After Medic One’s first venture into the Scottish Casualty Cup last time around, this years 8th running of the tournament on 4th October 2014, again saw us amongst its contenders, playing for the Medic One charity. The cup is an annual 7 a side NHS charity football tournament held in Glasgow featuring teams of front line employees including doctors, nurses, ambulance personnel and x-ray staff and helps raise money for the Malawi Emergency Medicine project and a charity chosen each year by the reigning champions.
Despite now having developed a squad of over 20 players we were this year hampered by friends’ weddings, 80th birthday parties, childcare commitments, unfortunate rota clashes and no help from the August draft (aka junior doctors changeover) so eventually made it to Glasgow with a squad of only 8, a tough ask for a potential 2 hours of high intensity football. Alan Blair took the gloves again, Nicolas Lehel, Olly Prescott, Iain Drummond, David Arnot, Andy Carachi, Jay Watt and Matt Reed made up the rest of the team.
Arriving at Toryglen indoor arena, we were assigned to Group D. First up we played Leverndale ambulance service. The Medic one team, who prior to the competition, had not all played together, started brightly but fell behind to Leverndale’s only shot on goal. However, we kept plugging away and with only 2 minutes left we struck back followed a minute later with a winner; a 2-1 win in our first game and an excellent start.
Next up, with no break (Forth Valley’s skipper being in charge of the competition schedule) we faced last year’s runners up, Forth Valley ED featuring none other up front than Kenny "The Good Doctor" Deuchar, star of Gretna’s historic climb up the league and current Arbroath professional. Although we performed well again, a shaky 5 minutes in the middle of the match saw us let in 3 goals without reply and effectively sealed the game.
This left us with a winner takes all final group game against Lanarkshire ED, a merger (for football reasons only!) of Hairmyres, Monklands and Wishaw General. Again we were tight and in control for the first 10 minutes without anything to show for it. However, after substitute Iain Drummond had scored with his first touch after coming on as an inspired substitute, and Olly Prescott had found the top corner with a blinder from 30 yards we eventually ran out 4-0 winners and had reached the Casualty Cup knockout stages for the first time ever.
In the Quarter Finals we played Forth Valley ambulance service and again didn't look in trouble for the first 10 minutes however were hit by two quick breakaway goals and ended up on the wrong side of a 0-4 defeat going out at the same stage as our Edinburgh ambulance service compatriots making their debut in the competition.
Overall an improvement on last year and a display certainly worthy of the Medic 1 name. Casualty Cup 2015 will be in early October next year. We will again be looking for players and hoping to go better again.
Dr Matt Reed