In May 2015, the School of Mathematics and Statistics kicked off the yearly tradition of a Staff vs. Students soccer match.

However, it seems another tradition was instigated that day - the custom of the Staff team taking home the glory!

The afternoon of Friday 2 June 2017 started much as the prior two games had: with high hopes and a sequence of pre-game stretches. Several spectators gathered in the dimming light and rapidly dropping temperature on the Village Green to speculate on the upshot of the third annual game.

Early on, a prominent Staff player loudly voiced his prediction of a “nil all” outcome. He was proven wrong within mere moments – a student landed the first goal within three minutes of kick off. 

With students on the attack early, thoughts wandered to the prospect of a long-overdue Student victory. But a third into the first half of the match, the Staff team were back on the front foot after two goals were realised in quick succession. 

The Students’ spirits were further weakened when a team member limped off after an excruciatingly swift - but seemingly accidental - kick to the shin.

As several self-appointed timekeepers called time from the sidelines, both teams broke for a quick breather. The score? 4:1 – in the Staff team’s favour.

Despite an admirable and energetic defence, and one more goal delivered, hopes of a Student team redemption were all but dashed early in the second half of play.

With 8 minutes left on the clock, they mobilised desperately to build on their tally but the Staff team - now well-honed in the business of winning – were unyielding.   

At precisely 4.20pm the full-time whistle blew, elevating the Staff team to three-time winners! Any lingering notions of their previous two victories being a stroke of luck were finally laid to rest.

Victory was celebrated with a BBQ and free flowing champagne.

Go Staff team!

Pictured above: both teams after the game
(Click to enlarge image)