Over 60’s National Tournament Round 1
The Over 60’s National Tournament Round 1 saw Manchester Corinthians drawn against a strong AFC Blackpool Senior Seasiders team. The Seasiders had Corinthians Steve Hyde and Wai Hon Tsang in their squad. Playing for their own club was an obvious choice and fully understandable.
After our over 65’s brilliant 5-4 victory over a very capable Wigan Walkers on Monday, it was hoped that our over 60’s team could also progress to round 2. The format was twenty minutes each way, with a few minutes break to re-hydrate and take a breather after every ten minute session.
With the very capable Steve Hyde in goals for the Seasiders, scoring wasn’t going to be easy and so it proved. A shot by Dave Wilde was deflected off a defender, which Steve couldn’t keep out. Lucky? Probably but in this level of competition, you will take any goal, no matter how it’s scored. So it was 1-0 to the Corinthians in the first session of this Over 60’s National Tournament Round 1.
The game ebbed and flowed with the Corinthians just edging the possession and at half time the score remained at 1-0. The third session saw the Corinthians up their game with some lovely passing and movement and George Maitland was at the end of such a movement and fired a terrific shot home to make it 2-0 to the Corinthians.
The Corinthians were having the better of play now and were looking quite comfortable. Many substitutions were made, not only to give decent playing time to the squad but also to keep us in the game. In the final session another excellent move saw Paul O’Neil on the edge of the D with only Steve Hyde to beat. My money was on Steve to make a save but Paul calmly stuck the ball away to make it 3-0.
This was the final score at the whistle and although the scoreline suggests a relatively easy victory, it was far from such. Blackpool are an excellent team who played the fixture in the right spirit and would beat most walking football teams on their day but the Corinthians just had the edge in man marking, possession and movement.
Thanks to all the squad who played their part in this Over 60’s National Tournament Round 1 fixture, John Bee, Ron Blakeley, Dave Brooks, George Maitland, Val Mears, Paul O’Neil, Mick Tarpey, Stewart White and Dave Wilde. Also thanks to some of the over 65’s squad who supported us today.
A special thanks to referee Mike Willmore, who gave a pre-match talk outlining his intentions on officiating the fixture, which left no doubt as to physicality and running. Well refereed Mike and many thanks for a great performance favouring no team.
The two Dave’s, Brooks and Wilde looked very solid at the back and George Maitland was particularly impressive in midfield. With an abundance of strikers, it was difficult to choose between them, as they are all excellent footballers. What a great dilemma to have! With a few other players missing out today, this squad gets stronger and stronger and with another one or two who will hopefully be added soon, it will take a great side to beat us if we play as we know we can.
Finally, after my recent problems with Vintage Celtic, in which I was almost going to walk away from walking football, I have to say it’s an absolute pleasure to be involved with a terrific bunch of guys who are all excellent players and have a team spirit, the like of which I have never experienced before. Nobody has ever thrown a tantrum when being subbed, which is greatly appreciated. I only wish I could be a playing member for the over 65’s but with a bit of luck for the inevitable over 70’s team soon.