Return on Digital took to the field on Sunday to take part in the Creative Cup 2013, a charity 5-a-side football tournament organised for Manchester’s substantial digital minds. The team has a bit of previous in this tournament and wanted to impress this time around.
The lads were up against it in our group, by being unluckily drawn into the widely dubbed ‘Group of Death’. We were drawn to face Amaze, BBC North, e3 Creative and Fatsoma. Our first game was against BBC North, with Return grinding out a 1-0 victory with a pretty stern defensive display backed up by some good saves from Jake between the sticks and an early strike from Richard.
In the following game e3 Creative found it hard to deal with the deadly strike partnership dubbed ‘The Bolton Connection’ by many, which consisted of yours truly and Dave. Return left the pitch with a 10-0 victory and a great team effort from the lads. We had goal contributions for the whole team, a strong performance from Paul along with another clean sheet for Jake in goal.
Early in the third game, our maverick hatrick hero Dave was struck down with a groin strain that kept him out of the rest of the tournament which reduced us to just one sub. Fatigue set in a little against a well drilled Fatsumo team, as they walked out 4-1 victors.
Our final group game was a well fought affair against Amaze technologies, with the game poised at 1-1 going into the final few minutes. We were pushing hard knowing a win would put us through and a point would put us in a good position to go through as one of the best third place teams. The team were fighting for the win, when we were hit on the break to concede in the last minute of the game. It was a hammer blow knowing we now hung in the balance and could potentially go out.
It turns out the late goal and strong competition in the group of death came back to bite us. Return were knocked out on goal difference lying in fourth, despite having a better point and goal difference tally than most of the best third place teams in the other groups. We felt a little aggrieved to have better results than a lot of other teams that progressed, but as the old saying goes ‘It’s a funny old game’.
We stuck around for the final, and a strong UK Fast team defeated McCann Manchester who were unfortunate to lose 3-0 as they played pretty well in the final. Congratulations to them and Ian Cox, for putting a great day together and raising over £2,500 for a brilliant cause in the Alzheimers Society.
We’ll look to be back stronger this time next year.