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Back Row Left to Right:  

Derek Greene, Keith Laishley, Tony Lilley, Roger Sutton, Barry Huntington.

Front Row Left to Right:

Keith Phipps, Frank Hughes, Decka Thorp, Malcolm Thorp, John Limbourne ( Manager, bit part player and Kit Man ) !! 

The Birmingham Over 70’s team travelled to Redditch on Saturday 15th June to contest the WFLA Champions Cup Final versus Kingston upon Thames from the Surrey WFLA League.

The contest was to be played as two half hour matches with three points awarded for a win and one for a draw. Yes, silly I know, why not just one 60-minute match if hear you ask!!

In the event, it did not affect the final result.

The two matches proved to be fairly even affairs with both teams possessing effective strikers, midfield players and defenders. One rule that we were unaware of at the start of play was if a team committed four running offences it would result in a penalty for the opposition. More on this further on in this report!! 

Game 1

Birmingham settled into the match quicker than Kingston and a slick transition from defence to attack saw Decka Thorp find Frank Hughes overlapping down the right wing to send a scorching drive past the Kingston goalie and into the back of the net.

Kingston came back into the game a little after this but the ever-dependable goalkeeper, Keith Phipps, made a couple of smart saves to keep Birmingham’s advantage.

At the other end Decka finished with his usual aplomb to make the score 2 – 0 after another good Birmingham move found him just outside the opposition goal area.

Shortly after this, Kingston dragged themselves back into the game when some slack marking in the Birmingham defence allowed their useful midfield player to stride forward and score an unstoppable goal in off KP’s right hand post.

Birmingham then game managed the five minutes remaining to put three points on the board.

Result:   B’ham 2   Kingston 1

Game 2

This match began with Kingston on the front foot. They appeared to have got the measure of the Birmingham team and were pressing hard and they took the lead with a goal from their best player who at this point was causing Birmingham some problems. All through the first match and again in this one, the Birmingham defence had to be on their toes to snuff out the danger he represented. However, on this occasion he slipped the attentions of the Birmingham rear guard and midfield and rifled a low drive into the bottom corner, giving KP in the B’ham goal no chance.

Birmingham to their credit rolled up their sleeves (which was quite difficult as they were short sleeve shirts) !! and rallied. A strong tackle from behind on Decka brought a determined response from the Birmingham side. Five minutes before half time another smooth passing move found Decka just outside of the Kingston box and in two movements he perfectly executed one of his favourite tricks when he flicked the ball into the air and volleyed high into the net passed a bemused defender and goalkeeper.1 -1 and all to play for in the second half.

A tactical switch by the manager JL, resulted in Frank being given the job of man marking the opposition’s danger man. His performance of this task was first class, and the player did not cause any further serious problems. You will remember at the start of this report, I mentioned that four runs for a team results in a penalty for the opposition. Well, by this stage both sides had accrued three runs each and Birmingham were unfortunate to be the team to reach four!!

So, the danger man steps up and places an unstoppable penalty past KP with around 2 minutes left on the referee’s watch. 

Result: B’ham 1 Kingston 2

And so, to penalties to decide the winner of two games that were a credit to both sides.

First up for Birmingham was Roger Sutton who scored sending the GK the wrong way. 1 – 0

Kingston danger man scores. 1 – 1

Derek Greene scores with a well taken penalty after lengthy delay to do with the placement of the penalty area markers     2 – 1.

Keith Phipps saves superbly to keep the score    2 – 1 in Birmingham’s favour.

Decka steps up to secure the win and scores  

Final Score 3 – 1 to Birmingham.

Manager John Limbourne commented, ” My nerves were shot at the end!! Great result against a very competent side who are reigning Champions of the Surrey Walking Football League.

We played some lovely football at times and when we had to dig in at the back, we did that too.

Well done to everyone concerned, not forgetting all the club members who have taken part in the practice matches prior to this competition. Many thanks.“

Most of the players in this squad have represented Birmingham WFC since 2017 and in that time they have been World Cup 5 a side Over 65 Winners in 2017 and runners up twice in 2018 and 2019.

Over 65 National Cup Winners 2019

National Champions Cup Winners 2024

Also at least five of the Over 70 squad also won the Birmingham County Over 67 League in 2024.

The Over 70’s have also reached this years Finals of the WFA National Cup at Nottingham on 31st August and are also through to the 2nd Round of the WFLA national Cup.

Keep up the excellent work lads.


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