Friday night at Croft the annual charity football match took place between the media and the riders and once again the Media won - five goals to nil! Crash.net's Louise Cain was there to lend support...

The riders' team consisted loosely of: Robin Appleyard (player manager), Steve Plater, Ollie Bridewell, Craig Jones, Cal 'Beckham' Crutchlow, Mick Neville, Nigel Bosworth, Michael Laverty, Tom Sykes, Stu Wilson (goalie), Ashley Beech.

The media were represented by: Adrian Marsh, Adam Arnold, Chris Ford, Robbie Freer, Adrian Hall, Mark Proudly, Andy Kerr, Andy McGladdery, Mark Robinson, Mark Shippey, Gary Veazy, James Wright, Tom Willetts, Pete Groves, Simon Pavitt, Alex Brown and Dave Pettel. As there were more media players than riders they were subbed on a regular basis and got the fun job of running the line.

The man in black was Larry 'Scoop' Carter who did a fine job of refereeing the reasonably friendly match.

The match got off to a civilized start until James Wright decided to 'tackle' one of the riders who didn't have the ball; all done whilst the ref had his back turned! The first penalty of the match was awarded to the media after two riders, one of which was Craig Jones, both tackled one member of the media and took him out. He limped off the pitch and was replaced by one of the many subs. A free kick was then awarded when Craig Jones managed to take down another member of the media! Steve Plater wandered off mid-match for a drink of water and a chat to his mates at the side of the pitch and had his team hollering at him to come back.

The first media goal was scored early in the match by Tom Willetts of Dunlop, the riders then proceeded to make an assault on the goal but didn't manage to score. Stu Wilson did a brilliant job in goal for the riders with a couple of epic saves that received a round of applause from the crowd of spectators.

Once the first goal was scored the media were unstoppable and the second goal of the evening soon followed, scored by Pete Groves, Metro Radio's Touch Line reporter. The first half ended with another goal for the media, so it was three nil at half time.

Things really kicked off in the second half with James Wright being booked by 'Scoop' Carter and promptly being sent off. Then the off side rule, which I don't understand, [that's because you're a girl - Ed] reared its ugly head for the first time and the riders were awarded a free kick. Cal 'Beckham' Crutchlow had an amazing run the length of the field (with the ball!) and looked like he could score until Mark Shippey stopped him, very suddenly and very firmly. The harsh tackles continued as did the goal scoring, the fourth goal was scored by Chris Ford from Tyne Tees. The final goal of the evening was scored by Airwaves Ducati's Simon Pavitt.

Robin Appleyard, who had been standing on the side lines - but joining in when it suited him, got a yellow card from Larry Carter. It was during this incident that Craig Jones and Cal Crutchlow came into their own. Jones knelt down behind Carter's legs and Crutchlow pushed him backwards over the top of Jones - very Laurel and Hardy ! Carter was not amused and showed Jones the red card and sent him off however as soon as Crater had his back turned Jones was back on the pitch. After the match Carter said, "That was a totally unprovoked attack on an official who is giving up his free time to referee this match."

At the end of this battle all the players were presented with medals and Ollie Bridewell was named as man of the match apparently because 'he was on it.' Cal Crutchlow was heard lamenting after the match that he was going to play on the Media team next year as they always seem to win. All money raised will go to St Teresa's Hospice, Darlington.

Disclaimer: I, Louise Cain, know NOTHING about football.