The Pumas (sponsored by Ideal Factory) entered The Daventry Town tournament buoyed by the success of our National Team and confident after reaching recent tournament finals. The tournament was an initial group stage between us, Bugbrooke St Michael, Daventry Town Purples, Drayton Grange Blades & Hillmorton Blues.
The tournament didn’t start well, losing 1-0 to a penalty from Bugbrooke, although once the goal was conceded the quality of our football improved dramatically; we carried this form into the remaining group matches winning them all, with goals coming from Charley B, Sam, Alex & Charlie P. There was some excellent passing and movement off the ball in these matches and we were able to build the game from the back through Giane and our goalkeepers Jamie & Bailey, who shared responsibility between the posts. We came second in the group, although had the best goal difference.
Into the quarter finals we faced Rugby Town Juniors, both teams knew each other well & we knew this was always going to be a tight match, Lowan put in an excellent display to slow down the Juniors passing play, and despite early pressure, The Pumas took the lead as Charley broke from a through ball to slot it past The Junior’s keeper. This gave The Pumas confidence and everyone put pressure on their opponent, and we were through to the Semi finals with a Charley B hat trick. In the semi’s we face Elite United, again a team we knew well, The Pumas had the most possession & the better chances, but were unable to convert this into goals, so we headed into extra time & golden goals! Our first attack saw us score that goal from a corner as Sam calmly knocked the ball past their keeper. After lots of water was taken on, we calmed ourselves down & faced Santos Panthers Volts in the final. Santos’ speed, passing and movement put The Pumas under large amounts of pressure, which we coped admirably with, Santos were left with long-range shots or shooting from tight angles. The Pumas also created 4 good goal scoring opportunities, but were unable to convert, and after Jamie pulled off an excellent one-handed save for The Pumas we were into extra time & golden goal. Extra time saw both teams create chances, but following a couple of broken tackles the Santos midfielder found a pass to his left to a lone forward, who scored to condemn The Pumas to another losing final.
This was a great effort from the boys, as they played excellent football and have had a very successful summer of tournaments, getting through to 3 tournament finals (unfortunately losing all) in some very competitive tournaments, Well done Puma’s!