Skidmarks (Eng)




The El Dude Brothers (Eng)

Shahs of Sunset (Eng)




The Spider Mans and Eagle (Eng)

Slovakia (Svk)




DHL Prague (Cze)

CIS Committee (Blr)




Fritzl Palace (Eng)

* Skidmarks won 2-1 on penalties.

* Shahs of Sunset won 3-1 on penalties.

As the 2014 Bratislava Fives Cup Quarter-Finals were about to get underway we were down to the elite 8 teams in the tournament representing Belarus, Czech Republic, England and, the home nation, Slovakia.

We started on Pitch A with Skidmarks versus The El Dude Brothers. Skidmarks were experienced at this level with two Cup wins and a Runners-Up finish under their belts. They had a Quarter-Final record that read;

2011 Valencia Fives: Defeated Shortest In The Shower, 5-0

2012 Krakow Trophy: Defeated Lox, 3-1

2014 Budapest Fives: Lost to Argentina, 2-0.

Could they return to winning ways at the Quarter-Final stage? The El Dude Brothers stood in their way and their appearance at this stage marked one of the most improved performances we had seen from one tournament to the next. At the 2013 Berlin Fives their knockout football consisted of the Wooden Spoon but they'd elevated themselves to the upper echelons of Cup football.

The game was a close one on the field and there was only one goal to separate the two teams going into half-time. The goal came from the 2011 Valencia Fives top goalscorer Luke Hatfield and it was Skidmarks who held the early advantage. After the break The El Dude Brothers showed great tenacity and fighting spirit to level things up at 1-1 through Alistair McIntyre. That's how it finished and we had a penalty shoot-out to look forward to.

It was Skidmarks to take the first penalty but they were unable to convert as Neil Taylor's effort was saved. The El Dude Brothers had a great opportunity to take the initiative but they failed to capitalise as their first penalty thundered back off the cross-bar. Next up was Luke Hatfield who scored the first penalty in this shoot-out. Ben Moist returned the favour and we were all square at 1-1.

Tom Augarde sent the goalkeeper the wrong way to make it 2-1 and restore the Skidmarks lead. Up stepped Sush Nair who struck a good effort to the bottom right corner but it was not well struck enough as Paul Mulvey pulled off a superb save diving full stretch to his bottom left-hand corner. Skidmarks were through.


Up next on Pitch B was the Shahs of Sunset versus The Spider Mans and Eagle FC. As with Quarter-Final 1 we had a team who had experience at this level against a team playing in a Cup Quarter-Final for the first time.

Shahs of Sunset had performed superbly to win Group C which featured some strong teams and The Spider Mans and Eagle FC had finished in second place in Group D behind the only team with a 100% record in the group phase.

Shahs of Sunset took the early initiative and forged ahead through Anes Jusic. 1-0 became 2-0 when Adrian Satue doubled the advantage. Shahs of Sunset retained the lead going into half-time and they had one foot in the Semi-Finals.

The Spider Mans and Eagle FC were not to be beaten though as Ryan Stevens reduced the arrears to 2-1. The game was becoming increasingly dense and in the latter stages Stevens popped up again to coolly slot the ball home for 2-2. It was a great comeback and one that would earn them a penalty shoot-out.

Shahs of Sunset had experienced two penalty shoot-outs in competition and both at this stage. At the 2012 Valencia Fives they lost 3-2 to Mestallaban but one year later at the 2013 Budapest Fives they earned redemption with a 3-2 win over BBFC1.

It was the Shahs of Sunset to strike first and they scored first to lead 1-0. The Spider Mans and Eagles FC were unable to follow suit as Andreas Jank saved. Shahs of Sunset increased their lead to 2-0. Could Spider Mans and Eagle FC comeback like they did in open-play? It was on as they converted to make it 2-1 and stay in the tournament. Shahs of Sunset then completed the job with their third exemplary spot-kick to win it 3-1.

The Spider Mans and Eagles FC were out – they were hugely impressive on debut though and you could easily see them going further on another day.


Quarter-Final three saw Slovakia take on DHL Prague. In the group phase, Slovakia had proved to be the best of the four local teams participating and was the sole hope for the home nation going into the Cup competition. How would they fare?

DHL Prague had surprised themselves a little by reaching this stage. After a slow start they had picked up their form towards the end of Group A winning their last two games which included a victory over 2-times winners, Skidmarks. DHL Prague's best result in a competition was the very first when they went all the way to the 2007 Prague Trophy Final only to finish second. On their previous two outings (both at the Berlin Fives) they were eliminated at this Quarter-Final stage to ABC United in 2013 (awesome Romanian team) and to Shrewsbury Townsend in 2012.

Slovakia had played Shrewsbury Townsend today and drawn 2-2 if that could be a barometer for this match? DHL Prague came into the game on the back of two clean sheets but their defence was pierced early in this one by Adam Kovac. He scored not once but twice in the first half to put the home team in control.

As we saw with Quarter-Final 2, a 2-0 lead was not necessarily a winning one as the Spider Mans and Eagle FC recovered from that deficit. However, when Kovac completed his hat-trick for 3-0 it did look game over for DHL Prague. Kovac then added insult to injury by making it 4-0 to crown a superb performance by Slovakia.

There are rumours that DHL Prague may join us at the 2015 Barcelona Fives – we sincerely hope they do for what would be an incredible 17 th appearance.


The final Quarter-Final was CIS Committee versus Fritzl Palace. Both teams had enjoyed a superb performance in the morning group phase with CIS Committee registering a maximum five wins in five games scoring 17 goals and conceding just three. They looked to be the team to watch and were serious contenders for the title.

Fritzl Palace could not be discounted though – they had an 80% win ratio this morning and only scored one less goal with 16 for the day. They had conceded a few more and had a blip of a result against Shahs of Sunset for their only loss of the tournament. This was set-up to be a tasty encounter.

Fritzl Palace had quite a task ahead of them though. CIS Committee has only lost once in competition and that was on Golden Goal after a draw in normal time. That defeat though was at the Cup Quarter-Final stage and to English opposition (the Dark Horses, Prague Masters 2011). Did this give Fritzl Palace hope?

Any hope was soon extinguished as Vitali Ledenev scored his ninth of the tournament to put CIS on their way. Ihar Shcherbich then added his fourth of the tournament to make it 2-0 before the break. In the previous two Quarter-Finals we'd seen one team recover from this deficit and another slip to a heavier defeat….would Fritzl Palace go the way of the former or the latter?

Sadly for them, it was the latter as Ihar Shcherbich went on to complete a personal hat-trick and help his team to a 4-0 victory.

It was the end of the day for Fritzl Palace who had contributed much at the 2014 Bratislava Fives weekend both on and off the pitch. We look forward to seeing you in Budapest 2015!

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