Friday 5th May 2006
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Saracen's Revenge Sweet

Life is the name of the game. And I want to play the game with you.

These lyrics to a well-known game show cannot be applied to Manics and Saracens. Indeed, life is the name of the game, but we DO NOT want to play the game with you. For this Cup Final was a bruising one. Sure, the dreadful Bracknell pitch didn't help the teams, but some of the foul play made the centrepiece of the BTDSFL season an eyesore from start to finish. Saracens had shifted their good quality centre half, Davis, into midfield and he looked up for the fight. In fact the tall man was lucky to escape without a caution in the first half as he twice wrestled Manics players to the floor. Manics, too, flew in at times and the skillful Saracens winger Twyman was withdrawn with injury after a rough challenge from Sarney and Jones.

What's on the board Miss Ford?

Nothing. And no chances in the first half really. One long range effort from Whitty for Saracens and a sliced drive from Evans for the Manics were the only notable threats on goal. On the bobbly surface attackers were snatching at chances and the scoreboard never looked threatened. In the second half Manics began to play a bit and looked bright. Baker had begun to get involved at long last as Manics launched a few big long balls into the box which gave Vlad the Jawbreaker something to think about. The most problematic of these was a lofted pass won in the air by Robertson who was duly clattered round the mush by the keeper. In fairness to giant Estonian, he didn't mean to cause harm, but cause harm he did as Robertson lay motionless for 30 minutes whilst an Ambulance arrived.

Nice to see you, to see you nice

Ambulance came and the game resumed with a beered up crowd finally finding their voice. This vocal backing did nothing to improve the play, which continued to be extremely poor. The boredom finally got to the ref who pulled himself off with 25 minutes to go. He claimed he was injured, but we all knew the truth - he was paralysed with the mundanity of it all. Or if he HAD injured his calf like he said, I can guess the muscle had gone on strike. Returning to the game, Manics seemed to be affected by the loss of Robertson and could find no rhythm as Saracens dominated the midfield. That said chances were still at a premium and only a misunderstanding between Robinson and Gates saw the deadlock broken. As the ball squirmed loose from the keepers arms, Saracens skipper and top scorer Whitty gratefully, but uncovincingly, tapped it into the empty net. Manics attempted to lift each others spirits but they looked crestfallen. After a game of so few chances, they knew another one wasn't going to come along soon. But they tried. And with Graaff and Jones pushed forward the long balls did threaten to come off once or twice. A flurry of late corners did not penetrate the Saracens goal and the Manics suffered their second Cup Final heartbreak in 4 seasons.

Brucey bonus

Manics though, could look on the bright side - it was a good hard fight, and Jason Graaff earnt the Manics some glory, winning the Bracknell Town & District Football League's Man of the Match award.

Cuddly Toy

Looking down the conveyor belt of Winners trophies, the Manics needed not to be too disheartened. They had competed against a team that had led the Premier Division nearly all season, and nearly beaten them not once, but three times. All in their first year in the top flight of the Bracknell league. They've learned, the hard way at times (Robertsons broken jaw testifies this), that they need to stop being so cuddly and start hitting teams harder. As this league is not won purely on skill alone.

Simon Oakbutter.

Scorers: None.
Assists: None.

The BTDSFL Man of the Match went to Jason Graaf and the Referee's player of the match went to Mark Gates.

Well done to all the people who came to watch, it was great to hear you all cheering us on from the sidelines.

 Final Result: Bracknell Manics 0 Saracens 1

 BTDSFL Man of the Match
   "Who's got my Manics Jacket???"
Jason Graaff  

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