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U15's Win Old Coulsdon Colts Tournament

On a typical British summer Sunday Twin Oaks U15s took part in the annual 11-a-side Tournament held at the Old Coulsdon Colts ground. The morning had seen the Twin Oaks U13s side manage to excellently reach the semi-finals of the competition before finally being knocked-out in the semi-finals, but in a day of little sun and plenty of showers what would the afternoon bring for the U15s.

The U15s event saw the total of eight teams entered, equally split into two groups.

Each team in their respective groups were to play each other once with the winners and runners-up of each group progressing through to the semi-finals. Each match was to last a total of 15 minutes (two halves each of seven and a half minutes). The winners of each game would receive 2 points, a draw would mean a point each. There were also goal bonus points for the winners of each game up for grabs, an extra point would be awarded for each positive goal scored.

Confused ? well as an example if a team wins a game 4-2 then the winners would get the 2 points for the win and then another two bonus points as they managed to score two more goals than their opponents. Basically win each game by as many goals as you can and you would be OK!!!!

Twin Oaks were joined in Group 1 by Merstham, Wolves 'A' and Old Coulsdon Colts. Group 2 comprised of Phoenix Royals, Wolves 'B', Bexley and Whyteleafe.

Twin Oaks opening game was against Merstham (the eventual group 1 winners). Caution was the watch-word here as both sides battled out a competitive 0-0 draw. In the other group match Old Coulsdon Colts managed to win their first game against Wolves 'A'. This result meant that the second set of games of the group would prove to be decisive in eventually determining which two sides would go through to the semi-finals.

Twin Oaks second game was against Wolves 'A'. A brilliant attacking performance and a hat-trick by Alex saw the only Crawley based team in the competition run out 4-0 worthy winners. Merstham meanwhile defeated Old Coulsdon Colts in the other game of the group. So going into their third game, Twin Oaks against Old Coulsdon Colts, knew they could afford to lose the game by two goals or less and still qualify for the semi-finals.

However a loss was never on their minds and a fine performance against the host side saw the match finish in a 1-1 draw, with Twin Oaks battling back from being 1-0 down. Bradley was the scorer in this game.

Merstham on "goals-scored" finished Group 1 winners with Twin Oaks going through as runners-up. In Group 2 Phoenix Royals and Bexley made it through to the next round.

The first of the semi-finals saw Bexley win through against Merstham. In the second of the semi-finals Twin Oaks played out a tense and nervous match against Phoenix Royals.

A never give-in performance by Twin Oaks saw the game eventually go to a penalty shoot-out, after the period of normal play finished 1-1 with Alex grabbing the late dramatic second-half equaliser. Twin Oaks managed to hold their nerve and with some stunning spot-kicks won through to the final by winning the penalty shoot-out 4-2.

So to the final Twin Oaks versus Bexley and another exciting yet tense match saw both teams play-out a tough and competitive game. Controversy surrounded the opening goal as a shot by Bradley went between the posts, but somehow managed to go through a gap in the net just below the cross-bar. With the Twin Oaks supporters and players alike shouting and cheering, the referee, first gave the goal and then changed his mind, it was only the intervention of the linesman that saw justice prevail and after a slight delay while the net was repaired the goal was finally awarded. 1-0 to Twin Oaks.

After being knocked back by the goal Bexley played themselves back into the game and just when it looked like Twin Oaks would end the half 1-0 up the South London based team managed to score an equaliser. The second half found both sides striving for what would surely be a winning goal, however neither team could find the net for a second time so the game finished 1-1 and the tournament final would have to be decided by yet another nervous penalty shoot-out.

Like the semi-final Twin Oaks stayed cool and took some well placed penalties, but it was the Twin Oaks goalkeeper Aaron that was to prove to be the hero as he pulled off two fantastic saves and this together with a missed spot-kick meant that Twin Oaks won the final 3-2 on penalties.

A fantastic performance by Twin Oaks, especially when you consider that most of the teams that took part in the competition play their football in the supposedly highly rated and competitively tough South London and Tandridge Leagues.

Well done lads, more silverware please...