TCC Season Review - Dino SC
“Football is like Fencing, It’s a noble art”. Almost twenty years since the words were first uttered, they ring true. Whatever Eric Cantona saw that made him utter those words, he perhaps never envisaged that a club would sprawl out of South-Western Nigeria, and embrace the gentility, yet devastating brutality of a fencer. Fencing is an age-old Olympic sport, and while it is semi-contact unlike Football, it places so much emphasis on tact, agility, and poise. Sound familiar? All the markings of a club called Dino Sporting Club, based in Ijebu-Ode and champions of the Creative Championship Cup.
By the time Adekunle Elijah fired home the second goal in the final, They were chomping at the bit. It was the completion of a cycle, with the team ironically starting their campaign with a 2-1 reversal to Valiant. They were hapless on the day, leaving a lot to be desired, and needing a penalty from Ikechukwu Henry to give some gloss to the scoreline. It was the last time they tasted defeat in the tournament, securing three straight wins and scoring seven goals, four of which were scored by, you guessed right, Elijah Adekunle.
The big test arrived in the semi-final against Champions, Gbagada, and the biggest ethos that Coach Gideon Gibson had imbibed came through. Henry Agbede’s late goal and Gideon Ede’s penalty heroics grabbed the headlines, but there was something else present, the fighting spirit, and ‘Garra’ (the Spanish word for claw), a desire to never let go and hold on tightly to what was.
It left Coach Akinyelu wondering what might have been post-game had his side taken all their chances. However, it was all about the sweat and the shirt for Dino, and it proved the toughest test, so much so, it was the fire that forged their ‘Gold’. “Accomplished, excited,” were the words he bandied about at Full-time, and like his biblical namesake, he had won with the best men in the realm.
Second years are regarded as improvement years, and it definitely rang true for Dino, who finished second, albeit a distant eleven points behind champions, Beyond Limits. However, if they had been offered that when the season started, the gratitude would have been immense. Dino lost their first two, scoring once and conceding five, the alarm bells were ringing.
By match week three, when they would win and keep a clean sheet, they were already playing catch-up. However, four games later, they were a point off top spot, winning four on the trot, they had kept two clean sheets in that span too and life was good. Midway through the campaign, one would still be the number, and it was the gap between them and the top spot. They would never make up the point, fumbling away and not finding the consistency in the Ruckrunde. The three losses laced round the edges of six wins and a draw.
The magnitude of the inconsistency lay in an inability to convert one point to three in the second stanza, despite losing just once. Coach Gibson’s boys would drop points to teams with an average position of 6. It was damning, and when they lost 2-1 to Iganmu on Matchday 18, one became eleven, rendering any early season title challenge redundant.
Standout Performer – Samuel Asogbon
He was a consistent performer on the team and was exceptional in Dino’s backline. He is a rare breed.