On 7 July, in temperatures touching 30 degrees, St Clements newly formed 6-a-side football team took part in a charity tournament organised by New Marston Primary School. Matches were played at Marsh Lane, home of Oxford City FC, and despite the hot weather a great time was had by all.
With two of the teams who had entered thinking better of playing football on such a hot morning, there were 6 teams in total. St Clements were drawn against Mansfield Road and Brazil (?) in their group. The first match saw us up against a proper football team who seemed to know what they were doing and unsurprisingly a 5-1 defeat ensued. This was followed by an entertaining 2-2 draw against Brazil. With only one point from two games things looked bleak but with Mansfield Road putting 7 past Brazil we qualified for the semi-final on goal difference.
This saw us face Old Man Athletic, who had proper matching kit and had topped their group with two wins. However, by this point we were starting to find our feet and with Martin Mullender leading the line in a style reminiscent of Lukaku for Belgium, we held our own for a very creditable 1-1 draw. This meant penalties and suddenly we had to have the awkward group huddle to decide who was going to take one. Unlike England under Gareth Southgate we had not even contemplated such a scenario. Arms were twisted and Steve Hurt and Martin both slotted home from the spot, as did the opposition. So, 2-2 with one spot kick left each. Step up Nick Abitabile, who pulled off a save to give our French midfield dynamo, Tom Patissier, a chance to secure a place in the final. Tom showed no fear (does he ever?!) and calmy placed the ball in the corner.
This meant we were in the final despite having not won a single game in normal time. That was the good news. The bad news was that we were due a re-match against Mansfield Road and despite battling bravely we eventually fell to a 6-0 defeat.
Thanks to everyone who took part, especially Martin for roping in our team ringer!