The Adido beach football team, FC Adido, who gave everything they could muster, surged to [partial] victory on Thursday night as the team of digital marketers, developers, and designers secured 2nd place in the #Meetball16 Beach Soccer Tournament on Bournemouth beach.
The competition, now in its second year, was kindly organised by Andy and Heather Brown from 3D FD and Meetdraw, bringing together 5-a-side football teams from some of the region's most notable digital agencies.
Entering the tournament on the back of a 3rd place finish last year, the Sand Gnats brought with them a weeks-worth of social media banter, transfer rumour and last minute sunburn injuries. But far be it from them to give anything less than 100%, the team donned their Primark t-shirts (in Attention Grabbing Navy, no less) and entered the arena full of heart and ambition.
The tournament started well for the Adidoers, turning in victories against Media Lounge, 3D FD x BASE and Bright Blue Day 3-1, 2-1 and 2-1 respectively, with Steve Brown, Luke Fagg and Joe Bradly amongst the goal scorers.
Setting the pace and topping the league standings early on, the team came crashing back to earth after falling 3-1 to Greenwood Campbell, going in 3-0 down at the break. With the boys heading into the 5th game needing a win to guarantee their spot in the final, it was the deep-digging Folk/Apius partnership who took the game to their opponents, but one which ultimately ended 4-1 to the boys in blue (or #lesbleus, as they came to be known) cementing their place on the podium.
Then came the agonising wait to find out who they'd play in the final, having topped the league with 12 points from a possible 15. Those opponents turned out to be recent victors Greenwood Campbell after successfully knocking Bright Blue Day out of the competition, sneaking past 3D FD x BASE to 2nd place.
Ross Coombes tracks Chris Sherry as Adido defend an attack from 3D FD x BASE
The final game of the tournament saw the format of the match modified slightly to include 3 periods of 5 minutes each, rather than just the two. This meant a tense and tight start to the game, with the best chance to open the scoring falling to Luke Fagg from the penalty spot after Steve Brown was taken down in the area - only to see his well-placed penalty superbly saved by the GC goalkeeper; their man of the match by far.
When the first goal did finally go in, it was GC who'd seized the opportunity. After a free-kick was awarded on the edge of the area the ball was slotted home, leaving FC Adido the challenge of getting themselves on the scoresheet as soon as possible.
But succeed in that challenge they did - Steve Brown slotting home to level the tie and end the 2nd period 1-1.
But of course there could only be one winner, and that winner was GC. After a vicious scramble on the edge of the area between various players from each side, desperate to get the ball out from underneath their feet, the ball eventually broke out wide to a GC attacker who's shot was firmly palmed away by the outstretched Chris Cherrett (in for regular safe-hands Andy Silvers) only for his strike partner to clean up on the rebound and end the tie 2-1. A fine victory in a tightly fought battle.
As the winners were presented to the assembled crowd, FC Adido couldn't have been prouder of their achievements. It was a fine performance by every team in the competition. One that was only bettered by the organisers themselves, and the refs (Steve and Steve) who gave up their time for the cause, all of whom deserve as much recognition as they can get. Well done to them, and to everyone else who took part.
We'll see you all again next year!
Allez les bleus!
Andy Brown presented FC Adido with the Team Spirit Award for pre-tournament banter, their supporters, and their encouragement and support for others.