Under 7s Football Tournament

On Friday, eleven hardy young footballers boarded the bus at 6:30am and hit the road to Gilgil to take part in the tournament at Pembroke. With all of their snacks gobbled up by 6:35am, the team settled into a routine of shin-pad adjustments and questions of “are we there yet?”

Our first match was against Nairobi International B team. Shiv, Arthur, Daniel S, Charlie, Luca, Valencia and Tito sped into a quick lead with what must be goal of the tournament from Shiv - he escaped from 3 close tacklers and raced down the wing, cut inside, leaving defenders in his wake and calmly slotted the ball inside the near post. Carson came on as a substitute and we scored a second after two opposing defenders wiped each other out, with the ball landing at Shiv's feet, and he raced upfield to score again, reminding his headteacher of a young Trevor Brooking of West Ham fame.

We waited 50 minutes for our next game against Restart Africa. Our starting lineup of Carson, Valencia, Charlie, Luca, Daniel K, James and Shiv battled hard but both teams remained deadlocked at 0-0, even with supersubs Elsie, Arthur and Tito entering the fray late on.

No rest for the team now as we stayed on the pitch to welcome the Nairobi Academy B team. Elsie, Arthur, Tito, Shiv, Charlie, Luca and Daniel S started. Charlie had a great shot saved; Shiv went close with a shot that trickled along the goal line before being cleared. Suddenly, a goal from nowhere and Shiv scored again to take the lead. James came on for Arthur and immediately won a corner. One goal was never going to seal this match. James then had a shot agonisingly cleared off the line and a few minutes later Tito battled through a swarm of players by the touchline before Shiv swooped in and scored his 4th goal of the tournament. 2-0 and into the semifinals!

Chicken and chips for lunch and straight onto the pitch to face Nairobi International's A team. It was now the heat of the day, and with stomachs full of chips our team suddenly looked to have lost their zip. Luca, Daniel K, Daniel S, Shiv, Charlie, Carson and Valencia started. Our opponents first goal came off the inside of the far post and their second was after a corner and a cruel deflection off a mass of bodies in the penalty box. Arthur and James came on, but even their fresh legs couldn’t rescue the two goal difference.

We stayed to watch the final and saw that the overall winners were the team that beat us in the semis, so we knew we had acquitted ourselves well with a very successful tournament. 'Well done' to the team and thank you to George our driver, and to Mr Mulongo and Mrs MacKay who organised and encouraged the team throughout the day.

Mr Craven