The racing and footballing worlds combined at the LCI Rail Stadium this evening with the Cheltenham Legends coming out 3-2 winners over the Sir AP McCoy XI.
In the name of a great cause, raising money for the Injured Jockeys Fund, cobwebs were dusted off boots and a great display was put on.
Chances were few and far between early into the game, with the Jockeys XI making frequent substitutions, making sure everyone got a game.
Ex-Cheltenham captain and manager Mark Yates went close early on with a sliced effort. Steve Guinan rounded Jockey XI goalkeeper Conrad Logan but his effort was cleared off the line.
The deadlock was finally broken when Tony Naylor picked up the ball from a lofted Jerry Gill pass, cut in and curled his shot past Logan.
However, it wasn’t all one-way traffic. The Jockey XI had their best chance of the half when David Bass beat the offside trap to force a save from Steve Book. Darren Byfield tried to force the ball over the line twice, but met his match in the evergreen Michael Duff, who blocked both the attempts.
It should have been 2-0 not long after, but Guinan’s cut back was scuffed by Devaney with the goal gaping.
Cheltenham made wholesale changes going into the second half, with Wayne Shaw going in goal.
However, the Jockey XI made their early pressure in the second half pay when Joachim sliced open the defence and passed to Jamie Bargary to make it 1-1.
You never lose it, they say. And Steven Gillespie paid testament to that with some nice touches, setting up Michael Jackson who fired wide.
The Jockey XI took the lead through Bargary’s second of the game, a diving header from the man who once had trials at Cork City.
Bargary could have had a hat-trick, but Shaw smothered his effort well.
However, the CTFC Legends hit back when Damian Spencer rose highest to head home. The turnaround was complete when Steven Gillespie slotted home with just minutes on the clock remaining.
Keep an eye out on the club website for how much has been raised and a photo gallery.
AP McCoy Squad: Conrad Logan, Alain Cawley, Wayne Hutchinson, Joe O’Neill, Aaron Downes, Jamie Bargary, Julian Joachim, David Bass, Francis Jeffers, AP McCoy, Charlie Poste, Sam Twiston-Davies, Robbie Dunne, Ben Poste, Ben Pauling, Trevor Whelan, Rhys Bowers, Nick Schofield, Darren Byfield, Ian Rowlands, Seth Johnson.
CTFC Legends Squad: Steve Book, Jerry Gill, Richard Walker, Michael Duff, Shane Duff, John Brought, Chris Banks, Steve Elliott, John Finnigan, Mark Yates, Hugh McAuley, Alex Russell, Michael Jackson, Bob Bloomer, Keith Knight, Martin Devaney, Steven Gillespie, Steve Guinan, Damian Spencer, Tony Naylor.
Watch Sir AP McCoy's interview with Robins TV after the game as he reflects on a great night:
Watch Legends' Manager, and former Robins' boss John Ward speaking to Robins TV after the match here: