Southside Star Cubs U8 - Cheltenham League Tournament 3 Week 1
It was wet & muddy, but our 6 Cubs teams had a great time as always in this third & final Cheltenham League tournament!
Once again, we entered 6 teams, by far the biggest team presence, with double the number of teams of the next biggest group. There were 6 pitches/leagues, so we had a team playing on every pitch.
On Pitch 1 we had the Lions, managed by Colin Durrant. Their squad for the day was son Ollie, Ethan, Zaya, Max G and Noah H. They had no subs on the day, but 2 goals from Ethan in the first game, 2 from Ollie in the second and an own goal in the third were enough to win the group. Excellent performances all round, but Ollie took the Man of the Match award for the way he got back to support the defence, on top of his 2 goals.
On Pitch 2, we had the Tigers, managed by Jamie Rudd. In his team was son Josh, Austin W, Jonas, Leo, Sam and Oscar R. They started with 2 battling draws, a clean-sheet in the first, then goals from Leo and Oscar earning a share of the spoils in the 2nd. The wheels came off a little in the 3rd game when heads went down after conceding 2 early goals, resulting in a heavy defeat. They fought back well in game 4, going down to a single goal defeat in a hard fought game. Star of the day for the Tigers was Jonas, who was tremendous in his defensive role.
On Pitch 3 we had the Panthers and they were managed by Andy Cook. Their team consisted of son Elliot, Seb, Lukas, Jacob, Max W and Preston. They drew 3 of their 4 games and went down to a single goal defeat in the other. I was privileged to watch their final game, when they put in possibly the best battling display I have ever witnessed from a Southside team, where every single player fought for their lives. Preston scored 2 goals on the day, including possibly the goal of the season, with a run down the left and an absolute screamer from distance into the far corner. Elliot and Lukas also chipped-in with a goal apiece. Man of the Match could literally have gone to any of them, but it was Seb who stole it with some fearless tackling, including one thunderous challenge on a lad nearly twice his size!
On Pitch 4, we had the Pumas, managed by Darren Varley. His team comprised of son Noah, Jamie, Josh C, Lucas, Jack T, Joseph W and Archie. 2 goals from Noah and another from Lucas got them off to a flying start, with Lucas earning a draw in game 2. Goals from Lucas and Archie were not enough as they went down in a 5-goal thriller in game 3, with another Lucas goal earning a point in game 4. Archie took the Man of the Match award for his all-round performance, but special mention to Lucas for a goal in every game.
On Pitch 5, we had the Wildcats, who were managed by Ian Goodall. In their team was son Tate, Oscar J, Jamie, Jake, Finley and George Maslin, who was on loan from our U7s. It started well enough, going down to a goal in the last seconds in the first game, followed by a goalless draw in the second. As per the Wildcats in their 3rd game, the wheels came off a little in the 3rd resulting in a heavy defeat, in a game where George also had a penalty saved by the keeper. He struck the ball well enough, but the keeper made a fine stop. The last game was a tight one, but 3 times we got caught on the break as everyone pressed forward looking for a goal. Player of the day was George, not at all phased by playing-up against bigger and older opponents.
On Pitch 6 we had the Leopards, managed by James Jackson. In his team was son Will, Zain, Leonidas, Tobi, Jack S and Lennie Middlecote, our U7 keeper making the step-up. Leonidas scored a super goal in game 1 to give us the win, with a great save from Lennie in the last minute denying the opposition a point. The next 3 games were all very tight, but we ended-up on the wrong end of the scoreline in each one. Tobi scored a great goal in game 3, which was also notable for an amazing save by Lennie. Will netted in game 4, but it was not enough as we went down to 2 early goals. Lennie took the Man of the Match honours for his brave display in goal; he also did the U7s proud!
With me not managing a team, it was a chance to watch the games in a slightly more relaxed fashion and it was great to see how the Cubs are progressing. I love the way our teams battled, there were some great passages of play with some tremendous goals and outstanding saves, but most of all I love the obvious enjoyment of the Cubs when they are playing.
There will be 5 divisions for week 2 of the tournament, and based on results from week 1, I would expect the Lions to be in Division 1, the Panthers & the Pumas to be in Division 3, the Tigers and the Leopards to be in Division 4, and the Wildcats to be in Division 5, although still to be confirmed.
Players of the Tournament: Ollie Durrant, Jonas Selby, Seb Bodley, Archie Beeston, George Maslin & Lennie Middlecote