30th April 2016

Avoca Mixed 7s Hockey Tournament

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Avoca Mixed 7s 2016

What a day! 12 teams took part in the 5th annual Avoca Mixed 7s Hockey tournament and with glorious sunshine to play in, an abundance of sportsmanship and a barrel of banter, the day was an amazing success. To top it off, Avoca Hockey Club's charity partners LauraLynn will receive €1000 from the day's proceeds!

With three groups of 4 teams competing, getting through to the Cup Quarters meant you had to finish in the top two and two of the three best placed sides also progressed. The tournament continued for the remaining four teams as they got to compete in the Shield/Trophy competition.

In Group 1 Dab Squad narrowly edged out group rivals Wolverines and the Stragglers before thrashing tournament party side Newpark Buzz to top the group with 100%. Newpark Buzz, despite losing all three of their games, won our virtual 'Best Dressed Team' award. Second spot was closely contested by The Stragglers and the Wolverines and a seven goal thriller resulted with the Stragglers coming out on top.

Group 2 also had a stand out side in the form of PJC who won 2 of their games and drew 1 finishing top by some distance. PJC drew with BrAvoca who matched that result with two other draws and finished third in the group below C.B.A.S.H.C. who despite finishing 2nd, refused to go forward into the elite campaign so they could hopefully meet their pals playing for Newpark Buzz in the Shield. The Panthers finished bottom of the group with 1 draw and 2 defeats.

Brennans and Friends finished top of group 3 thanks to a win over Bomb Squad who matched them for a total of 8 points, but the head to head result ensured they would prevail at the top. Team T.I.T.S. were the only side to keep a clean sheet against Brennans rewarding them with the only 0-0 draw of the day where the average was about 6.5 goals a game. Glenageary Utd with an average age of probably double of any of their opponents finished at the bottom of the pile with 3 defeats.

In the Shield competition, nothing could separate The Panthers and Newpark Buzz as it ended 1-1 following the golden goal extra-time phase. Therefore the team that progressed was the one who had scored first in the match so Newpark Buzz booked their place in the Shield Final. C.B.A.S.H.C. desperate to play their mates, had to defeat Glenageary Utd to proceed and they did just that - although Utd didn't make it easy! The Panthers played against Glenageary Utd in the Trophy Final (11th/12th place) and this was a great game with 3 goals a piece. The game went into golden goal extra-time and it was only in the final few seconds that the Panthers claimed victory and Trophy Winners! Another fantastic pairing in the Shield Final between C.B.A.S.H.C. play out a 3-3 draw against Newpark Buzz, as the game went into the golden goal - C.B.A.S.H.C. knew they had the advantage with that all-important first goal and as both sides rallied for a goal, time for Newpark Buzz sadly ran out as the buzzer went and Carl Breaden's young fledglings were crowned Shield champions.

Dab Squad cruised into the semi-finals of the cup following an 8-1 victory against Team T.I.T.S. showing their intent for the title. The other three match-ups were a lot closer with only 1 or 2 goals separating the sides; Brennans, PJC and The Stragglers advancing through to the next stage while Wolverines, BrAvoca and Bomb Squad joined Team T.I.T.S. in the Plate competition.

The Plate was closely contested but again it was the favourites who went through with the Wolverines beating Team T.I.T.S. 6-4 and Bomb Squad edged out BrAvoca 3-2. Team T.I.T.S. were awarded the win in the classification match to determine 7th position as BrAvoca called it a day. One goal separated the teams in the Plate Final as the Bomb Squad claimed the title following a 5-4 win.

The Cup semis were high-tempo end to end thrilling ties with loads of goals on offer! Dab Squad who had won all their games to date were dealt a harsh blow in the semis losing 9-5 in the highest scoring match of the tournament. In the other semi, it was a late goal for PJC as they beat the Stragglers 3-2 to advance through to the final. The Bronze medal match saw 9 v 9 on the pitch with the Stragglers no. 4 even switching sides. The sides had met earlier in the group phase and Dab had won that and they continued winning ways this time coming away 5-4 winners. The Cup Final was a joy to watch and you could see the enjoyment on the players' faces. The lead switched a few times but in the end PJC came away with the win with influential captain Zack Waters the driving force.

The top goal scorer award was shared by two players who had both scored 10 goals a piece; Herbie Fowler Hudson from the Bomb Squad and Sean Brennan from Brennans and Friends. Sean won the 'rock, paper, scissors' tie to claim the trophy. The other individual award of best player always sparks debate and quite a few names were brought up however our judging committee decided that Karla Kennedy from the Stragglers was a thoroughly deserving winner!

Many thanks once again to Avoca Hockey Club for allowing us to run the tournament at their venue. Further thanks to Ian Wilkie for the use of his marquees, those that helped erect and take down those marquees, the referees (Alan, Conor and Phil), those that took some snaps on the day and those that showed your support! We shall do it again next year all going well and with the promise of a bbq, I'm sure we'll raise even more money for this great cause!

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