56 games gone before, there was just one more
game left to decide the winners of the tournament
– the 2011 Valencia Fives Cup Final. We had a
great final in store and a fantastic crowd assembled
by Pitch A. There was no doubt who the crowd were
supporting as Skidmarks received the vast majority
of the support. Los de Casa had fought well to
make the Cup Final but had not made too many friends
along the way.
was no surprise that the crowd went wild when
Luke Hatfield put Skidmarks ahead. It was his
13th of the tournament and he was 99.9% certain
of being the competition's top goalscorer. Only
something completely extraordinary would prevent
him claiming that award with a member of Los de
Casa needing to score 9 in this game to prevent
him – never gonna happen.
took the plaudits of the crowd but Skidmarks required
a great save from goalkeeper Paul Mulvey to preserve
the 1-0 lead at half-time. Going into the second
half the game was still on a knife edge and the
crowd could sense it. Los de Casa were largely
restricted to long-range efforts but it would
only need a deflection or a wonder strike to see
them level. Skidmarks needed a second goal and
they got it through James Furniss – his first
of the day and what a time to get it.
had one hand on the trophy but it was not a done
deal yet. When Neil Taylor made it 3-0 you sensed
that everyone knew it was game over – Skidmarks,
Los de Casa and the crowd. It was beginning to
become a party atmosphere on Pitch A so when Simon
Tiller made it 4-0 the cheers rung out.
was a great win for Skidmarks and they had played
superbly from their opening game right through
to the last minute of the Final. They had picked
up 7 successive wins and scored goals for fun.
Combine that with a solid defence and they were
very worthy winners.
De Casa had suffered the curse of the defending
champions when it came to a second successive
final. Teams had come close before in trying to
retain a title but often fell at the final hurdle.
England's Goldsmith Williams won the 2008 Prague
Masters only to lose the 2009 final to Lozenetz
City of Bulgaria. The Bulgarians then lost the
2010 final to Olympic Phil Babb. Spanish team
Anglo Knights won the 2009 Barcelona Fives and
reached the 2010 final where they lost to Magic
Monkeys. Only Athletico Do Hollande have bucked
this trend when they claimed the 2010 and 2011
Algarve Open titles. Could Skidmarks emulate them
send our congratulations to all the teams who
participated in what was a great day's competition.
The tournament had everything and we look forward
to seeing you all again very soon.