Special Olympics Gibraltar claims fourth consecutive tournament victory
Special Olympics kicked-off a new era in sports hosting today the Gareth Cowin Memorial Trophy Futsal Tournament at its own facilities. Gibraltar claiming the trophy for a fourth consecutive time.
The tournament which is normally hosted by the winners will next year return to the Isle of Man, this year’s runners up.
The cost of traveling to Gibraltar for visiting teams from the UK had proven a major stumbling block and among one of the concerns with teams for a second time having had to come to Gibraltar. This had led to some teams dropping out due to the expense. A decision to host in the Isle of Man was decided by the organizers which would lessen the burden on other teams who had travelled to Gibraltar the past two years.
The tournament was played in a round robin format with the visiting teams first out.
The Isle of Man, considered one of the strongest teams in the tournament had no difficulty in claiming victory. A 7-0 win against Algeciras ensuring they would rest whilst Gibraltar played next knowing they only had Gibraltar to beat.
Hosts Gibraltar, playing in their traditional red for their first match demonstrated why they had been champions three years in a row. Four goals in a trot in the first few minutes of the match settled their nerves. The rest of the match controlling possession they continued to enjoy themselves passing the ball around. The first half finished 5-0 for Gibraltar.
The matches saw a National League referee officiating after a minor mistake in administration had not left the tournament without referees. The Gibraltar first division referee volunteering his services immediately and officiating in all three matches.
The tournament itself had been fortunate to have taken place with a lot of hard working taking place behind the scenes. With the sports Hall still not inaugurated and going through its final assessment before opening in full some work was required on the roof after it was found that there was a minor leak due to the rains. This was repaired in time for the event to take place with no problems seen during the tournament even though the weather outside was far from the sunny Gibraltar image.
Gibraltar was to win their first match by 11-0. They would only have a short break before they had to play their second and most important match of the day against the Isle of Man. The latter having had a break between the two matches.
Gibraltar returned to the court having had to change to white to allow the visitors to wear their own colours, the Isle of Man donning the red, black and yellow strip.
Gibraltar started strong putting pressure on the visitors from the start. They were soon to go 1-0 up with a second goal coming soon after. The Isle Man has very few chances in the first half as Gibraltar pressed on them. A strong defense and some good keeping kept Gibraltar out.
With less than two minutes for half time Gibraltar found the back of the net again for the 3-0.
The second half saw Gibraltar go further ahead with two great goals in the first three minutes of the half to go 5-0 ahead.
Such was the confidence that the Gibraltar keeper came out to clear and controlling well set himself into space to score the sixth.
A brave Isle of Man keeper was to receive a massive blow with the ball in the face as he blocked another strike on goal.
He was to carry on to the applause of everyone.
Gibraltar controlled possession for the better part of the second half. The seventh goal going in with four minutes left. The Isle of Man getting no chances to score. A thunderous strike from outside the D ended in the eighth goal as it bounced off the crossbar.
Gibraltar easing to victory and claiming the trophy for a fourth time in what was their first match at their own facilities.
Algeciras 0-7 Isle of Man
Gibraltar SO 11-0 Algeciras SO
Gibraltar SO 8-0 Isle of Man