The CHAOS Cup - Saturday 9th June 2007
After having two teams in the previous year's competition, we managed to only get five willing volunteers for this year's CHAOS Cup.
The team had a strong look about it with Crossers, Mr C, Cuckoo, Psycho and Dave deciding to sample the delights of Leyton Orientear's 18th annual tournament.
We met up on the Friday lunchtime in the City Centre before making our way to Glasgow Airport for our flight to Stansted Airport.
A coach to Stratford Station then a taxi to the Birkbeck in Leytonstone (made famous for being the pub at the end of the Carlsberg advert which features the old England players) and we had at last arrived about 8pm, an hour behind schedule.
Seeing that was the case we had to up the drinking to make up for lost time and we were joined in the pub by a few of the Orientear guys until shutting time which seems to depend on the landlord's mood.
Thankfully they were in a good mood and it was late when we all headed home to Clapton with Mr C, Crossers and his son Cuckoo (one of our running gags for the weekend) heading to Sean's and Dave and Psycho (the charismatic duo) heading to Rory's.
Saturday was the big day and, obviously, the reason why we were there, the football !
Only having five in the squad we needed help and Woody had said on the Friday night that he would happily fill in for us. However, on the Saturday morning there was no sign of him so Wee Neil took "The Trialist" jersey for our first game.
His jersey did say "The Trialist" as we decided to play in our black QPSFC tops with our nicknames on the back. This was just in case anybody didn't know who we were !
Our first game was against Orientear B and unfortunately we lost out 2-0, thanks in no small part to two mistakes from Psycho.
Woody arrived in time for our second game, against Oxford, but even with a sub we couldn't avoid a 1-0 defeat thanks again to an error, this time from Dave.
Our last group game was against old pals Bristol Rovers and we changed formation with Crossers coming out of goals and Cuckoo handed the gloves.
At last we managed to win a game as Crossers got on the end of a Mr C pass (he never wasted a pass all day) to chip the keeper and send him off on a lap of honour with his top off.
As we got back on the pitch we discovered that referee Gary The Hat had restarted the game but Rovers missed the chance !
The win meant we avoided the Wooden Spoon competition and it was time to hit the Copper Mill Pub just outside the Sports Centre.
Despite being reluctant to go back we were forced into the Plate and our Quarter Final against LOFT (The Leyton Orient Football Trust).
Mr C either got lost or was dropped as we started and finished without him but still managed another 1-0 win thanks to a goal from that man Crossers again.
Into the Semis and Saffend were the opponents but we couldn't quite manage a goal and neither could our opponents so we went to penalties.
Well, we never reached the Final as only Psycho managed a goal as Neil, Dave, Crossers and Woody all missed whilst Saffend scored three (I think).
For the first time in years we stayed to watch the CHAOS Final and old friends Torquay (thanks to Pikey, Mark, Ricky and Mikey for their excellent company at night) won the trophy for the first time beating Birmingham on penalties.
Saffend won the Plate and Cardiff won the Wooden Spoon.
Back to the Copper Mill then onto The Birkbeck for the evening's festivities.
Amazingly our Crossers picked up the Player of the Tournament for the second time in a row (apparently the two other nominees never showed at night but that's neither here nor there) which just goes to show what an impact the man makes down South as well as up here. A legend.
Another late night then back to the Birkbeck for lunchtime on the Sunday.
Dave and Mr C stayed another night (another late one) whilst our other three headed home on the Sunday.
Another fantastic London weekend with plenty of socialising and we weren't even that bad at football, for a change.
A big thanks to Tom for organising the CHAOS Cup; to Cathy and Russ for their hospitality in the Birkbeck; to Rory and Sean and his parents for making us so welcome in their homes; to Woody, Gareth and Raph for their entertainment on the Sunday night; to Jimmy Brodie and Jimmy Reilly for their non appearance, but apparently they are due for parole soon; and to everybody we met and annoyed over the weekend.
Obviously there are a lot of things that happened that can't be printed but it was a case of, you had to be there...................