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Footy final at Bath City FC eludes the Rocketmakers Crew

Shea Murphy
Software Engineer
1st Jun 2022
4 min read

Earlier in May, nine Rocketmakers friends and crew members got together for the inaugural Bath City FC Community Partners tournament. We asked one of the team, Shea to channel his inner Chris Kamara and share his perspective on the tournament.

For the last year, we’ve played 5(ish)-a-side football together, every Tuesday as one of the many social clubs/activities that we have at Rocketmakers. Moving between summer evenings on the hill at Beechen Cliff school and indoor lunch sessions for the winter, crammed between meetings and pair programming.

So we were all feeling keen when we received an invite to the inaugural Community Partners tournament. We identified a squad with the skills (and availability) to make up the Rocketmakers dream team:

  • Jonny Gw (Captain)
  • Shea M
  • Sara K
  • David H
  • Rob B
  • John Gr
  • Harry S
  • Rachel (Robbie’s partner)
  • Frank M

Then we spent ages debating our team name (we ended up with the highly original 'Rocketmakers' aka 'Rocketmasters') and discussing tactics. As our elaborate diagrams demonstrate, there was a brief point in time when we thought we could have 7 players on the field and could pass the ball with the dexterity of a professional team. And then, the second diagram represented the dawning realization that it's all about Harry S's left foot (or was it right?)

Strategy 1
Strategy 2

Arriving at the ground

A long way from our indoor training at the sports centre, it was a genuine experience to be warming up on the pitch at a professional football ground. As our players and supporters (rumored to be more than the average Birmingham City home attendance) filed in, we took the opportunity to scope out the opposition. It was clear from how well they knocked the ball around that we were in for a tough evening. 

Tournament format

2 groups of 3 with the winner of each group going through to the final. 

Rocketmakers - Pertemps B (2-1)

Off to a nervy start, we were unlucky to go a goal down against the run of play. This seemed to get everyone on the same page though and we started to settle into the game.

We managed to find a pass through to Frank at the back post, who did his level best to miss, but after a couple of uncoordinated swipes at it he managed to fumble it over the line off his shin. What a talent!

The hours of tactical analysis and champ manager style strategy that captain Jonny Gwillim had invested before the tournament paid off when we finally “got the ball to Harry”. Inevitably he put it away and we’d got our first win on the board. Up the Rocketmasters! 

Rocketmakers - Kew Electrical (0-1)

We knew from watching the warmups that Kew Electrical would not only be our toughest opposition but likely were the favourites to go all the way to the final. 

A really hard-fought match in the belting rain. We not only kept Kew out for the majority but had our own chances at the other end. Unfortunately, they eventually snuck a goal through and were able to spend the rest of the game defending their lead. Their goalkeeper made some brilliant stops towards the end of the game but full credit to our captain in the sticks for arguably the save of the tournament when he managed to outstretch a leg through pure reflex and block a fairly outrageous volley.

Rocketmakers - Anthem Publishing (4-0)

Thanks to a shock loss by Kew Electrical to Pertemps we knew going into the final match we had to win by at least five goals to book our place in the final. From their previous results, we had every chance of beating Anthem Publishing but the goals needed were going to be a tall order. 

As the sun finally began to shine we also found our form. Passing the ball well and looking like the kind of team that could design, build and deliver your next software project, we bagged a couple of goals through Jonny (now playing outfield) and Harry S once again. 

Into the final five minutes and we pushed all out for the three goals still needed. Newly deputised in goal, David Haylock made some great saves to make sure we kept a clean sheet, while at the other end both Jonny and Harry grabbed their second to put us within a single goal of the final. 

But it wasn’t to be! When the ref blew the final whistle we were one goal shy and couldn’t have been any closer without going all the way. 

>> Shoutouts 

Sara 

For putting in the familiar clattering tackles and immediate apologies that we’ve all come to know and fear when playing on a Tuesday. A true Vinnie Jones type if ever there was one. 

Rachel

A cool head on the ball and some much-needed additional fitness when we were flagging later on in the games. Good game and thanks for being a Tuesday regular!

Rob and John

Either one of the above could be found flying down the wing and providing a much-needed outlet from the back. Well played guys!

Ben Long

For arriving just in time for Richard to get a round in and ask “what was the score?”. Hero!

The winners!

And a huge congratulations to the overall winners of the tournament, Novia Financial - we're looking forward to next year already!

Football crew in sunshine after all the rain