Telewest Arena, Sunday 24.06.01
Bez Masterminds More
Mackem Masters Misery
NUFC.com contributor, John Beresford, enjoyed an evening of mixed fortunes at the Newcastle Arena as the Masters side he was coaching crashed out of the competition.
But Bez, who is nursing a calf injury picked up in a charity game at Gateshead, enjoyed a 5-3 victory over our nearest and dearest in the wooden spoon decider. United came up against strong opponents in the first two games with Bernie Slaven inspiring Boro to a 4-0 victory. Peter Beagrie then helped his Bradford side - containing ex-Mags Peter Jackson and Chris Withe - to a 4-2 victory to end our challenge.
By the time we met the mackems, Boro and Bradford were already in the final but in a fiercely contested ding-dong encounter, Peter Beardsley was superb as he scored twice and played a leading role in the battle for a bit of local pride.
Rob McKinnon gave us the lead only for former mackem thug, Paul Hardyman to equalise. Beardsley put us back in front before John Byrne made it 2-2. Unlikely striker, Wes Saunders made it 3-2 at half-time before Byrne once again levelled. Pedro put us ahead once more before a classy late goal from Paul Bodin sealed the 5-3 victory.
We caught up with Bez after the game and
like any good coach, he blamed the players for the defeats. "We
didn't have enough young legs out there," he said, referring to the
advanced years of his aged squad....
The story was similar in last year's Masters when United beat the mackems in the last group game to prevent them reaching the final after we had already gone out.
The full United squad was:
Kevin Carr, Rob McKinnon, John Cornwell, Kevin Scott, Brian Kilcline, Peter Beardsley, Wes Saunders, Kevin Brock, Paul Bodin, Tony Cunningham.
Non-playing Coach: John Beresford
p.s. - Despite his injury, John is heading out to South Africa as part of the Ellis Park Memorial contingent who will be playing a game on June 28th in memory of the 43 who tragically lost their life in the Ellis Park disaster in April.