Wow where do we start...
Sunday 1st May 2022 was a day to remember. We had over 200 spectators turn up to event. The bar was drunk dry, the food stall was eaten empty, and the queue for the raffle tickets was extraordinary.
It all started at 14:00 when spectators, volunteers and players all took a minutes applause in tribute to our Club Founder and Life President Dave Gurney who sadly passed away on 24th of November 2019. After the referee's whistle there was a roar from the crowd and the first teams stepped up to the centre circle to take kick-off.
First up was the Lancing Rangers Veterans in their yellow and black striped shirts, versus the Empire Club in their black and blue striped shirts. The game started well with the Veterans showing their younger age, however the Empire held firmly with their experience showing in spells. Five minutes into the game and the Veterans pounced. A poorly placed free-kick from the Empire was pounced upon by the Veterans who passed it out to the right-wing, beating the offside trap with a neat pass through to the striker before passing it to Shane Gilbert who tucked in home into an empty net.
Five minutes later and the Veterans got their second. Winning the ball at right-back before making a great pass to Matthew Fitchie who ran from the half-way line to catch the ball and tuck it passed the keeper from just inside the box.
A long delay added 7-minutes onto the game which allowed the Empire some well-needed time to recuperate their energy. 60 seconds before the end of the match the Veterans headed a free-kick clear from their own half. An awkward bobble saw an Empire centre-back taken completely out of the game as the ball bounced straight over his head. The pace of the Veterans saw them grasp the mistake with both hands and grab a third through Shane Gilbert who grabbed his third of the day.
Second up were the other two squads of the day. The Young Boys in their plain white shirts played the Managers & Players in their light blue kit.
In what turned out to be a well-fought game 10-minutes passed without a goal. Winning the ball at right-back, Young Boys brought the ball forward in a completely open centre of the pitch, playing a fantastic pass up to Joe Kinsman at striker. The Managers & Parents backline paused temporarily looking for the offside which never came and Joe Kinsman placed it neatly passed the goalkeeper for the first goal of the game.
The game stayed level for the remainder of the match with the Young Boys youth and pace being met by the Managers & Parents experience and tactical masterclass. One-nil it finished with the Young Boys stealing the three points.
One game each. Now onto the second round of fixtures where the Young Boys remained on the field to play the Veterans in a game which saw the tempo of the tournament raised.
It didn't take long before the first goal of the match to be scored. A well delivered corner from the Veterans was met by a glancing header from Chris Gander which was planted straight into the back of the net.
The Veterans kept pushing and so did the Young Boys, however passes in the final third for both teams let the sides down. After seven minutes of trying, the Veterans snatched the ball back in midfield and and a great outside-of-the-boot pass to the left winger opened up the defence. The ball was played back to midfield before a looping pass to Darren Boswell on the right-wing fooled the defenders and Darren Boswell took the opportunity to knock it passed the keeper for two-nil.
The two-nil lead didn't last long with the Young Boys playing three great through-balls from the back up to Joe Kinsman who beat the outstretched keeper from the edge of the box to grab his second of the day.
A well battled game was then blown for full-time with the Veterans taking their second win out of two games to remain top of the table.
A break now for the Young Boys and the Managers & Parents returned versus the Empire Old Boys. In a game of missed chances and mistakes neither team could capitalise and the game remained level for thirteen minutes. Up stepped Lee Walls with quite easily the best goal of the tournament. A throw-in on the far side made its way into the box where Lee Walls took a touch with his right-foot and took the ball on the half-volley with his left beating the outstretched arms of the keeper.
The lead was doubled shortly when Managers & Parents lost the ball on the halfway line and a great through-ball spotted out the run of Lee Walls who grabbed his second of the game with a neat left-footed finish passed the keeper at his near post.
The Managers & Parents simply couldn't find a way through the Empire defence and the game finished two-nil to the Empire who grabbed their first win of the tournament.
Looking to grab their third win of the tournament were the Veterans who returned to the pitch against the Managers & Parents who were still looking for their first goal of the day.
Within 90 seconds the game seemed to be heading in favour for the Veterans as a good clearance was flicked on in midfield straight to Wayne Newton who pounced on the one-on-one and slotted it passed the keeper from the edge of the box.
