Sikh Sport UK Vaisakhi Football Tournament
Saturday 9th April 2016
The Sikh Sport UK Vaisakhi Football Tournament 2016 was going to be a first for something new this year. It was the first time it was being held outside of Leeds and being held in Wolverhampton. This was due to the fact that the original venue had closed down and that Wolverhampton seemed to be a more central point to entice football teams from North and South of the country. It was also a first for being held in July as a opposed to nearer to Vaisakhi time.
Aldersley Leisure Centre was chosen as a fitting venue for the tournament. There were 14 open age teams and 4 under-16 teams vying for their respective titles. Teams came from Leeds, Bradford, Wolverhampton, Reading and Milton Keynes to name but a few. Each pitch hosted a group and there were lots of great skill on show as well as lots of howlers especially in the open age groups! With four teams from both open-age groups going through, just a couple of wins and a draw could have been enough to get to the knockout stages.
In the under-16 group, the round robin format meant that all teams would qualify for the semi-finals regardless of their position in the group. After the group games were played and the semi-finals were done, the Under-16 final was between Ajax Down Trees FC against Tividale ‘A.’ The final proved to be close with Ajax Down Trees FC eventually running out 2-1 winners.
The quarter-finals of the open age group threw up some shock results. The biggest shock was when Warrington ‘B’ beat their own ‘A’ team to progress to the semi-finals. The same could be said for Bham Cix who beat their family rivals, Birmingham Six to also progress to the semi-finals. The semi-finals were contrasting where Milton Keynes, despite conceding in the first minute, overpowered Bham Cix 6-1. Singh Sabha Bradford (a previous winner of the Vaisakhi Tournament) beat Warrington ‘B’ 3-1. The final drew together two teams who had met in the group stages. In that match, only a howler by the Singh Sabha Bradford goalkeeper and excellent saves from both goalkeepers had meant that Milton Keynes won 1-0. The final was a lot different as Singh Sabha Bradford carved out an early 3-0 lead. Both teams were tiring and a few substitutions were being made to freshen up the team. Milton Keynes managed to dig in and claw back two goals to make it 3-2. With spaces open for both teams, Singh Sabha Bradford scored a crucial goal when breaking away to make it 4-2 and that is how the scored remained. Singh Sabha Bradford were the Vaisakhi Tournament open age winnersof 2016.
The day would not have been made possible had it not been for the teams, the sevadars who helped out and the goodwill of sponsors to help to fund the tournament. We hope to be back in Wolverhampton next year and go from strength to strength with another successful tournament.