ORGANISERS of TS Sports’ annual football gala breathed a sigh of relief after the weather failed to put too much of a damper on the popular Newhall event.
A couple of isolated showers were all players and spectators had to contend with in contrast to the torrid conditions of the previous day which had club officials fearing the worst.
In the non-competitive under-eight category, there was no shortage of entertainment as 11 teams representing seven clubs shared 93 goals, with Newhall Tigers the top scorers on 21.
Like Tigers, Winshill Green won all of their group games without conceding a goal.
TS Madrid, one of three teams representing the hosts, took the honours in the under-nine category.
Madrid won all six of their group games but certainly did not have it all their own way in the latter stages.
Rocester, who had earlier drawn against TS Saints and lost to Winshill, had an anxious wait to see whether they would make the semi-final line-up.
They had Madrid to thank for beating Winshill, who were left to rue a defeat against Belvedere Park, as Rocester squeezed through.
Madrid went ahead in the semi-final but Rocester equalised almost with the last kick of the game to force extra-time.
Both defences held firm to prevent further goals, but it was Madrid who progressed by virtue of their higher group placing.
In the other semi-final, Allenton met Belvedere — both of whom had lost their opening group games to Madrid and Rocester but had bounced back to reel off five successive victories.
Remarkably, Belvedere, who played the entire competition a player short, edged out their Derby-based rivals 2-1, but their luck ran out when a single goal proved enough to give the TS team their second title of the summer.
They had previously triumphed at the Newhall FC tournament and they quickly made it a hat-trick of successes by winning Sunday’s Barton Rovers event, in which Rocester again proved to be their toughest opponents.
A goalless semi-final was eventually settled by a nerve-wracking penalty shoot-out which went the way of the TS team 5-4.
Belvedere were again their opponents in the final and goals from Ben Prince and Rupert Collins secured a 2-0 victory.
Back at the TS gala, one point separated the top four of the 11 sides chasing honours in the under-10 age group.
A 0-0 draw against Winshill Yellow enabled Stretton Eagles to top the group as fellow semi-finalists Hilton Blaze, Willington and Allenton Blue all suffered one defeat in the group stages.
Extra-time failed to produce a goal in the clash between Stretton and Hilton, and it was Eagles who went through by virtue of their higher group placing.
Having lost 1-0 to Allenton in the group stages, Willington exacted sweet revenge by scoring the only goal of their semi-final.
Not surprisingly, the semi-final was a tense affair until Willington struck with two late goals — ending Eagles’ run of seven clean sheets.
South Normanton Blue looked the strongest team from the outset in the under-12 category, winning all five of their group games without conceding a goal.
After losing their opening game, TS Claret did not concede another goal in the group phase to secure second place.
In the semi-finals, South Normanton completed a double over the hosts and, unsurprisingly, it was the Derby club’s Blue team which took the honours by defeating their Black side in the final.
TS Sports were denied a second title when their under-15 Blue side lost out to a golden goal in their final against Rothley White.
BURTON Junior League side Stretton RS are on the lookout for new players.
They want to recruit under-seven and under-eight boys and girls and under-16 boys players.
Past and future players are invited to attend the club’s signing-on evening, which will be held at the Beech Inn, Derby Road, Stretton, tomorrow from 7.15pm.
Anyone unable to attend or requires further information can telephone Paul Asker on 07801 442950 or email him via email@example.com.
Stretton RS are a Charter Standard club.