Our 29th tournament took place at GHA Rugby Club on Saturday 6th June.
Disappointingly we had numerous call offs in the two weeks prior to the tournament but, as always, the most important people are those that turned up.
Eventually we ended up with twelve teams in the main draw, eight in the Gary Brooks Masters and four in the Rab MacDonald Youth Tournament.
Like the previous year the pre tourney party was in the Florida Park on the Friday night and the Leyton O’s and Posh guys, along with Mick from Dulwich, came along to enjoy the karaoke with Dougie again being a star although there was other great singing efforts by our lot and visitors.
On Sixes Day rain was forecast again but it was the strong wind blowing across the pitches that made setting up difficult at the start of the day but we got the football underway at about half twelve.
Our regular organiser Raph the Taff was sent to the bar as Jim Carberry and his team of referees (John, Malky, Jim McNeill and The Great Marzinho) took over the running of the day, along with Andy Dick, and they did a superb job.
There was also an outside bar in case Raph wanted a wander onto the pitch which I’m sure he did a couple of times.
In the Ian Younger we had two groups of six; Group A - Troon A, Leyton Orient, MacDonald Rovers, QP Hoops, QP Barbarians and St.Johnstone. Group B - QP Irn Bru, Shrewsbury Town, Boat of Garten, Troon B, Falkirk Mallards and Posh Youth.
The new teams were Boat of Garten, which is Sean Connolly’s team from a small village near Aviemore, and the QP Barbarians who helped us out by making up a team at the last minute and were organised by Craig McQuarrie.
Boat of Garten celebrated their first tournament by winning the Plate, beating Shrewsbury Town in the Final, and then we had a repeat of the 2014 Main Final but this time Falkirk Mallards were victorious over QP Irn Bru.
The Gary Brooks Masters were split into two groups of four; Group A - St.Mirren, Well Posh, MacDonald Rovers and Dulwich Hamlet. Group B - Classic QP, Shrewsbury Town, Leyton Forest O’s and Bay City Rovers (Edinburgh City/Tranmere).
With only eight teams the veterans didn’t have to spend too long in the rain and Shrewsbury Town won their first Masters trophy defeating perennial medallists St.Mirren in the Final.
In the Plate Well Posh were victorious over Classic QP to also win their first Masters award.
The Rab MacDonald Youth Tournament had four teams (all taking part in the main draw as well) and Posh Youth were first time winners after a penalty shoot-out win over MacDonald Rovers in the Final.
The Martin Kelly Goalkeeper of the Tournament was decided by the referees and the winner was Jamie Stripe of Leyton O’s who also played for umpteen other teams as well. Not bad for a man pushing 50 and remarkably Stripey was Player of the Tournament way back in 1990.
Our last award was the Wooden Spoon which St.Johnstone were delighted to claim but the trophy wasn’t available on the Saturday but thankfully turned up on the Sunday which means a trip to Perth to present it in the future.
Our two one off games, against Leyton Orient and Dulwich Hamlet, saw us win the Anglo/Scottish trophy and the Edgar Kail Trophy with Ally McNaught and Crossers collecting them from Neil Jacobs and Shaun Dooley respectively.
Sean Connolly announced the Quiz after the Champions League Final had finished on the telly and a mixture of QP and Posh Youth won the most coveted prize of the day.
In the evening we had the usual party although the DJ failed to show but we made do with some background music and songs of our own into the wee small hours.
Although a smaller tournament than recent years it was certainly one of the most enjoyable with next to no hassle during the football and the atmosphere off it was as good as it has been for many a tournament. Maybe the old people are just getting older and appreciating their one off meeting with friends !
Thanks to GHA for the use of the Rugby Club and to the staff for their help before and during the tournament; thanks again to the referees, particularly Jim and Marzinho, and Andy D, for running the tournament so well; thanks to Michael, his dad John and Rory for running the barbecue; thanks to Foxy for organising the sets of goals; thanks to Raph for not going into a strop about having to spend all day at the bar with friends rather than get the hassle of sorting out fixtures; and thanks to Crossers for all his help before the Saturday to ensure that everything was in place before we started.
Another great day out and next year is our 30th tournament, should be fun !
PHOTOS ARE IN THE PHOTO GALLERY