STROLLERS REACH FINAL OF GOALS DUDLEY TOURNAMENT
HARTSHILL Strollers won through to the final of a tournament at Goals Dudley on Saturday, November 12.
But they were beaten 2-1 by our old chums Beechcroft, now known as Birmingham.
It was a cruel blow because Strollers went 1-0 up through an early goal by John Cooper and looked as though they would hold on to the final whistle as goalkeeper Bernard Bustin pulled off a string of stunning saves.
But in the dying minutes, Birmingham struck twice – the second with the last kick of the match – to lift the trophy.
Our finalists were drawn mainly from the club’s South squad of Over 60s players in the five-a-side format.
They narrowly won through to the final by beating Strollers North – Over 50s – in the semis, 8-7 on penalties, after the final score was 3-3.
The shoot-out was a marathon with no fewer than 26 spot kicks having to be taken to sort out the winners.
The club’s top scorer in the tournament was John Cooper with 13 (15 if his two successful penalties are included) with seven of the goals coming in a 7-0 trouncing of our West squad (Over 60s).
It was a tough day for West who lost all three group stage matches, scoring just twice and conceding 19 to give a goal difference of minus 17.
The East team fared a little bit better – although they also failed to win a match - as they finished with a goal difference of ‘only’ minus eight – one for and nine against.
In addition to Birmingham/Beechcroft, the other clubs in the tournament were K.H. Community Trust, which entered two teams; and Hindlip.
So Hartshill had mixed fortunes on the day but – on the positive side – this was the first time the club has entered four teams in a tournament and this enabled 20 players, of varying ability, to play competitively.
South: Bernard Bustin, Barry Geyton, Archie Jones, John Cooper, Brian Carmichael.
North: Gary Davis, Adrian Heath, Andie Lissemore, Martin Broome, Ray Woodhall.
East: Derek Hughes, Dave Shaw, Mark Grazier, Phil Bate, Pete Williams.
West: Kevin Weston, Gordon Lee, Dave Lunn, John Moore, Bob Haywood.