The 1995 SKLPC Tournament

March 22, 2017


Having recovered from last year’s marathon tournament, SKLP’s soccer fraternity again duly turned out at the five-a-side bear pit of Vale Farm to chase the increasingly coveted title of “Champions”. As introduced last year, the competition was again played over two consecutive weeks with the seniors this year, having the honours of starting first. On this the tenth anniversary of the competition another record was established. Not so much to do with soccer but rather the reputation of the English weather. For the first time ever in the qualifying rounds the summer sun decided to take a vacation elsewhere and leave the heavens to open up. Fortunately, the storm that ensued was a passing one and only managed to hold up play for an hour.

Starting this year’s goal storm however, were RNB FC who from the outset wanted to let everyone know they meant business. And they did, beating Sher-E-Kutch 5-0. They weren’t alone though, Atlantic Harvest also successfully defended their reputation by winning 5-0. In the other groups S+P Construction opened their campaign in a goal riddled match dancing the Kossacks aside by 6 goals to 3 and residents to the tournament Kingsbury and Bendev both displayed their dominance by comfortably wining their opening matches.

As the games passed the signs of the strength and depth of the teams became apparent. Division became visible as the more convincing teams showed skill and authority leaving the lesser teams showing only a mere mediocrity. Kingsbury proved just this by annihilating Shree Ohm 11-0 in a match where the highest possession rating for a Shree Ohm player was by the keeper, for continually picking the ball out of the back of the net.

Fourmax, another regular to the annual challenge, less dramatically though successfully flexed their muscles in Group 4 to win all their first round matches and reach the quarter finals together with newcomers the Astral Plumbers. Accompanied by their large travelling army of supporters Baladia ‘A’ also demonstrated their talent to make the next stage in the desperate hope of wining the title that has eluded them for so many years.

Following the contribution from the skies the delayed quarter finals literally skidded into action. The cream of the previous round had now been cropped and tabled to contest for a place at Copthall. So strong was the desire to reach the semi finals that no team was willing to surrender. The high scoring games of the previous round had now become a passing fad and more gritty, terrier like performances were being displayed. Bolton ‘A’s conviction earned them a goalless draw against Kingsbury thus leaving Kingsbury in need of a win to qualify for the semi-finals. S+P Construction who previously gave little away experienced a white-knuckle series of matches and consequently failed to make it to Copthall as did Astral Plumbers’ Merchants who somehow managed to spring a leak in their defensive piping. The hungry for success Baladia players battled hard to pull through this year and thus enjoy the semi-finals; meeting Glebal and Redskins at Copthall. Big guns Kingsbury, who have yet to miss a semi-final, hammered their message home by destroying a confident Fourmax team and denying them their booking for August 13th.

The semi-finalists for Copthall on August 13th will therefore be:

Kingsbury Builders Merchant. v RNB FC
Glebeland Redskins v. Baladia ‘A’

Exactly a week later the aspiring young soccer stars of the future gathered together to demonstrate their talents and prove they too can become the Alan Shearers of tomorrow. So desperate was the desire for success some teams thought it necessary to cheat the system. Unfortunately, this type of description could not be condoned and the offenders consequently had to be disqualified.

With rumours of over-aged players prevailing some teams unexpectedly got stronger and the football became more aggressive. Baladia Youth and the All Stars both decided to prove a point and with their ships steadied and masts held high earned their place in the semi-finals without losing any matches. The Bendev double barrel attack on the junior’s trophy turned out to be a tale of contradictions. Whilst the ‘A’ team started poorly the ‘B’ team was left to hold the flag with their new young keeper tossing from side to side keeping the wave of shots out of his net. The roles were then reversed where in the closing round of matches in Group 1 ‘The Next Generation’ lost to Bendev ‘A’ after a tightly contested duel. This proved to be a satisfactory result for both the losers and winners as it meant both teams qualified.

The semi-finalists for the Junior competition will be:

The Next Generation v Baladia Youth
All Stars v. Bendev ‘A’

As usual great appreciation is deserved for the organisers who worked extremely hard to ensure the tournament took place and turned up early on consecutive Sunday mornings to mark the pitches. Special thanks must also go for their overall generosity and support for the community, to Bendev Construction Ltd and Beetacomm Ltd, for sponsoring the pitches and Fourways Supplies for providing the goals.

I would personally like to take this opportunity to offer condolences to the family of Kanti Harsiani who sadly passed away earlier this year after suffering from a battle against Leukaemia. Kanti was a friend and a colleague in the SKLP Football Club and will be missed by all that had the pleasure of playing alongside him. In order to remember his contributions to SKLP FC the former members of the club (The Gentlemens Club) will be presenting a memorial shield each year to the leading goal scorer in the senior five-a-side competition.

The candidates for the 1995 award so far are as follows:

Nimesh Harsiani (S+P Construction) 9 Goals
Pravin Patel (RNB FC) 8 Goals
Vijayesh Hirani (Glebeland Redskins) 7 Goals
Mavji Naran (Kingsbury Builders Merchants) 6 Goals
Ramji Vekaria (RNB FC) 6 Goals
Pravin Kerai (Kingsbury Builders Merchants) 5 Goals

Ashwin Vekaria (Mirzapur)

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