Tornadoes tournament takes Thatcham by storm
Thatcham Tornadoes celebrated its 50th anniversary season in style with the latest instalment of its six-a-side tournament at the weekend.
It was one of the largest tournaments to date with 202 teams and 1600 players taking part across 642 matches.
For the first time, an under-6 competition was included, providing many players with their first tournament experience.
As with the under-7 and under-8 events, all players were awarded participation medals from the newly appointed Mayor of Thatcham, Jeff Brooks, and the Deputy Mayor of Thatcham, Mark Lillycrop.
Councillor Brooks announced Thatcham Tornadoes as one of the two charities he'll be supporting during his time in office, providing a real boost to the local stars of tomorrow.
For the under-9s and older, teams progressed from a group-stage to knockout rounds.
For many spectators, including a host of nervous parents, that meant matches were decided by the dreaded penalty shoot-outs.
On the pitch, players remained calm and composed - it was a shame Gareth Southgate's side weren't in attendance!
CSA 07 FC were winners in the under-9 Cup and Cold Ash Comets were champions in the Plate.
In the under-10 competition, two Thatcham Tornadoes sides stormed into the Cup final.
A single goal from the Tigers meant they triumphed over their Stripes counterparts.
Meanwhile, the under-11 Cup was won by the Procision FA Sambas.
The under-12 final between Thatcham Tornadoes and Waltham Wolves was a contest to rival the weekend's FA Cup final.
With the scores level, and the spectators running out of nails to bite, the game went to penalties.
After 16 spot-kicks, the Tornadoes came out on top to claim the title.
Both the under-13 Cup and Plate also went to penalties, Windsor FC Youth and Tadley Calleva the respective winners.
AFC Newbury Blue were champions in the under-14 Cup.
Two all-girls teams, Thatcham and Newbury, competed in the under-14 event and made it to the knockout stages before losing out on penalties.
Thatcham Town Harriers were dominant in the under-15 and 16 competition.
In the Cup, Stripes beat their rivals the Whites and in the Plate, Stripes beat the Blues after a dramatic 8-7 win on penalties.
The Thatcham Tornadoes Charity Speedshot raised £577 for Falconi Hope in memory of former Tornadoes coach, Stephen Waters.
Since the speedshot was launched at the 2013 event, over £4,800 has been raised for Falconi Hope.
Thatcham organised a replica FA Cup on site that, for a donation, players and spectators could take photos with.
This raised £212, which will de doubled thanks to Match Funding, and will be donated to the Good Exchange appeal that is helping support Ukranian families settling in West Berkshire.
Next month, 19th June, the dedicated girls tournament will be held at Douai Park, Woolhampton.
Teams can contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.