Neuro Walking Football Tournament
On Saturday 2nd July a team representing the Parkinson session of Birmingham Walking Football Club travelled, individually, to Worcestershire Count Sports Ground to participate in a tournament organised for the purpose of raising awareness and funds for neurological conditions. This same team had previously participated in The St. Georges Cup
On arrival the team was welcomed by the organisers and taken under the wing of Issey Lee-Fisher, who was very welcoming and extremely helpful. We were taken to our designated dressing room where attempts to relax was overtaken by pre-match nerves.
The format for the day was very organised with an introduction advising the game times, playing areas and Referees’ instructions.
The first game for BWFC kicked off against the Movers and Shakers. From the time the first whistle was blown BWFC put a lot of pressure on their rivals, which was soon shown. Playing high up the pitch, and the re-assuring goalkeeping displayed by Stuart, any nerves were soon history when Barry tucked away the first goal, 1-0 to BWFC. Not too long later Barry got his brace, 2-0 to BWFC. At this point BWFC had control of the game with Simon scoring taking the score at half time to 3-0 to BWFC. The second half saw the fourth and final goal from Ian, which had taken a slight deflection, nevertheless it was a great strike bagging the game at 4-0 to BWFC.
Game number two saw BWFC up against the St. Georges Cup winners, Northern Lights Stockport, who had guest players from Pennine Parky’s. The game proved to be a battle, but BWFC pressed high up the pitch again. First half finished 0-0 after goals from Barry and Simon were disallowed and the opposition being denied the chance to go in front through a one-on-one chance superbly saved by BWFC keeper, Stuart. With BWFC continuing to press in the second half the rewards came through good saves by Stuart and a well taken finish from Simon. Full time 1-0 to BWFC
After a well-deserved lunch break, the teams took to the pitches again. BWFC found it difficult to maintain the motivation and level of play shown before the break, fair to say this would have been the case for all teams, due to effects of medication regime.
Game number three kicked off against Gloucester. Both teams displayed a lack of momentum. The Gloucester goalkeeper kept BWFC at bay by blocking two strikes from Rod and making an excellent point blank save from Simon’s volley. Likewise at the other end Stuart did the same brilliant job in goal. Despite having a few chances BWFC failed to hit the back of the net but managed to avoid defeat. Full time 0-0
Going into game number four the table was left tight with BWFC having played three games with two wins and one draw
BWFC started bright against Bristol in the fourth game. However, it become apparent that both teams were struggling, especially BWFC. Stuart made some good goal keeping decisions and distribution. There were some half chances and good efforts but not enough to secure a win, game closed at 0-0.
BWFC were all done having played 4, W2 D2 GD+5 with the tournament conclusion resting on the outcome of the final game between Bristol and Gloucester. Bristol needed to win the game to pip BWFC to the top of the table and take the cup home.
BWFC watched the final game, which looked to be that there was only to be one outcome… a win for Bristol. At half time, with the score line at 0-0, it was looking to be that the final result may go in favour of BWFC taking top spot. After Bristol being denied goals, one disallowed, missed a one-on-one chance and another hitting the post, I turned to Steve Hughes, who was sitting next to me, and said “ STEVE, OUR NAME’S ON THIS CUP”, his reply being “Whistle ain’t gone yet” My response was “I think it’s all over” (the final whistle went) “IT IS NOW” BWFC cup winners!
To come away as cup winners is a fantastic achievement, well done to all who took part.
Written by Brendan Glynn