(Report by Richard)
Watford sent two teams to join in a friendly round robin gathering at Leighton Buzzard with two teams from Cedars, and one from MK Walkers in an over 40s meeting. With the lower age range, it gave an opportunity for Gary Bunce and Rob Chaplin to join in. The friendly nature of the matches, including one Cedars team with two female players, were well marshalled by two young referees working with the updated WFA rules.
Due to drop outs and one player failing to make it, the Oranges played a relatively strong team including Kevin, Dickie, Gary, John Field, Paul Vinton, Gordon Sexton, Bernie and managed by Glenn. With one substitute on a hot evening, the Oranges regularly rotated players and comfortably won their first 3 games before a final draw against the Yellows.
The Yellows, managed by Richard, were initially short of players also but ended up with 9 on the night to cover for possible drop outs. Richard went in goal to allow the other 8 players to rotate in pairs during the 4 games. Not a natural keeper, he had a mixed night allowing a corner to slip in at the near post off his leg in the 2nd game (Will insisted I note this as an OG), while saving a penalty the following game after Pete inadvertently stepped into the box. The Yellows (also including Mike Adams, Pete, Will, Andy Roads, Phil Marchand, Malcolm Wright and Craig) were also a reasonably strong team winning against Cedars A and drawing the next two games against Cedars B and MK before the 0-0 vs. Oranges.
The results meant the Oranges won the league event with Yellows 2nd. To round off the referees arranged a 1st v 2nd and 3rd v 4th. So there was a head-to-head again Oranges v Yellows. With Richard’s right hand disabled by saving a rasping shot from Gary in the final round robin game, Kevin switched teams for the last game. Gary B then went in goal for Oranges and pulled off a cracking save. Yellows once again played 2 banks of 3 to nullify the excellent attacking threat from the Oranges resulting in another 0-0. So the referees decided on penalties. A couple of saves by Gary and Kevin were interspersed with lots of crossbar misses but the final result was 2-1 to Yellows thanks to Rob and Phil’s penalties. A small trophy to add to the WWFC cabinet.