Amazing Scenes at Slingsby Lane!

After a month of increasingly desperate gambles, including consecutive road matches against our main rivals that left us battered and exhausted, Wanderers arrived at the last match of the season still clinging to first place as they hosted Cavaliers VFC in the season finale.  Not the ideal matchup at that stage, as Cavs are a strong attack-oriented side fully capable of dominating midfield and using their 2-5-3 to turn that possession into goals.

In the tactics room, it was agreed that the smart thing to do, really the only thing to do, was to turtle up and hope to hit them on the counter.  We’d managed a draw against them in the opener doing that, and had every reason to think that we could at least manage the trick again and possibly even steal a win.

Of course, if we had done the smart thing all year we would have finished fourth again, so screw that.  Manager Ruggero Panero walked into a dressing room full of players expecting to be told to stay cool and play tactically sound defense, and gave them fire and brimstone instead.  Teacups were thrown, manhoods were challenged, and the side was sent out with instructions to attack whenever possible and, when not possible, to attack anyway.  It was a recipe for glorious failure, a chance to end the season with a blaze of glory before we dusted ourselves off and got ready for a more fundamentally sound title challenge next year.

Instead we took them to pieces.

Leslaw Malolepszy put us ahead two minutes in, Gerwazy “the Ringer” Kaczynski (signed the week before as an emergency injury replacement) added a second in the eighth minute and the rout was on.  By the time the final whistle was mercifully blown, we were 7-0 victors and the title was ours.

Wild celebrations followed.  Nick King’s commandeering of our mascot’s head, donning it, and capering around the field blew up on social media, as did the sight of veteran Kurt Kremski coming out on crutches after being injured during the match and weeping into the cup.  Hell, Barton even got his hair slightly mussed.

A few sensible sorts muttered something about a promotion qualifier next week, but it was hard to hear them over the sound of the champagne corks popping.  Perhaps that’s fortunate, since we’ll be lucky if any of the lads are past their hangovers in time for that.