Teams rain down on Raiders tournament

Copyright MRCPhoto
Copyright MRCPhoto

THERE was a record turnout at this year’s Berkhamsted Raiders Tournament, despite the torrential rain on Sunday.

140 teams from U7 to U14, consisting of 1,400 hardy players, took to the field in front of 2,000 spectators for the annual event.

In a fiercely-competitive competition, there was success for the host club as Raiders Blue triumphed in the U9 tournament, while Raiders White and Raiders Red finished as runners-up in the U11 and U14 events, respectively.

Woburn Lions and Kings Langley Black were the victors in those competitions.

Elsewhere, Hemel Aces were crowned U10 champions, Hemel Athletic won the U12 event, and Alexandra Park took the U13 title.

Raiders club chairman and U14 Black manager Keith Pollard said he was delighted with the way the day went.

“Despite the weather – it rained solidly from about 8.30am – we had record numbers of teams and spectators and some great performances,” he said.

“The tournament is held at a great facility in a great location in Berkhamsted – there are few other places that would be capable of hosting it.”

After all the hard work put into organising the day, Raiders were duly rewarded on the pitch.

“Raiders teams had their best year so far which is good for us because it helps to attract new players,” said Pollard.

The day also acted as a fundraiser of the club, and the Raiders chairman said that some of the money raised will be used to help with the cost of the second phase of the BerkoAstro project.

The club is hoping to build new facilities adjacent to the existing ones.

In the meantime, as well as taking home medals for winning their respective age groups, the Berkhamsted Raiders Tournament victors will be invited to take part in next year’s Dacorum Tournament of Champions.

The event is taking place in July 2012 as part of the Dacorum Sporting and Cultural Olympiad and is for winners of tournaments in Dacorum.

“It’s a tournament where the best will take on the best,” said Pollard.