Banerka (Pol)




Only Kruls & Horses (Eng)

PVDC Eindhoven (Eng)




Lanky Londoners (Eng)


We were at the 2021 Krakow Trophy Cup Semi-Final stage and from the 10 teams who started the day we were down to the final 4 already an achievement for those who were still in the hunt for glory. The first Cup Semi-Final would see PVDC Eindhoven versus Lanky Londoners.

This was going to be a hard game to call on paper as both teams delivered an identical record in the group phase. 3 wins, 1 defeat, 15 goals scored and 5 conceded. It was enough to earn Lanky Londoners the Group A title on goal difference. For PVDC Eindhoven it was a runner-up finish.

PVDC Eindhoven had a mixed record in the knock-out phase of our tournaments. At the 2018 Mallorca Fives they reached the Cup but went out at the Quarter-Final stage. At the 2019 Barcelona Fives they reached the Trophy Final and went on to win it. Their group form today saw them returning to Cup action. Lanky Londoners were also playing in the Cup for the second time. They had 2x Plate appearances at the 2017 Barcelona Fives & 2018 Lisbon Tournament. The 2019 Mallorca Fives saw them reach the Cup but go out at the QF stage. Both teams were vying for a first Cup Final.

After a competitive first half it was Lanky Londoners who had the slight edge. Theo Stubbs considered his fine form in front of goal with a brace to add to his tally. Saifeldin Affia was on target for PVDC Eindhoven with his 8th goal of the tournament. At 2-1 it was still anybody's game. The next goal would be pivotal, could PVDC grab an equalizer and take us to penalties or could Lanky Londoners book their space in the final. It was joy for Lanky Londoners as Aaron Paxton's fourth of the competition sealed the deal for his team. Commiserations to PVDC Eindhoven but a fine performance overall in the tournament.


So, who would take their place in the Final from the second Semi-Final? The two teams set to do battle were Banerka (Pol) against Only Kruls & Horses (Eng).

Banerka were the last hope for the home nation in this tournament. It is a tournament that Poland has struggled to win. Since the tournament's inception in 2007, Poland has only won on 3 occasions a double in 2010 when the event was staged twice and then more recently in 2017. Only Kruls & Horses were hoping to set up an all England Cup Final and potentially be the 6th English winners of this title.

Banerka won Group B and were one of 5 teams (across both groups) to finish on 9 points but they finished with the best goal difference of all teams with a stunning 18 goals scored and just 3 conceded. They had the best attack and the joint best defence (with Alea Iacta Est who were in the Plate). As a result, they were arguably favourites for this tie.

Only Kruls & Horses were appearing in the knock-out phase for the 9th time in our tournaments. Of the previous 8, 7 had been in the Plate but their Cup appearance was at their last tournament the 2019 Barcelona Fives. They went out at the Quarter-Final phase to the 2012 champions, Black Sheep. Was a first Cup Final appearance awaiting them here in Krakow?

There was little to choose between the two teams in terms of goals and ultimately it was the extra firepower up front that Banerka possessed combined with a miserly defence that won this tie for the Polish. Dominik Krol and Kornel Krzyzak scored in either half as Ian Corkill kept his 4th clean sheet in 5 games. Final score, Banerka 2-0 Only Kruls & Horses.

Commiserations to Only Kruls & Horses but their Barcelona & Krakow appearances show they are a team on the up and a title could be within their grasp in the coming years.

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