College Cup Football: James 1sts Destroy Halifax 2nds

College PicPatience was certainly a virtue for James 1sts on the JLD on Monday where the college league champions faced Halifax 2nds. They won the game in style, battering their opponents 8-0 to stamp their authority on this year’s tournament, but this made it hard to believe that for the first twenty minutes they didn’t have a single shot on target. A few off target shots from James Briars and James Davies along with a decent chance for Halifax, Dunning chipping the ball just over the bar, meant some words of encouragement from Captain Ralph Gill was needed as the Swans failed to make an immediate impact.

It was the captain who eventually created the goal James craved, with the ball at his feet he was given plenty of time to assess his options before providing perfect ball over the Halifax defense with Matt Singleton heading the ball beyond keeper Joe Lock. After the opener the deluge began, Briars producing a great finish into the corner on the left side of the box after picking up the ball from Davies, who added another within a minute, running through the Halifax defense and finishing calmly to score James’s 3rd. Jopson added a fourth before halftime, collecting the ball on the edge of the box and smashing the ball past Lock’s near post.

James’s intention for the second half ware clear, keep attacking, to the delight of the supporters on the JDL. Their momentum was on full scale and James Briars had his second goal at his mercy when he headed over the keeper, who clawed it away from the line and a scramble between the two meant the winger couldn’t find the net. Halifax’s performance was summed up perfectly when two defenders respectively attempted to clear the ball and both missed, leaving the ball to role to Davies who fired just wide.

Davies scored his second soon after however when a ball through by Briars played him through, though it looked clear to everyone on the JDL that he was offside. It mattered little, Halifax were a beaten team. They had their first shot on target half way through the second half with a long range shot from Plant looking as though it might have crept in but for a great save from Andy Balzan. The blitz could not be stopped however and man of the match Davies completed his hat trick with a great finish slotted into the corner from a Singleton pass through.
Davies then turned provider with a corner that was converted via the head of Singleton who brilliantly steered the ball into the top corner. The destruction was complete with Davies’s third assist of the day as he poked the ball across to Singleton who rolled home for his third and James’s 8th. Halifax were put out of their misery with the full time whistle ending a game with a big statement from the swans.

James captain Ralph Gill was delighted with his team’s performance, ‘it really doesn’t (get any better than this) we had a cagey first 15 but we stayed calm and waited, didn’t force it and the performance from then was unbelievable’. He agreed it’s a case of just waiting for the goals to come, ‘Especially in the first half a lot of people get a bit nervous if they don’t score in the first ten’ however once the goals began to fly in James displayed on of the best performances of the tournament so far.