Wednesday 19th June brought with it the annual CIPA Informals 5-a-side football tournament.
The fiercely contested tournament brings together the finest athletic specimens from the IP world to battle it out on the field, this time at the John Orwell Sports Centre in Wapping. A record 12 teams entered the tournament, meaning that the teams had to be randomly allocated to two pools, of six teams per pool, so that each team could play enough games in the evening.
Each team played all the other teams within their pool, meaning that each team had at least five matches in total. The winner from each pool then went on to battle it out for the title of CIPA Informals 5-a-side football champions, with the runners up from each pool entering a third place playoff.
We had three pitches for the tournament and so six teams were on the field at any one time. After a slow start, the goals started pouring in. Quickly it became evident that Carpmaels A had played together before, and soon went into the lead in their pool. Mewburn’s team kit looked particularly professional. Withers and Rogers played strongly, and for a while it seemed as if they were going through to the final, only to be beaten to the mark by an impressive EIP, narrowly beating Withers and Rogers on goal difference to win their pool.
The final therefore came down to Carpmaels A against EIP, with the third place playoff being battled out between Mewburn Ellis and Withers and Rogers. Sadly Mewburn’s team kit didn’t save them, and Withers and Rogers won third place. In the contest for CIPA champion, both EIP and Carpmaels A looked like they were in for a chance of winning. Sadly, when the whistle blew, it was a tie. This meant penalties. One of the few rules of the tournament required that every team must have a woman present on the field. Therefore, when it came to penalties, both teams had to put forward a woman to shoot. Early misses by players from both EIP and Carpmaels sent the crowd into a frenzy. It came down to the two women to take a shot – and both scored! Early misses by Carpmaels cost them the title however, with EIP being crowned CIPA Informals 5-a-side football champions 2013.
Post-match a celebratory pint was had at the pub as the winners (and losers) basked in their glory. Watch this space for next year…
– Andrew White