With College Cup 2012 now concluded, Luke Gardener and Dan Holland pick their highlights from the last eight weeks of action.
Luke Gardener – Sports Editor
Player of the Tournament – Tom Clarke
Although he didn’t play for James after the quarter finals I still cannot see past awarding the striker the player of the tournament. He was imperious in the Group Stage, scoring bags of goals and almost all of them were unbelievable strikes. However, it wasn’t just the goals he provided for his team it was the assists and all round play alongside James Davies and Freddie Ferrao which were particularly impressive. Had he been available in the latter stages would it have been James lifting the Cup?
Team of the Tournament – Vanbrugh 1sts
The College Cup winners have to be given this accolade as they were not one of the three fancied teams before the tournament started. They strolled through their group, although they did suffer a shock defeat to Halifax seconds in their final match, before comfortably defeating Goodricke 3-0 in the quarter finals. Then it was penalty shootouts against Derwent and Halifax in the semi final and final respectively. Overall, a deserved victory for Vanbrugh, with Phil Taylor finally getting his hands on the prize after two previous semi final disappointments.
Game of the Tournament – Wentworth 1sts 3-1 Derwent 1sts (Group Stage)
Although not the most notable match for the quality within, this match was the game of the tournament for me purely because of the shock which we all witnessed on the JLD. Beforehand, Derwent had won every match and Wentworth looked like they would struggle to even make it into the Plate. However, on the day Wentworth were unbelievable in attack, with Lachlan Murray in inspired form. The biggest shock in a tournament which didn’t throw up too many in the end, and that is why it is the game of the tournament in my eyes.
Goal of the Tournament – Josh Spurling (vs. Wentworth 2nds)
I have gone for an exquisite team goal from James firsts in the 8-0 demolition of Wentworth seconds. To play slick football on the Astroturf surface is a real challenge and James proved their ability with this fine goal. The ball was played from the goalkeeper to Oscar Lynch in defence before Freddie Ferrao and James Davies played some intricate football eventually setting up Spurling to fire home. This was the best goal I have seen on the JLD from a passing football perspective in my three years at York.
Dan Holland – Sports Editor
Player of the Tournament – Phil Taylor
Topped the Fantasy Football standings for the second time, scoring nine goals to help Vanbrugh win the Cup. Taylor came up with some big performances when his team needed them most – two goals in the quarter finals, a late equaliser in the semis and the opener in the final. Winning the College Cup was a fitting way for him to bow out.
Team of the Tournament – Vanbrugh 3rds
A team that far surpassed all expectations. They may have lost in the Plate final, but that shouldn’t undermine their achievements in the rest of the competition. They racked up three wins in the ‘Group of Death’ and pushed Goodricke and Halifax firsts to the limit – in truth, they were very unlucky not to qualify for the Cup.
Game of the Tournament – Goodricke 1sts 5-2 James 2nds (Group Stage)
A truly end-to-end match played in horrific conditions. Goodricke took an early lead, but were 2-1 down at half time, with James playing some superb football. The men in green then came out for the second half and hit four past their opponents, a mixture of the brilliant and the bizarre. A seven goal thriller, and there could have easily been more.
Goal of the Tournament – Tom Clarke (vs. Halifax 4ths)
This was a game that showcased Clarke at his best; he hit a hat-trick to rescue his team and looked like scoring every time he had the ball. The pick of the bunch was a stunning overhead kick that came just minutes after Halifax had scored a dramatic equaliser. Controlling Freddie Ferrao’s cross with his chest, Clarke spun in mid-air and rifled a perfectly-executed volley into the top corner. Simply wonderful.