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BBC cricketers in football triumph


The Gentlemen & Players returned triumphant from last week's BBC Scotland Children in Need Charity Shield after weathering a Gaelic storm to defeat MNE TV in the final and be crowned 2011 champions.

The tournament, which raised 1050 for the BBC Children in Need Appeal, featured 12 teams from Glasgow's print and broadcast media, and was celebrating its ninth year.

The team, comprising Peter Mellis, Jack McGill, Johnny MacKay, Weakest Link series producer, Nick Gunaydin, and a trio of talented Glasgow Uni ladies, went unbeaten through the tournament, defeating CBBC, Archivists Athletic, and the Daily Record in the group stages with goals from Johnny MacKay.

In the semi-final, the cricketers found themselves up against a BBC News team fielding, Holmsey, and Richard Blane, brother of our own David.

With Johnny Mackay tasked with man-marking Blane, BBC News found few opportunities in front of goal. Instead, at the other end, it was Jack McGill who was asking questions of David Holmes in the BBC News goal. The two, who are also co-directors of QuipuTV, took the head-to-head clash literally at one point, with Holmsey's nose the victim of Jack's poor heading technique. Gamely, Holmesy played on, but it was McGill who had the last laugh, scoring with low, angled drive.

The game should have been out of sight, but some clumsy defending at the back-post, allowed the news boys to equalise in the dying seconds and the matter was settled on penalties, with Peter "the cat" Mellis, once more excelling himself in goal and MacKay and McGill drilling home their penalties to ensure a place in the final for the second time in four years.

In the final, McGill again took the lead for the cricketers, but this time, possibly through fatigue or through the substitution of Nick "The Rock" Gunaydin, the Gentlemen & Players found themselves under constant pressure with Peter Mellis standing like King Canute repelling waves of attack.

The equaliser came from an uncharacteristic mix-up between Mellis and McGill, and for the third consecutive year, the CiN Charity Shield final was decided on penalties.

In that situation, there's only one hero. Peter saved three of MNE TVs penalties and the Glasgow Uni ladies stepped up to the mark in style, securing the win in sudden death.

Later that evening, in front of a packed Coopers bar, Johnny MacKay was presented with the trophy by last year's winning captain, Brian Neilly.




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