IN THE biggest walking football tournament in the world, held on Portugal’s Algarve coast, Teignmouth Drifters’ over-50s won through to the Plate final.

Hugo Doswald had an excellent tournament in goal with some magnificent and courageous saves. Dogged defending from Simon Doughty, Dean Hodson and Steve Roberts kept losing scores to low numbers and they showed great skills and energy in linking with midfielders and attackers Steve Mudge, Glynn Ballman, Darren Walsh and Andy Burry.

In the second league phase, the Drifters began to find form and two draws and a victory got them through to the semi-final against Spanish side Real Calahonda. This was a close game but some great play up front and tighter control at the back gave Andy Burry the chances he needed to crack home two winning goals.

The final was an excellent open game against Northwich, who had beaten the Drifters 1-0 earlier in the phase. The Drifters took the lead after dominant play with another exemplary turn-and-shot from captain and top scorer Andy Burry. Northwich equalised with an assured goal scored from a narrow angle, leaving no chance for goalie Hugo Doswald.

However, the Drifters continued to dominate and the winner came from the goal of the tournament when midfielder Glynn Ballman saw a chance from a quickly taken  free-kick to drill a pass over 40 metres through to the perfectly positioned Darren Walsh’s dynamite left foot, and the explosive shot that followed left the Northwich goalie no chance of saving the winning goal.