So off we went to Bournemouth.
We all met at Jan’s house at 8am and 9 bleary eyed hopefuls jumped into what I first thought was an ice cream van, and away westward we went, with Lance at the helm.
After travelling a hundred yards we all reckoned Lance would make a good getaway driver.
We travelled at least a mile before we had to stop for bacon and egg rolls, courtesy of Jan.
The trip down was pleasant, and Lance took us on several mini tours of the south downs while he mastered the sat nav.
We arrive and changed into our kit in the car park, which made a baby cry in the vehicle next to us. I think the mum had fainted.
Last year we came home in tears due to the fact we were crying. 2 touch didn’t suit us very well. However, this year it was 3 touch and we were confident we would at least make a few passes.
The competition had been arranged and it looked like we would only play 4 10 minutes matches. Roger stormed over to the organisers and laid down the case that we had come all this way and wanted to play more footie than that. To everyones surprise they decided that was a good idea and added some extra games.
The team consisted of Jan, Dave, John, Lance, Graham, Barry, and Lee, with Roger and James as cheerleaders.
There were 5 teams in our group and the first game was against H2EHT. That name must mean something… anyway, we controlled the game but never managed to score. Lee started really well, but after 30 seconds had to come off puffed out. He wasn’t used to such big pitches. After an all over body massage, he managed to return.
There were not many goal scoring chances. In fact the best chance of the mach was thwarted by an excellent save by Jan, diving at the oncoming players feet to keep us in the game. So 0 – 0 it was. We came off knowing we had played well though. Even Roger thought so.
Our second game was against Bournouth WFC. We really took control of this match and won 4 – 0, with 2 goals by Graham and a goal each by Barry and Lance. Jan never had to make a save. Off we came feeling rather chuffed with ourselves and looking forward to the next match. If only we could see the future…
This was against Knightwoods. I don’t really want to write about this game. We lost 4 – 0 and never got a look in at goal. We didn’t play badly.. we played really badly. Nothing went right us and we trudged off the pitch with long faces, but after reminding ourselves that if we won our last game, we’d get though to the finals. Well, we didn’t
The last game was against Dexter Sports. They should have been called Dexters Midnight Runners. They never stopped running. Can’t quite remember the score but think it was 2 – 0 to them. Whatever it was, we lost.
But all was not lost, due to Roger’s insight that we may not get through to the finals, we now had the magnificent Barcleys Cup to go for.
This was made up of the 5 teams that never reach the final. This was now our Wembley, our destiny, our right to reclaim Canterburys status in the walking football world, our moment of glory.
As luck would have it, we had a bye in the quarter finals and went straight into the semi’s.
It was now time to bring on the heavies. James and Roger had tried their best to cheer on the lads and now it was their chance to to show what they could offer. As it turned out, not too much, but we all played well and won the game 4 – 0. There was a little incident that will shame our wonderful Canterbury side forever when Barry, who himself voices total disgust at players running, was sent off by the referee (who I must say was excellent) for 3 running offences.
How the club will ever recover from this humiliation is hard to fathom.
This placed us in the final against quite a good looking side, who had just beaten the team that had beaten us earlier 4 – 0.
… but this was our time… we played superbly. They never breached our defence and the brave lads up front tucked away 2 goals. (Can’t remember who scored them.. might have been Roger, but not sure)
That was it, off to the bar for a drink and to collect the Trophy.
Well done Jan for some great saves, Dave for his masterful passes from the back. Baz for his quick thinking and energy in midfield, John for his sturdy and dependable defending after a slightly shaky start, Lance and Graham who play so well together and give us a real power punch in midfield and upfront, Lee for getting his breath back and making some super runs and passes, James for taking some action shots and coming on to play an important part in the last 2 matches, and Roger for getting us the extra games and disabling one of the opposition in the final… although it wasn’t his fault.
Another trophy for the Cabinet.
Big thanks to Lance for getting 9 sleepy people back safely.
Also a huge thank you to the Canterbury Football Club for letting us use the club coach.