Studs score all the way

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SUNDAY morning football. It’s in a league of its own. Gordon Steel should know; first he played it, then he wrote a play about it.

Studs is the football fan’s answer to rugby’s Up ‘n’ Under: a raucous, affectionate and above all hilarious snapshot of life in the Sunday League, from the point of view of the wags as well as the players.

Reform Theatre Company’s tour stops off at the Pomegranate this week, complete with dingy changing room set that looks so real you can almost smell the sweat.

First we meet Ronnie, player-manager of the Eston Bankers. Football is his life. He used to play for Leeds - sort of - and he’s desperate for success in the County Cup to persuade the council not to cancel the lease on the club house.

Mac, sex god of Yorkshire, is the team’s secret weapon, banned for intimidating the opposition nearly as often as he plays. Kylie, his girlfriend, sweet as honey and almost as thick, is on the touchline for every match.

Tommo’s the nice guy. He plays midfield, and does as he’s told by Mandy, who’s sexy, gorgeous and even scares Ronnie.

But Mandy is hiding a sad secret, and after a wild weekend in Scarborough, so are Kylie and Tommo.

Richard Marriott, Kivan Dene, Natasha Atkinson, Matthew Booth and Amy Walsh bring the characters and the game to riotous and heartbreaking life which reduced the first-night audience at the Pomegranate to helpless laughter and rapt silence.

Will Kylie and Tommo tell all? Is Mac as hard as he looks? And most important of all, will the Bankers win the County Cup?

You have till Saturday to find out! LYNNE PATRICK