The Marvels emerged victorious after a thrilling 5-a-side tournament, as the Lydford Foxes hosted its inaugural end-of-year awards day.
For the first time in the Foxes’ history – possibly the first time in Lydford’s history – the sports field was blessed with an authentic football pitch, complete with white lines, corner flags and goals. A fitting setting for what turned out to be a festival of football.
Four teams lined up to take part, with only one player unable to make it on the day. That meant Asa had to combine managerial and player duties. The teams were as follows:
Gargoyles: Asa (player/manager), Ernie, Ashley, OJ, Oscar
Harriers: Hugh (manager), Russell, Harvey, Shortie, Aaron, James
Alphas: Chris (manager), Lachlan, Ben, Josh, Louis, Corey
Marvels: Ross (manager), Tobin, Shea, Nathan, Paul, Ollie
Gargoyles 1-1 Harriers
Alphas 3-6 Marvels
Harriers 0-2 Alphas
Gargoyles 2-3 Marvels
Alphas 1-1 Gargoyles
Harriers 2-1 Marvels
The first game was a typically cagey affair, with Gargoyles and Harriers playing out a thrilling 1-1 draw. This was followed by a more open and flowing game, with Marvels and Alphas sharing nine goals between them.
Fresh from a 6-3 defeat, Alphas picked themselves up to shock Harriers with a 2-0 victory, renewing their hopes of making the final. This was followed by a brilliant game involving Gargoyles and Marvels, edged by Ross’ team in a five goal thriller. This victory ensured Marvels were in the final.
Going into the final set of games, the remaining three teams knew they had a chance of facing Marvels, with the other two facing a third place playoff game.
The 1-1 draw between Alphas and Gargoyles meant that Asa’s team had no hope of reaching the final, but it propelled Alphas up to second place. They needed Marvels to beat Harriers in the final game to secure their place.
It was all going so well for the onlooking Alphas, with Marvels leading 1-0 at the break. But Harriers stormed back in the second half to secure a 2-1 victory, taking them to the final.
Third place playoff:
Alphas v Gargoyles
Marvels v Harriers
In the third place playoff, Gargoyles finally managed to grab a win, edging the impressive Alphas 2-1.
The final was a repeat of the final group game, yet the score was anything but. Marvels grabbed revenge, storming to a 6-1 victory, despite the best efforts of Harriers. The scoreline suggests a one-sided match, but in truth, Marvels simply displayed more ruthlessness in front of goal.
On the day, Marvels showed togetherness, team spirit and a keen eye for goal. The lads deserved their victory and captain Shea was given the trophy, to much cheer from his teammates, Ollie, Tobin, Nathan and Paul.
The top scorers with five goals each: Ashley, Ben, Ollie and Shea.
End of season awards
In addition to the team trophy, awards were given to the players who caught the eye over the course of 2016.
Goal of season went to Nathan, who scored a magnificent goal from the halfway line, which looped over the despairing Ernie. It was worthy of Match of the Day. He tried something similar during the tournament.
Most improved player was the hardest one to decide. The names James, Corey, Russell and Paul were mentioned, but it came down to a straight fight between James and Corey. By the tiniest of margins, James was given the medal, with a special mention for Corey.
Players’ player of the year, as voted for by the players, was Shea. He was one of the most consistent players of 2016.
Player of the year went to Ollie, for his ability to run at players, his first touch and keen eye for goal.
The tournament was a fitting end to a wonderful year of football. We’ll be sharing our plans for 2017 in due course, but in the meantime, here are some people we need to thank.
Asa, Ross and Hugh for turning up week in, week out to help with the training, plus the occasional appearance on the pitch! Also, thanks to Asa and Ruth for supplying the mince pies and mulled wine.
Hannah for rallying the troops, buying the teas and coffees, plus regular cleaning of the training bibs!
Lydford Sports Field committee for the purchase of the goals.
Pip for doing such a fine job with the catering and refreshments on Saturday. Not to mention the cake!
Hugh for the outside broadcast equipment and scoreboards. We couldn’t have done it without you, Hugh!
Maria for first aid duties (thankfully not required), plus moral support and PA duties!
Also BIG thanks to the children for turning up on a Saturday morning and to the mums and dads who braved the cold on Saturday to cheer them up. The boys did themselves proud.
See you in 2017.