Friday, October 28, 2011

Marin World Cup: Round 1 - To be a "Winner" or a "Loser"

As avid followers of this rather protracted blog are aware, The Marinthians have been a unit for over a year now. Over this year, players have come and gone, and every week we play an agency for fun and good times. Sometimes we win, sometimes we lose, but we always know that there will be a drink in the pub if we want it.

So a year down the line, a tournament was arranged pitting us into battle with seven other agencies to duke it out to hold the coveted title of Marin World Cup champions. Held in deepest darkest Wandsworth, each team had to first traverse the daunting prospect of a journey through South West London and locate the Wandle Recreation center, the location of the tournament.

Some teams clearly found it easier than others, with a worried looking Le Plop eagerly awaiting the arrival of the teams. Owing to a combination of late taxis and London traffic, many teams arrived seconds before kick off, but they did all arrive. We were ready to play.

Taking part were team members from:

OMG 1 (Access and MG OMD)
OMG 2 (International and PHD)
Big Mouth Media
Agenda 21
Starcom Mediavest

Ensuring each team would play three games of two 20 minute halves, the first round would determine who would enter the "Winners" and "Losers side of the draw. With Marinthians seemingly drawn (entirely at random) into the easier side of the draw, the team were confident for a positive outcome.

Game 1 -> Marinthians vs Tradedoubler

Having been drawn against Tradedoubler in the first round, we definitely felt a win was achievable, having beaten them 2 out of 3 times that we had played them previously. Adopting the red kit, they looked ready to draw blood.


The actual game was very close for a long while. Even though Big Bad Bill (I have been finger wagged by the "Manager". Apparently it's Viduka) nailed a fierce finish into the left corner to secure the first goal of the tournament, the Tradedoubler boys just kept on coming. Scoring right on half time, the Marinthians went into HT a comfortable 4-2 up.

As all 4 first round games kicked off at the same time, it was pretty keep up to date with the goings on around the grounds. The Starcom vs OMG 2 game was turning out to be a cracker. With Starcom going in 3-2 at half time, it was an unexpected lead as the OMG 2 team were well fancied. OMG 1 were well fancied from the start of the tournament and were playing well against a strong Big Mouth Media side, leading 3-1 at half time. I genuinely have never seen such a tall five a side team in my life! Finally, Agenda 21, or Agenda 4 as they were later known (sadly they were struck by last minute withdrawals and had to battle on with borrowed players) struggled against a composed Zenith/Performics side and were already 6-0 down at half time.

As the second halfs kicked off, Marinthians pushed on. They knew that last goal before half time had disheartened the TD team and were going for the jugular. As soon as Scouse entered the fray, he rampaged around the TD team like a prancing stallion and lashed home goals for fun. Before they could do anything about him, he had notched a couple of goals and TD were shell shocked. As the final whistle was blown, The Marinthians had come through as 7-3 winners and qualified for the "Winners" half of the tournament. Job done.

On reflection, the team had looked calm and had played as well as I had ever seen them play. Wikka in goal looked composed, although he did look prone to lapses of concentration. Passing it straight to the opposition for them to score is not a particularly good tactic. With Pilks marshalling the defence and Scouse smashing them in, we looked like a solid unit and rightfully fuelled haughty expectation in the Marin camp.

As the results from the other games started to filter in, there were some genuinely surprising scores. OMG had been pushed hard in their game and had overcome the BMM threat 6-4. BMM would fall into the losers tournament, but looked good to secure that trophy. Agenda 4 had struggled at half time, but were absolutely ripped apart after the break succumbing 17-0 in the end. The players were remarkably still in good spirits. The last game to finish was an epic encounter. As close as the Starcom game was at half time, OMG 2 surged into a 6-5 lead. With only seconds left on the clock, Starcom snatched an equaliser and saw a final shot skied into the trees, to be lost to nature. We had our first penalty shoot out.

The rules in 5-a-side are first to 3 and then sudden death. However, nobody expected what was to come. With OMG stepping up first, they confidently slotted it in. Goal followed goal followed goal, with both sides unrelenting. OMG 2 were the first to buckle, only to see Starcom follow suit. 9-8 down, Starcom stepped up and missed. OMG 2 went through to the Winners tournament. Absolutely epic.

So the next round ended up like this:

Winners: Marinthians vs Zenith/Performics
OMG 1 vs OMG 2

Losers: Agenda 21 vs Tradedoubler
Big Mouth Media vs Starcom

Frisking the fixtures, The Marinthians were facing up to a tough match. Having seen Zenith put 17 past Agenda 21 without conceeding, they looked like the surprise package of the tournament. The juiciest match up was clearly the all OMG tie, with OMG guaranteed a presence in the final. One to look out for.

In the losers final, it was really all about who was going to get that Wooden Spoon trophy. Agenda 21 depleted and no doubt tiring due to their lack of subs and previous drubbing did not look great, but were going to be playing a TD team lacking in confidence. BMM looked strong, but so did Starcom so another great match in the offing.

