Stamford arrived in Louth as reigning winners of the same tournament last year. The weather was much better this time around although the pitches hadn’t shown the same levels of improvement.
The team consisted of Cameron Brownlie (GK). Graham Curry in defence, Colin Barrett-Treen up front with Gary Wildsmith, Paul Archer, Paul Edward Beard, Darryl Beecroft, Tim Marsden playing a diamond shape in midfield and rotating players each half.
Games were (in order) Hull, Louth A, Ruston. The tournament was 2 leagues with the top two competing for the main trophy while the bottom two competed for the plate competition.
The team had a solid first game but it was 0-0 at half time. We were given a scare by Hull when a deflected shot equalised an earlier Gary Wildsmith goal. A second late individual goal by Gary gave us the victory 2-1.
By the time we played our second game Louth had already won their previous two encounters so we knew this was likely to be the decider for finishing as group winners. Another solid performance but we failed in front of goal and drew 0-0.
We knew a big score in the last game would see us top the group and we didn’t disappoint running out 5-0 winners. A hat trick for Gary was added to by Paul Archer and Colin Barrett-Treen.
The semi finals saw us paired against Sleaford who finished runners-up in their group as a result of not winning their last game, so we knew it would be a tough, close game. A brace from Colin playing as the lone striker was enough to see us take the win.
Louth A played out a goalless draw against the Louth B team in the other semi but eventually beat them on penalties. This meant the final was a repeat of our earlier goalless draw against Louth A.
Another tight game ensued. Paul Beard again man marked their most effective player which kept their chances to a minimum. Colin turned provider this time setting up Gary across the area for a first time strike. This goal was enough to see us through as we ran down the clock to take the win.
A solid team performance for all those involved meant the Strollers retained the trophy. Shout out to the organisers and referees for an enjoyable day on the pitch in the sunshine as well!
Paul Beard, Cameron Brownlie, Colin Barrett-Treen, Paul Archer, Graham Curry, Gary Wildsmith, Tim Marsden, Darryl Beecroft
W 1-0 v Hull (Wildmsith)
D 0-0 v Louth A
W 5-0 v Ruston (Wildsmith x3, Archer, Barrett-Treen)
W 2-0 v Hull (Barrett-Treen x 2)
W 1-0 v Louth A (Wildsmith)
Report by Gary Wildsmith