After a big year and lots of changes at the Institute of Physics, repeating last year’s charity football tournament was a great occasion to enjoy ourselves, mingle with other societies and raise some money for a good cause.
The five-a-side tournament, held near our new home at King’s Cross on 18 October, saw the IOP line up against teams assembled from the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Royal Geographical Society and the Royal Society.
The tournament kicked off with a tight game between the RS and RSC, which saw dramatic late goals to finish 3–3. We then faced off against a well-balanced Geography side that thumped in five quick goals from some superb attacking play, which put the game to bed early on.
The second round of games saw RGS hold out for a tight 1–0 against the Royal Society in a hotly contested affair. The IOP started better against a strong RSC side, with Taj Panesor and I both taking goals well to keep the scores locked at 3–3 until disaster struck. Experienced handball goalkeeper and all-round star Morgan Martins took a nasty fall, superbly saving what would have been a clear goal. Unfortunately for us, Morgan had to be substituted, and without their star goalkeeper IOP slumped to a 5–3 defeat.
For the final round of games an impressive RSC defeated RGS 3–1 with some excellent buildup play and classy finishing. The IOP entered the final game with no subs and a bare five players. After taking an early lead with excellent build up play and a goal from our programme office’s Andy Moynihan, the scores were locked at 2–2 when fatigue caught up with the small IOP squad and they were eventually overcome by some good play from RS to lose 5–2. Some controversy surrounded the final few minutes with IOP claiming two penalties, but neither were given.
With all the group games complete the table was topped by RGS and RSC, with six and nine points respectively. The final was a tight affair with both teams having good chances early on. RSC took the lead with a lethal strike from just past the half-way line. After a surge by RGS to find an equalizer they were caught on the break and the RSC slotted home a second to seal the game and cement their place as tournament winners.
Between the action on the pitch, the evening saw more than £80 raised for our chosen charity of the year, the National Literacy Trust. It was great to be able to bring different societies together for some friendly competition and to raise some money for a good cause.