WKR Santos BSC are the English National Beach Soccer Champions for 2015. The team from the Isle of Wight over came four other teams in the Championship that took place in Poole, Dorset on Sunday 30th August. In a gruelling five rounds of highly competitive Beach Soccer it was the WKR Santos team, which contained a number of current England international players, that proved too strong for the rest of the field and booked their place at The Euro Winners Cup 2016.
Teams from across the country were invited to participate in the tournament after winning or placing highly in their respective regional competitions.
It was the first time in the history of England Beach Soccer that a Championship of its kind had taken place, and the beautiful beach between Canford Cliffs and Branksome Chine in Poole was the perfect setting.
The first round of matches saw WKR Santos edge Eastleigh FC Spitfires 5-3 in a highly charged game whilst local team Boscombe Polonia shut out Sandy Soccer BSC from Croyde, North Devon 4-0.
With Round 2 came the first appearance of the English representatives in The Euro Winners Cup for the past two years Portsmouth BSC and their 3-0 victory over Boscombe Polonia proved that they weren’t going to give up their place at Europes top table easily. In the other game Eastleigh got their first points on the board with a convincing 6-2 win over Sandy Soccer.
On to Round 3 and Portsmouth showed their pedigree of highly skilful and entertaining Beach Soccer overcoming Eastleigh 5-3 and WKR Santos kept their eye on the prize beating Sandy Soccer 5-2 after an early scare from the young team from the west country.
By the end of Round 4 it was clear which teams were in contention for the Championship as both Portsmouth and WKR Santos maintained a 100% record with a 5-3 win for Pompey against Sandy Soccer in their final chance for any points in the tournament and an 8-1 thrashing of Boscombe Polonia for WKR.
So the final round of games was set up perfectly for a winner takes all scenario. 3rd place was decided with a 2-1 penalty win for Eastleigh against Boscombe Polonia after the teams were tied 3-3 in normal time.
You could only dream for such a tense ending to the tournament with what turned out to be the Championship match going right down to the third period. With Portsmouth and WKR Santos level at 2-2 after the first two periods the latter showed they had too much strength in the last period as they scored 3 more goals without reply to win 5-2 and prove worthy winners of the title National Champions.
In the individual awards Charlie Bennett (Sandy Soccer) won the Best Goalkeeper award with some outstanding displays, Aaron Clarke (WKR Santos) won the Golden Boot with an impressive 11 goals and Dean Blake (Portsmouth BSC) was voted MVP with his eye catching performances.
England Beach Soccer would like to thank Poole Borough Council for their help and continued support for the sport and for providing such a great venue. Also we would like to thank both the Dorset and Hampshire County Football Associations and Bournemouth University for their support.
Last of all, a massive thanks has to go to the referees for the day. The list of officials wishing to be involved in Beach Soccer is growing in the country and we couldn’t provide these events without them. Michael Harris and Vincent Mclaughlin (both from Manchester), Kish Kishto and Keith Ruth (both from The Isle of Wight) and Sam Lay, Chris Lay, Alex Rush-Fear and Steve Fall (all from Dorset) all did a fantastic job under a considerable amount of pressure.
The full list of results and final standings is as follows.
10:30am – Round 1
BOSCOMBE POLONIA (Zieba 2, Feith 2) 4 – 0 SANDY SOCCER
EASTLEIGH FC SPITFIRES (Funnell, Ewen, Maxwell) 3 – 5 WKR SANTOS (Lawson 2, Clarke 2, Evans)
12:00pm – Round 2
BOSCOMBE POLONIA 0 – 3 PORTSMOUTH (Black, Blake, J.Wood)
SANDY SOCCER (Jasmins 2) 2 – 6 EASTLEIGH (Maxwell 3, Gilbert, Vickers, Funnell)
13:30pm – Round 3
PORTSMOUTH (O’Rourke 2, Blake, Breingan, Giancovich) 5 – 3 EASTLEIGH (Gilbert, Funnell, Rodriguez)
SANDY SOCCER (Paul, Jasmins) 2 – 5 WKR SANTOS (Clarke 2, Evans 2, Collins)
15:00pm – Round 4
WKR SANTOS (Clarke 4, Farquharson, Jackson, Evans) 8 – 1 BOSCOMBE POLONIA (Borowski)
PORTSMOUTH (Black, O’Rourke, Corbett, Wood, Giancovich) 5 – 3 SANDY SOCCER (Ives, Shaddick, Paul)
16:45om – Round 5
EASTLEIGH (Gilbert, Funnell, OG) 3 – 3 BOSCOMBE POLONIA (Feith 2, Kowalkowski) – Eastleigh won 2-1 on pens
WKR SANTOS (Clarke 3, Lawson, Farquharson) 5 – 2 PORTSMOUTH (Blake, Salmon)
Pld Gf Ga Gd Pts
1st WKR SANTOS 4 23 8 15 12
2nd PORTSMOUTH 4 15 11 4 9
3rd EASTLEIGH 4 15 15 0 5
4th BOS POLONIA 4 8 14 -6 3
5th SANDY SOCCER 4 7 20 -13 0
Best Goalkeeper – CHARLIE BENNETT (Sandy Soccer BSC)
Golden Boot – AARON CLARKE 11 (WKR Santos BSC)
MVP – DEAN BLAKE (Portsmouth BSC)
Positive comments about the event from players, referees, spectators and event organisers will ensure that the National Championships are now developed over the winter months to a higher level.
A final thanks has to go to Competition Coordinator, Jamie O’Rourke for ensuring that the day ran smoothly and in the professional manner and spirit that EBSL wants the game to be played.
If you want to find out how to qualify for the 2016 Championships then please get in touch via: firstname.lastname@example.org
It would be good to hear from new teams, especially those based in more northern regions.