After entering the Creative Cup in Manchester last month, we went on to win the tournament!!! Yippeeeeeeeeeee, wahaaaaaay, roaaarrrr, clap clap clap clap clap clap..... and bow.
We were crowned the Melbourne-sponsored Creative Cup champions of 2011 in a free-scoring final at the Powerleague, which raised £1,900 for St. Ann's Hospice. In the words of the Creative Cup final commentator "The skill and finesse of Shape was too much for The Gate to handle who were entirely commendable in defeat".
After a nervous opening to the tournament, we eased through our group stage, top of the table. Our first game came as a surprise, having not warmed up or stretched properly, after a few minutes of nervous passing, we eased into the game and won by several goals. I can't remember the order particularly, but our game against Great Fridays came as a shock, having one of our players sent off after 4 minutes, leaving us with 3 outfield players, and a losing battle, which ultimately ended up in our only loss of the tournament. Andy rallied the troops and give out a good dishing to 1 or 2, and we soon showed the audiences what we were made of in our final group game, winning emphatically.
The tournament then went into the knockout phases, our first game was pitted against Magnetic North. This ended up in a 2-1 victory to Shape, but was our toughest game of the whole day. MN were tough in the tackle, and very fit lads who just loved running about. We played as a team, kept the ball well, and scored 2 cracking goals to move into the Semi-Final against Ian Cox's Supremo. The semi-final was a match we were looking forward too particularly, as Supremo consisted of a handful of players that were familiar to Shape. Shape's tactics provided victorious, with a 2-1 victory.
The final was against Gate Films.... in front of dozens of people up on the balcony watching the finale. We were all excited and wanted to get on with the game, but Gate Films looked exhausted and stalling for time. The ref blew the whistle and we romped to victory, a 5-2 victory could have been more. Danny was our most valuable player in the final, with shots going in left, right and centre. Si kept his cool and wasn't sent off again, so that was a bonus. We all played as a team, and with the help of some jelly cubes, got through the day with just a few bruises.
The 2011 cup might be best remembered for the whipping rain which lashed in the faces of the players during the group games, but cleared up for the knockout stages. This, however, made for much more interesting clashes as it upped the tempo of the games and we were all witness to some excellent and bruising (as well as unintentionally comical) slide tackles!
Chris Knight, general manager of the Powerleague, spoke of the 'great success' of the day, and this was felt by all. The Creative Cup team would like to take the opportunity to thank all the agencies and players who competed on the day and for the money they helped raised for St. Ann's Hospice.