THE IAN YOUNGER SIXES 2006
Weather - great, bar - open all day, music - till the wee small hours. How could a tournament fail to be good with those conditions ?
And, of course, our 20th annual tournament, like the sun, shone all day and was as good as ever.
By the time it ended old friendships had been rekindled and new ones made, one of the main reasons for the day.
Twenty teams took part with three newcomers being PSJ (a St.Johnstone internet side), City AFC (formerly known as City Technical Services) and Sparta Jags (a Partick internet team who replaced Edinburgh City, a late call off).
After a lot of hassle with getting goals (I know they were a bit small but they were better than jumpers !) we got under way on time, a first, and the weather was glorious throughout.
Partick A and Appin B were the top teams in this group and they brushed aside Forest, St.Johnstone and Rangers who for the second year running failed to score in the group stages.
Appin offered to put two teams in when we had call offs but most of the old guard couldn't make it leaving Rab MacDonald with a very young squad and they ended up playing the same squad for both teams. Rab in fact ended up playing eleven games in total but he hardly mentioned it !
Our two QP teams were in this group and we had selection problems as some of the squad couldn't make it.
In the big game between the two teams the Youngsters won 2-0 thanks to two goals from Stevie Walker whilst Jazza pulled up lame half way through the game.
Our squads consisted of:- Crossers, Barry, Stormy, Jazza, Algie, Arthur, Shep, Dave, Ross, Big John, Sicknote, Psycho, Stevie and Gordon.
The winners of this group were the impressive City AFC who won all their games whilst Duror surprised everybody, including themselves, by finishing second.
PSJ, despite two wins over QP, finished third.
The alleged "Group of Death" as it contained three recent winners of the competition.
The one who failed to go through was Appin B who finished behind Coasters and Airdrie with Tranmere and Leyton bringing up the rear.
Another strong group with the holders Partick B in it as well as Sparta Jags and St.Mirren.
It was the two Thistle teams who came through the group with Sparta winning all their games but earning few admirers as they seemed to be taking it, and themselves, a bit seriously.
St.Mirren, another former winner, were third on goals scored whilst Ayr and Bristol Rovers brought up the rear.
Rovers, to nobody's great surprise managed to win the Wooden Spoon again after a close contest with Rangers and Classic QP.
Three Partick teams went into the Quarter Finals but only two won their way to the Semis as Partick B lost out to Airdrie.
City AFC also progressed by knocking out Coasters who just never seem to perform that well in Glasgow, although at least they did turn up this time !
The Semis were both decided by a single goal and it was Partick A and City AFC who were victorious and went onto the Final.
In the Final it was Partick who triumphed for the second year in a row as a tired City were beaten 3-1.
The Plate had the misfortune to play on the pitches with the smaller goals and the all the Preliminary Round games ended up going to penalties with Rangers knocking out the holders Ayr.
St.Johnstone, Queen's (the younger version) and Tranmere were the other winners.
In the Quarters two more games went to penalties with Forest and Appin A winning through whilst PSJ and St.Mirren, in the Plate for the first time, also got through.
Rangers, without a goal from open play, took their leave of the competition having scored one goal in two years, and that against Classic QP !
Talking of the Classics, they failed to score as well and they also failed to score at the CHAOS Cup two weeks previously. Either they're very defensive minded or just old and done, I know where my money is !
Anyway, the Plate Semis were also decided by a single goal with PSJ and Forest triumphant over St.Mirren and Appin A.
This meant we had new finalists in the Plate with Forest, in their tenth year, and PSJ, in their first, battling it out.
In a close run game the Final went to penalties and PSJ scored six to Forest's four to pick up the Plate.
Despite starting on time the football didn't finish until 7pm but with few complaints from the participants, a first. Shows how good the weather was.
Tranmere Rovers' Colin McPherson (ex Meadowbank Team'85 & Edinburgh City) was asked to make the presentations at night as he was a survivor, and a Games winner, from the very first tournament in 1987.
The first awards were for our own team but unfortunately our two main winners were both on holiday and missed the day !
Brian McGowan was the Player of the Year, his pal Davie from Ayr collecting the trophy on his behalf, whilst Alan Main was the Players' Player of the Year, Big John doing the honours this time.
For the second season in a row Gordon Maxwell was Top Scorer and he collected his trophy in person.
There were also presentations to Raymie McCulloch and Wee Algie for making their 100th appearances during the season and to Jazza for scoring his 150th goal.
Onto the Quiz and Ayr United won for the first time in probably a close competition, but who can remember !
The main awards followed and PSJ received the Plate before Partick were presented with the Ian Younger Sixes trophy for the third time.
Their goalkeeper, Dougie, collected the Trophy from Colin and he made a speech thanking everyone for the day and previous tourneys and announced that he was emigrating to New Zealand so it was his last tourney. We wish him well for the future and now need to find someone else to help with the refereeing next year !
With the awards ceremony out of the way it was time for the party and it went well as ever and turned into a good night with the English visitors being in particularly good form.
A late finish, a bus up the road and, to most people, straight to bed after a long day but............in East Kilbride an ex-Scottish Trampoline champion decided to show his English visitors some of his tricks that made him famous, and fell off !!!
Yes, Jazza ended up in casualty at 5am with Raph the Taff there to hold his hand as the back of his head got stapled back together ("what, no anaesthetic ?").
A surreal end to a great day !!
The Leyton and Bristol Rovers gang stayed until the Monday so an all day session followed on the Sunday and they eventually left mid afternoon on the Monday.
Thanks as always to all the people without whom it wouldn't have been possible..........................
To all at Cowglen for their help and the use of their facilities;
To Selveys for the use of their coach and let's hope it didn't take too long to clean up on the Sunday !;
To Raph the Taff for organising the fixtures all day despite being told he could stay in the bar this year;
To all those who helped with the refereeing;
To all those who helped at the barbecue, especially Crossers;
To Barry, Big John, Jazza, Dave and the Crosshill Goal Machine (couldn't be there on the Saturday but still put people up on the Friday night) for their efforts before and during the tournament;
And, finally, to all the people who took part and made it the day it was.