Tournament Triumph in Yorkshire
20 March 2016
Village Manchester had a successful weekend in Leeds as their first team saw off all-comers to win the Yorkshire Terriers tournament with the second team making it to the semi-final of the Vase competition.
The weekend away started on the Saturday with half the participants heading out in gay Leeds. After a couple of beers in The Hourglass and The Viaduct, Village met up with the other gay teams in the home of Yorkshire Terriers sponsors – The Bridge. The draw for the following day’s competition was made with Village People (first team) in group two and Village Bikes (second team) in group four. Following the draw players moved across various bars and returned to their hotel rooms at a respectable time (haha – as if!)
Lovely spring sunshine greeted the travellers whose numbers were boosted by those players who travelled across on the day. The day’s action took place at the John Charles Centre for Sport – the venue was also hosting an American Football tournament with a loud and lively crowd providing unintentional but welcoming atmosphere!
The second team comprising of Rob McPherson, Rob Ingle, Sam Hardstaff, Musa Veris, James Cole, Paul Hammond and Jamie Williams were in a four team group with London Romans, Stonewall and Thornhill 2 - each club played each other twice. Thornhill 2 (2-0, 2-0) and London Romans (2-1, 3-0) proved too strong for the Village Bikes but positive results were gained against Stonewell via a 0-0 draw and a 1-0 win.
Following these results the team entered the Vase competition after finishing third in the group. And they turned the style on in the Quarter Finals as they swept aside Yorkshire Terriers 2 with a score line of 3-1 courtesy of a goal from Cole and a brace from Williams. In the semi-final a tense game against Nottingham Lions 2 was settled on penalties with the Midlands team emerging victorious 2-1 from the spot after sudden death. In the final Nottingham 2 saw off their challengers to be crowned Vase winners.
The first team – who had David Hayes, James Wilson, Sal, Alex West, Marc Gibson, Igor Nunes and Steven Holmes in their ranks – faced Yorkshire Terriers 2, London Titans Hoops, Nottingham Lions 2 and Leeds GFC Terriersauras.
They kicked off proceedings with a 1-0 loss to Yorkshire Terriers 2 but beat the other Yorkshire team, Leeds GFC Terriersauras, 3-0 with two goals from Wilson and one from Sal. Nottingham Lions 2 inflicted the second loss of the competition on Village with 2-0 victory but the team again recovered to beat London Titans Hoops 2-0 with goals from Sal and West.
The Village People avenged their opening defeat by Yorkshire Terriers 2 by defeating them thanks to a brace from Nunes and the wins kept on coming as they beat Leeds GFC Terriersauras 3-0 (West, Sal, Gibson), Nottingham Lions 2 3-1 (Gibson, Sal 2) and London Titan Hoops 2-0 (Wilson, Sal).
These results saw them make it into the knockout stages of the main competition. In the quarter final they game up against Nottingham 1 and put in a strong performance with goals from Sal, West and Nunes securing a 3-0 win. A solitary goal was enough to win the semi-final as Village saw off Thornhill 1 thanks to Gibson’s strike.
The final saw the first team face hosts Yorkshire Terriers 1. Village burst out of the blocks in this game and didn’t take long to take hold of the game. Effective and destructive attacking saw the team score four goals via the feet of Nunes, Gibson, Sal and West to take the crown.
It was a fun weekend and it is always great to see and mingle other GFSN teams. Thank you to Yorkshire Terriers for organising.
Words: Rob McPherson
Photos: Steve Joyce