by James Haley
The latest University of Derby Inter-Halls Football Tournament took place at the beginning of the academic year (September) – and football journalism student James Haley had the opportunity to watch.
It was the first one of the academic year and took place at the Willows Sports Centre. The tournament consisted of five different five-a-side teams from all different corners of Derby.
The five teams played each other in a round robin-style tournament, with the top four going into a semi-final and a final to decide the winner. The five teams competing were: Peak Court, Agard Court, St. Christopher’s Court, and two teams from Nunnery Court.
James said the organisers created an atmosphere of fun, fair play, and sportsmanship in the tournament, with players being instructed to respect the referee and play to the whistle. Here’s a full report from James from the day.
St Christopher’s Court 1-2 Nunnery Court Team 1
The tournament’s first game was a nervy one, where both sides’ lack of communication made it very hard for any team to break down each other’s defence.
The breakthrough came when Nunnery Court Team 1 poked a goal into the back of the net. They then added a second when Nunnery Court Team 1 dismantled the St Christopher’s court defence. St Christopher’s Court scored a late consolation goal after a goalkeeping mistake – but that was not enough to rescue a draw.
Peak Court 0-2 Nunnery Court Team 2
Nunnery Court Team 2 would start as they meant to go on when they scored early from a central position – and then doubled their lead when the Peak Court goalkeeper made a mistake which led to a penalty.
Peak Court kept trying to attack but the Nunnery Court Team 2 goalkeeper was a brick wall between the sticks.
Agard Court 0-1 Nunnery Court Team 2
A tight game between two defensively solid teams was decided by a penalty in favour of Nunnery Court Team 2.
The latter managed the tiredness well by utilising the roll-on, roll-off subs – which kept their team fresh after two games in a row.
St Christopher’s Court 0-3 Peak Court
Peak Court started the game off well when they dispatched a penalty.
There were shouts of “park the bus” from the Peak Court team, who proceeded to defend very well against the flair of the St. Christopher’s Court attack until they conceded a penalty.
The penalty was brilliantly saved by the keeper and the Peak Court team reacted quickly and scored up the other end. Peak Court sealed the victory when a shot from the left-hand side of the goal went into the back of the net.
Nunnery Court Team 1 1-1 Peak Court
The game started with a last-man tackle by the Nunnery Court Team 1 defender which the referee deemed to be a penalty. This, however, was then saved by the goalkeeper.
Peak Court made up for the missed penalty with a brilliant finish to send their side into the lead. Nunnery Court Team 1 equalised with a skilful goal.
The game was equal throughout but Peak Court did well to stay in it towards the end.
Agard Court 2-0 St Christopher’s Court
An exciting game that was decided by quickfire goals in the middle of the game which devastated the St. Christopher’s Court defence.
The St. Christopher’s Court team struggled to get back into the game after this, but they did put on a late fightback towards the end.
Nunnery Court Team 2 7-1 St Christopher’s Court
A mixture of St. Christopher’s Court’s tiredness and Nunnery Court Team 2’s attacking excellence meant that the latter dominated their opposition.
It seemed like the Nunnery Court team scored every minute. The pick of the goals came when the Nunnery Court goalkeeper scored from his own box – which was arguably the goal of the tournament.
Nunnery Court Team 1 2-0 Agard Court
The Nunnery Court team started well, getting a lot of chances in the early stages of the match, but the acrobatic Agard Court goalkeeper kept them in the game.
That was until a brilliant solo goal from the Nunnery Court attacker broke the deadlock. A second goal came soon after that which secured the three points for the Nunnery Court team.
Agard Court 1-0 Peak Court
One goal decided this edgy game when the Agard Court attacker smashed home from close range.
Peak Court tried their best to get something out of the game, even hitting the post in the dying embers of the match.
Agard Court stayed strong and saw out the game to gain a crucial three points.
Nunnery Court Team 1 1-0 Nunnery Court Team 2
The Nunnery Court team provided a fierce game of football with tackles flying in from all angles.
The game was decided with a powerful strike from long range from Nunnery Court Team 1.
SEMI-FINAL: Nunnery Court Team 2 1-0 Peak Court
The Nunnery Court team started well and forced two good saves from the Peak Court goalkeeper.
Peak Court were struggling to create any chances in the game, apart from one long-range shot that failed to trouble the keeper. The winning goal was scored when the Nunnery Court team switched the play from left to right and struck the ball into the bottom corner.
Peak Court never really looked like scoring and Nunnery Court Team 2 advanced into the final.
SEMI-FINAL: Nunnery Court Team 1 1-0 Agard Court
The Nunnery Court team came very close in the first 20 seconds, hitting the post and the side netting.
This was the theme of the game, as Nunnery Court Team 1 dominated the ball and the chances.
They hit the post two more times in the game but the Agard Court defence stayed strong, throwing themselves at every shot Nunnery were having.
It looked like their efforts would earn a penalty shootout, but their dreams were shattered when Nunnery Court slotted a goal into the bottom corner. Agard Court were devastated – but Nunnery Court Team 1 were ecstatic and through to the final.
FINAL: Nunnery Court Team 1 2-2 Nunnery Court Team 2 (Nunnery Court Team 2 win 4-3 on pens)
The game started with a brilliant save from the Nunnery Court Team 1 keeper but he couldn’t keep the second shot out after a mix-up at the backline led to the first goal of the final for Nunnery Court Team 2.
Nunnery Court Team 1 didn’t let their heads drop though and, with the backing of the
spectators, they put together a brilliant team move to level.
An instant reply from Nunnery Court Team 2 stunned the opposition team. It seemed like the game was over after this but, with a minute left, the Nunnery Court Team 1 attacker swept a ball into the back of the net to equalise once again.
Nunnery Court Team 2 were unlucky not to win the game in the last seconds but a big save from the keeper kept them in it. The game ended with a red card for the Nunnery Court Team 1 defender after a foul which resulted in the player smashing against a wall. The player was unharmed.
The penalty shootout was decided by the two goalkeepers, as the Nunnery Court Team 1 missed in sudden death, and the Nunnery Court Team 2 keeper scored to win his team the tournament.
That put an end to a brilliant and thoroughly enjoyable game that encapsulated the whole tournament.