Battle of the Birds: 2-2 Draw in the Men’s 1s football

Tom Carr reports from York Sport Village as the Derwent and James men's 1s produce a 2-all draw in Battle of the Birds

(Image: Tom Carr)

The stage was set as both Derwent (DCAFC) and James College (JCFC) teams headed to the soggy 3G pitch of York Sport Village. 

Fielding a full XI of mighty 1s, ready to produce under the bright lights of college football in the final football fixture of the famed Battle of the Birds, little jeopardy was on the line as James College had already secured the tournament. 

JCFC already won the University’s Collegiate Men’s Premier League, so clearly they entered the game as favourites.

Not wanting to show complacency, James dictated play early on, floating around the pitch and playing some liquid football. 

Looking assured in possession, JCFC’s Bradley Wood showed the first bit of pure talent with a clinical finish. At the peak of his powers, Wood only added to his impressive goal tally of 13 this semester. 

In the first half, most of James’ joy came down the left flank which bore fruit once again when Wood danced down the wing and found Tayler in behind. 

Tayler accepted the generosity of the number 8 and coolly slotted away into the bottom corner.

With fears of floodgates opening high, Derwent would battle through the rest of the half but couldn’t find their opener, and dogged defending at the back kept JCFC in front. At 2-0, the boys in black were cruising, and the game began to settle down.

Or so they thought. 

Although the second half began a much quieter affair, disaster would soon strike for James as Derwent found a route back into the game. They would find a reward for their hard work when Archibold’s sweeping cross was met by captain Callum Clarke who was afforded too much space, and headed home.

With Derwent converting, James proceeded to up the tempo again and the 1s would look to some club icons to see them to a result. 

Alas, Derwent continued the pressure. While their blue began to look like the blue of France as they took control of play, a fine clearance off the line by Derwent set James faithfuls’ hearts racing. 

However, shouts from a James midfielder to calm down and not capitulate weren’t exactly adhered to, as in a shock to fans, Derwent equalised at the death with a goal from Alex Havard who bundled it in the net with the last kick of the game, the match finishing 2-2.James College manager Lenore Klassen expressed her pride and admiration for JCFC and stated that there had been great support from both James and Derwent fanbases all weekend in a competition that saw James beat Derwent College overall 41-10.

Derwent College AFCJames College FC
2 (0)2 (2)
Goals: Clarke, HavardGoals: Wood, Tayler