The 2008 SKLPC TournamentMarch 22, 2017
Sunday 6th July 2008 was the day in which the British public witnessed great sporting achievement. Rafael Nadal won at Wimbledon, Lewis Hamilton triumphed at Silverstone and gleaming through the miserable skies at India Gardens; the SKLPC 5-a-side football tournament. Through all the rain and heavy winds, well over a thousand people supported more than 400 footballers in this year’s successful competition.
Men’s Senior’s Category
The reigning champions BYC Lombard A kicked-off Group 1 against BYC Lombard C and could only scrape a late 1-0 victory, but saw off other competition by winning all their games with clean sheets. KKYW B and the Looney Tunes contested the runners up spot, with Looney Toons prevailing following a nerve-racking final round of matches. KKYW A led Group 2, winning three matches without conceding, Bolton Fives followed them into the knockout stages.
Bolton Originals A also won all three matches without reply in Group 3 with the runner-up position being contested by Masters Youth Club A and RP. Both finished on four points, with Masters finishing second due to their superior goal difference.
Joining them from Group 4 and 5 were Haryom, Finchley FC, Naranpur Youth Wing A and Kings. Group 6 saw Red Dragons and Euroken Y finish first and second respectively. Bladez FC’s efforts must also be mentioned after they drew with the eventual group winners but could not quite progress after a loss to Euroken Y.
Kenford Builders (formerly Arlington Estates) powered their way through Group 7, notching up 9 points without conceding. FFC also progressed after twice winning by one-goal margins.
Group 8 saw ever-present AVI Contracts and Bendev paired together. AVI progressed as group leaders without reply and Bendev also progressed with an impressive 6-0 rout against Kanbi Knight Riders along the way.
Stand out performances of the second-round came from Kenford Builders with an emphatic 5-0 victory over Bendev. Also progressing were BYC Lombard A, Bolton Originals, KKYW A, Haryom, Naranpur Youth Wing A after a shootout win, Kings and AVI Contracts.
As conditions improved, the teams also grew buoyant in the quarter-final matches. Kenford Builders pummelled Naranpur Youth Wing A with a 5-1 victory and BYC Lombard A managed an assured 2-0 victory over Bolton Originals A. The other ties saw KKYW win on penalties against Haryom and AVI contracts dispatching Kings with a 1-0 victory.
The first semi-final was contested between BYC Lombard A and Kenford Builders. Kenford took the lead against the run of play and were close to a famous victory, but the re-emergence of sin-binned Ajit allowed him to unleash a cracking effort from well within his own half leaving the goalkeeper of Kenford stranded. Extra-time wasn’t enough to separate the teams and Kenford Builders scored all their 5 penalties, knocking out the number one seeds for a final berth.
The second semi-final started off with AVI Contracts dictating much of the play. It soon paid dividends when Stan scored a Deco-like free-kick to give them the deserved lead. Mitin promptly doubled AVI Contracts lead just before half-time. The second-half saw dazzling touches from Darryl and Kapil, igniting a fight back from KKYW A, with Darryl brilliantly slotting a cross-field pass into the back of the net. Jay then smashed in an equaliser forcing the game into extra-time. AVI Contracts managed to gain control of the match again, finally breaching the defence through goals coming from Mitin and Karan, leaving AVI Contracts to contest their fourth consecutive final.
The final was once again fiercely contested with wild challenges flying in from both sides, leaving the referee with a tough task to settle the game down. The first half saw an evenly matched game, with both teams struggling to establish any superiority. The second-half saw Karan of AVI Contracts being fiercely taken down, leading to the offender being sin-binned. This was not taken advantage of and the ejected player returned with minutes to spare. A last gasp attack from the Kenford Builders provided the winning goal from Ravi, confirming them as SKLPC 5-aside champions of 2008.
By Ravin Pindoria (Sukhpur-Roha) and Krishan Raghvani (Baladia)
Boy’s Juniors Category
With two groups of six teams, the boys would have to endure five games each before waiting to see if they had made it into the semi-finals.
Group A contained Swamibapa FC Juniors A and B, Rax Motorsports, KKYW B, P&W Associates Juniors and Kingsbury Juniors A. After fifteen gruelling games Kingsbury Juniors A and Rax Motorsports fought their way through to the semis despite a great effort from Swamibapa FC Juniors A, who remained undefeated.
Group B consisted of KKYW A, Bendev Juniors, Masters Youth Club, BYC Lombard, Blind2Vision Ltd and Kingsbury Juniors B. Emotions and tensions were tight as they battled it out for the top two spaces ensuring them a place in the semis. The two semi-final places went to the deserved Bendev Juniors who were set to play Kingsbury Juniors A and Blind2Vision who would face Rax Motorsports.
The first semi-final saw Blind2Vision and Rax Motorsports endure the harsh weather. Rax Motorsports eventually prevailed with a hard fought 2-0 victory.
