Roseacre Raiders entered two teams this year in the always excellent Castle Colts tournament.
Our younger girls entered the U8s group with teams from old friends Kings Hill, Larkfield and hosts Castle Colts. Nearly all of our girls are new to football this year and several have had literally a handful of training sessions. They had fun, winning one and drawing another of their games.
Their stubborn coach refuses to give them "positions" so at times we end up with 5 players up the field and were at risk of counterattack. But they enjoy themselves more if they are not asked to stay back in defence. They were all awarded a medal at the end and went away delighted.
Our U14 girls found themselves in a tough group with Maidstone, Ashford, Petts Wood and Anchorians.
This was our first game without our keeper of 6 years who has sadly quit the sport. Two of our stalwarts "volunteered" to share the keeping duties in the first game and made the mistake of looking exceptional so were promptly invited to carry on for the tournament (and possibly the season).
Our first game was against a strong Maidstone side and we went 1 down in the first ten seconds; indeed it was so quick the coach had not even realised the game had started (to be fair to him he was also in charge of the little girls on the other pitch). A goal with the last kick of the game snatched a slightly fortunate draw.
Two other draws and win meant we came second in the group.
A quarter final against Thanet Wandererers ensued, a team we had never played before. A tight game went to extra time and then the drama of penalties, 3 per team. We scored both ours and after a great save and shot onto the post we were through. Harsh on the good Thanet team who had matched us thoughout.
The semi-final was a rematch against Maidstone, a side we had never beaten and who had put 8 goals past us in one their three victories over us this season.
It was our second close game of the day and after an excellent cross forced an unfortunate own goal by one of the Maidstone girls we clung on through a nervous last few minutes.
Much excitement from the girls, who are good school friends with many of the Maidstone players. Our first ever victory against them in 6 seasons. The game, as with all our fixtures, were played in an excellent spirit.
A final ensued against local rivals Vinters. So local that their home ground is closer to us than ours! Again, bragging rights were at stake with many of the girls being at school with their opponents.
After our striker found herself with acres of space the coach was thinking "take your time". After she took her time the coach was thinking "GET ON WITH IT". But the shot hit the back of the net and we worked hard to hold on and win the final.
It is always an excellent tournament, well organised and fun. If you don't take part we would thoroughly recommend it. Just please don't steal our crown next season.