A mixed age over 60’s team made the short to journey to Worcester University to compete in the Worcester Seniors Over 60’s Walking Football Tournament.
The four teams taking part were Worcester, Hindlip, Freedom Leisure and Birmingham.
First up for Birmingham were Hindlip WFC from Worcestershire. The game was a very tight affair in which Birmingham gave a good account of themselves. The Hindlip side play together week in and week out and it showed as they passed the ball around very skillfully and effectively.
Birmingham were matching them blow for blow until two defensive errors let Hindlip take, what proved to be, an unassailable 2 – 0 lead.
Try as they may, Birmingham could not find a way past the excellent Hindlip goalkeeper who made some amazing flying saves to protect his side’s lead. Final score 2 – 0 to Hindlip.
Next up were a team new to walking football, Freedom Leisure.
They are effectively a leisure centre team put together to play in this competition and as such were no match for a Birmingham side determined to make amends for the defeat against Hindlip.
Goals from Tom Neale (1), Bart O Shea (1) and Larry Hackworth (2) gave Birmingham a comfortable half time lead.
Only some excellent saves by the opposition’s very capable goalkeeper prevented the score reaching double figures in the second half and Birmingham had to settle for a 5 – 0 win when Peter Giddings netted the only goal of the second half. Result: Birmingham 5 Freedom Leisure 0
Birmingham’s next opponents were Worcester. A draw in this match would mean that Birmingham would secure second place in the league and a match against Hindlip in the final.
Inexplicably, Birmingham started slowly in this match and were caught out of position at the back early on when the outside of Keith Phipps left hand post kept the scores level.
However they moved up through the gears in the second half and secured a 2 – 0 win with two beautifully worked team goals, both finished with aplomb by Tom Neale. Result: Birmingham 2 Worcester 0
Final: Birmingham versus Hindlip
This match was played with the same pace, vigor and skill shown in the first match earlier in the morning. Birmingham had to work hard to win possession and create any meaningful chances and yet again two disastrous errors in the first six minutes of the game led to their opponents taking what proved to be a decisive 2 – 0 lead.
Birmingham worked very hard in the second half to get something out of the game but once again came up against a well disciplined Hindlip defense, but on the few occasions when they did break through the defensive wall they were foiled by the excellent Hindlip goalkeeper..
As the second half wore on, Birmingham came more into the game but just could not find a way to pull back the two goals needed to take the match to penalties. Final Score: Hindlip 2 Birmingham 0
The players representing the club at this competition were a credit to themselves and Birmingham WFC. The nucleus of the team were put together from players who had not represented the Club in any outside tournaments before, and indeed had not played together as a team before this competition, so to come away as Runners up, clutching a silver medal, is something they can all feel very proud about. Well done everyone !!