were now at the business end of the tournament
and as the 4 teams entered the Plate semi-finals
they knew they were only 2 victories from silverware.
first semi-final was an all-England encounter
between Warranty Direct and Hebden Bridge Old
Boys. You could say that Warranty Direct were
favourites courtesy of their higher group position
but there were no guarantees in this game. As
the game began they did indeed take an early advantage
as they reached half-time 2-1 to the good. It
will probably come as no surprise when we tell
you that David Payne scored his side's first of
the game which took him onto 7 for the day and
the outright lead in the top goalscorer charts.
His goal was cancelled out by Paul Taylor but
Warranty Direct's Lewis Williams ensured they
would start the second half in the lead.
Bridge Old Boys had won their first two and lost
their last three so you could understand if they
were a bit demoralized but they showed the courage
and strength of potential champions by hitting
back to force an equaliser through Paul Taylor
again. The goal earned a 2-2 draw and the team's
entered Golden Goal extra time. Each side knew
they were one mistake from defeat or one moment
of brilliance from the Final.
we didn't get a goal we were heading for penalties
but they weren't to be needed though. Warranty
Direct's Ben Cashley chose the perfect time to
pop up and score hisfirst goal of the tournament
and a priceless one it was. It secured their place
in the Final and ended Hebden Bridge Old Boy's
day prematurely. It was sad to say goodbye to
Hebden Bridge who had added much to this tournament
but, alas, it was not to be.
second Plate Semi-Final was a far more decisive
game. Wafty Crankers had been beginning to show
signs of weariness at the end of Group A and the
last thing they needed was to meet the in-form
Sesimbassa. The Spanish team were unbeaten in
4 games and on the back of three successive victories.
They also had a bit of an axe to grind having
missed out so narrowly on the Cup.
home team quickly put this disappointment behind
them and raced into a 3-0 lead by the break. They
offered no mercy to their opponents and rattled
in a 4 th and 5 th goal as they powered their
way into the final. Jordi Hernandez and Oriol
Belles both scored twice to take their daily totals
to 4 plus there was a second goal of the day for
Crankers were out and would now look ahead to
a cracking night out in Barcelona for captain
Matthew Armistead's stag night safe in the knowledge
they had a week to recover before the Manchester
Fives next weekend. Sesimbassa would have a debut
Plate Final to focus on.