AFC Kirk Hallam u11's went into their summer break in style with a win at our own tournament.
In a group that was reduced to just five teams, due to Ilkeston Town Tigers letting us down two days before the start of the tournament, the boys kicked off their first match at 9:50 against Chesapeake Tomahawks. Summer signing Finn Rydzyk bagged his first goal for the club early into the 16 minute match following a cross from Ben Morley. Morley then scored twice by lobbing the goalkeeper on both occasions to seal an emphatic 3-0 first match win.
The second match was against YEL Sunday Spring division 1 champions, Woodhouse Colts. In a close match, where the hosts probably shaded it, another summer signing, Ellis Shore scoring on his debut weekend for the club to go 1-0 up. A scrappy goal, 30 seconds from full time gave Woodhouse Colts an unlikely draw at that stage of the game.
The following match saw the wheels come off slightly as the boys lost 2-0 to a very good Aylestone Park Youth team.
Needing a win in the final group match against Eastwood Athletic Santos, it was a case of job done as Ben Morley grabbed his third goal of the tournament in a fairly routine 1-0 victory.
With a record of played 4, won 2, drawn 1 and lost 1, with 5 goals scored and three conceded, the boys finished group runners up and went through to the semi finals.
The next match saw them meet YEL Saturday Spring division 1 runners up, Market Warsop. having gone unbeaten through the group, were the favourites. A very tight game saw a disputed penalty given for what the referee later said was a clear foul on Ellis Shore. Ellis got up to bag his second goal of the tournament and send Kirk Hallam through to the final.
The final was against CS Colts, who had finished group runners up to Market Warsop. A close match saw Ben Morley go running through after going round two defenders, only for the last one to clearly pull him down in the box and get another penalty. The CS Colts goalkeeper tried some gamesmanship in shaking Ben's hand, wishing him good luck and pointing to where he wanted Ben to shoot. Two steps later, the ball was in the back of the net and, but for some late pressure from Colts, the game and tournament championship was wrapped up for Kirk Hallam, making it two tournament wins, a runners up and two league championships since forming the team in March 2017.
Record for the tournament was
P6 W4 D1 L1 GF7 GA3
Scorers were Morley 4, Shore 2, Rydzyk 1
Special mention has to go to goalkeeper Caleb Topley, who was amazing in the final when called upon.
The real challenge however starts in September in the YEL division 1, where week in, week out will be a challenge of the like that the lads have only just started to play against. A couple more friendly matches at the end of August/start of September will get them going again in time for the huge challenge ahead.
Updated 20:09 - 16 Aug 2018 by Dave Morley