On Tuesday 25th June 2013, a team from BHW Solicitors captained by Ed Nurse played in the RBS Cup, a five-a-side tournament held at Goals Soccer Centre in Evington. The tournament was hosted by RBS and was held to raise money for Loros.
The tournament involved 8 teams with two groups of 4. The top two from each group would go through to the semi-finals.
With the BHW Solicitors team having never played together before, the prospect of playing against opposition who regularly play in five-a-side leagues was daunting. However, the BHW team had a set gameplan in mind and buoyed by an inspirational teamtalk by Manager Nick Bridle, BHW were eager to get started.
The first game was against Harvey Ingram Shakespeares, an early favourite for the tournament, and was probably the team's worst performance. The game involved several crunching challenges and questionable refereeing decisions with the BHW team slow to acclimatise to tournament football. But anyone looking for lessons on how to introduce yourself to the opposition, please speak to Matt Lam. A lucky goal by Harvey Ingram gave them a 1-0 win but the improvement shown throughout the game showed the potential in the side.
In the second game against the hosts, RBS, the BHW team really hit top form. A highly disciplined defence marshalled by Ed Nurse and Colm Hastings, good finishing by Alex Clifton & Sam Bridle and fine goalkeeping by Paul "The Cat" Davis meant the game was won comfortably 4-0.
With qualification hanging in the balance, the third group game against Rowleys was a must-win game. Unfortunately Rowleys started well and took the lead early on. They then had opportunities to extend the lead but with Paul determined not to be beaten again, Rowleys were restricted to their one goal. With 2 goals needed for qualification, things weren't looking good until Ed was played through one on one and calmly slotted past the Rowleys goalkeeper. A second goal by Sam soon followed and qualification was secured through a second place finish.
The semi-final game was against Grant Thornton and a team who clearly played regularly together. Having performed to the maximum in the previous 3 games, the toll on the team's fitness levels was evident against a very well organised team. Two good finishes from Grant Thornton gave them a 2-0 lead and despite a late penalty by Ed to make it 2-1, BHW's tournament ended at the semi-final stage.
Despite the loss in the semi-finals, the team performed superbly and can be extremely proud of their performance given the level of preparation the team had. To run the eventual champions, Grant Thornton, so close was testament to the spirit and effort shown by everyone in the BHW team.
Congratulations to all on the team and of course thanks to all who showed up to support.