Following league success the boys went into the first of the summer tournaments full of confidence with the first down the road at Burley. In what is always a well organised tournament we were in a tough group with Ilkley, Horsforth, Menston, Nabwood and Embsay. With wins against Embsay and Menston we then went down by the odd goal to Nabwood leaving us the difficult task of having to pick up points against Ilkley and Horsforth. We were unlucky to only pick up a draw with Horsforth with them scoring with the last kick of the game, but the luck was in our favour in our last group game, needing a point to qualify, Oliver scored with the last kick of the game to qualify in third place behind strong outfits in Ilkley and Horsforth. Having finished in 3rd spot in our group meant us having to go into a playoff with Salts, who had also qualified in 3rd Place in their group. In what was nailbiting game the two sides couldn’t be separated and in the resultant penalties, heroics from Fin in goal and the calmness of the five penalty takers saw us through to the Quarters where we met Menston who had topped their group by some margin. Again another thrilling end to end game saw the score finish at 2-2 and the game again went to Penalties. The boys held their nerve and yet again to go through with Fin again pulling off three saves in the shoot out to see us into the semi’s. Having already played 7 games to get to the semi’s the boys were showing signs of tiredness, and we were paired with an Ilkley team who had only dropped points against ourselves in the group stages and had won their last eight tie comfortably. But without doubt we saved our best performance of the tournament and saw the boys getting a superb 4-1 victory against a shellshocked Ilkley side. So a little bruised and battered and with tired legs clearly on show, having got through the group stage, Quarter final playoff qualifier, quarters and semi’s our ninth game and the tournament final was against our league rivals Sutton. Having finished as runners up to us in the league, they were undoubtedly up for a bit of revenge. As could well have been predicted the final was another tight affair with chances few and far between, but with it goal less at the end of the game, Sutton scored from a header from a corner in the second period of extra time to win Sutton the tournament. For us it was an invaluable lesson in what was our first competitive tournament. We struggled a little with the format at first but as the tournament went on we got stronger and stronger but playing the extra games took it’s toll both physically and mentally, especially with two knockout games going to penalties. But the boys can hold their heads high, as there were some quality teams and to finish runners up from 18 teams is a superb achievement. Congratulations must go to Sutton, they took their chance and were worthy winners. Squad: Fin, Will, James, Niall, Taylor, Oliver, Joseph
Less than a week after the Burley Tournament we were back in action trying to emulate our performance. We were in a tough group with Killinghall, Collingham, Pannal, Bramhope, Thirsk and Pontefract. We qualified for the semi’s with some really solid performances which saw us with an unbeaten record of 4 wins and 2 draws. We were paired with Pontefract Reds in the semi’s who like ourselves had qualified with an unbeaten record. The semi was a very tight game with Pontefract creating the better chances to be fair, but a spectacular goal from Joseph, (who in my opinion was a strong candidate for player of the tournament) and some great defending and a couple of great saves from Josh saw us into the final against Guiseley Whites who had qualified by beating Pontefract Whites. Again the final was very close and both sides couldn’t be serparated after normal and extra time. So the lottery of Penalties ensued and with a packed sideline of Guiseley parents and supporters and opposing teams that stayed to watch the final they were treated to the drama of misses and well taken penalties, but in the end with Fin having to score in sudden death his shot unluckily hit the upright to give the the victory to the Whites. Congratulations to Martin and his Whites they held their nerve to take the Winners medals. It was really great to see both Guiseley teams in the final especially when you consider the quality of the competition especially both Pontefract teams who we will be lining up against in the Garforth league next season. For us that’s two tournaments in two weeks and we have made the final of both, losing in ET and Penalties, a little heartbreaking but they have again learnt some valuable lessons today, which will only make them stronger. Squad: Fin, Josh, Oliver, James, Niall, Taylor, Callum, Joseph, Charlie.
On what was a great day weather wise, we returned to tournament action after making the finals of Burley and Harrogate and the hope was obviously that we could go one better. Otley is always a popular tournament and we were in a strong group with our old foes Sutton, Pannal and Ilkley with the format that we had to play each team twice with the top two from each group of 4 qualifying for the quarter finals With another impressive unbeaten group record with notable wins over Sutton and Pannal twice, we went through the group stage with a comfortable 3 wins and 3 draws. In the quarters we were paired with Pool who had already put in some impressive performances having defeated Guiseley Whites twice in the group stage. We talked before the QF about how important it was to put the pressure on them, and from the off we did just that with Joseph and Callum putting pressure on the Pool defence which allowed Callum to smack the ball into the roof of the net after 15 seconds to the delight of parents and supporters, but Pool came back into the game minutes later equalising with a fine strike into the far corner, and for the remainder of the game the two teams couldn’t be separated and with golden goal being used in ET, Pool got the decisive goal in the first period to win the game 2-1, which was tough on the boys especially considering that Pool deservedly went on to win their Semi against Menston 5-0 and the final against the Whites 4-0. Pool are a strong side and are another team that the boys will be pitting their wits against next season in the Garforth league, and I’m sure they will rise to the challenge. Squad: Fin, Josh, Will, James, Oliver, Joseph, Taylor, Niall, Callum.
This Saturday another fresh challenge at the Horsforth tournament, and then have Salts (Shipley Juniors) on Sunday 23rd June, Ilkley Sunday 7th July, and finally Keighley Shamrocks on Saturday 13th July.