Friday 9th July 2010 saw the second annual five‐a‐side competition for the toy industry, following on from last year's brilliant inaugural tournament.
Hosted by ToyNews and event specialists Top Corner ToyNews Fives 2010 saw sixteen teams take part in north London in blazing sunshine and soaring temperatures. Once again a proportion of the entry fee for every team is being donated to The Toy Trust, with £2025 being the grand sum donated this year. Well done all.
The tournament saw four groups of four teams each play through from the morning kick‐off until we broke for the BBQ lunch (a great hog roast this year). The top two teams from each group would then compete in the elite Cup competition, while all the remaining teams would still play some knock‐out football in the Plate event. Group A was dominated by Team Hasbro, whose 100 per cent record was denied only by the defeat against the wonderfully‐named Toy Fair Olympia‐kos, who would end up as group runners‐up and claim the second Cup spot.
Lego Hero Factory found the group tough going and only managed to notch one win, but a notable win it was. Having lost their opening match 2‐4 against Amethyst Five they pounced in the return fixture with a 10‐1 romp. That was the only romping they managed though, and it was Amethyst who came closest to snatching second spot, but they couldn’t quite make it.
Group B was a tighter affair and by the time there was one game each to play it could still have been any two of the four teams who qualified for the Cup. Mattel started well and were undefeated until their fifth game (event sponsors ToyNews recording the highlight of their group stage results) but then needed the three points from their last match to qualify as champions. Second spot was taken by Disney Select XI whose main problem in the group was the number of draws that they recorded – only one defeat though.
Similarly, ToyNews were scoring plenty but kept drawing and it was this that condemned them to the Plate. Team Top Trumps scored a respectable five points in the group but this wasn’t enough and they propped up the final Group B table.
Group C housed holders Turner and they turned in a great set of group results, losing only one game and winning five to top the group. Last year’s Plate winners G&B FC came out of the group in second spot and went into the Cup. (The G&B FC supporters club met for their annual convention [and pic‐nic] and provided suitably vocal support for their heroes throughout –nice work). MK Donuts (of MGA/Zapf Creation) and Thumbs Up finished with a perfectly respectable six points apiece but remained destined for the Plate.
In Group D The Hit Squad (from Hit Entertainment) ran out as unbeaten group winners. Moshi Monsters emerged from the group in second spot and confirmed Cup qualification –their only losses were to Hit. WowStuff AllStars amassed a decent seven points but it wasn’t enough for Cup qualification so they and Tomy, who had a tougher time and only got a single point, were off to the Plate.
By the time that the lunch break came around the temperature had edged towards 30 degrees and so a break was just what was needed.
Before long though we were back in action in the Cup and Plate knockout stages –losing a game from here on would pitch you out of the competition, so the stakes were definitely raised.
Amethyst Five booked a place in the Plate semis at the expense of Tomy, while ToyNews overcame Thumbs Up, Team Top Trumps defeated MK Donuts and Lego Hero Factory saw off WowStuff. The semi between Team Top Trumps and Lego Hero Factory ended in a 6‐0 win for TopTrumps as Lego ran out of steam in the heat. The other semi between Amethyst Five and ToyNews was much closer and in fact ended in a 3‐3 draw, bringing a penalty shootout. This finished 5‐4 to Amethyst.
The Plate final was a cracker between Amethyst and Top Trumps, with the latter bounding into an early lead only to see an Amethyst fightback that almost pulled it back. Almost, but not quite though and it ended 4‐3 to Team Top Trumps, who took the title as ToyNews Fives 2010 Plate Champions.
In the Cup, Team Hasbro recorded the largest quarter final win seeing off the Moshi Monster challenge in a 5‐1 win. Mattel and Turner both turned in 5‐2 wins and despatched G&B and Disney respectively. The Hit Squad and Toy Fair played out a 1‐1 draw and it was Toy Fair who edged this tie 2‐1 on pens. Hasbro hit their stride in the semis and defeated Mattel 6‐3, while last year’s champs Turner were too strong for Toy Fair (despite a Lampard‐like disputed non‐goal, where the ball apparently crossed the line) and won 4‐2.
The Cup final was a dramatic match with Team Hasbro continually edging ahead only to be pegged back by a dogged Turner team. It has to be said too that one of the Hasbro goals was goal of the day, with Shaun dancing round pretty much all of the Turner team to score a great individual goal. In the end, despite Turner
never throwing the towel in, it ended 4‐2 to Team Hasbro and they were crowned the ToyNews Cup champions for 2010.
There were two individual awards made too. The Player of the Tournament, nominated by the referees, and the Golden Boot for the tournament’s top scorer. Well done to Kevin Bennett (Turner), whose 16 goals took the Boot, and to Luke Wilson of Mattel who was named as Player of the Tournament.
You can see more pics from the event here.