The 2006 SKLPC TournamentMarch 22, 2017
As the realisation of another infamous but rather familiar penalty exit by England was fresh on our minds, the SKLPC 5-a-side tournament on 2nd July provided the ideal antidote for players to overcome the disappointment of the previous evening. A record 45 teams had entered to partake in the seniors event. This was subsequently revised to 48 teams on the day as registrations for 3 teams had not been received.
Once the formalities of team registration were completed all that remained was for the tournament to kick off, culminating in the crowning of the 2006 SKLPC 5 aside Champions.
The reigning champions Avi Contracts were in Group 1 and destroyed their opposition, scoring 15 goals in the process without conceding a goal. They had made their intentions of retaining the trophy clear. Previous winners PWA B were surprisingly eliminated in the group stages. Bolton “B” claimed the runners up spot with some fine displays.
Group 2 contained two of the Baladia teams, Lombard Interiors Baladia “A” and Lombard Interiors Baladia “B”. Their match proved to be the highlight of the group stages. The match was played at a frantic pace with Lombard Interiors Baladia “A” recording a 2-1 victory courtesy of goals from Ajit and Bhavesh. Both teams had shown their intentions in winning the tournament. Unsurprisingly, both teams qualified for the next phase.
Tournament favourites Kera Kundapur Youth Wing, comfortably topped Group 3 with some breathtaking performances, which had previously seen them crowned national 5-a-side champions. They showed their intent to win the elusive SKLPC title, with 5-0 and 6-0 victories over Masters “B” and Joga General respectively. FC Kutch managed to seal the runners up spot.
Group 4 saw Bolton “A” canter to top spot. Terror Squad joined them in the second round. The Bolton teams were clearly becoming a force to be reckoned with. Following gallant performances by Bolton A in previous years, all three of the senior teams had progressed to the second round.
Group 5, contained last years runners up Woolwich “A” and PWA “A”, who both managed to go through via a superior goal difference, at the expense of Kera Kundapur Youth Wing “B”.
Meanwhile in Group 6, there were no such problems for the Scorpions, who comfortably won all their games to secure a passage in the second round. They were joined by Arlington Estates, who managed to secure the runners up spot, despite showing indifferent form. Group 7 saw Bolton “C” and Masters “A” advance.
The shock of the round occurred in Group 8 with the elimination of Kingsbury Builders Merchants. FGU and NWFC booked their places in the knockout stages, with some gallant performances notably, NWFC’s memorable 3-2 win over Kingsbury Builders Merchants.
It must be noted that this year group stages were tighter than ever, with qualification going down to the very last games. This is testament to the improving football skills displayed by all teams.
The lunch break gave an opportunity for the qualifiers to recoup for the knock out stages. It also provided the ideal chance for players who had been eliminated to consider who they would support in the second stages.
The highlight of the second round was the clash between Arlington Estates and former champions PWA “A”. Arlington Estates imposed themselves from the outset and were duly rewarded with a fine solo effort from Ravi. Kiran’s second half strike put the game beyond PWA “A”, as Arlington Estates ran out as comfortable winners.
Avi Contracts continued their impressive form by destroying Lombard Interiors Baladia “B” 4-0. Kera Kundalpur Youth Wing recorded a comfortable 3-1 victory over Terror Squad, thanks to goals by Jay and Umar. The Scorpians continued their good form with a 1-0 victory over last years runners up Woolwich “A”, courtesy of goal by Priyesh. FGU beat Masters “A” 1-0 to advance to the quarter finals.
Bolton “A” cruised to the quarter final with a 4-0 win over FC Kutch. Bolton “C” joined them with a 2-0 win over NWFC. However there was no joy for Bolton “B”: despite their gallant efforts they were beaten by Lombard Interiors Baladia “A” 2-1 in extra time.
With the final in sight for all the remaining teams, it was no surprise that the free flowing football that supporters had become accustomed to, was sacrificed for a more cautious physical approach. This was no more evident than in the game between Avi Contracts and Kera Kundapur Youth Wing. One could have easily excused someone for mistaking it for a rugby match, with both sets of players spending most of the time on the floor. Players from both sides were sin-binned and in the end this proved to be costly for Kera Kundapur Youth Wing, as Avi Contracts capitalised on their one man advantage to secure a passage to the semi finals.
Meanwhile Lombard Interiors Baladia “A” were quietly and impressively going about their business of booking their place in the semi finals with a hard fought 1-0 extra time victory over Bolton “A”.
The Scorpions continued their impressive quest towards an elusive title, as they saw off FGU 1-0. They were starting to fulfil the potential which had seen them dominate the juniors category over the past few years.
Arlington Estates recorded a 2-0 victory over Bolton “C”, with Viren scoring in quick sucession.
The first semi final was contested between Lombard Interiors Baladia “A” and Scorpians. This proved to be an enthralling match which ebbed from one end to another. The teams were separated by a solitary effort, courtesy of Ajit, who provided a clinical finish to a good passing move in the first half thus to guiding Baladia to the finals. Scorpions’ gallant campaign came to end.
The second semi final saw arch rivals Arlington Estates play Avi Contracts. As in the first semi final there was very little to separate the teams. The first half was eagerly fought. This match was not for the faint hearted, with both sets of players making crunching tackles. Goal scoring opportunities were at a minimum. Arlington Estates marginally shaded the second half with Kiran coming closest to breaking the deadlock with his shot whisking inches past the post. The game went into extra time.
