Bunting Cup 2016
Not even the vagaries of the British summer could dampen the enthusiasm of the 370 children who arrived at Cavendish Playing Fields last Thursday for the 2016 Bunting Cup Tournament. As the morning mists rose to merge with the gloomy Matlock cloud cover, girls and boys from across The Derbyshire Dales arrived in vast numbers to do battle. Who would be crowned this year’s champions?
An early start was scheduled to accommodate this year’s record entry of 41 teams from participating schools ; South Darley, Baslow, Lea, Rowsley, Castle View, Darley Dale, Ashover, Elton, St Josephs, All Saints, Winster, Matlock Bath, Wessington, Tansley, Darley Churchtown, Bonsall, St Giles, Wirksworth and, making their tournament debut, Longstone.
The first few rounds saw a tentative start, and goals were hard to come by as the teams assessed each other’s tactics… a scant indication of the dramas to come. The games burst into life in round four, when the Longstone Sharks showed their teeth to the Baslow Vipers; the reptiles coming out on the wrong end of a 5-0 scoreline. As the group rounds progressed, more notable scores reached the control centre with South Darley putting five past Matlockasaurus, and The Baslow Bulls overcoming their classmates, The Bats, by a matching scoreline. Top scores of the day saw Castle View Cobras slot six past the Rowsley Rebels (with year 3 debutant Brooke Williams contributing a hat-trick) in the girls tournament, and Longstone Eagles overcoming the Baslow Bats by a seven goal margin in group four.
At the completion of the group stages, The Bunting Cup winners for 2016 were; Small School Girls – Lea, Large School Girls – St Josephs, Small School Boys – South Darley, Small/Med Boys – Longstone Sharks, Large/Med Boys – Bonsall and Large Boys – All Saints Falcons. This year’s fair play award went to The Baslow Bats.
With the prize giving completed the winning teams progressed to the Tournament Champions Trophy. In the semi-finals, All Saints Falcons overcame South Darley 1-0 and The Longstone Sharks knocked out Bonsall by a two goal margin. The two champion’s finals were very evenly matched, with both games resulting in exciting penalty shoot-outs. The Girls’ Champions Trophy went, for the first time, to St Josephs, who pipped Lea 3-2 and the overall Champion’s Trophy was picked up by All Saints Falcons, who triumphed over Longstone Sharks by a 3-1 margin.
Tournament organiser Jeremy Wray of Castle View Primary School commented “We’re so pleased that The Bunting Cup has become a major event in the Derbyshire Dales primary school calendar. It is brilliant to have so many children here and to witness such enthusiasm and enjoyment .”
Castle View’s Headteacher, Clare Peat, commented “Well done to everyone who took part, it’s fantastic to see so many local children participating in competitive sport, whilst having so much fun.”
Jeremy Wray added “I might sound a bit like an Academy Award recipient, but with over 350 children taking part and 125 fixtures to play in four and a half hours, there’s an immense amount that goes into the organising of this event. I’d like to give a massive thank you to; The Cavendish Fields Sports Association, Steve Heath and The Matlock Town FC Academy, Jayne Allen and the Highfields School – Sports Ambassadors, Castle View Primary School PTA and, our new results co-ordinator, Rebecca Wray. We’re all already looking forward to next year’s Bunting Cup in May 2017.”