Following the arrival of seven teams at Malvern St James, the sun came out and got the tournament off to a good start. The annual 8 a side competition is a fantastic opportunity to develop new teams and test the pre-season fitness.
A wide range of teams including, Timperley, Hatchend Hawks (2 teams), Leeds, Central London, Whale Sharks and Harpenden took full advantage of the weather and the games on offer. A strong start from Whale Sharks saw them take an early lead in the round robin. Hawks who brought a mix of experienced and younger players were the dark horse of the tournament with the younger team taking home wins against Leeds and Central London.
Whilst Central London failed to win a game they managed to score some great goals throughout the day. Having travelled the furthest Leeds gave a fantastic effort and narrowly missed out match points whilst Timperley preformed solidly demonstrating how successful midfield team work leads to simple goals.
Following the round robin, Whale Sharks were top of the table and set to play Hawks in the semi final whilst Timperley battled with Harpenden. Whale Sharks took an early lead but Hawks didn’t give up, with a final score of 7-2 Whale Sharks took the place in the final. The Timperley Harpenden semi was slightly closer with both teams battling for a place. After some fantastic midfield transition, Harpenden scored a late goal providing them with a place in the final following a 3-2 win.
The final was very tight, both teams carrying tired legs after a long day of matches. Both determined to win the pressure was on as Whale Sharks took the first girl. Harpenden continued to regain possession but struggled to convert shots into goals. A stunning performance from Harpendens goal keeper (MVP of the tournament) kept them in the game, however, the Whale Sharks managed to sneak a final goal into the net making them Autumn 8 2015 Champions with a 2-0 win.
Thank you to all the teams, volunteers and umpires for getting the season off to a great start.
Final Tournament Standings:
Winners – Whale Sharks
Runners Up – Harpenden
3rd – Timperley
7th Central London