With Chris's WFA Finalists taking a well deserved break, it was the turn of some other 65+ and 70+ players to take on the challenge at a rainy Moulton ground.
In the end, the result was the same, with Strollers losing on penalties in the final.
The first match was against Moulton Masters Stripes and Strollers were straight into their rhythm, with Frank Smith going close twice before John Phythian scored from a tight angle: there was little offered by the opposition and Strollers won more comfortably than the score suggests. The second match was against Brackley, and again started well with Phythian netting twice, the first being a shot from the edge of the box following a flowing move and final pass from Bob Wood. Strollers then took their feet of the gas and let Brackley in for a late consolation goal. The next match was against a Kettering side who also remained unbeaten; the teams saw out a nil-nil draw. As the rain intensified, the fourth match was again a no-score draw, this time against Moulton Masters Reds.
By finishing top of their Group, Strollers went straight to the semi-finals where they played Brackley again, This time it was a tighter affair but no real threats on the Strollers' goal. Another goalless draw, the match going straight to sudden death penalties. Brackley took the first and the shot was brilliantly saved by Paul Newiss, his save parrying the ball onto the bar where it bounced downwards and to safety. Phythian stepped up and blasted his shot past the keeper.
In the final, Strollers came up against Corby. Certainly Strollers felt they did not get the rub of the green with the decisions. The most bizarre when Brian Dunkerley was involved in a pushing incident with an opponent only to be pushed to the ground then jumped on. Whilst Dunkerley received a two minute sin-bin, the Corby player escaped without penalty. Strollers coped well with the man down, they were under pressure but the goal was not unduly threatened. Wood went close with a long range screamer which the keeper tipped away. Ending nil-nil, again penalties decided the match, this time three each before sudden-death. Corby scored with their first, but all subsequent penalties were missed.
A well organised tournament, the players consoled themselves with a pint and bacon sandwich before journeying home.
Stamford Strollers: Phil Cullimore : Frank Smith : Tony Laughton : Col Murrant : Bob Wood : Paul Newiss : Brian Dunkerley : John Phythian