Stay tuned for all the action from the next round....

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Marin World Cup (27th October 2011)

Dear all followers of the Marinthians and their exploits,

I appreciate that this has hardly been updated in many moons, but I have returned to announce a most monumental event. On the 27th October 2011, Marin will be hosting the inaugural Marin World Cup, a battle to see who really is the best. We go in with optimism, but will be pitted against 7 of our agencies in an effort to see who really is the best.

We have set up a twitter account to follow the progress on the day (@TheMarinthians) so please dial in to find out how your team is doing on the day.

The format will comprise of 4 preliminary round games where the Winners of these games will go into a mini tournament, and the losers into their own mini tournament.

The draw is as follows:

Game 1 - OMD/PHD vs Starcom Mediavest
Game 2 - Bigmouth Media vs Access/MG OMD
Game 3 - Zenith/Performics vs Agenda 21
Game 4 - Marinthians vs Tradedoubler

Keep an eye on this page for full updates and on the twitter feed for live updates from all the games.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Match 7: Marinthians vs OMD UK

I am not in the habit of writing up bad performances but for journalistic integrity, I thought I would convey last weeks result in as few words as possible.

17-2 to OMD UK.

They were very good. Leading from the back with a keeper who threw himself at everything and distributed the ball with precision, up to their big center forward who never appeared to be marked (be it by good movement off the ball or terrible marking), the Marinthians were made to look terribly ordinary.

Even with a few players out, we really should still have done better. A lot better.

Let's hope we don't experience the same humiliation against Zenith this week. COME ON MARINTHIANS!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Match 6: Marinthians vs Agency 21

Another game and another victory, Marinthians march on. Unfortunately, I was once again not in attendance but reporting and photography are courtesy to our two favourite pitchside reporters, Barbara and Karen.

Karen writes:

"Agenda 21 came out strong drawing first blood 5 minutes in. With 3 subs available to our none, it looked like they were going to run circles around us. So it was nail-biting stuff until 5 minutes later, Will opened our game. From then on, it was a land slide. Agenda saw the goals again 34 minutes in, and came back fighting with 5 minutes left, but it was a classic case of “too little too late”.
In spite of Marin’s awesome display of team work and skills, I would nominate Steve as man of the match, who played goalie for Agenda 21 for the whole match. The man has skills, and had it not been for him, Marin’s score would have looked more like a cricket game"

So another comfortable victory making that 3 wins on the trot for the Marinthians. Next week sees up against OMD UK once again, with the Marinthians keen to overturn their previous defeat. Come down and support, and join us for a swift post game beverage in our local boozer!

MARINTHIANS 14 – 5 Agenda 21

• Gaffer x 4 (11,16,21,38)
• Razor x 2 (13,30)
• Willie x 3 (10,17,50)
• Benj x 3 (25,29,48)
• “Frank” x 2 (23,42)

Agenda 21 goals on 5,34,46,47,49

(times of goal in brackets. 51 minutes played)

Friday, October 22, 2010

Match 5: Marinthians vs Starcom

It pains me when I can't make a Marinthians game. Admittedly, the last few weeks have been akin to following Newcastle. One week there are intense highs after a memorable victory, followed by serious lows after having lost games we really felt we should have won. I had no idea what would come of the game against Starcom, but I had previous commitments which meant I left the reporting duties to Karen and converted Marinthians fan, Barbara.

So, it turns out like I missed a corker. Starcom pulled up with a full five in their ranks, but unfortunately they couldn’t keep up with the sheer power of the Marinthians. The four game practice advantage clearly showed on the pitch, with the Marinthians running absolutely rampant. The gaffer, with his laser precision boot, smashed home 2 goals in the first two minutes, and once Razor added to his ever burgeoning tally and Willie finally finding his scoring boots with a five minute hat trick, Starcom never really had a chance of fighting back. By half time, the Marinthians had stormed into an 11 nil advantage, with their goal remaining unsullied.

Shortly after half time, I think Starcoms lack of fitness was showing and Wicka swapped sides to give them a little bit of relief. It definitely seemed to help as Starcom scored their first goal shortly after and clawed themselves onto the scoreboard. It couldn’t stop Marinthians hot scoring streak, however, as each member notched one in the “Goals scored” column, with the gaffer upto 9 goals at this stage (he was to end the day into double figures, taking home a tally of ten).

Willie consequently swapped sides with one of their players and the game became more even, with Starcom starting to hit their stride late into the game. A few more goals from either side (one with Wicka scoring for Starcom) and the game ended a rather one sided victory for the Marinthians. A relatively easy game for the Marinthians but a good run out nonetheless. Gaffer scored a hatful and Grizzlee even made a save, check out the vid below!

