30th July/4th Dec 2016

Geoff the Ref Memorial Tournament

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Geoff the Ref Memorial 2016

Geoff the Ref With the bank holiday weekend and Barcelona playing Celtic at the Aviva Lansdowne Road Stadium in the evening of the same day, the 2016 Geoff the Ref Tournament was attended by 7 teams - less than half of those that competed last year. Alas, it took nothing away from the day and Geoff's day was enjoyed by all.

In Group 1, Latin Kings were the seeded team and were joined by the over 35s entrants of Giltspur Unathletic; they were bumped into the open competition due to insufficient teams in the over 35s category. Sauce Pan Celtic fielded an under strength side with a few of their players pulling out last minute and eventually ended up recruiting local youngster Michael Donegan while the fourth team in the group was debutants Special Olympiacos. The seeds cruised to two wins from two as they brushed aside Giltspur Unathletic and Sauce Pan Celtic 3-0 and 4-0. New boys Special Olympiacos looked to impress in their maiden tournament with two wins from two before drawing 1-1 against Latin Kings though it was not enough and the latter clinched top spot thanks to an extra bonus point. Both Giltspur and Sauce Pan already knew they had been eliminated from the Cup and enjoyed a competitive 12-goal thriller as Sauce Pan held off Giltspur to win 7-5 and finish third in the group.

Group 2 was contested by only three teams with seeds and holders FC Miracle being joined by Imperium FC and the crowd-favourites the Geofferees. FC Miracle started off as they meant to continue with a walloping 5-1 win against Imperium FC, however, Imperium FC then did the thumping as they beat the Geofferees 4-0. With only three in the group, the Geofferees had to win with a +five goal difference against FC Miracle if they wanted to progress; however, FC Miracle edged it 4-2 and claimed top spot in the group.

The Plate Play-off was played out in a three-way group rather than a knock-out system and the first match was between the Geofferees and Sauce Pan Celtic. Despite leading, Sauce Pan Celtic were unable to stop a livelier Geofferees side who came back to win 5-4! The Geofferees then played Giltspur Unathletic and perhaps Giltspur underestimated their opponents thinking that they would be too tired from the previous match - alas, a few goals scored by Andy Piper and Alan Byrne meant Giltspur threw everything into attack. 13 goals were scored and the Geofferees won it 8-5 in the day's highest scoring match and with that they could claim the Plate for a second occasion the last time being in 2013. Having already played each other with Sauce Pan Celtic taking the initial advantage, Giltspur were playing for pride and were confident they could finish the day off on a win. However, it was not to be as fitness levels plummeted, Sauce Pan Celtic took their chances well and won 7-4. Credit to Giltspur as their average age compared to other teams was probably double!

The Cup semi-finals were really closely competed and only one goal separated the sides as Latin Kings booked their spot in the final for the third time in 5 years with a 2-1 win over Imperium FC. In the other semi, full-time could not split the teams as they shared a 2-2 draw and the game was concluded with penalties and it was the holders who kept their nerve eventually winning 4-3 following 10 penalties taken. Third place was won by Special Olympiacos as they beat Imperium FC 5-2 while FC Miracle retained their title for a second year with a similar score beating Latin Kings; a team who have fallen at the final hurdle for the third time!

The Tournament's top goal scorer was Michael Donegan from Sauce Pan Celtic who scored 9 goals, 7 of which were scored against Giltspur Athletic over two matches! The best goalkeeper was Marton Rekli from FC Miracle who conceded 5 goals in 4 matches. Carlos Atila from Imperium FC was named player of the tournament after some impressive performances; he also happened to score 88% of his team's goals! We also had another award and that was for most sporting player of the tournament and that was awarded to Tomek Frelka from Special Olympiacos!

Lastly, many thanks to the team of referees (Chris, Butch and Arturs). We hope you enjoyed the event and will return next year as FC Miracle attempt an unprecedented three successive victories!

Geoff the Ref Memorial Over 35s Tournament 2016

The Over 35s Tournament that was not played in the summer took place on Sunday 4th December. 4 teams competed the over 35s event and matches kicked off at 3pm. Each team got to play each other and then played a classification match to determine their position.

The four teams were far from organised with last minute transfers switching players from one team to another but once the teams had been finalised, it was plain sailing. With no refs for this event, we timed it ourselves (thanks Seb) and played as fairly as possible, stopping when someone had been fouled and setting up a free-kick - credit to all the lads!

Shankill Shakers got off to a good start in their opening fixture beating Harlequins 3-1 while Retro Soccer and Vinny's Veterans played out a thrilling 5-5 encounter with Paul O'Neill getting a hat-trick. In the second round of fixtures, Vinny's Veterans and Shankill Shakers played out a goalless draw. On the other pitch Harlequins made up for their loss in the earlier game and scored six past Retro to win 6-3. In the final round of matches, Shankill Shakers needed only a draw to make it through to the final and a goal a piece from Colin McCabe and Mick Kinsella was enough to earn a 2-1 victory over Retro. On Pitch 2, the Harlequins went for qualification and started the scoring early as they smashed five goals passed Vinny's Veterans to eventually win 5-1.

So the bronze medal match was played out between Retro Soccer and Vinny's Veterans and in the previous game, ten goals had been scored. Well this time it was eight goals and again the sides could not be split as it finished 4-4. The match was finally decided on sudden-death penalties with the first six goals being converted; Retro's keeper saved and the next spot kick secured it! In the Cup Final, Harlequins had lost out 3-1 to the Shankill Shakers and Seb Perciavalle was in super form having only conceded twice in three games, however, it was the Harlequins who opened the scoring through Al Robinson. Glenn Coleman leveled soon after and then Mick Kinsella added a second as time ticked on. With a minute remaining, Joe Healy popped up with an equaliser to the Harlequins delight and the final whistle soon came although Mick Kinsella almost scored at the death! Oddly enough, both Harlequins goalscorers were meant to play for Shankill Shakers only to see them switching sides due to last minute transfers! The final was to be decided on penalties... the Harlequins won it with two well placed penalties as Shankill placed their first wide and had their second attempt well saved.

A really enjoyable tournament and it's hoped that these teams will return for the next year's event.

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