It’s the contractual obligation game no player wants to be part of, and the fans have little interest in - the Sunday lunch time third-fourth place match.
Often dubbed the ‘Hangover Game’ it requires the losing semi-finalists to go again barely the day after the disappointment of missing out on the final is as raw as a slash to back of the legs.
There’s nothing at stake - no pro player gets pumped up about officially finishing third - and the games are generally low key, and devoid of a single check.
The game becomes a backdrop to an afternoon of karaoke, Mexican waves and even a mock fight between rival mascots - so much so, 5000 fans were too busy watching them drop their furry gloves to even notice a goal being scored just the other side of the plexi glass.
Credit to both teams for skating the 60 minutes - I’ve seen third-fourth games much much worse than this - but the result was of zero interest to anyone, so it is surely time now to simply bin the match altogether.
The players deserve better. The fans deserve better.
For the record Cardiff won 6-0.
Goals from Ryan Russell and Luke Piggott had Devils 2-0 up in 14 minutes, and when Chris Jones made it three, netminder David Brown handed over to Craig Douglas for the remainder of the game. He departed to one last chant of ‘Broony, Broony.’
Period two was just as pedestrian, with Jake Morissette making it 4-0 with the gentlest of tap-ins, and Piggott made it five just as Geordie Munro and Clangus staged their mock battle. When you score at a championship finals weekend and the is busy watching two mascots muck about off the ice, then it’s time to re-think the fixture.
The third period simply completed the task of going through the motions, making a few chances, and winding the clock down.
Fife did their best to break the shut out and upped the pace in the third, Jones got a second to complete the scoring, and this game was done and dusted in less than two hours.