Luck o’ The Irish – The end is near


‘Don’t be daft lad. Angels, who the fuck are they? Haven’t we beat them already this season?’


As my fist official transfer window opened in January, we made a grand total of zero signings. And why would we? We’re playing well, we just beat Hound Dogs, incredible team name absolutely diabolic football team, in the first round of the Rock Cup, Gibraltar’s actual FA Cup. We’ve won 7 of 12 games in all competitions and the only real weakness we have is letting teams score once we have. In all but 1 game we have scored first, our opener against Phoenix. We lost 1-0 to Leo but that was very much the exception, every game we’ve scored in so I’m not too concerned.

Once January was out of the way we endured back to back losses, once to Gibraltar Phoenix in the league, they’d done the double over us now, then Lynx FC beat us 3-1 in the Rock Cup. Another thing I wasn’t too concerned with. Lynx were third in the Primera Division at the time and really I wanted to make sure we gave as good as we could in the league, so could do without extra games in a cup we wouldn’t be winning that season anyway.

As there’s not many teams in the second division in Gibraltar, like a flash the season was just about over. Like one of those movie scenes where it starts off and then it sort of fades to black, then the writing comes up saying 10 years later or whatever, but in our case to read 8 months later. It was officially confirmed some time in February what we already knew, that we’d be up against Angels in the cup final

We also found ourselves with 1 game left to play in the league. It’s easy enough to say how we got in the position we did. Second in the league on 30 points, 1 point behind leaders Gibraltar Phoenix and 1 point above third place Cannons FC. We needed to better the Phoenix result to go up as champions, and if not we had to better the Cannons result to be guaranteed the play off place

2 games to go in my maiden season as a manager, and potentially 2 trophies to boot. I didn’t want to think much of it or that it was beginners luck getting to the position we’d found ourselves in. Ace however had other plans.

‘Right chief, I’ve got my DJ gear on the way from Beefer (He called Ibiza, Beefer, no I’m not sure why either) and a couple of my running buddy’s are coming to really set the party off’

‘What party?’

‘The Boca Juniors double party of course! League and cup wins in 1 season me old mucker’

‘Mate, we haven’t won either yet, we could still end up in the promotion play off and get beat in the final. I don’t want you doing anything…’ He cut me off before I could say the word stupid

‘Don’t be daft lad. Angels, who the fuck are they? Haven’t we beat them already this season?’

‘We? No we haven’t, they gave us out first loss of the year actually!’

‘Oh, well fuck ‘em, we’ll hammer then in this final. And the league, who we got next?’

‘Cannons’

‘Thumped them already didn’t we’

‘Not really, got away with a 1 nil win, hardly….’ He cut me off again

‘Still beat them though. Look, I’m confident we’re gonna win both games, then the party can really start, thanks to yours truly Ace DJ!’

He always said we like we’re a team or he had some hand in the games, but I didn’t mind. He was my first friend when I got to Gibraltar and really, he’s actually a pretty decent guy.

As for both my own and the clubs first ever cup final, Angels FC were our opponents and my team talk before kick off was pretty simple really. Calmly telling the players that the best way to avenge our first loss that season would be to win the upcoming cup final against them, and all of the boys seemed to respond positively.

We didn’t change anything up and went with our strongest and regular starting 11, no point changing a winning formula, and the decision paid off early on.

Kevagn Robba latched onto a through ball from Sansolini to give us an early lead after 5 minutes. The Angels players were up in arms protesting for an offside flag that never came.

The inevitable attack from them came and they did test Hermida in our goal a couple of times, both shots easily held onto. We came back at them with a couple of attempts of our own, but both shots would end up in the tame folder, neither really threatening to double our lead.

But heading into the final 5 minutes of the half we doubled our lead. Robba taking a touch on the edge of the area, played a 1-2 with his strike partner Dan Lane, turned past the defender and slotted the ball into the far corner on the pass back. 2-0 heading into the break and we didn’t look like we’d be losing

I didn’t say much to the players at the half time break. I didn’t need to. They all knew the position we were in and what we had to do to keep it. They went back out and let Angels have the ball for the most part. When we had won it back we threatened to increase the lead but didn’t actually do so until right at then end, when Robba turned provider to Lane to wrap the game, and the cup final up

We had been excellent value for the cup win. Never once did we look like we wouldn’t be lifting the trophy. All 264 fans that turned out to see us lift it were in great spirits. I’m not sure how many were actually Boca fans though, but we didn’t care. We’d won the less prestigious cup in Gibraltar, and now had the league to concentrate on.

— — — — — — — —

Next chapter – In our own hands

Previous chapter – Away we go

First chapter – Part 1

— — — — — — — —

2 thoughts on “Luck o’ The Irish – The end is near

  1. Pingback: Luck o’ the Irish – Away we go. | On the Break

  2. Pingback: Luck o’ the Irish – In our own hands | On the Break

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