Ten minutes passed and still no team were able to find their way through, until a brilliant corner was met by once-again Chris Gander who nodded home his second of the day.
The game remained at two-nil until the dying seconds of the game when Darren Boswell shot from the edge of the area and the ball looped over the keeper and just under the crossbar for three-nil.
The Veterans secured their place in the final with three wins from three.
Young Boys versus the Empire Old Boys it was then to decide who would be playing the Veterans in the final. Both teams had one win with the Young Boys having a better goal difference.
The first cam after four minutes with the Young Boys playing a great pass to Craig Bowsher who tucked home his first of the game. The second came from the pace of their youth and a like-for-like goal saw Craig Bowsher grab his second of the game just after ten minutes played.
Five minutes later and a good cross from the Empire was well met by the defenders of the Young Boys who cleared the ball upfield and again the pace was to much for the Empire Old Boys who couldn't keep up with Joe Kinsman who eventually turned it home with a good finish passed the keeper.
The match was well and truly out of reach of the Empire when a lofted pass from the Young Boys defence beat the back-line of the Empire and Joe Kinsman rounded the keeper to round-off what was a brilliant game for the Young Boys.
Four-nil it finished and the Young Boys would be meeting the Veterans in the final.
The raffle ensued the final league game and with the tombola drum filled to the brim with raffle tickets Dave's wife, Pat Gurney, joined us on the pitch with Club Chairman, Steve Searle. The tickets were drawn, the prizes were won and soon enough the table was empty.
Now.. for the match everybody was waiting for.. the Dave Gurney Memorial Tournament Final.
Lancing Rangers Young Boys versus Lancing Rangers Veterans. Having two fifteen minute halves both teams would have the opportunity for a team talk.
Both teams had equal chances throughout the first half and ten-minutes in the Young Boys stole the ball from a Veterans attack and fantastic ball found its way out to the right-wing which was pounced on by Sam Thompson who ran, looked up and found teammate Joe Kinsman in the middle who tucked away a great finish to put the Young Boys one-nil up and to grab his fifth of the day.
The lead didn't last long at all. The Veterans won a corner after Darren Boswell's free-kick was deflected over the bar by the Young Boys solid wall. The corner was cleared by Young Boys who then took their time to step up in formation which gave the Veterans the opportunity to play a looping ball over the fooled defenders, as they did the first time these two teams met. The ball was then headed down into the floor before Chris Gander capitalised on some poor marking to make the game level.
The game remained level for the remainder of the first half and second half with tempers rising over poor mistakes. The tackles started flying in and a strong tackle from Harrison Mitchell on Darren Boswell five minutes from the end of the second half saw a congregation of angry players surrounding each other in a heated minute or so. The referee politely asked the Young Boys defender to leave the pitch as a substitute and the match resumed.
And that was it. The referee blew his whistle and the match went straight to penalties.
After both teams had a few minutes to discuss the order of penalty takers. After a toss of the coin the Veterans stepped up first. Darren Boswell stepped up first and coolly slotted home his penalty into the top right corner. Herbie Even stepped up for the first penalty for the Young Boys and planted straight into the crossbar. Lancing FC regular Will Berry stepped up second and after a close shave of the keeper's fingertips the ball hit the back of the net. Dave's grandson, Lewis Gurney, saw his penalty saved by the keeper but was adjudged to be off his line and so the penalty was retaken and this time it was planted into the top left corner. With the Veterans still two-one up, they nominated Simon Hind to take their third and this was taken superbly straight into the top right corner.
With the Young Boys needing to score, Lewis Power stepped up to the spot and saw his penalty blazed over the crossbar to the cheers of the crowd.
So.. the pressure was firmly on the Young Boys goalkeeper Jaydon Kinsey to save the next penalty from the Veterans Joe Howard. Joe who had a great tournament so far sent the keeper the wrong way and so Lancing Rangers Veterans took the win and the Dave Gurney Memorial Tournament 2022 Winners trophy.
So ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls.. your Dave Gurney Memorial Tournament 2022 Winners:
Lancing Rangers Veterans
All match videos can be found online on our YouTube page:
All match photos and side-line videos can be found online on our website:
We would like to take this time to thank all our players, volunteers, spectators and everybody else who made this tournament what it was. The feedback we have received has been absolutely phenomenal.
Please take the time to watch our appreciation video below: