One Tournament over 50s Held At St George’s Park, 22.06.19.
The Strollers arrived at St George’s Park on a glorious sunny and warm afternoon to walk straight in the organised chaos of an under 7s tournament in full swing. Fortunately, this tournament was coming to close and was soon to be replaced the relative calm of the over 50s and over 60s, with an associated drop in noise levels.
Stamford Strollers were ably represented by Cameron Brownlie, Kurt Garbutt, Gary Wildsmith, Paul Blakemore, Andrew Waggers Walton, Colin Barrett-Treen, Darryl Beecroft and Stephen Gates. The format for the 50s competition was for two leagues of 6 teams, with the top 2 going forward in to the semi finals and then the final. Each team therefore had 5 league games, with potentially two others to follow. A combination of a very strong squad, short 10 minute games, only 4 outfield players at any one time and some very tight games, made it a struggle to give equal and adequate game time to all players and my thanks go to the whole squad for their understanding.
As Taff has already posted, the Strollers got all the way to the final, unbeaten and without conceding (some amazing saves in the tighter games from Cameron Brownlie), only to loose in the final in contentious circumstances, with a highly debatable penalty given against the Strollers.
Results and goal scorers were as follows:
#Taggers, won 3 - 0, Kurt and Gary (2)
AFC Wimbledon, drew 0 - 0
Mansfield Town A, won 3 - 0, Paul, Gary, Colin
Watford Walkers, drew 0 - 0
Wokingham & Emmbrook, drew 0 - 0
Stamford finished top of the group on goal difference with Wokingham & Emmbrook a close second.
SF Mansfield Town B, won 3 - 0, Gary (2), Colin
Final Wokingham & Emmbrook, lost 1 - 0
Just for the record, Stamford had the same referee for all games, with the exception of the semi final and that particular referees style was to be extremely strict, in all areas. As a consequence, Stamford’s games were very stop start and a number of final warnings were given by the referee, but thankfully no cards were issued. Other teams were not so fortunate. In hindsight, this might have counted against the Strollers in the final.
Congratulations also go to Stamford 60s who also reached their final only to lose on penalties and also to Huntingdon, who won the Plate in the 60s league.
The tournament was very well organised, but the facilities, although very good, were below expectation. Inevitably, the games started about 30 minutes late and got later throughout the day. With travel time added in, it was a very long eleven hour day.
Finally, thanks to those that made the journey to support the Strollers.