EuroCup was all cut and thrust

In the wake of the highly successful Cayman World Cup five a side football tournament hosted at King’s Sport Centre earlier this year, Cayman Sports Authority organised the Cayman EuroCup competition.

The event featured five teams composed of players from Europe. England entered two teams, with Scotland and Ireland joining in as well.

The only team from continental Europe was Romania, who was looking to take on all four English speaking teams and show them how five-a-side football should be played.

The tournament took the form of a ‘weekend warrior’ competition, with the first games played on Friday evening and the final on Sunday.

After the opening ceremonies, the first encounter was between England Red and England White.

The teams were evenly matched throughout the first half and even though England White seemed to have an edge early in the half, the team could not break the Red defence.

The second part of the half saw Red coming back strongly, but no goals resulted and the first half ended with the teams locked at 0-0.

The second half saw England White come out faster. Their efforts paid off soon enough as Ian Kenyon slotted the first goal of the tournament. Just one minute later Andy Bellfield made it 2-0 for White.

Not content to play a defensive game, White kept up the pressure and it paid dividends as Tom Elliot slotted another one for them. In spite of some courageous play from England Red, England White won 3-0.

The second game of the evening saw the Romanians take on the Scots. Romania’s Ervin Kormos scored the first goal after five minutes. Scotland pushed hard for an equaliser, but Kormos struck.

Early in the second half Scotland finally managed to open their account as Fran Donoghue hammered one home. Two minutes later the Scots drew level through James McLeod.

Romania went on the offensive immediately and were soon rewarded as Adrian Grigoriu scored. It would not last long though as an error by Romania’s keeper allowed the Scots to claim an easy goal and draw level once again.

The Romanians attacked the Scottish goal with vigour. However, they tried just a little too hard, and had a last minute goal disallowed for taking a shot from within the area. At the final whistle the teams were locked at 3-3, resulting in a penalty shootout, which Romania claimed 1-0.

As newcomers to the competition, Romania were an unknown quantity, but their performance alerted the others.

England Red had a second shot at glory when they took on Ireland in game three. Even though England Red seemed to have the edge early on in terms of shots on goal, the Irish showed very good skill.

The second half started with a great chance for England Red, but the shot sailed just wide. From there on in it seemed to be one way traffic, with Ireland camping out in the England half.

In spite of a number of solid shots on goal, the Irish could not manage to get past the English keeper.

With only two minutes remaining, Declan Cassidy finally managed to find the net for Ireland, giving them a 1-0 lead.

England tried frantically to salvage a draw, but at the final buzzer it was Ireland who walked away with their first win.

Game four pitted two winning teams against one another as England White took on Romania.

England certainly had the edge early on, but both teams failed to score in spite of good shots on goal.

As the end of the first half drew near it was England who managed to scored through Daniel Cummings.

Cummings hammered home his second goal to take England out to a 2-0 lead. However, Romania’s response was almost instant as Patraulea stunned England with a brilliant goal.

A minute later Patraulea scored again, drawing Romania level with England at 2-2 to take it to penalties.

Twice each team sent a shooter to the spot, and each team scored. However, Daniel Cummings had his shot on goal saved by the Romanian keeper, and had to watch as Ervin Kormos hammered home a third penalty for Romania to give them a very important second win.

The final game of day one saw Scotland take on Ireland in game five. Neither team was able to break through early on, but Ireland started to threaten with a couple of good shots. It was therefore no surprise when Ireland scored the first goal through Alan Kelly.

The second half did not start well for Scotland as they lost two players early on for violations.

Ireland capitalised on their numerical advantage with Colm Moynihan scoring the second goal. Even with Scotland’s players all back on the pitch, Ireland went 3-0 up through Cassidy. With only minutes remaining, Chris Ordolis put Ireland 4-0 up, which is how it stayed.

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