Middlesex FA’s Rectory Park HQ hosted the inaugural Middlesex Walking Football League County Cup Competitions on Sunday last, 7th July, 2019.
There are 2 trophies, one for teams composed of players of over 50 years of age and the other one for teams made up of players more than 60 years old. These trophies were competed for by clubs from the three regional Walking Football Leagues, which have been established within the County, namely the West, North and Central Leagues.
The matches are 6-a-side, with each squad consisting of no more than 9 players. Rolling substitutions are used.
The day’s events were organised and supervised by Craig Nicholson, Middlesex FA’s Head of Participation and Development. He was ably assisted by Mick Geraghty and Mick Harvey from the regional leagues.
A splendid afternoon’s football provided lots of exciting and hard fought but skilfully contested matches. The enthusiasm of the players shone through. The sportsmanship displayed was generally very good, with the sin bin only needed on one occasion during the 33 matches played.
The referees, Alan Read, Ken Goldman, Bill Melsome, Chris Conroy and Peter Harris contributed to the occasion. Their experience at refereeing this different type of football was obvious and their handling was perfect for the occasion. They obviously enjoyed themselves as well.
OVER 50’s COMPETITION
The over 50’s Competition was initially split into 2 groups, each of 4 teams, with the top 2 in each group progressing to the semi-finals. The group matches were contested over 15 minutes. Matches in the knock out stages lasted 10 minutes, with 5 minutes extra time, if needed and then a 3 kick penalty shoot-out, if required, with the kicks taken alternately.
Uxbridge Amblers Blue, the top team in Group A, were beaten 2-0 by Group B runners up, Bounds Green in the first semi-final.
In the other semi-final, the winners of Group B, Watford, played out a goalless draw with Pimlico Old Burgundians, who had qualified for that stage of the competition because they had scored one more goal than Enfield Town. Extra time didn’t produce any goals, so the tie went to penalties. Pimlico failed to find the net with any of their kicks (2 saves and a miss) but Watford scored with their second penalty after their first one was saved.
Watford beat Bounds Green 2-1 in the final. They quickly established a 2 goal lead, which Bounds Green only managed to halve with a late goal.
OVER 60’s COMPETITION
The 6 participating teams initially played each other on a league basis with the four most successful progressing to the semi-finals. All of the matches in this section were 10 minutes in length, with the same tie breaking procedures in the knock out stages as for the Over 50’s Competition.
Cove beat Enfield 2-0 in the first semi-final, while Watford triumphed by the same score over Uxbridge Amblers in the second one.
The final remained goalless until the end of extra time. The first sets of 3 penalties took the score to 2-2 (Watford’s first penalty hit the post and Cove’s third was saved). Then Cove’s fourth kick was saved, leaving Watford to clinch the game and complete the double for the afternoon.
Events were concluded by the presentations of the trophies and mementoes to the winners and runners up for the season’s league competitions by Craig Nicholson and the league officials and finally those for the afternoon’s winners and finalists by Middlesex FA President, John Davies and Past President, Jim Taylor.
ALL THE RESULTS
Over 50’s Competition
Enfield Town FC 1 Cove Walking Football 0
Uxbridge Amblers Blue 0 Pimlico Old Burgundians 2
Pimlico Old Burgundians 1 Enfield Town FC 1
Cove Walking Football 0 Uxbridge Amblers Blue 1
Enfield Town FC 0 Uxbridge Amblers Blue 2
Pimlico Old Burgundians 0 Cove Walking Football 3
Bounds Green WFT 0 Watford WF 0
Uxbridge Amblers Red 0 Staines Town Strollers 0
Staines Town Strollers 0 Bounds Green WFT 0
Watford WF 1 Uxbridge Amblers Red 0
Uxbridge Amblers Red 0 Bounds Green WFT 2
Staines Town Strollers 0 Watford WF 1
Bounds Green WFT 2 Uxbridge Amblers Blue 0
Watford WF 0 Pimlico Old Burgundians 0* pens 1-0
Watford WF 2 Bounds Green WFT 1
Over 60’s Competition
Cedars YCC Walkers 0 Enfield Town FC 1
Cove Walking Football 1 Barnet WFT 0
Uxbridge Amblers 0 Watford WF 0
Enfield Town FC 1 Cove Walking Football 0
Barnet WFT 0 Uxbridge Amblers 0
Watford WF 2 Cedars YCC Walkers 0
Cove Walking Football 1 Uxbridge Amblers 0
Cedars YCC Walkers 0 Barnet WFT 2
Watford WF 2 Enfield Town FC 1
Cedars YCC Walkers 0 Cove Walking Football 2
Enfield Town FC 1 Uxbridge Amblers 2
Barnet WFT 0 Watford WF 1
Enfield Town FC 1 Barnet WFT 3
Cedars YCC Walkers 0 Uxbridge Amblers 2
Watford WF 0 Cove Walking Football 0
Cove Walking Football 2 Enfield Town FC 0
Watford WF 2 Uxbridge Amblers 0
Watford WF 0 Cove Walking Football 0* pens 3-2
PHOTOS FROM THE DAY ARE AVAILABLE TO DOWNLOAD HERE, COURTESY OF CHRIS BENN.