Harrison’s heroics bested by Balliol

Harry Griffiths summarises Pembroke's close-run defeat to Balliol in college football.

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Hobbes states that natural law is “a precept, or general rule, found out by reason, by which a man is forbidden to do that which is destructive of his life”. Jack Harrison proved Hobbes wrong in 90 minutes of PCFC glory, willingly doing the forbidden in putting his life and, at one point, the life of a Balliol forward, at risk for the sake of keeping us lot in the game. Harrison’s extraordinary game earned him the Fuzzy Ducks player of the week award, which was followed a not so extraordinary performance in Park End VIP. Whilst Hobbes mustered 19 natural laws, today we could only muster twelve Pembrokians to the sports ground on this dark Tuesday afternoon— though not bad for post-bop. At 2.15pm, there was only half a dozen Pembrokians in the pavilion, and no kit. The odds looked stacked against us as Balliol strode in donning a kit suspiciously resembling the Croatia kits of recent years. It seemed that the afternoon might well be, to regurgitate Mr Hobbes’ famous line, “nasty, brutish, and short”. Alas, the arrival of Mohamed Eghleilib, the aforementioned Mr McShane, and the heroic Harrison provided some cause for optimism. The lineup looked surprisingly strong for a mere twelve players, and some hunting round the Pavilion established that we could throw together a kit, and summon the spirits of our PCFC forefathers who wore this random blue kit before us. A back four of myself, Ned Foulkes, Matthew Doyle, and Ed Gough complimented by the holding-midfield mettle of Ed ‘Makélélé’ Wilson looked sure enough to withstand a significant amount of Balliol pressure. Flanked by Ukaire and Eghleilib, with Gisby and McShane in support of Riccardo Casini, and Shakil donning the linesman flag with majesty, Pembroke had reason to believe they might grind out a result. A well-taken penalty meant Pembroke were a goal behind at the break, but the well-worked efforts on goal of Gisby, Eghleilib and Cassini again kept the dream of a result alive. With twenty minutes left on the clock, a striker found himself bearing down on goal, Harrison was left with no option but to handle the ball outside of his area. Balliol put an end to the game, as Balliol’s answer to Riyad Mahrez (who’d tellingly opted for a PSG shirt instead of a Croatian one) slammed a glorious left-footed free-kick into Harrison’s top right corner.

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