On Wednesday 2nd January, the leavers of 2016 and 2017 reunited for an annual Christmas football match. Joe Tulley (OE 2016) recounts all.

“A cold Wednesday night under the lights on the hallowed Turf of Battersea Park saw the return of the annual 11 a side football game, featuring the ‘OE Class of 2016’ vs the ‘OE class of 2017’ captained by Joseph Tulley and Toto Chalvet de Recy respectively and refereed by Harry Chalvet de Recy. A fixture steeped in tradition, many an upset and so packed with excitement, former Head of Drama Mrs Dawson would have been proud.

This game certainly didn’t disappoint. At half time the ‘OE Class of 2016’ lead by three goals to two with a very comfortable grip on the game with goals from Louis Gibbon, Finley McBrearty and a comical own goal. This comfort lead to complacency in the second half and a sublime freekick from Toto and goals from Alex Storey and Teddy gave the ‘OE Class of 2017’ the lead with five goals to three. The tables had turned, and it was looking all over for the OEs of 2016. The OEs of 2016 however launched their comeback through a second goal from Louis Gibbon but a moment of madness from Tom Freeland, who had been a key member of the OEs of 2016 team, forced Harry Chalvet to show him the red card, leaving the OEs of 2016 with 10 men. A goal from David Kemp took the wind out of the OEs of 2016 sails. 6-4 to the OEs of 2017. Four minutes of added time was indicated by Harry Chalvet. Was it all over for the year above?

A through ball from Louis Gibbon to Joseph Tulley was spectacularly saved by Will Rees only to fall into the path of Sam Story to tidily tap the ball into the net…6-5 and game on! With one-minute left on the clock in the heart of stoppage time Arturo Recio hit and hoped from the edge of the box only to strike the hand of David Kemp resulting in a last-minute penalty to the OEs of 2016. Joseph Tulley Captain, Leader, Legend (yes, I wrote this) confidently slotted home with the last kick of the game…6-6 and roll on penalties.

An agonising penalty shoot-out with wonderful saves from Thomas Paddy Behan and Toto Chalvet ended in a sudden death fashion. Former 1st XV Emanuel School Captain Finlay McBrearty, with a wealth of experience in remaining calm under pressure, ended the shootout winning the game for the ‘OE Class of 2016’.”