It's a Nickname Knock-out: The Finals

After some fascinating results in the First Round of the one-off Nicknames Knockout tournament, it’s on to Round 2... and 3, 4, 5 and 6, also known as the last 16, quarter-finals, semis and final.

For reasons best known to themselves, the FA pack five rounds of football into one day, and so it’s only right our round-up should do the same.Strap yourselves in.

ROUND 2And it’s a marquee fixture straight up, with a hotly anticipated match that many pundits expected to be the final. See where no seeding gets you?

Anyway, the Lions and the Tigers go head-to-head in the inaccurately billed ‘Rumble In The Jungle’ (lions don’t live in jungles). Still, Sky insist and the match takes place in the jungle, helping the Tigers to use their home advantage, because LIONS DON’T LIVE IN JUNGLES.

There’s more animal magic as the Bulls progress into the last 16 with a win over the Tractor Boys. The youngsters are brave but not brave enough, ultimately fleeing over Gutless Gate and through Fainthearted Forest into Disqualification Nation.

The Us are overwhelmingly thankful not to be trapped on a playing field with the Rams, but don’t fare much better against the Pirates, who are just as randy and twice as dirty. The Rams face the Saints instead, and are very much on the wrong side in this battle of faiths, with the unclean animals banished from the competition just as they were from the ark. (It’s football, history and religious studies all rolled into one – what more do you want?)

Black Cats may have the supernatural advantage but they’re no match for the dashing Valiants, who continue to win the neutrals’ hearts with their bravery and good looks. Sigh...

Elsewhere there are easy wins for the Red Devils over the Bantams and the Villans over the Canaries, ruthlessly strangled without mercy (or, indeed, ruth). It’s a harsh exit for the Canaries, but this is what happens when you rely almost entirely on being drawn against the Black Cats and having an old lady nearby to bash them with a rolling pin. Still, it isn’t a nice way to go.

You have to feel sorry for the Chairboys, too, clearly making up the numbers and massively out of their depth at this level. Their heroic defeat of the Saddlers in the first round isn’t followed up with a victory over the Hornets, who do the business with minimum fuss but a lot of buzz.

Posh v Dons is a scholarly affair as dull as it is elitist, with the Posh eventually prevailing due to extra funding. The Grecians come bearing impressive footballing gifts, but many an arm is broken as they fall to the psychopathic Swans.

Just as violent is the Seagulls’ destruction of the Baggies, whose attempt to take the game and “bag it up”, as Geri Halliwell might say, ends in disaster as the Seagulls simply peck their way out with their massive, massive beaks.

Even birdier games follow. Magpies v Eagles is almost literally a match made in heaven, a real aerial battle. The Eagles win due to being about three times the size of their opponents and better at coping with high altitudes, though the Magpies do thieve their valuables from the changing rooms.

Magpies v Eagles: "Leg it!"

Luckily for the Owls, the match does not take place on the Colombian stamping ground of an impatient nutjob, and they threaten for most of their game against the Hammers. But after half an hour of frantic flapping and swooping, they meet a messy end. Ouch.

NEWS WITH VIDEO: Colombian player boots stricken owl off pitch

There are bizarre scenes in London as the Gunners and the Shots both look threatening, but the Gunners lack shots and the Shots lack a shooter. As a result, nobody does anything. After an ultimately unsatisfying draw, the Gunners finally find some ammunition and win the shootout (boom boom!).

Surprise last-32 participants the Rs become uninvited last 16-guests after a highly controversial win over the popular Shrimpers. Their strategy? Simple: send two Rs in undercover to the Shrimpers and bring them down from within. Cunning.

But the biggest shock of the round comes as the Shakers defeat the Daggers with their patented shaking tactics, moving too much for the Daggers to pin them down and eventually shaking them down into a fumbling, crying mess. “They were everywhere,” weeps the captain of the losing side, who had been tipped for the top. “It was more than we could shake a stick at, let alone a dagger. The shaking...oh God, the shaking.”

