Strollers headed for Louth with the hope of winning the tournament for the third time in succession.
A highly commendable unbeaten record in a very tight group stage saw Strollers move forward into the knockout phase.
Four draws and a win were enough to achieve this in what would prove to be the dominant group in the competition.
Results in the group were as follows;
Strollers 0 - 0 Louth B
Strollers 2 - 0 Alford B (Archer 2)
Strollers 1 - 1 Sutton Sharks (Archer)
Boston 0 - 0 Strollers
Grimsby AM 0 - 0 Strollers
Special mentions to Paul “Hot Shot” Archer for his three goals and to Bill Whittle for four clean sheets out of five.
A quarter final matchup awaited with PDFL rivals Wisbech Town, who had entered the tournament as a late replacement for one of several teams that had dropped out of the tournament at short notice.
Wisbech included in their squad former Stroller Scott Sawers, returning from his recent long absence through illness. It was good to see Scott playing again, albeit in the “wrong shade of red” .
This was a hard fought affair which ended with Strollers on the wrong end of a 2-0 score line with both of Wisbech strikers bagging goals to send Strollers out of the completion with what even Wisbech boss Jonny Pearce admitted was “by far the best Wisbech performance of the day”. Despite Strollers creating some late chances to reduce or even negate the deficit it wasn’t to be and Strollers defence of our title was over.
It was perhaps some small consolation and a testament to the great effort made by all members of the squad that the final ended up being contested by Boston & Grimsby AM, two teams that Strollers had enjoyed strong performances and two draw against in the group stages.
All in all a highly commendable performance by the entire Strollers squad.
Thanks to all who played in what was a hugely enjoyable day which not only delivered some highly competitive football, but also raised a significant sum of money for Cancer Research UK.
Squad for the tournament;
Bill Whittle (GK)