Over the Christmas period, I received an invitation on Facebook. It was for a tournament with some of my friends. What tournament? Football.
Before I knew it, I was on the train there. That's a completely different story, mind you. The journey there could fill up a post on its own. In short, it took me over an hour to get between Harrow and South Ruislip.
Anyway, on to the squads followed by the matches.
Now, the matches, with detailed paragraphs about the finals.
And that concludes the group stages. and the table looks like this:
And, in a manner similar to Countdown's tenth Championship of Champions (1999), the top two seeds would have byes through to the semi finals. The number three seed would play the number six seed, and the number four seed would play the number five seed. This way, seed one (Team 5) has the easiest path to the final, beating only the number four or five seed.
The numbers in brackets refer to the seeding.
The goal fest in the second game was strangely forgettable, but the first game, between Team 4 (4) and Team 6 (5) was fantastic. Having been forced to use a substitute goalkeeper, the through-to-the-semi-final Mitchell Hopson of Team 5 (1) elected to put himself into Team 6 (5). The goalkeeper for Team 6, Rhys Benjamin, went outfield.
This new arrangement worked well, as Benjamin and Chowdhry scored to put the score as thus at half time:
However, Team 4 (4) turned it around in the second half, scoring on the counter and forcing some incredible saves from Hopson, but in the final minute of the game Will Mannion scored to make it 5 - 4, and three hearts sank.
Again, the goal fest was somewhat forgettable, but the second game was an end-to-end thriller. Team 3 (2) looked to be the stronger side in the first half, and it was 2 - 1 at the break to Team 3 (2), but an amazing second half performance from Team 2 (3) saw them win through, with an exceptional performance from Ethan Peters, who had come on as a substitute for Ethan Obeng-Marnu.
The number one seed played the number three seed in the final, and it was clear domination, with only a small period where Team 2 (3) had the advantage. Both sides did not take all their chances and it was incredibly scrappy in places, but a fantastic triple save at the start of the second half by James Reilly meant Team 2 (3) were only reduced to one goal, and Team 5 (1) scored three. It was always going one way, though, wasn't it?
First place - Team 5.
Second Place - Team 2.
Semi Finalists - Team 3, Team 4.
Quarter Finalists - Team 6, Team 1.
And, interestingly, if you redid the table including the finals, and ranked it on points per game, it looks like this:
A huge thanks to everyone who made this all possible.
© Rhys Benjamin. Design in Microsoft PowerPoint 2007, influenced by Sky Sports.