LAST 16By now the crowds are slinking away to watch some real football, and teams and organisers are doing all they can to entertain. They’re pulling out all the stops – bad news for the Gunners, who, with their safety catches off, accidentally off themselves during shooting practice. Still, the Valiants don’t mind, waltzing into the quarter-finals to the delight of the swooning crowd.

There are colourful scenes in East Anglia, at least, as the Posh get a nasty bout of food poisoning having had the Swans right where they wanted them up until the last minute. The indigestible Swans play havoc with the Posh's insides and make an unexpected comeback through the gullet.

The Pirates are made to regret some heavy drinking the night before as Seagulls descend on them right on time, evading swords, gunshots and flying rum bottles to peck out eyeballs as if they were auditioning for Alfred Hitchcock.

Nobody is surprised to see the Bulls tear the Rs a new one, and equally predictable is a victory for the Red Devils over the Shakers, who pass and move well but can offer little resistance to the Prince of Darkness and his creepy minions.

Hammers v Tigers is not one for the RSPCA, with the inevitable occurring and leading to an awfully attractive rug, but Saints v Hornets is more intriguing. Being goodies, the Saints win but don’t kill their foes, instead tempting them with sticky sweets and trapping them under the world’s biggest glass, which combines with the sun’s rays to set fire to a localised area of Libya, killing two birds with one stone. Nicely done.

Oh, and once the evil Villans beat the magnificent soaring Eagles, the USA declares war on villainy (villany?) worldwide. Whoever said football and politics don’t mix?

QUARTER-FINALSThe Villans (boo!) take on the Valiants (yay!) in a fixture that is unsurprisingly dubbed a grudge match. The baddies are finally defeated thanks to a falling house and a well-aimed bucket of water, and the Valiants are through to the semis. Hurrah!

Another brutal reign of terror is brought to an end as the Hammers succumb to the wily overtures of the Red Devils, who persuade them of their potential for evil. A fifth horseman of the apocalypse is added to the scriptures: people the world over cower at preachers’ visions of Pestilence, War, Famine, Death and Mallett's Mallet.

Hammer and Devil: A match made in hell

The last of the land animals makes way as the Bulls’ impressive run comes to an end, losing to the basically infallible Saints. It’s not a draw you want, that. Commentators fall off the edge of their seats as the semi-finals now feature the Valiants and the Saints representing the good guys, with the Red Devils on the baddies’ side.

And their partner in crime and evility? It’s a tough contest between the Swans and the Seagulls, in what is officially known as The Battle of the Bats**t Insane. Necks are ripped out, more arms are broken and the Thames fills with blood, but the Seagulls limp through with no wings, no beaks and one eye between 11 of them.

SEMI-FINALSBruised, battered and by no means unb*ggered on their way to the final four, the Seagulls know it will take an incredible effort from cohort Satan to help them overcome the unageing, regenerating Teenage Mutant Ninja Saints (read your Bible).

Beelzebub, however, is busy taking care of matters in Valiants v Red Devils. The fallen one summons his evil hordes to dispose of the mighty Valiants in what is the most unpopular football result since Uruguays’s defeat of Ghana in the 2010 World Cup, though a national vote shows Luis Suarez to nick it in the polls.

But at least he’s too busy to help the Seagulls, and the Saints march into the final.

FINALThis is the big one. The match to end all matches. Saints v Devils, good v evil. All holiday leave is cancelled in Sky's graphics department. Come kick-off, all bets are off and still no one can predict what will happen. The Saints boast a strong line-up featuring Bobby Robson, Pele and Roque Santa Cruz. The Devils are a terrifying prospect, with players including many we can’t mention for fear of legal action.

All is ready. The whistle blows. The Saints take the attack to the evildoers, and start well but can't create the goodness they need. The Devils take control of the match but as the Saints batten down the hatches, the game creeps ever closer to penalties. After injury time finishes 0-0, there is no alternative.

The Saints lead, the Devils cheat and as it goes into sudden death, it looks like good is to prevail. It all comes down to one kick. The Saints’ best player steps up and looks destined to score...


... but he doesn’t, the Devils come back to win and the world is ruled by infinite darkness. Again.

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