close control like you wouldn't believe. Lung bursting runs and excellent abs and torsos were the order of the day. Especially on Stevie. Rangers were huffing and puffing, they couldn't really get anything together and looked kinda overweight and sluggish. A superb move involving eight one-two's saw seven Rangers players ending up on the floor (like totally disillusioned) and saw an AMAZING shot by Flynner or Mescall or Brian O'Reilly O'Reilly or one of them cannon back of the underside of the bar and hit the Rangers goalkeeper on the back of the head, roll back towards the goal only for a totes ridic gust of wind to blow it away from the goal and to safety. A major let-off for Rangers. A minute later the ball came to Oli and he kicked it really high up into the sky for no reason. Half-time came and Rob blew his whistle, everyone immediately looking at Oli thinking it was him screaming again but this time it was Rob actually blowing the whistle so we had a break. Rangers kicked off the second half and Oli kicked the ball as far as he could into the sky and it was up there for ages so Rob called a water break. A superb tactical change by the Lions saw Brian O'Reilly O'Reilly and Neil Corrigan swap sides. That confused everyone for ages. The Lions continued to play really well with Rhino superb all night with his huge short pockets notholding him back for a minute even though they were flapping like sails on a tall ship (and they were also filled with a large human) and Flynner was really good as well. So was Macca but Ballsy wasn't. Oli kicked the ball up into the air again and the ref blew for full time. One of the most enjoyable 90 minutes football I have seen in a long time. Looking forward to round two. MOM for Rangers - Oli :o) Lions - Rhinoceros
Rangers limped into this game with a measly 14 players, as the social calendar of many of the squad took hold. But those 14 were treated to a bone crunching, blood and thunder affair. Gaelics turned up clearly trying to intimidate us, with their bench all decked out in the toitest of “muscle” vests claiming to have forgotten their brand new footballs despite being the home team (we have lodged an official appeal for the 3 points on a technicality). They then thieved 2 balls out of our kitbag. Unreal! The game started as we had expected, with the Lions swarming round us like wasps on a fallen ice cream. Despite talking about it at length, it was still difficult to adapt the game plan. Ryan and Mescall at centre half were enjoying their evening and were full of tussle. Frustrating then that Sharples was flagged offside after he buried a sublime volley into the corner. Nick also had a chance at the back post that went over. In all honesty there were v few chances in the first half and neither keeper were called upon to make a save of note, with both defences on top. The second half was almost identical, with the war of attrition continuing. The games hottest moment came when Brian O’Reilly leathered one of our shiney new Mitres into the rainforest with the biggest complaint coming from team mate James Flynn who was quick to notify the young left winger that he was a “muppet”. A couple of half chances came our way as the game was closing out with Anders blocking Sharples attempt and super sub Jin firing over from 10 yards. Mescall had a chance for the lions too as they exerted some pressure toward the end with a succession of corners. All in all a draw was a fair result, and both teams can take great credit for the effort expended. My report sounds like the game was dour and boring, but it wasn’t. It was absorbing and brilliant, and I think everyone (apart from maybe the strikers) enjoyed every minute. It was a proper battle. Good luck to the lions for the rest of the season. Rangers will need to up the quality level if they are to mount a serious challenge but there were plenty of positives, particularly with so many away. MoM for Rangers to Jared who did very well in nullifying dangerman O’Reilly. MoM to Lions has to go to young Ryan who epitomizes the Lions spirit.