Extra time was again a closely fought contest. Avi Contracts were awarded a penalty in the first half of extra time. Mitin stepped forward only to be denied by Purshotam. In the second half of extra time, Avi Contracts were awarded a free kick which Prakash took. The ball headed for the bottom corner when Purshotam palmed it onto the posts, only to see the ball deflect off the back of his hand and into the net. Avi Contracts had once again negotiated the all too familiar passage to the final.
Lombard Interiors Baladia “A” were astute in their approach. They knew Avi Contracts had played extra time in their semi final and so looked to play a high tempo game. They dominated the first half and were duly rewarded through a neatly worked goal through Bhavesh. Lombard Interiors Baladia “A” created numerous opportunities in the first half to extend their lead but they were woeful in front of goal.
The second half was an evenly fought contest. As the half progressed Avi Contracts started enjoying the lion’s share of possession with Lombard Interiors Baladia “A” content on counter attacking. As the Baladia supporters counted down the last seconds Mitin broke free on the right hand side and aimed a cross at Ketan, who sublimely took it on the half volley, leaving Jit stranded on his goal. The referee blew his whistle and the game would once again go into extra time, with the Baladia players looking dejected.
The fatigue in both sets of players was evident in extra time. At times the game was played at a pedestrian pace. The game became scrappy and Avi Contracts pushed to create one last chance, which fell to Ketan who duly took the opportunity to crown Avi Contracts 2006 5 aside Champions.
Not to be outshone by their senior counterparts, the juniors produced some scintillating performances. Only ten teams had entered the juniors tournament, however the quality of football made up for the lack of entries.
The first semi final was between Lombard Interiors Baladia “A” and Masters “A”; with Masters “A” recording a comfortable 3-0 victory to book their place in the final.
The second final semi final saw Bendev Juniors play Rax Motors. Rax Motors took an early lead through Shakti. However Bendev Juniors were not to be denied and were rewarded for their attacking play through their top goalscorer, Rishi. Both teams created numerous opportunities to clinch the game but failed to capitalise. The game was to be decided by penalties with the Bendev Juniors goalkeeper Kavi, producing some outstanding saves and so guiding Bendev Juniors to the final.
The Under 16’s final was between Bendev Juniors and Masters Youth FC. Bendev Juniors went from strength to strength taking an early lead with a goal from their captain, Khushil. With great support from the Bendev fan club, Masters Youth FC simply could not match the determination and strength shown by Bendev Juniors. Bendev finally romped home to a 3-0 victory, with Rishi adding a further two goals to his impressive tally.
Congratulations to Rishi of Bendev who won the juniors player of
Seniors over 40’s
There were four entries for this year tournament. The teams played each other in the round robin stage, with the top two advancing to the final.
The first match saw last year’s runners up Bendev play Bolton. Bendev had established their dominance from the kick off and were duly rewarded with a goal. Bendev won their remaining matches to secure their place in the final.
The runner up spot was eagerly contested. As the group matches drew to a conclusion there was very little to separate Pacestars, Scorpions and Bolton. Each had recorded a win but the complex conundrum of goal difference and match results had come into effect. Pacestar were the beneficiaries, as they booked a place in the final against Bendev, thanks to their superior goal difference.
The final provided a great spectacle for the supporters, with both sides intent on playing attacking football. An opening goal from Ned took Bendev into an early lead. Within minutes though Pacestars equalised in what tourned out to be a scintillating first half. As the second half kicked off it was clear that fatigue had taken its toll on the players. Bendev produced a movement of inspiration to set up a goalscoring opportunity for Ned, which he duly obliged to record a 2-1 victory.
All the players in this category must be commended for their determination and spirited efforts, which resulted in the closest fought competition of the day. I am hopeful that their efforts will inspire other members of the community to partake in this category.
Following the success of the last years inaugural Ladies tournament, the ladies once again took up the challenge to display their footballing prowess. There were eight entrants in this year tournament with the teams divided in two groups; the top two progressing to the semi final.
Following a competitive group stage, it was The Jaw Breakers, Avanti, Baladia Girls and Kings Kitchen who advanced to the semi final.
The first semi final was contested between Jaw Breakers and Avanti. The Jaw Breakers performances epitomised their team name, as they put in some crunching tackles to unsettle their opponents. The Jaw Breakers recorded a deseved 1-0 victory thanks to a goal by Chandrika.
The second semi final saw defending champions Baladia Girls take on Kings Kitchen. Baladia Girls’ reign came to an end thanks to goal by Nishma which guided Kings Kitchen into the Ladies final.
The Jaw Breakers finally recorded a deserved 1-0 victory over Kings Kitchen, to be crowned SKLPC 5 aside Ladies Champions. They had won all their matches without conceding a goal.
This article would not be complete without acknowledging the contribution of the committee: Samji Harsiani, Manesh Patel, Rajesh Bhudiya, Sash Mayani, Ashwin Vekaria, Rajesh Madha and Purshotam Patel.
On behalf of the committee, we would like to take the opportunity to thank the following for their kind sponsorships; Bendev, City Deco, Kenford Builders, Keyfit Ltd, Lithotec, Lisa Timbers, Lombard Interiors and RNA Sports.
We would like to express our gratitude to all the supporters, who had once again attended in there masses. A big thankyou to the parents of SKLPCC Colts for providing the food stall.
I would like to thank Ned Hirani for kindly volunteering to write the Men’s Over 40 and Junior category reports.
Finally we look forward to seeing you all here again next year !!!!!!
Purshotam Patel (Baladia)