Warranty Direct  (Eng)

3 *



Hebden Bridge Old Boys (Eng)

Sesimbassa (Spa)




Wafty Crankers (Eng)

* Warranty Direct won via Golden Goal extra time

We 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.


The 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.


Hebden 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.


If 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.


The 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.


The 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 Marc Jorge.


Wafty 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.

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