We had an all-time high turnout for the 2019 Haines Watts 5-a-side Football tournament, with 3 squads representing our own region, totalling 17 players and Haines Watts’ first female star – Georgia Tear. Team 1 were the favourites to win, repeating their previous two successes and keep their crown for the third year running as reigning champions.
It was an early start for most, with the meet time being 9:30am at the Nottingham Power League centre. Upon arrival, it was great to see the number of people who‘d travelled from all over the UK to play. In total, there were 11 teams at the tournament, after a late no-show left the tournament one team short. Some teams clearly tried harder than others, with a special mention to the Diss office for pulling out all the stops and showing up in a matching custom kit, which unfortunately did no help for their tournament success.
The games kicked off at 10:00am, with team 1 taking on High Wycombe in Group 1, and in Group 2, the first game was the one and only ‘derby’ of the day with a clash between team 2 & team 3. Our reigning champions set the tone for the day, easily brushing past their first ‘victims’, the quality was visible from early on and it was easy to see why they were clear favourites for the win.
The ‘derby’ was also fairly one-sided, as our team 2, led by the experienced Nav Nandhe, dominated from early on and managed to gain a strong lead. Team 3 however, slowly found their feet and managed to score late in the game, but made no difference to the outcome, some excuses for the loss included poor refereeing but the difference in skill level was quite evident.
As the day progressed, many took the rest-time between matches as an opportunity to talk to some of the teams from offices they’d yet to meet through work. Most were able to leave their competitiveness on the pitch, which allowed for easy small talk and no hostility between the different teams.
Team 1 remained unbeaten throughout the group stage and conceded only a handful of goals ensuring they topped their group and were through to the next stage. This was the start of the end – the trophy was only 3 wins away. Team 2 managed to win 3 games before their lack of fitness started to show and a swift thrashing ensued for their final two games. Despite this, the team still managed to place third in the table and progress into the next round. Our third team struggled throughout the day to find a play style that suited their attributes, and this led to amassing just 1 win and 1 draw out of the 5 games. They went in the opposite direction to our team 2, who slowly improved as the games went on, not allowing the fatigue to get the better of them.
Our second team continued with poor fortune, as they produced a fairly lacklustre attempt to progress past the quarter finals, getting dominated and swiftly exiting the tournament. By this time the third team had already retreated to the bar for some afternoon drinks to reflect on what went so wrong for them during the day.
Our first team had a very different story in the playoffs however, and it seemed they thrived under the pressure of the ‘big stage’. Tom Dymond seemed unable to miss with his lethal right peg, and Harry Williams maintained his calm approach at the back, ‘barking’ out orders to the well-drilled team.
The road to the final seemed swift, with team 1 continuing to toy with their opponents during the final, holding the ball in defence for long periods of time before unleashing quick counter attacks and scoring on demand. The final was decided from early on – we’d successfully defeated the competition and retained the trophy for the third year running.
A small trophy ceremony took place following, with all winners being awarded individual trophies, and the tournament cup. Man of the match – Tom Dymond was awarded an extra box of goodies for his outstanding performance. Special mentions should also go out to Matt Pickard for organising such a large social event, and to all the various offices who opted to join in on the day’s fun. We wouldn’t be the company we are without such teamwork both, in and out of the office.
Can we keep the trophy for a fourth year? We will definitely try!
SEM 1 – Harry Williams, Matt Pickard, Tom Dymond, Alfie Burton, Matt Cheveralls, David Stocker
SEM 2 – Nav Nandhe, George Morris, Henry Maloney, Ashley Jones, Keefe Downes, Connor McDonald
SEM 3 – Craig Smith, Euan Davies, Jacob Taylor-Edwards, Georgia Tear, Luke Coles, Harry Muschamp
Want to know more? Call us on 01604 746760 or email email@example.com