The second and most enthralling semi-final was between last years beaten finalists Bendev Juniors and Kingsbury Juniors A. The first and second halves whizzed by with the ball up and down both ends. Both teams played some outstanding football, with chances being created at both ends, however neither side could break the deadlock and the game went to penalties. Tension mounted as penalties continued to be scored. But two fine saves from Bendev’s goalkeeper Kavi meant they progressed to their third consecutive final.
The final between Bendev Juniors and Rax Motorsports did not disappoint. The skill both sides displayed, as well as the quick passing and movement left the crowds in awe. It was Rax Motorsports who took the lead, but that didn’t stop the Bendev Juniors storming back and scoring twice, to take the lead 2-1. Rax Motorsports hadn’t given up yet though; one final push before the full-time whistle resulted in a 2-2 draw. With the momentum now with Rax Motorsports it was they who clinched victory with a stunning goal in extra-time, and they were crowned as Under-16 champions.
Congratulations to Rickesh Varsani of Rax Motorsports who won the juniors player of the tournament.
By Shenaz Mayani and Prinal Patel
All eight teams in this year’s Ladies tournament set out with the intention of being crowned this year’s champions.
Group A consisted of Kings A and B, BYG A and Naranpur Youth Wing. The group was a tough one, however Kings A and BYG A persevered and battled their way through into the semi’s, where they met Swamibapa FC Ladies and Bhuva Construction Ltd. Unfortunately the teams from Group B that did not qualify were BYG B and KKYW. Bhuva Construction proved to be a tough contender from the start beating BYG B by an amazing 6-0 with number 7 “Beanz” scoring an outstanding 5 stunning goals, a feat that could only be matched in this tournament by Swamibapa FC Ladies’ “Jazzy”.
The semi’s brought with them more rain, nevertheless the spectators crowded round to watch as the games unfolded. Kings A and Swamibapa FC were first to kick-off and after an intense game Swamibapa FC took the lead, eventually extended their lead to two and securing themselves a place in the final.
After the thrill of the first game, the second didn’t disappoint. BYG A and Bhuva Construction kicked-off with neither side being able to take control of the game; despite numerous chances neither team was able to take the lead. Extra-time passed with no breakthrough, leaving the dreaded penalty shoot-out. Bhuva Construction kept their cool and went on to win, beating their opponents 3-1.
The final saw Bhuva Construction face an unbeaten Swamibapa FC. From the moment the first whistle blew it became evident that Bhuva Construction would attempt to dominate the game, but not without a fight from the Swamibapa FC Ladies. They managed to get a few great shots but the keeper showed off her skill and saved all but one shot on target. The Bhuva Construction strikers were alert and took every opportunity they could, leaving them the eventual champions with a deserved 3-1 victory.
The Ladies proved themselves once again, showing improvement making the competition fierce and a joy to watch. The support they receive is also encouraging and will hopefully inspire new teams to join in next year.
By Shenaz Mayani and Prinal Patel
Mens Over 40 Category
The first game of this league was between Bendev Seniors and last years champions Kingsbury, the result was a two-all draw. The two games following this between Dahisara Hot Shots and Scorpions; and Bendev Seniors and Dahisara Hot Shots both resulted in goalless draws leaving crowds questioning their fitness! Scorpions and Kingsbury both suggested they had a ‘bad day in the office’, as both of last years finalists lost their concluding group games sending them crashing out of the tournament.
The final was contested between Bendev Seniors and Dahisara Hot Shots. This game was intensely fought with Jay scoring two goals to wrap up the tournament for Dahisara Hot Shots, crowning them as champions of the Over-40’s in 2008.
By Ravin Pindoria (Sukhpur-Roha) and Krishan Raghvani (Baladia)
On behalf of the committee we would like to take this opportunity to show our gratitude and support to our sponsors; Gamcom Solutions Ltd for sponsoring the Senior’s and Men 40+ tournament, Bendev for sponsoring Boys tournament and Heer Construction Ltd for sponsoring Ladies tournament.
Appreciation for the contribution of the organising committee: Raj Madha, Hasmukh Bhudiya, Rajesh Bhudiya Samji Harsiani, Manesh Patel, Sash Mayani, Mansukh Vekaria, Bharat Vekaria, Krishan Raghvani, Muks Rabadia and Ravin Pindoria.
We would also like to express our appreciation to all the community members, their families and friends who had again attended on this typical ‘British Summers’ rainy day to support the teams. Our thanks to SKLPC Cricket Club for providing the food stall and allowing us to use the cricket pitch, Juice Fusion based at the mall in Edgware for providing healthy fresh juice drinks and smoothies and Bharat Bhanderi and Manish for preparing the football pitches in such a short time and last but not least everyone who helped to organise this annual tournament.
A special thank you goes to Samji Harsiani and Manesh Patel who for the past 25 years have been organising this tournament; their dedication along with other committee members has taken this tournament to where it is today. Samji, Manesh and Ashwin Vekaria also a long time committee member have decided to step down from the committee, their service and dedication to the community will be greatly missed.
Finally, we look forward to seeing you all again next year rain or shine!!
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