Last week the University of Queensland Fortress played witness to a true historic clash of the titans: Griffith Med vs. UQ Med. Ninety-minutes of ego-driven blood, guts, terrible offside calls and questionable slide tackles saw a very high-quality competition between the two medical schools.
Lining up at midday on a hot, dry Sunday, without a cloud in the sky, Hatchet’s own Dan Edey blew the starting whistle as the official match referee and unofficial team dad.
The match started with several hard contests and midfield control. The seven-foot-two Griffith centre made strong work with the Griffith captain to ensure that the centre of the pitch was Griffiths in the air and on the ground. This led to several early chances for the Gold Coast contingent.
The Hatchets, however, stuck to their usual form of play. Utilising the centre of the pitch only to work the ball towards the wings. In the seventeenth minute the Hatchet’s found their first bit of luck. After not calling 12 fouls, the ref decided to call a bad tackle just within Griffith’s half. Hatchet’s captain Rockie Kang stepped up to take the free kick. A lofty, hard ball curving left, it carried well over the defensive line and beat the keeper to the top right of the goal. An impressive goal to the Hatchet’s defender.
The contest would begin to heat up throughout this half, with tackles becoming harder, from more dangerous angles and with many players ending up on the ground. Unable to control the play, Edey called half time.
With the start of the second half play settled again somewhat. Legend status Hatchets players Donald and current drinks captain (at the end of his term) Michael Gibney played a strong game in the centre and wing. Gibney made several typical runs on the left wing, beating multiple Griffiths defenders. In the 60th minute one such run proved fruitful for the Hatchets.
Pushing the left wing off a quick through ball Gibney beat four Griffith players by himself, one by doing a sweet turn and another with a backflip. After beating these players Gibney then put the ball on his left foot from 30 metres out and drove the ball dead flat clean at the goal keeper – nutmegging the keeper and actually setting fire to the net for the Hatchet’s second goal. This is what Gibney told me at least, I wasn’t watching at the time as I was on Tinder. Either way, 2-0 to the Hatchets.
Griffith would not rest long. After a sequence of play off the kick off Griffith pushed several quick passes through the centre, finding their captain on the edge of the Hatchet’s box. With a quick right step and an impressive shot beating Graves to the bottom corner of the goal, putting the score at 2-1 with fifteen minutes remaining.
With fatigue setting in, the sun bearing down and 75 hard minutes of football passed, both teams began making mistakes and poor tackles. Fouls started being given in both directions and back lines started failing to get back. The most notable of these fouls was a beautiful Maradona from the 7″2′ Griffith centre, who scored a goal with a volleyball spike off a Griffith corner that floated across the box.
Taking advantage of the fatigue, ex-state sprinter Nathan Sayer made several deadly runs on Gibney’s wing, pushing Gibney over on the way through and being sure to nutmeg his teammate on the way through. One of these runs – in fact the only one that Sayer wasn’t offside for – found Sayer past the Griffith back line in a contest with the Griffith keeper.
Not to make a mistake, Sayer slipped the ball off his left foot past the Griffith keeper to put the Hatchets out 3-1. Bored, terrified and with a girl messaging him back on Tinder, Edey blew the final whistle for the game now and began running home to shower.
Befuddled, both teams accepted the end of the match. Overall it was a fantastic contest with impressive plays from both sides. Hopefully in the future more intra-mural contests like this can be organised, bringing glory to the superior medical school.
In other news, the Herston Hatchets are currently sitting third in the Friday night South East Queensland football league. The last two weeks saw one win (1-0) and one loss (3-1) for the UQ Med team. These games however have been marred by aggressive opposition – highlighted by assaults against two Hatchet’s players in two weeks. While no one has been crucially injured, the team is currently trying to remain focused on their run into finals while letting the league deal with ongoing violence issues.