MARINTHIANS 22 – 5 Starcom

• Gaffer x 10 (1,2,13,14,16,19,30,36,37,52)
• Razor x 3 (4,40,45)
• Willie x 5 (6,7,10,24,43)
• Wicka x 1 (15)
• Whitestick x 1 (28)
• Grizzlee x 1 (31)
• “Frank” x 1 (39)

Starcom goals on 26, 38, 41, 43, 48 (last one by the turncoat Wicka!)

(times of goal in brackets. 52 minutes played)

*All documentation of goals and pictures are courtesy of Karen and the video was kindly supplied by Barbara*

Monday, October 11, 2010

Match 4: Marinthians vs TradeDoubler

Another day and another game, this time matching up the might of the Marinthians against TradeDoubler, a company with strong online history, but a totally unknown quantity on the pitch. Gentle goading between the two parties pre-match led to intense speculation amongst the Marinthians. Claims of a Gordon Banks-esque goalie and a backline of Adams and Dixon were thrown around at the height of the smack talk, leading the team to debate whether the TD squad live upto such grand claims.

With the Gaffer out and Whitestick maintaining his perfect non-scoring record by staying in the office, the squad comprised of the ever present Two, Razor, Plop and Willie, with Wicka making up the starting five. Grizzlee arrived with bibs and gloves, and Karen’s husband (“Frank” to his mates) started as subs. The TD team were a mixed bunch. Some who had claimed to have not played for a few years, whilst others played at least twice a week. Their “Gordon Banks” had never actually played in goal before, but felt that his blatant disregard for his own safety made him an ideal goalie. This was definitely going to be an interesting line up, with fitness bound to be a deciding factor.

In the immortal words of John Anderson, contenders, READY! Marinthians, READY! 3...2....1....And we were off!

Well, that was the theory. The Marinthians looked liked it had been beer o’clock before they had left the office, with TD running rings around them. Two was helpless in goal with 1-0 swiftly becoming 2-0 inside the first minute. Their number 9 was running rings around our defence, with a deft touch belying his size. Five minutes later and TradeDoubler were 4-0 up. I held my head in my hands, this was looking like a bad day to be a Marinthians fan.

Thankfully, the worse of it was over. Two came out of goal, Wicka went in and the Marinthians immediately looked more comfortable as they reverted to probably their strongest formation. With Two barking orders at people to mark “P.E. KIT” and “Red Stripe” (probably more confusing than helpful), the Marinthians began to look more composed and started to claw themselves back into the game. Two seized on a sloppy backpass to notch our first, with Razor adding shortly after. “Frank” joined the party and lo and behold, Plop started to hit the target. From 4-0 down, the Marinthians had edged ahead to 5-4 within the first 20 minutes.

At 6 goals a piece, the game looked finely balanced, with TD’s big number 9 still a strong physical presence and Jeff in goal throwing himself about like a madman. However, from this point onwards, Marinthians regained total control. With the backline marking their big number 9 out of the game, and lack of match fitness from the TD boys clearly playing a major role, the Marinthians began to mop up. In 22 unanswered minutes, we saw Razor and Plop both complete their hattricks, with Wicka adding another. Plop had clearly had his weetabix that morning as he just couldn’t stop scoring, wrapping up his double hattrick in 40 minutes. With the score at 13-7, it looked like the Marinthians had run away with it.

The last 5 minutes were Marinthians downfall as usual. 5 minutes played, 5 goals conceded. Thankfully Plop kept on scoring or it could have really got a bit hairy towards the end, but even so, Marinthians emerge victorious, finishing up at 15-12. The star for the Marinthians was definitely Le Plop this week, with every shot seemingly goal bound. It’s not often I say this, but well played. Willies lack of goals in this match saw him drop behind Plop and Razor in the scoring charts, but you really can’t fault his commitment. Full of running, he chased down every ball like a kitten with a ball of yarn, and never gave up. Plops 8 goals has certainly ignited the goal scoring charts, leading up to a few interesting upcoming matches.

Next week, another new opponent in Starcom. Come down and support your Marinthians!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Match 3: Marinthians vs OMD UK (well, sort of)

A pretty short round up this one, mainly as I was not in attendance. Yes, yes, I know, what kind of fan am I etc.....

Well, to be fair, when I heard that OMD UK could only put out a team of 3 guys (as they had taken part in the Yahoo cup the night before) I was pretty disappointed. We were quite excited to face off against the league hotshots, and for them to face up with just three players...well, it was a let down. It led to Le Plop frantically ringing around and we managed to enlist Karen's husband and one of Plops mates to play for OMD.

As it turns out, it sounded like a pretty decent game and went down to the wire, with the OMD-a-likes coming out as 10-9 winners. It turns out that Karen's husband and Plops mate were actually pretty decent and were able to hold their own alongside the OMD hotshots. Razor had a great game from defense/midfield rampaging forward to score a total of 5 goals, shooting him to the top of the scoring charts. The rest of the team (bar Wicka) managed to nick one, with the Gaffer notching his first on his debut.

This weeks game against TradeDoubler should be another interesting proposition, with plenty of smack talk already being thrown around. Same time, same place. See you there.