On Sunday the 9th of October Abacus took part in a charity bubble football tournament organised by NatWest Gibraltar. Between this competition, a charity drinks reception and a charity quiz their aim was to raise £10,000 for five local charities. All the money raised was to be donated equally among St John’s Ambulance, Cancer Relief Gibraltar, Calpe House, Babysteps Gibraltar and A Pathway Through Pain. Our very own Wayne Rooney, Phil Cartwright was our reporter for the day.
The Abacus team managed to dominate the Bubble Football yesterday at Europa Point. The team made up of Neil, Nathan, Lynette P, Natalie, Louise, Viktorija and Phil went into battle against NatWest, Med Cleaning Services, Oliver Management Company, Ellul & Co and Advantage Insurance.
The tournament: an aggressive start
First up was NatWest, the opening fixture of the tournament. Whilst not knowing what to expect, we set out the team with Nathan at the back (sweeper keeper), Viktorija, Louise and Natalie in midfield and Neil pretty much everywhere. His energy was surprising for saying he has been lumbering cabinets for the last six weeks! (all in the love the love of moving into our smart new premises). It was a close encounter, but Neil stole the winner for Abacus to make it 1-0 and picking up a nice astroturf burn in the process.
Next up was Med Cleaning, from the first fixture they played we realised they were quite an aggressive team so we sent on Phil to add some weight to the battle. Tactics were spot on with Nathan at the back, Phil charging into everyone up front, with Lynette and Natalie backing him up and linking play from the wings and Neil dominating the midfield. Neil scored the goal of the tournament with a left-footed volley into the top corner, and Phil added the second to win the game with a comfortable 2-0 win.
The third game was against Oliver Management Company; we fielded a strong team as we strived for another 3 points on the board. This time, we dominated from start to finish with Phil scoring a hat trick before the show boating started with a back heel to Neil and a simple finish to make it 4-0 (Natalie caught this on camera although somehow missed the chest bumping celebration!). The teamwork was great with Viktorija and Lynette working their socks off on the wings with some delicate touches.
Our next match was against Ellul & Co, Phil was rested for this one as Ellul were fielding 3 girls in their side so we matched them. The wind was picking up by now which caused some delays in the game. These delays combined with Natalie catching the ball in her bubble and trying to run the ball in the net posed a real challenge and was still 0-0 when in the last minute Neil popped up and scored the winner to make it 1-0. Abacus were by now clearly top of the league.
The final match of the group stage was against Advantage Insurance. This was a tired match and we conceded first which was a shock to all the other teams watching. However Neil equalised with a couple of minutes left to make it 1-1 and keep Abacus undefeated.
At the end of the group stage the tournament organiser decided to go straight to the final. That meant it was Abacus against the aggressive Med Cleaning. The referee decided to start the match with a rampage which was Phil against a smaller lad on the Med cleaning team, who got to the ball first but was sent flying when Phil finally arrived!
This turned out to be a very competitive encounter and Abacus went behind for the second time during the tournament. However, Abacus’ determination and slick passing gave Phil a chance to pull it level. Natalie and Lynette were getting stuck in on the wings before Phil managed to pop up and nick the winner. The drama wasn’t over however as the young competitive lad was causing havoc on the wing barging Natalie time and time again. She finally retaliated and took him out, a challenge Vinnie Jones would have been proud of and raised a cheer from the rest of the crowd.
Written by Phil ‘The Powerhouse’ Cartwright