Mini FC (Por)




Sergio Cristina (Por)

The Blackouts (Ire)




Belfast Space Monkeys (NI)


We were at the 2015 Algarve Veterans Tournament Cup Semi-Finals stage and from the 12 teams who started the day we were down to the final 4. There were still 3 different nationalities in with a chance of victory so who would it be? Portugal, Ireland or Northern Ireland?

The one thing that was guaranteed was there would be a Portuguese team in the Cup Final as Mini FC took on Sergio Cristina in an all Portuguese contest. Mini FC had swept into the Semi-Finals as Group A winners with 4 wins out of 5. Sergio Cristina had started the day superbly with 3 wins in their first 3 games but 2 successive defeats meant they would come into the game on a downturn of form.

They would have to find their form quickly again as any mistakes now and they were out. Mini FC took the lead in this game though and Sergio Cristina must have had that sinking feeling – Paulo Aquino with the goal for Mini FC.

Mini FC went from strength to strength in the second period with two goals from Pedro Santos – his first of the tournament. At 3-0 down there was something to cheer with a clever and impressive backheel from Telmo Silva to make it 3-1. It was Silva's fifth of the tournament and an impressive return but his goal in this game was to be a mere consolation.

Mini FC marched on to the Cup Final…..


So, who would take their place in the Final from the second Semi-Final? The two teams set to do battle were The Blackouts against Belfast Space Monkeys.

The Blackouts emerged from the group phase as the #1 ranked team in the tournament and with the only 100% record and would certainly be the team to beat if you had title aspirations. They had scored 9 goals and conceded just 1 so far.

Belfast Space Monkeys were also unbeaten but a couple of draws prevented them posting the same record as The Blackouts. They had scored 7 goals and were yet to concede in the tournament. The Blackouts won their Cup Semi-Final 5-1 in Mallorca but you felt they would have a more difficult task this year.

At half-time The Blackouts were edging closer to a second Cup Final as Darragh Cox struck the blow that put them in the ascendency. A second from Darragh Cox after the turnaround meant The Blackouts had one foot in the next round. However…

…they were not there yet! Sean Mullan reduced the deficit to 2-1 to set up a tense and thrilling finale. The Blackouts had enough in the tank to see the game through and we finished at 2-1.

We had to say farewell to Belfast Space Monkeys - we thank them for supporting the tournament and it was a great debut. To go out with just one loss and just two conceded is tough.

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