Cardiff Dragons 2 – 9 Mersey Marauders

Match Report – Dragons across the Mersey

GFSN League Division Two (Mixed-Gender 11-a-side)

14th November 2015, Liverpool

A squad representative of the broad, brilliant range of Dragons membership headed north with partners and supporters for their first GFSN fixture of the season and the promise of a night’s enthusiastic socialising amid the buzzing streets, bars and clubs of Liverpool city centre.

It was never going to be an easy task on the pitch, taking on well-drilled hosts in driving rain with players unpractised as a unit—including several lacking experience at the 11-a-side game—but the scoreline hardly does justice to the individual commitment and fantastic team spirit shown throughout. Even the loss of some early goals could not quench the Dragons’ work-rate and desire, everyone playing for each other and the badge with immense passion, pride and solidarity, defending with discipline and creating attacking opportunities whenever the chance arose.

Such efforts did not deserve to go unrewarded, and the tireless running of Dan—unlucky to see a free kick spin along the goal-line off the inside of the post a few minutes earlier—ensured they were not, as he picked up the pieces from some midfield work from Ryan, Harriet and Darrin to fire in a shot which rebounded off the keeper for a gleeful Ruth to turn into the net. Dragon of the Day Dan was not to be denied his own moment of glory though, a fantastic run and unstoppable shot from the left following a through ball from Jason briefly reducing the deficit before the Marauders bagged a couple of late breakaway goals.

Any disappointment at the final score was more than tempered by the positives: strong GFSN league debuts from Alex in goal, Hennie, Joe, Claire (also redoubtable in the linesperson role!), Meg the Younger and Meg the Wiser; brave on-the-pitch leadership by example from stalwarts Muzz, Ryan M and John A; relentless work from Harriet, Joe and Dan and morale-boosting encouragement from veterans Ruth, Jason and Darrin; a warmly-greeted cameo from goalkeeping legend Amos; and the wonderful support of Shona, Sue, Richie, Mrs Joe and Anthony, doubling as the day’s Manager and decision-maker-in-chief. With the attitude and team ethos shown here, this squad can only improve as it grows in experience and familiarity, and there will surely be many enjoyable days to come in this competition before the season’s end.

An after-match feast provided the opportunity for the Dragons to relax with the hosts, and as the evening wore on, to show the hosts how we party! Suffice to say it was a night so memorable a few of us are struggling to remember it.  Many thanks for the hospitality of those members of the Mersey squad who joined us and guided us through it, to those Dragons who took on driving duties and organised accommodation, and to all the Cardiff GFSN 2015/16 crew for being even more fabulous than Mr McGavock on the dancefloor.

Dragons scorers: Ruth 60, Dan 70

HT 0-5

Cardiff Dragons: Alex, Dave A, Meg R, Muzz, John A (C), Joe, Claire, Ryan M, Darrin, Meg H, Harriet, Jason, Ruth, Hennie, Dan.

Cardiff Dragons V Mersey Marauders GFSN 2015IMG_2470