Sunday 10th July 2016 – Kandu Kicks does Euro 2016
Doorway is England for the day!
It’s mid-July and today is a huge sporting day – Wimbledon Men’s Final, British Grand Prix, Euro 2016 final, Tour De France and the Kandu Kicks Euro 2016 Football Tournament!
Eight teams are entered for the great showdown at Stanley Park and everyone’s excited to be here. Well, nearly everyone. The weather is pretty grim with a cold wind and showers being the order of the day. It looks like the British summer is not to the liking of our Iberian chums and Spain are not here! Can’t say I blame them – Sangria on the Costa-del-somewhere_or_other is probably keeping them warm …..
Competition format is that each team plays every other team in a 7 minute match and the 4 teams with the best record go through to the semi-finals. Our first game was due to be against Spain so we get a bye in the first round of matches. The rejigged fixture list also means that we play all our matches on pitch 1 which is near the entrance to the complex and has some shelter so that the small but hardy bunch of Doorway supporters can keep out of the rain while cheering the lads on!
Germany 1 – 1 England
Our first match gets off to slightly dodgy start and we are strangely silent – not helping each other out enough. After 3 minutes we find our voice and range and Peck scores to put is in the driving seat. Germany press hard and only some smart work by Connor in goal keeps us ahead. Sadly he gets a little too keen to get to the ball and brings down an opponent. Germany tuck the penalty away and the last 2 minutes of see-saw action is goalless so we take a point each.
England 0 – 1 France
This was a bit of a scrappy affair and we were a little at sea defensively. France didn’t seem able to take advantage though and things were fairly even up to the fifth minute when we had 1 failed clearance too many and France finally found a way to get the ball in the net. We didn’t threaten them enough and the result was probably about right.
Iceland 0 – 0 England
A very capable Iceland team (sound familiar, eh?) gave us a lot of problems and exerted a lot of pressure on us but the defensive play was much better this time. Everyone worked hard to get a result and we managed a very creditable scoreless draw. Better than the pampered prima…. err, perhaps not – can’t afford to be sued.
England 0 – 2 Northern Ireland
Our opponents are very quickly into their stride showing good control and movement and after just 1 minute they take the lead. We’re working very hard to get back into the match but they have the edge and after 4 minutes increase their lead. The rest of the game was fairly even but we didn’t get much of a chance to score.
Wales 1 – 0 England
A fairly even contest at the start but Wales eventually start to take the upper hand and it’s only some stout defending and the good work of Connor in goal that’s keeping us in it. Things take a bad turn when a thumping drive hits the bar only to bounce out onto Connor’s leg and then back into the net. We tried very hard to recover the situation in the last couple of minutes but we didn’t look like scoring. A cruel result.
England 1 – 1 Ireland
Our last match and we are starting to play better. Pressing well from the start we take the lead when Guy finds a way through their defence and tucks the ball into the net. A topsy-turvy game continues to move from end to end and we’re holding on well until little more than a minute from the end when a lapse in concentration gives them a man over in attack and they equalise.
Drew 3 and lost 3 so we’re not in the knock-out stages.
In the semi-finals (now playing 10 minute matches) Ireland played an entertaining 2 – 2 draw against Northern Ireland with Northern Ireland winning the penalty shoot-out. Wales found Iceland too strong, eventually losing 0 – 3.
The final was played in fully committed fashion between Iceland and Northern Ireland. Iceland had lost their scoring touch and Northern Ireland ran out 3-0 winners and deserved to lift the trophy – again! The same group of players won last year’s tournament playing as Real Madrid. That’s a target for next year – beat this group.
A good day for all our Doorway players who put in a huge effort and didn’t let the wind and rain get them down so let us say a big “well done” to the lads:-
Connor, Dave, Guy, Jordan, Kev, Lee, Martin, Parky, Peck
(The only injury on the day was to your roving reporter! During the warm-ups before the matches balls were being blown around by the wind and I gently kicked a few back to their owners. I got too enthusiastic at one point and tried to put my laces through one and now have a thigh strain! Should’ve warmed up properly before doing that! No fool like an old fool….. )
With huge thanks to Roland for writing the article and to Martin for the photos !