The 1992 SKLPC TournamentMarch 22, 2017
With the European Championship fever still instilled in every mind, SKLP’s own equivalent duly got under way. Yet again it seemed that this annual was going to be blessed with glorious sunshine.
There was however, one abnormality to this year’s event – punctuality. Astonishingly enough the majority of the Competitors and even the supporters managed to arrive for the specified registration time. Never before in the field of SKLP’s 5 a side competition had Parkside Sports Centre’s car park seen so many cars at such an early time on such a Sunday morning.
This years competitions stared off in a slightly different manner. The early part of the day was concentrated on completing the 1st round of the under 16 competition. A calculated ploy by the organisers may be to save the best of the excitement, the seniors’ competition to the last. They were unfortunately proven wrong. This year’s under 16 turnout was greater than ever. A trend that is simply heartening. In fact a total of 14 teams took part in what proved to be some promising football. Baladia Youth Club were again in force playing 2 teams to ensure representation in the semi-finals. Not surprisingly they did. BYC (A) meets the SS Squad, a group of renegades possibly from the last Great War? And the Mighty blues met Daisara FC. New entrants to the competition Bendev received a tough welcome loosing the 1st 2 matches and gaining a draw in the last. I’m sure they can only get better from here. They were however one of the best dressed teams, an impression which other leading citizens in our community should endeavour to observe and emulate.
If the thought of 14 teams seems exceptional, the thought of 19 teams would seem phenomenal. 19 teams battled it out in the seniors 1st round. It could have been of course a phenomenon created by the recent success of Denmark in the European championship, but I imaging the organisers are of firm belief that the SKLP competition, like the M25 motorway is becoming a victim of its own success.
Success though has caused the competition to expand into 2 qualifying rounds in order to produce the semi-finalists. This has only enhanced the competition and helped to make sure that only the deserved go through.
The 1st round consisted of 4 groups, 3 groups of 5, and one lucky group of 4. The competition commenced with Baladia Youth Clubs A team piping sunrise to the post by 1 nil. When last years champions Kingsbury Builders Merchants took to the field they secured a 3-0 victory over the A-Team.
The afternoon wore on and the morning’s restlessness started to disappear as the teams struggled it out. The surprise of the day was a 2-1 scalping of last years finalists the Red Indians at the mercy of Mukhtajivan Allstars.
Unfortunately fever of goals was slightly tarnished by some clearly debating refereeing. This unfortunately led to teams taking advantage of the poor decisions made. To add to this, one particular match between 2 obviously friendly teams was so blatantly predetermined that the referee had to express his disgust. The offenders are not going to be disclosed but a word of advice goes out to them. If you are going to do this in future then please make a better effort of disguising it.
On the real soccer scene again and the 2nd round. 2 groups and 3 matches each would decide who books a ticket to Copthall. Group 1 had clearly contenders for the places, Kingsbury Builders Merchants and surprise qualifiers Lancashire FC who both cruised to the semi-finals. Group 2 was not so clear cut. Some very close matches concluded in Fourmax (previously known as Kingsbury Contractors) joining Bendev in the semi-finals.
The organisers would like to thank all those involved especially Baladia Youth Club who kindly set up a 1st aid desk and watering hole and those extremely busy supporters who braved the railway lines to retrieve the lost footballs. To highlight the success and interest generated by this years event attention is bought to a case where part of the female supports contingency concluded that they could play better than considerable number of teams. They have therefore queried the possibility of holding a women’s 5 a side competition.
Finally on behalf of everyone who took part I would like to thank the organisers Samji Hasiani and Manish Patel.
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