WINSHILL’S annual gala day and football tournament proved a success despite the wet weather causing disappointment for some teams.
The organisers had to cancel the under-12 and under-13 competitions because of waterlogged pitches and car parking problems.
But more than 700 youngsters were able to take part in games from under-seven through to under-11 age groups.
Local clubs were well represented and others travelled from further afield to take part in the popular event.
Thirteen pitches were in use simultaneously when Sunday’s action started at 10.30am, with senior referee Will Pelech leading a team of local officials.
The under-seven and under-eight teams played non-competitive football in line with Football Association rules and every player was rewarded with a commemorative medal after their games were completed.
The youngsters represented local clubs such as Marlborough, TS Sports and Albert Village and they were joined by teams from Polesworth, Lichfield and Atherstone.
In the under-nine age group, teams played across three leagues until a quarter-final stage.
Playing on the top field right next to the Evershed building, large crowds lined the bank to get a stadium-like view of the talent on show.
Both semi-finals were decided on penalties and Uttoxeter Juniors then took the honours by beating Belvedere Park in a close final.
The under-10s saw a large entry of 32 teams competing over four pitches at the Linnel site, where the near-perfect pitch conditions allowed the players to produce some fantastic football.
Heather always bring a strong contingent of players and made their way through to the final to be met by Stretton Swifts, who also fielded a strong team made up of several players who have now joined Burton Albion’s Academy.
After a long day of action — made even longer by a tense penalty shoot-out in the semi-final — Stretton took the under-10 title by beating Heather Hawks.
Heather St John’s Lions — winners in the previous two years — were the strong favourites in the under-11 age group and duly made their way to the quarter-final stage.
However, their progress was halted by a strong Winshill Gold team managed by event organiser and club chairman, Steve Crockett — only for Ashbourne Aztecs to put paid to the hosts’ the dreams of reaching the final
Having not lost a game all day, Outwoods Kestrels went on to beat Aztecs to take the under-11 age group honours to crown a great day of junior football.
Winshill continue to provide local children with football opportunites that include regular weekly training sessions.
Anyone interested in joining the club should contact the secretary, Gary Dunne, on 01283 567416 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org