Hillier Hopkins Team Captain, Sam Hodson, match report
The long-awaited inaugural (yes! There will be future events) Hillier Hopkins charity 5-a-side football tournament in support of The Pepper Foundation at Power league Watford kicked off with three groups of four teams competing for their place in the quarterfinals on a roasting summer evening.
Group A, which was subsequently touted as the group of death by Power League’s referees was topped by M.K. Ginder and Sons, with Telnik Roofing going through automatically in second place. Hillier Hopkins had to wait on the results of the other groups to confirm they had gone through as one of the best placed 3rd teams. Whilst Machins Solicitors unfortunately went out at the group stage and will be looking for footballing revenge and a kinder group draw in future tournaments.
The Quanta first team and VWV Law progressed automatically from Group B, whilst Debenhams Ottaway Solicitors unfortunately missed out on the knockout stage narrowly by not being one of the best 3rd place teams.
In Group C, SA Law impressively won their group, with a second Quanta team coming in second and Metro Bank making it through as one of the best third placed teams. Watford Chamber of Commerce were knocked out in last place.
As the group stages ended and the BBQ food queue grew, everything was still to play for in the knockout rounds.
MK Ginder dispatched Metro Bank 8-2. Telnik Roofing beat Quanta One 8-5. Hillier Hopkins were weighed down by the BBQ food as they succumbed to a narrow 3-2 defeat at the hands of SA Law. Quanta Two completed the semi-final line-up, winning by a penalty shootout over VWV Law.
The semi-finals were less close as MK Ginder beat SA Law 11-1 and Telnik Roofing won against Quanta Two 9-0.
In what was a thrilling final, Telnik Roofing narrowly overcame the tournaments high scorers MK Ginder, 4-3 in what was a rematch of their opening group stage game. Having lost that first encounter, Telnik showed the endurance needed to succeed at tournament football and were worthy winners.
The tournament played out with all the teams displaying great sportsmanship, surprisingly good football and indeed their charitable natures as a whopping £2,282 was raised for The Pepper Foundation. The Pepper Foundation is a fantastic small charity raising money to help fund children’s hospice home nursing care in Bucks and Herts.
Hillier Hopkins would like to thank all the teams and firms involved, Power League Watford and of course The Pepper Foundation, for what was a fantastic event.