Wafty Crankers (Eng)




The Shooting Shamrocks (Ire)

Prisoners (Eng)

4 *



DHL Prague (Cze)

* Prisoners won by golden goal after extra time.

The first Plate Semi-Final was between Wafty Crankers and Shooting Shamrocks on Pitch A. Wafty Crankers had just missed out on qualification to the Cup with defeat in their last game to Real Apsley. Shooting Shamrocks had started well with two wins and a draw but had followed this up with two defeats. They would need to find their early tournament form to progress past a strong Wafty Crankers team.

Wafty Crankers capitalized on the recent poor form of the Shooting Shamrocks by establishing a 2-0 lead with goals from the now familiar sources of Neill Fraser and James Rowland who had scored their 6 th and 11 th goals of the tournament respectively. Everything was going to plan for the English but then something clicked for the Irish team and they regained their form almost at the click of a finger.

From 2-0 down and with time ticking away they pulled one back and were right back in this game. The goal gave them hope and put pressure on a Wafty Crankers team that were comfortable up until this stage. Then an equaliser from Gary Manning and the Shooting Shamrocks were back on level terms. With momentum behind them and their sizeable support whipped up into a frenzy this was definitely game on.

The Shooting Shamrocks then continued their recovery by taking the lead for the first time and it was Gary Manning who scored the crucial goal. This was to be the last goal of the game and the Irish had produced a stunning comeback to make a final at their first attempt.

So who would they play in the 2008 Prague Masters Plate Final?

It would be either DHL Prague looking to follow-up their 2007 Prague Trophy Cup Final with a 2008 Prague Masters Plate Final. In their way were debutants Prisoners who had been competitive throughout.

It was the local team that had the edge early on and mid-way through the second half had found themselves winning 3-2 and looking relatively untroubled. A double from Leo Echeverria looking like it could be enough. Then a moment of madness from Gareth Evers turned the game on its head.

A long ball over the top saw Gareth Evers challenge goalkeeper Simon Liau and in an incident reminiscent of Diego Maradona in the 1986 World Cup Evers used his hands to punch the ball goalwards. The referee followed the letter of the law and produced the customary red card.

A comfortable running down of the clock had now turned into a backfoot rearguard action with four men. Prisoners took full advantage and found the equaliser they needed. At 3-3 the referee blew the final whistle that would take this game into golden goal extra time.

Momentum was with Prisoners and they were certainly favourites with the extra man. On a hot summers day this would be increasingly hard work for DHL Prague to progress to the final. The golden goal did not take too long in coming and half-way through the first half of extra time Prisoners scored the goal that meant they would meet The Shooting Shamrocks in the Plate final of the 2008 Prague Masters.

Vinny Patel, Justin Phillips and Chris Aronson (2) with the goals to send them on their way.

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